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Tommy J.

Snow chains talk

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Tommy J.

Okay, random, I know. But I wanted some opinions from you guys up north, or from anywhere you get snow a lot. And for those of you from those areas that run chains, what chains do you guys prefer to run?

 

just picked up a set of Titan VBAR chains with cam adjusters. They appear to be the most aggressive design that can be had, as far as bite. And have the added feature of the adjusting cams that make them run extra tight. I may or may not ever need them for their intended purpose since I’m in Tx and we don’t get a ton of snow. But what we do get this time of year is ice. And driving on ice is a whole different animal than trucking through snow. And they can’t hurt in the event I decide to throw them on when I load the dirt bikes and kiddos up and have to romp through mud after a rain with the truck to get to our spot. And lastly, I’m somewhat of a prepper.  Not a full nut job prepper..  Just a bring tools, cash, food, water, and recovery gear when I jump in the truck kind of prepped. So... justified! 😁

I attached a couple pics to show the design. Opinions?

D17728EE-F51D-477E-99DB-30AB5086DF61.jpeg

D2E3846C-31E3-468C-96BB-1A79D2B160F3.jpeg

Edited by Tommy J.

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Climber028

Winter tires grip really well for most of the north, in the mountenous areas people like to use studded tires which are incredible but illegal in a lot of states. Here in western NY people that care have two sets of tires for their car, then switch them in spring and fall accordingly. I think chains would be great for towing through mud or something but they don't help much when you have a thin layer of ice in the road and it's relatively warm, they are best for driving over hard packed snow that's over a layer of ice, what you would typically find in the cold mountain areas. I've done steep winter drives in Colorado and Montana with only studded tires and they work amazingly well, tho for your case since it's not an option to carry around an extra set of tires and switch them on the side of the road I think chains are a great idea, even if it's a bit overkill. The ease of installation makes up for the other drawbacks. 

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climber511

Chains - I have (had?) an old set in the garage I haven't used or seen in decades.  One of those things you don't need until you really do.  Practice putting them on once and adjusting them to make sure they fit nice and snug.  Those look aggressive as heck - no doubt overkill but but what the heck?  Chains will drive you crazy on roads with no snow if you go very far.

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FrankSobotka

Lived in New England my entire life and I don’t know anyone who uses chains other than police cars and ambulances (most fire trucks and some plows have on the spot, flip down chains). 

One of these years I’ll finally buy chains for my snowblower though 

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Cannon
10 hours ago, FrankSobotka said:

Lived in New England my entire life and I don’t know anyone who uses chains other than police cars and ambulances (most fire trucks and some plows have on the spot, flip down chains). 

One of these years I’ll finally buy chains for my snowblower though 

Agree. I've been in Minnesnowta for 22 years and I think chains are actually illegal. They really beat up the roads. I'm fairly certain studded tires are illegal as well. If they are legal, they're rare. People probably use them on their own property. 

Blizzak tires are pretty effective. I know lots of people who use those. 

Otherwise you just drive what you have and get your drift cooking. MnDOT is crazy effective at clearing major roads. 

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Tommy J.

Thanks for the feedback fellas. Will do on the test fit Chris!

Regardless of dire need or not, I’m glad to finally own a set. Bases covered.

i can think of many things I own that I don’t actually “need” often. Just like everybody else. 😁

 

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Tommy J.

 

For the record, I happen to think every one of these people are complete dumb asses.. all the auto crashes above could be prevented if not for complacency. I would bet money that every one of them thought “meh. I’m fine. I know what I’m doing.” And more than likely every one of them also blamed someone else for their accident afterward.

I put it on par with not wearing a helmet on a motorcycle.. yeah, sure, I can ride just fine without one. And can technically make a strong case that I have better vision when a helmet isn’t blocking my peripheral view. Not to mention unblocked hearing of my surroundings. It’s much easier to hear a set of tires rolling in my blind spot when not wearing a helmet instead of relying on the tiny mirrors that come on motorcycles. ...and, not every biker out there crashes frequently enough to “need” a helmet. All sounds convincing doesn’t it? And it’s all technically true!

