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View Full Version : Where to buy snow chains?


coax
10-21-2010, 08:39 PM
Seeing the recent thread on using snow chains got me thinking. For those of us new to the 80 world, any recomendations on where to buy snow chains?

Seems like most people are getting one of three brands:

Tirechain.com
RUD
Laclede

I've seen mixed reviews about ordering from Tirechain. I wasn't able to find anything promising for ordering the other two brands? The RUD online store site was not either working or giving me the wrong site (not in english) and I didn't see a reseller link or anything.

Anyone have any first hand experience on these brands and/or where to buy? Any local dealers? If I go with the tire chains total would be aprox 200 w/ shipping for the 5.5mm Square Straight Link with cams. (use will be on road use when the snow tires don't cut it and emergency off road use)

Hulk
10-21-2010, 08:50 PM
I have bought from tirechain.com and thought they were fine.

SteveH
10-22-2010, 09:49 AM
I have purchased the v-bar style chains (the naasssty ones) from Peerless Tyre Co. They were $60/set several years ago. They are now Chinese made, and I wasted one on my FZJ (with open diffs) while trying to tow a 6000# stuck plow truck backwards uphill on ice. The chain cross sections peeled loose from the side chains and (of course) lightly flailed the fender flares on my FZJ. I bent them back and welded them on. I think this would be considered extreme duty use, but I wanted to pass along what can happen. I keep 6 chains in any truck with chains so that if you lose one or break one, you have spares. I think the ones sold by Peerless are of equal quality to whatever else is out there.

Air Randy
10-22-2010, 10:22 AM
If you are an over-the-road truck driver and put a bazillion miles on your tires chain every winter then get the best.

Personally, I have bought the least expensive ones I could find including the brands that Wal-Mart sells. They work just fine. I am speaking from 30 years of experience driving company 4x4's to remote mountain top radio sites year round in both deep mud and snow using these chains. It was not uncommon for me to use the chains 10-12 times per winter. I got a new 4x4 every 2-3 years and usually differences in tire sizes meant I replaced the chains with each new vehicle. I ended up using chains more in 1 season than the average person probably does in 10 years. Keep in mind these things will end up riding around in the back of your rig for 99.999% of their life.

In my experience there is only a slight difference between standard chains and the v-bar chains as far as performance on ice, no difference at all in deep snow. I wouldn't pay a lot extra to get them. The v-bar chains are also more prone to breaking cross links on rocks so they are best for on-road use.

leiniesred
10-22-2010, 10:37 AM
Stop at the Georgetown rest stop and at the top of Eisenhower tunnel after the first snowstorm that requires chains on the pass. You will probably find a pile of chains, (often unbroken, brand new ones) that you can cut down for your use. It seems like people chain up their brand new chains for the first time in their life, leave them too loose, then the chains get thrown off halfway up the hill. Someone picks them up and leaves them in the pile for the next guy. (I've done it.)

DaveInDenver
10-22-2010, 10:39 AM
I agree with Randy that no need to spend super big bucks on something, but I would spend the money on chains with cam tighteners. I have a set of the regular medium-duty 9/32" twisted link truck chains from tirechain.com, no complaints. I use the rubber circle tensioners or rubber bungie cords.

And yup, Rude, all the chain up/down stations are awesome sources for extra cross links... :-)

subzali
10-22-2010, 10:50 AM
Stop at the Georgetown rest stop and at the top of Eisenhower tunnel after the first snowstorm that requires chains on the pass. You will probably find a pile of chains, (often unbroken, brand new ones) that you can cut down for your use. It seems like people chain up their brand new chains for the first time in their life, leave them too loose, then the chains get thrown off halfway up the hill. Someone picks them up and leaves them in the pile for the next guy. (I've done it.)

