Safety First: 8 Steps to Installing Winter Tire Chains

Safety First: 8 Steps to Installing Winter Tire Chains


Make sure the V bars are going to contact
the road surface. So we’re just stretching it out. V bars on top here, making sure that side chains are all
straight and the cross chains are all straight. Some chains have these cam tensioning
devices, some don’t. We also want to make sure with the cam tighteners, that they’re on the outside of the tire where you can get at them and tighten up your chains later. We’re just going to grab the chain, just like that, and we’re just going to put it right over top of the tire, relatively centered, and then just pull it around, and just make sure that we’re all squared up like so. Because we are going to drive
ahead in order to get our fasteners at the back end preferably where we can get at them a little easier. You can see where our V bars are exposed at the top, where they’re going to contact the road surface and give us a little more traction. I’m just going to make sure our fasteners are on both sides of the tire just so that we don’t drive over the fasteners and damage them. Go underneath here, and I’m just gonna fasten to the first link to start out with. And so we just tighten it up one link on the
inside. This is tight as possible again. Try that one. That one’s going to work. So these particular fasteners have a little keeper here, it’s going to slide up there, and make sure it’s fastened. Tighten the side chains a bit. A piece of equipment we can use if you tire
chains don’t have the cam tighteners, is just a bungee cord with some hooks on. You can even buy these pre-made. So the whole object again is to get the side chains tight. We just work that around a little bit, as much as we can. Like so. So we’re looking good. Now we just go off to the other side, do the same thing and we’re on our way, we’re ready to go.

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  1. This gives some small idea of how difficult it is. This is edited, but probably took 10 or 20 minutes–under ideal conditions. Just laying the chain out and removing the twists and kinks with frozen metal laying on snow would be a task in itself. Then there's getting them hooked up with your the tire tread thick with snow, the wheel well slush, mud, more snow and freezing conditions! You want to practice this several times on your driveway before ever having to do it for real.

  2. If anyone knows the tire size used on this police tahoe, please let me know. I have a 2004 tahoe and the owner's manual states that chains are no to be used with the oem tires.

    I would love to know so I can get the same rim/tire size combo and finally get the chains I need. Thanks.

  3. @herrerafour
    The tire size was 245/75 R16 on a 2000 Police Package Tahoe. Though, keep in mind, the video and installation was for demonstration purposes only and we do not actually install chains on our Tahoes as winter tires are sufficient for CVSE's needs. It's just intended to show the general process. Very good point you mentioned and worth repeating: owners should always read and follow the user’s manual.

  4. @zave1525 Most GMC's and Chevrolet fullsize's, didn't start using 265/75/16's off the production line until 2004. 1988-2004 came standard with 245/75/16's.

  5. blazer vette the z71 is the off road suspension package gm and chevy use yess i know they are the same company but the z71 should not make a differince in tier size or snow chain application

  6. @TheOriginalBleachX Thanks for the comment. It is true, our CVSE officer does take his time to show exactly how the chains are to be installed, but after you have done it once, and become familiar with the process, we think the time involved beats being stuck in the snow hands down.

  7. yeah or… you install snow chains in your tires to drive safely and other driver crash on you because he didn´t LOL

  8. Murphy's Law would lean to that, but we are hoping that by using this video, more people will be driving safely in the winter.

  9. Thanks for the comment. I have driven in Ontario in the winter and can appreciate the volume of snow which you deal with, but I think the snow chain legislation in BC is due to the steep grade often involved in our winter travels. When combined with snow, steep inclines can make for very treacherous driving conditions. That is not to say that snow chains are a handy thing to have in your car or truck no matter where you live in the winter. It pays to be prepared. Hope this helps.

  10. Thanks for posting this, now maybe the next time road conditions necessitate chains I can just chain up my own truck and the guy in front of me will know how to chain his truck up by himself.

    Also: Those chains look much more resilient than the ones I have, where do you get those? Those look similar to the kind you see on class 8 type trucks.

  11. There are many different types of chains available out there. The best thing to do would be to call your local tire store and see if they have any that would meet your needs. Glad you liked the video!

  12. We have these chains on our trucks but we dont have that extra "lane" he put on last after tighten the chains up.Every year there comes trucks from what we call the eastern block. They dont have the chains for the nordic-weather nor the tiers for it so every years theres atleast 30 trailers/trucks that is stopped by customs by the border of Norway/Sweden and they dont let them pass before getting atleast 3 sets of chains (min.) than they have too put them on (for testing if they can do it..)

  13. I wish you CVSE folks would pull over more trucks at the scales and make the driver demonstrate how to install their chains. There are far too many morons closing down the Coq etc who have chains and no idea how to use them. Especially our "New" Canadians!

    Mike S.
    Professional Driver.

