Good & easy tire chains?

May 15, 2012
The land of USA-made Subies!
Anyone know any good & easy to use tire chains? I’m going to be in Montana and they seem to have quite the winter going on. I’ve never used chains but I think they’d probably be a safe investment.

I’ve got a brand new set of Michelin LTX M/S on my F150 but need some expert advice. I’ll have ~400lbs of ballast in the bed. Thanks!
We have some great threads within the past year or so.

I drive about 200 miles a year on chains and have extensive experience with all types…as well as seeing which designs fail. I live in the mountains of rural Vermont, I’m a full time cop and call firefighter, so I absolutely need to get to work no matter what the volume of snow or ice.

If you’re not familiar, I’d recommend a lighter chain like LaClede passenger chains. Much more user-friendly and frankly I had a set last seven years before I replaced them by choice. Not a single broken or misshapen link!

Avoid “cable” style, with little rollers over steel cable. Just say no.

Personally I now run the kind that the town highway trucks use, links are about 1/4” thick and they are a beast to install. But they make your vehicle impervious to almost any surface.

And practice putting them on and removing them in all weather conditions before you need to do it for real!

Snowy, windy day and you don’t have anywhere to go? Practice putting the chains on, learn the how and why of the whole process. You’ll thank me later.

Plan to stop and tighten them every 1/4 mile or so. Sometimes they will always need tightening, some days you can drive five miles before they need it. But at least stop and check. I bet there are physics involved but I’m not sure of how that works. As I said once before…to see what a loose chain can do to the inside of your wheel well, look for videos of WWII “flail” tanks and imagine that! A chain whipping around even at 50RPM can cause unbelievable amounts of damage in a very short period of time.

Here’s my wife’s M1009 plow truck, notice the beefy links and extra rubber tie downs added to keep tension on the chain:


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Konig makes some good and easier to easy to install chains. XD-16 (Pro) are a manual tension chain. XG-12 Pro are automatic tension

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