That's exactly where I got all the material to build all the chains I've built. I've done 6 sets (a set is a pair) of 31x10.50 and 2 sets of 33x10.50, plus had some left over for friends. Just a few hours of time, pretty burly chains for our use.

coax
10-22-2010, 11:11 AM
Stop at the Georgetown rest stop and at the top of Eisenhower tunnel after the first snowstorm that requires chains on the pass. You will probably find a pile of chains, (often unbroken, brand new ones) that you can cut down for your use. It seems like people chain up their brand new chains for the first time in their life, leave them too loose, then the chains get thrown off halfway up the hill. Someone picks them up and leaves them in the pile for the next guy. (I've done it.)


Haha that's awesome. Never would have thought of that. I might have to check that out next time I'm out that direction.

I think in the interim I may just order some sets from tirechain.com. Seems like a few folks on here have had good luck with them. ( I was a bit nervous after some of the reviews on the web and mud were really split between good and bad.)

I completely agree I won't use these often enough to need the really good ones. For most winter driving my dedicated snow's will be more than enough. The 5.5 alloy square link on tirechain.com are the cheapest on there, and come with cams. It would be 200 total for all 4 wheels inc. shipping. I may check wallmart before I order just to see what they have in stock though.

Corbet
10-22-2010, 11:18 AM
I got mine from Tirechain.com I ended up with the square alloy cross chains as they offer a size that fit my 295/75r16 tires and will now work with my 315's as well as full size 35" tires. I did not want to re-invest into another set. http://www.tirechain.com/square_alloy_cross_chain.htm

I only had to use them a handful of times last winter. Worked great. No issues with purchase transaction.

I've also owned a few sets of Wal-Mart chains for different vehicles. Never had any issues there either. But I like my tirechain ones the better because they have multiple cam locks for tightening them up.

My first choice would be the RUD chains but 295's and 315's did not share the same size chain.

coax
10-22-2010, 11:35 AM
Cool good feedback! :cheers: Strangley enough it seems the 285 size also works for 315's. Not that I have plans to go to a larger tire, but I guess nice that it fits that size.

I'll probably be ordering those same square link ones. Forecasting 8-10 inches above 9k today/tonight!! :cheer:

Corbet
10-22-2010, 11:41 AM
Yes, I think mine fit 285's too. We always say we'll never get bigger tires;)

TIMZTOY
10-22-2010, 02:08 PM
If someones up around the tunnel area and spots a pile, I need a set for 35-12.5/15 so most big rig chains should fit after some mod's

subzali
10-22-2010, 04:15 PM
If someones up around the tunnel area and spots a pile, I need a set for 35-12.5/15 so most big rig chains should fit after some mod's

For that length Tim, you'll probably need to add length and/or width to big rig chains. The largest size I've gotten from those chains is 33x10.50, and I was wondering if 33x12.50 was even possible, seems like I had just a hair bit of length left to play with but the width was getting pretty maxed out...just fyi

Woodsman
10-22-2010, 05:10 PM
I have bought from tirechain.com and thought they were fine.

x2 They're fine but make sure and try them on for size before running off into nowhere land. I had to exchange a set which wouldn't fit the 265/70/17s on my pickup truck.

Rock Dog
10-22-2010, 05:36 PM
I am still running with the 2 sets i got from 4Wheel parts years ago.. they had them in piles (one chain per canvas bag)on sale in Oct... (can't remember which year) they fit 33 and 35x12.50 tires. i have only used them off road, and they are heavy as heck to carry around. But when you need them they are awsome....

TIMZTOY
10-22-2010, 09:42 PM
For that length Tim, you'll probably need to add length and/or width to big rig chains. The largest size I've gotten from those chains is 33x10.50, and I was wondering if 33x12.50 was even possible, seems like I had just a hair bit of length left to play with but the width was getting pretty maxed out...just fyi

so.... not worth it, and just forget it ? or good luck ?

subzali
10-22-2010, 11:40 PM
so.... not worth it, and just forget it ? or good luck ?

I wouldn't write it off until you try it. You have more skills than I do so maybe you'll make it work. I'm just sayin' that it may not give you what you want. Anything is worth a try though, and if you're gonna save $200+ by giving it a shot then why not?