But you know... I’ll stick to my nerdyness and stay ready with a full face helmet (at minimum) anyways!

Back to the point of the demonstration vid. either swallow some pride and don’t drive on ice, (so your brilliant crashes won’t continue to inflate auto insurance costs for the rest of us!) or take some measure to prep you’re vehicle to prevent stuff like this. Chains, studs, whatever. This bag of chains can literally fit in a glove box. Or tucked away out of sight in a trunk of a small car. And sit at the ready. Forgotten about until not.

obviously we don’t get a ton of weather like this in TX. But when we do it can and has last for weeks.. and if you think the drivers above are bad, you don’t want to see how retarded overly prideful TX drivers get on ice or snow on the rare occasions we get it! 😝 

 

btw, I’m not a sales rep for these things. I do think they are sort of Mad Max’ish badass tho! Lol!

 

i know I keep sort of rambling on in an unsolicited fashion. But I’m sure you enjoy my left field sentiments, regardless. 😁

 

oh, and one more thing. Did you guys up north in frequent snow/ice areas know you can get discounts on your auto insurance just for keeping stuff like this in your car? and or for having some form of dedicated winter tires in the winter? In the areas it’s “legal” to run them, that is! I bet you didn’t. It’s listed in the fine print of the “optional vehicle safety equipment” language for those with reputable insurance companies.  And obviously your insurance provider isn’t gonna tell you these things. And they are always reluctant to proceed with the discounts until you grill them a bit on how their own company works. They are in the business of making money. So be ready to get sassy when you call them for your discount. Don’t believe me? Get your Google fu engaged and fact check me. The savings range from 5-10% on your annual policy- JUST to keep a large potato chip size bag of chain on board!

Edited by Tommy J.

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Wannagrip

I lived in the UP of Michigan until age 22.  Grew up there. Went to school here: https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/michigan/houghton

202 inches average snow. 

I am not sure they are legal in Michigan. I doubt it because with all that snow I never saw anyone have any.

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Tommy J.
11 minutes ago, Wannagrip said:

I lived in the UP of Michigan until age 22.  Grew up there. Went to school here: https://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/michigan/houghton

202 inches average snow. 

I am not sure they are legal in Michigan. I doubt it because with all that snow I never saw anyone have any.

😳 at least tell me most have 4x4 or AWD?.. wow that’s a ton!

 

and, after doing a test fit this morning, I can see why most don’t run them. They are a BEAR to put on tightly and without any kinks in the chain. You sort of have to be kind of strong to get them on right it seems... and I can imagine getting them rigged up while laying on ice and your fingers going numb... and then having to roll about 100 feet and get out and retighten before your ready to roll with traffic. 

I mean still, they are definitely quicker and less work than changing out a set of tires. Took about 10-12 minutes of a drive way wrestling session to get them on. AND I spilled my damn beer..

Edited by Tommy J.
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Climber028

It would be better to just head north and get a bunch of experience driving on icy roads, the driver is way more important than the vehicle for winter conditions. I drive a small 4 cylinder front wheel drive manual through snow, ice and slush and I've never had an accident or even slid off the road. In general just do everything slower and take a long time to accelerate and that'll cut out a huge chunk of silly accidents. 

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climber511

One problem is much of the south doesn't really have a lot of snow removal equipment.  The north does - we pretty much clear and treat the roads when snow is expected or arrives.  Plus we northerners just have a lot more experience driving on the stuff.  

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Jim Nonnemacher
2 hours ago, climber511 said:

One problem is much of the south doesn't really have a lot of snow removal equipment.  The north does - we pretty much clear and treat the roads when snow is expected or arrives.  Plus we northerners just have a lot more experience driving on the stuff.  

May be true, but that first snow fall of the year is the worst! Seems everyone forgot how to drive in snow and there's always a rash of accidents with the first snow fall.