  14. good video, thanks. looks easier than laying them on the ground, and driving onto them. the rubber bugies are a lot harder to stretch in the winter, so i run it directly across first, then to the top and bottom, seems to work better for me.

    question, is there such a thing as too tight? im going to be leaving them on for a couple weeks, and just driving around short distances.

    how about having the inside (hard to reach) too tight or loose in comparison to the outside (easy to reach) ?

  15. The basic answer is that there is no such thing as ‘too tight’, however too loose can lead to actually having the chain spin on the wheel, (meaning little or no traction) or worse, working itself loose and coming off and damaging your vehicle. As for the side chains, same thing, the inside chains should be as snug as possible.Keep in mind that tire pressures lower significantly in the cold, so keep an eye on them. You’ll be such a pro you can star in the next vid!

  16. Do you need to put them on all your tires? I live in CA where I don't need them, but I will move to NC where I may eventually need them. By the way, if I buy snow tires, will I not need these chains? Thanks for this video.

  17. The type of chains you many need and how they should be installed, and whether you can get away with just driving snow tires will depend, but you can find out more at our site: th.gov.bc.ca/SeasonalDriving/winter_chains.html

  18. Will the chains damage the tire if once you get through the snow you drive on clear asphalt?

  19. If you drive for an extended period of time with the chains over clear asphalt, you might risk damage to your tires. If the snow is intermittent, over short distances, you should keep them on. But otherwise it is not recommended to run the chains over bare ground.

  20. how many tire do i have to put the chains on? And if I need to put only 2 chains on and if my car is a Front-wheel-drive car, should i put the chains on front tires or rear tires? Thank you.

  21. putting chains on should be a part of a truck driver course in BC………and part of the exam too………….there is an easier way of doing it………..i drove throu bc for a last 16 winters…………….i can show you if you want…………..good luck

  22. Hey thanks! I'm driving out west and needed to know how to put them on. I'm going to practice first! I have an all wheel drive Outback, do I need them on all four tires? 

  23. Thanks for the helpful video. I just ordered a set of chains and they are just like the ones you demonstrated. You just made my life a lot easier. Much obliged!

  24. Thanks for the tip this will help me when winter time come in a semi will be my first time driving a semi in winter

  25. Damn that's a LOT of work. There's got to be a better invention for this. I would put them on and leave them until spring haha. It would take you 2 hours to do on the side of the road in the snow and you would have hypothermia by the time you are done.

  26. LOVE that the officer is trying to help and he did a wonderful job until it came to the point of using the chain tightners at 3:04.  I'm afraid he failed to install all of the five tightners correctly.  When finished it should look like an pentangle shape.  Place the straps Top to Bottom then Right to Left until ALL Five are spaced evenly.  See example on: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Kh5EOsZSL.jpg Thank you for your Service and God Bless our Law Enforcement!

  27. it was looking so good…until the "bungee cord" part. There should be 6 hooks and they should be SMOOTH side towards the tire (if the hook faces the tire, it can damage the tire) and the hooks should be evenly spaced around the entire chain – start with one side, then do the hook on the opposite side and so on until all 6 hooks are evenly spaced

  28. I would put the bungee with on the hooks facing out, so that they are less likely to come loose. Also, it would help to have the hooks at 12/6, 9/3 o'clock, as you look at the wheel, for more uniform tensioning. It is far better to have too many bungees, than tire chains wrapped around the axle, because they got loose.

  29. Max speed with chains is 30mph. You put them on after conditions require. Take EM off soon as not required

  30. You've got 2 choices :  (1)  Either chain up , No tickets , No accidents .  (2)  Or you can sit it out , wait until road clears while YOU hold up the customer & costing company money !!!

  31. the set our company bought doesn't have those spikes or that bungee thing, think we got ripped off and should get another set…

  32. cheater method to driving forward: 2×4 or 4×4 wood block under tires just a hint from a truck driver can get equal tightness on chain at same time.

  33. great demonstration only one thing to add if road condition is iced like a mirror add a chain to one of the tire in the front for rear wheel drive vehicle it help to keep your front end on the road and help to slow down also

  34. Thank you for posting sir. The part around 2:35 saved my sanity… you'd be rolling on the ground laughing if you could've seen the way I was trying to secure this last bit. A YouTube video is truly worth a thousand words. Thank you again for taking the time to post this very educational video.

  35. my Nissan Sentra seems to only have the front passenger wheel that turns. Would it be okay to only put chains on what seems to be the only spinning Tire

  36. I met a guy on a cruise who told me he had no idea what tire chains were and people didn't use them. He was from northern usa some where. At the time I felt like an idiot who had gotten some fantasy in his head from childhood that I had always believed.

  37. The video is good and I realize putting them on first before you hit snow is smart. However, putting them on in 6" of snow is much more time consuming then one would think. I've used cable chains and they seem to work just fine and much quicker to put on

  38. I lay the chains out and back over them 1/3rd of the way and tgwm pick up the long section and throw it over the tire. Makes it a breeze.

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