mud chains

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by lovetoski, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    I go skiing a lot. Law requires that you carry "chains" even though I'm not likely to use them on a 4 wheel drive vehicle. But, I gotta buy something....read that some use chains in the mud, so decided to use BFG AT's for on road driving (great in snow, rain, ice, high milage, etc) and then use "mud chains" for strap on extra traction. While I haven't actually tried this yet, it seems like it should be a good compromise solution for my type of use. I found and ordered some extra heavy chains from Tirechains.com. Told them what I wanted to do, they said these would be super durable for on road use, but also tough enough for off-road use. Pic below...sharp-eyed will notice that these chains are a bit large for my tires....I'm currently running 33X9.50's but will install 33X10.50's next spring when the current ones have finished their useful life. Chain size is thus for 10.50's, but I'll be legal until then. 22 lbs per chain, really heavy!
    Mudchains.jpg.JPG
     
  2. brett76

    brett76

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    youre in WA right? we have a chain law? i didnt know that. i have never used chains or carried them. Yikes
    but that is the exact same idea im having.
    p.s. going to crystal tomorrow.(yeessss)
     
  3. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    Yes we have a chain law. I've spoken the to state patrol about it. When the "chains required" signs are up, 4 wheel drive is an acceptable substitute - unless a policeman tells you that you must install chains - which they have the prerogitive to require. They can also post a sign that says chains required on all vehicles, and while you might slip by, they can ticket you later. They can also ask to see your chains before letting you into an area where chains might be needed later.

    You probably would have preferred not to know all of this...

    Have fun tomorrow at Crystal. I'll be there Fri and Saturday! Yipee!
     
  4. Hawke

    Hawke

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    As a trucker of over 20 years I can say those chains look very good except for the tightening mechanism. The bungy cord just doesn't cut it. There should be a tightener that can be adjusted and tightened after you move a few feet.
     
  5. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    Hmmm...that same thought crossed my mind too. I purchased the tightener that the company recommended, but in comparison to the chains it's pretty weak. What specifically do you recommend?
     
  6. Hawke

    Hawke

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    The tire chains we use here (Canada) have a device on the chain that is called a "boomer." It's a bit difficult to describe but it probably is known as something like a "over-the-centre tightener." On the tire chains you have (which look really good), I would get 2 small boomers for each chain. Tighten the inside of the chain (next to the axle) as tight as you can. Then, use 2 boomers to tighten the outside of the chain. Use two small boomers (for each wheel) as a cross on the outside (visible side) of the chains. Drive 40 or 50 feet and then tighten them again. If you do this you not have a problem. If you wait until are stuck it will be much more difficult to install the chains but not impossible.

    You need to have a device to keep the boomers locked. It could be wire or a bungy cord etc. They need to be fastened so if they do come loose they won't open.

    This may sound very confusing. Sorry about that. If I can help with any clarification please get back to me. I may be able to find some diagrams or something.

    If you have tight tire chains you will be safe in many circumstances. I have experience with chaining-up semi trucks in both mountain runs and ice crossings where we need to cross frozen lakes.
    Gerry
     
  7. Mars

    Mars

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    I ski in the Eastern Sierra's a lot, and sometimes the approaches get a little 'creative'. If I think I'm going to get snowed in, or I know I'm going to be plowing through some snow drifts, I put on the chains. Mine look very similar to yours, attachment system as well. I haven't had a problem with them, but then again I hardly ever go over 20mph with them on. Amazing what a stocker land cruiser can get through with chains on.

    Do you chain up all 4 wheels? I have a single set, and I've always put them on the rear tires on my truck. Would it be preferable to put them on the fronts?? Would the extra engine weight help them dig more up front?


    :cheers: :cheers:
     
  8. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    I've never actually had to use chains on my cruiser - 4W has been enough...but I bought 2 pr of chains. I've used chains on just the rear (on rear wheel drive) and just the front (on front wheel drive) and while forward traction is much better in both cases, stopping is compromised. If I really need chains, I think I'll put them on all 4 tires. If a trooper says I need to put them on when I'm sure I don't need them, not sure what I'll do...
     
  9. High Desert

    High Desert

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    Oregon Chains, way too long...

    I drive a comuter bus over Government Camp Pass on Mt Hood two to three times a week. Oregon chain laws are simuliar to WA I think.
    During the winter the pass warning signs say "carry chains or use traction tires"

    When it gets really bad which means the snow has packed to a hard slick surface or it is powder and snowing so hard the plows and sanders can't keep up (yes! powder day!!) Then the nest stage is "chains Requried on vehicles over 10k # or any one pulling a trailer"..including sleds horses etc.. The next stage is chains required or "traction tires", which means studs or the tires that have the little mountian emblem with the snow flake in it. If you do not have traction tires you must run chains..even if you have big ole MTs on, (BFG ATs are "traction rated").