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WestSlope

Those are good chains. You'll still need the rubber tension rings or you risk throwing your chains. Those chains will help you get out of a bad spot that a bad decision got you into.

I kept chains on my 2wd pickup through the worst of the winter in Wyoming and Montana. With snow tires on the front it handled almost like a 4wd. 

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IROC-Z

I live in WI and I've never seen anybody with chains on a truck or automobile, but lots of people run them on snowblowers.  Most people just weave a bungee cord through the chains on the outer face of the wheel to tension them up and that seems to work pretty well...….but I'm not sure how it would be at higher speeds.

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Tommy J.

Fellas, out of curiosity, what do you pay for a set of snow tires on average?

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IROC-Z
17 hours ago, Tommy J. said:

Fellas, out of curiosity, what do you pay for a set of snow tires on average?

I bought a set of 205/55R17 Pirelli snow tires last year to put on an extra set of rims I have for my SUV and I believe with the mounting and balancing it came out to about $700 or so.

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king crusher

Chains are illegal in the midwest. They are commonly found being used in the mountains boarding southern California though. Signs will state you better have chains beyond certain spots or you can't continue on.

Edited by king crusher
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Tommy J.
6 hours ago, IROC-Z said:

I bought a set of 205/55R17 Pirelli snow tires last year to put on an extra set of rims I have for my SUV and I believe with the mounting and balancing it came out to about $700 or so.

Wow that’s not bad! The regular BFG TKO 2’s I run year round cost some coin.. almost twice that! another reason I’m not looking to spin the tires on ice..

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bwwm

Like Climber028, I grew up in WNY, and never heard of anybody routinely using chains till I moved out to AZ.  Out here in the winter, it snows up north, and on some of the forest service roads, and sometimes on the highways where the plows get behind, they want you to have chains.  For the three years I lived in TX, the only time I had a problem was when there was a bad freezing rain / snow storm, and I had to go to work.   On the way to work, I got stuck once with the '94 Toyota Tercel, and I just got out and pushed it free. 😉 I can't really think of where in the DFW area you would need them, but I guess if you really had a bad ice storm again, they might come in handy.  Or you can do what we used to back in the day, and just stay home and drink. 😉 

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Tommy J.
25 minutes ago, bwwm said:

Like Climber028, I grew up in WNY, and never heard of anybody routinely using chains till I moved out to AZ.  Out here in the winter, it snows up north, and on some of the forest service roads, and sometimes on the highways where the plows get behind, they want you to have chains.  For the three years I lived in TX, the only time I had a problem was when there was a bad freezing rain / snow storm, and I had to go to work.   On the way to work, I got stuck once with the '94 Toyota Tercel, and I just got out and pushed it free. 😉 I can't really think of where in the DFW area you would need them, but I guess if you really had a bad ice storm again, they might come in handy.  Or you can do what we used to back in the day, and just stay home and drink. 😉 

Lol! Stay home and drink is the shit. My fatass does prefer this practice!

unfortunately I’m a bit more remote these days than in prior years. Live in the sticks now, so to speak. Like, the neighbors horses keep pushing boards out of my fence, remote... the wife and kids love it tho. No more sirens, loud stereos, or the sounds of cars skidding to a stop before they crash into the nearest parked car. And the teachers at my kids school are all armed. Not a practice you see often in the metroplex.

There is 2 roads that can get me back in or out of DFW. 1 is a fairly busy highway, and the other is pretty destitute. But it’s the route I take to work. Which also floods over in multiple spots with just a measly 4” of rain. and has no cell service for about a 10 mile stretch. So in the event I get stranded, it’s to the truest definition.

 

as I said, I may never need them. And I actually hope I don’t! Just like my guns, my seatbelt, my helmet on the motorcycle, or even a fire extinguisher. but man “if” i do, I will be glad I have them! 😁

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bwwm

Oh, if you have a stretch you drive to/from work on that floods, it may not be a bad idea to have the chains in case of mud.  I remember some of that gooey, clay mud over at Rowlett Creek where I used to mountain bike.  

 

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