    The next stage is "road closure" nobody gets through with out the proper size chains on board the rig or they may make you put them on, NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF TIRES YOU HAVE OR WHAT YOU ARE DRIVING. No chains: you are trurned back or told to "sit" if it is that bad. At a road closure there will be someone out there to check every car/truck. This happens several times a year on I-5 down south in Oregon where the hwy goes up over 4k ft to cross the Siskiyou Summit. On Mt hood and at other resort areas it happens too, get a few pile ups going then no one can get around the wrecks with out causing another one..they shut the road down..period. (happened Last Thursday in light snow, sut down for 6 hrs cause a lady in a Heep liberty slidinto a tractor trailer (who had chains on) killed the lady blocked the road) The State Patrol are not the only authority that can ticket you or stop you. The Highway Dept guys, snow plow sandtruck, and the supervisiors can turn you in or stop you and cite you for driving with out chains, truckers can radio or call the police or who ever and get you stopped too, their not going sking they are trying to get over the mt, they (I) think people or fools that don't slow down in that kind of conditions, you are not that good of a driver..
    ..Last year it was a $150 ticket..I've never heard of any one getting out of it. If you are in a wreck and do not have the proper level of traction device in use..you just bought sombodies repair bill, or worse if you hurt someone, even if the other guy did something stoopid..

    Most of the rigs I see in the ditch or in pile ups are four wheel drives like cruisers and all the other "SUV" types. That four Wheel Drive does not do a thing for you on packed snow (forget about ice) except maybe get you going faster..will not help you stop or do avoidance manuvering.. I've been sitting still and had the bus slide off the road. If the truckers are chaining up You better at least slow down and stay with them. It means it is slick enough the state is worried about the trucks stopping, as much as they are worried about them getting going. Good truckers don't wait for the state to call for chains..

    Your chains are fine with the rubber deals on them, the Boomers or what ever in the above post are (in the U.S.) called "Cam" adjusters. They are used to tighten up a really large diameter chain on a really large tire. If you pull the chains as tight as you can then drive a few feet and see if you can catch another link then put the tensioning clips on around the wheel, be sure and catch the slack chain end with it or a seperate bungee to keep it from banging your wheel well, The inside slack should not be more than three links or it will bang around too. Always carry a few bungee cords to help with tensioning the chain on the wheel nylon ties are good to for quick short duration repairs.

    If you drive over 40 you are nuts and the chains will start to try to work off.

    Putting chains on front is good in mud when you are trying to crawl over stuff at slow speed. It seems people, usually kids, put them on front in snow cause it is easier to reach and it looks "cool". IMHO not the way to go, the rear end of your rig will come around if you stop on a off camber or banked turn (or even a slanted road bed) Braking in a trun can get difficult too. I'd rather have the front end slip a little off then have the rear end come around. Some people swear by putting them on the front..most have not really had to drive very far in snow/ice. Don't think you'll see many "old timers" doing it. Front wheel drive or awd with primary front drive, Volvo, Honda, and many other passenger AWD systems you have to go front wheels with them.

    If it is really bad and you have to go into the ditch to get around the wrecked fools, then chains all around would be good. If it is that bad they will be closing the road anyway though.

    lastly with the chains on you can dodge the dumbasses that think they are the best drivers in the world in the best 4X4 in the world (wouldn't that be most of us Mudders?) that is gonna blow on up the mt around all the fools and truckers acting like pussies on a little packed snow..It is worth the time to chain up.

    But hell what do I know..I'm a old, overly cautious grey beard that an't in no rush for nuttin not even a powder day....
     
  10. High Desert

    High Desert

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    Lovetoski

    I just looked at your rig again. It looks like you have about 6 or seven links left over and loose from putting the chains on. If so the chains are too big, (Iknow you are going to a wider tire) but in the mean time you had better catch that slack with a bungee and bungee it across to the other side of the wheel. Four loose links is enouth to have somthing to grab when putting them on..much more and you've got potential slapping problems. You can run those but tie all the loose ends down good, if the inside slack is that long..youll have a hard time getting in there and controling the slack..adds to the hassel of chaining up..go to a tire store and see how they fit on the tire your gonna get.
     
  11. Hawke

    Hawke

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    High Desert is probably right. Those tighteners may be fine. I guess I have a compulsion to have my chains really tight. I think it stems from the time I was sloppy putting on the chains on an icy mountain incline. I was about a third of the way up when I could hear one of them coming loose. I couldn't stop to check them on the slope. One of them, a triple rail (a chain that fits over both duals on one wheel) came off and I spun out. The result was a shredded chain wrapped around one axle and brake pot. There I sat half way up the climb in the middle of the night in a snow storm pulling two fully loaded trailers. It took me about three hours to untangle the chain, put on another set and complete the climb. No one could stop and help because the road was too slippery. Ever since then I tighten them so there is absolutely no slack in the rails.
     
  12. High Desert

    High Desert

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    yeah tight is good. I know what you mean about knowing you need to stop and adjust but not being able to. I have not seen that dually chain down here. That's alot of chain slammiing around, better cary some big-o bolt cutters!
    I know one of our drivers let the regular chain slip down between the duels while he was putting them on..Took him for ever to get them out. They get in the tight area then the links wedge up against the wheel and them selves..Pain in the ass..specially when you have a audience sitting in the bus watching..geezz

    hd
     
  13. Hawke

    Hawke

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    I was fortunate enough not to have an audience to my stupidity. I was on the climb long enough that a bus passed me going up and then going down on his return run (I was in the slow lane on the way up). He was kind enough to slow right down on his way back and yell at me to see if he should call someone. I was ok but it was good of him to check.

    Actually, getting the trailers up the climb from there was the scary part. I couldn't lift the full load on the slope so I chocked the wheels on the pup, unhooked it and kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't slide down the slope. Then I took the lead to the top, dropped it and went back for the pup, took it to the top, dropped it, hooked to the lead and then hooked the lead to the pup. On my way again feeling stupid but wiser.
     
  14. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    Good catch. I've packed a bunch of zip ties to fasten the loose ends, untill I install the wider tires. Once I have experience with the wider ones, I'll trim as needed.

    BTW - thanks for the detailed info on different weather conditions. I kinda knew those details, but only in a vague way. You said it even more clearly than the state patrolman I talked to!
     
  15. timbercruiser

    timbercruiser

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    As to your question: Mark W uses chains all the time for his wheelin' in the Alaskan wilderness which is very muddy.
     
  16. montanabob1

    montanabob1

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    I hunt in Montana and regularly elk hunt in areas where one needs to chain up. Those rubber bungies are all most folks ever use. Granted, we usually put two bungies on per tire, not one. And I have been with someone, chained up with rubber bungies, and really been hammering it. Never thrown a chain. Almost broke other stuff, but no thrown chains. That was in a 70 Chevy 3/4 ton. In sum, don't worry about the rubber bungies. Have some extras and replace them when they're cracked. And if you put the chains on properly in the first place, they really shouldn't move. :D ;) Course, you need to get them on properly.

    When we take my buddies 69 FJ40 out (bone stock, 3 on the tree), sometimes we chain up, most time no. :cheers:
    Everyone else is chained up (all four) and I have yet to even get out and push the 40. :bounce: Tires on the 40--Cooper bias ply farmer johns. That little bad boy will go anywhere, and I mean anywhere, you want it to. Sidehills are fun in the little narrow guy for sure, but rarely if ever have we had to chain it up. :grinpimp:
     
  17. montanabob1

    montanabob1

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    Some guys will chain up in stages. First one axle, then if required the other. Anyone spent time in the Army--you will chain up the front axle first--engine weight helps with traction. Later, the rear axle. Some guys, the rear and then the front. I think the front first, then rear if needed.
     
  18. High Desert

    High Desert

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    Does the military go for chaining up the front first when tooling down a highway? Off road sure on road I dunno...

    hd
     
  19. freeamerica

    freeamerica

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    Doug,

    Now that you've got them, it doesn't much matter, but for heading up to the ski areas/getting over the pass, you can't beat the Quick-Fit chains from Les Schwab.

    But since you got the ladder chains, here's my experiences using them on around the PNW:

    On-road they go on the rear - period. I've never needed all four on pavement. If it ever gets that bad, my ass is staying home.

    Off-road they go on the front first. If the snow/mud/trail gets bad enough, then I'll add the second set to the rear. I agree with the principle of the rear sliding around, but in my experience, with the really tight, sloppy trails around here, you are going so slow, and don't really have enough room to bring the rear around if you wanted to that the extra engine weight applied to traction is better.

    Anyway, there's my cheap opinion.
     
  20. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    Thanks Mike. Your opinion might be cheap, but experience counts for a lot!
     
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