Woodsman
10-23-2010, 08:04 AM
Chains can make a ridiculous difference. On a trip in southern Indiana several years ago with everyone in fullsize pickups, I witnessed my cousin in a 2wd Dodge 1500 with chains go up a slick, rock strewn hillside trail that nobody else could make it up in 4wd without chains. He just walked right up it.

TIMZTOY
10-23-2010, 04:27 PM
I wouldn't write it off until you try it. You have more skills than I do so maybe you'll make it work. I'm just sayin' that it may not give you what you want. Anything is worth a try though, and if you're gonna save $200+ by giving it a shot then why not?

well im never in the mountains, so if someone is passing a chain up spot could then stop and take a look for large chain set ? please :whiteflag:

Uncle Ben
10-23-2010, 04:46 PM
Chains can make a ridiculous difference. On a trip in southern Indiana several years ago with everyone in fullsize pickups, I witnessed my cousin in a 2wd Dodge 1500 with chains go up a slick, rock strewn hillside trail that nobody else could make it up in 4wd without chains. He just walked right up it.

And I have little doubt he tore the hill up like scarafiers on a D-9!

Woodsman
10-23-2010, 06:34 PM
And I have little doubt he tore the hill up like scarafiers on a D-9!

Actually, NO. The Indiana hills have nice round rocks that are exposed when the soil is eroded away and they're nice and slick when wet, as they were on this particular day. He just literally walked up the hill with virtually no spinning while everyone else was spinning all four on the slick rocks and sliding sideways and backwards.

coax
03-15-2011, 07:25 PM
Just following up on the thread. Got my tire chains today from tirechain.com. No problems with the order but I called them up directly instead of using the web. A bit over 200 for a vehicles worth of 285/75/16 5.5mm Square Straight Link.

Overall decent quality. Came in a cloth bag with a plastic bag liner. Picked up a set of 20 rubber bungees from harbor freight as it was cheaper than getting the tensioners.

Only thing of note is that on a 285 this size of chain is just a hair bit too big. It has to be adjusted all the way down to fit. The directions do say how you can use a chisel to pop out one horizontal link and shorten it up.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TYACB3dIl0I/AAAAAAAABCg/HKp6KD1asME/DSCF3326.JPG

You can barely see how it has to be adjusted to the minimum. I'll probably move the one horizontal section back one link at some point. Test fitting is much easier with a separate tire :D
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_RHGIeuamB_E/TYACCUGH_MI/AAAAAAAABCk/i-bZcG4ci_k/DSCF3327.JPG

Corbet
03-15-2011, 08:52 PM
I think that's the same size chain I have that will work all the way up to a 315. Mine are a bitch to get on a 315. They went on easy with the 295's by the way. That must be their sweet spot.

subzali
03-16-2011, 08:59 AM
I have a tool that makes moving that horizontal bar back a link really easy. I could bring it to the next meeting and we could have all 4 done in 10-15 minutes.

treerootCO
03-16-2011, 10:42 AM
FYI

http://tirechain.com/tire_chainmounting_instructions.htm

1. Lay chains out flat, remove all tangles. When chains are placed on tire, cross chain hook eyes must face up. Damage to your tires could result if hooks face against tire.

22905

coax
03-16-2011, 11:30 AM
I have a tool that makes moving that horizontal bar back a link really easy. I could bring it to the next meeting and we could have all 4 done in 10-15 minutes.

Awesome, thanks. I might take you up on that. If I end up using them on my trip next week I'll see how they work. My guess is I'll have to shorten them anyway as the tire wears down.

FYI

http://tirechain.com/tire_chainmounting_instructions.htm

1. Lay chains out flat, remove all tangles. When chains are placed on tire, cross chain hook eyes must face up. Damage to your tires could result if hooks face against tire.


I was wondering if someone was going to notice that. :o I saw that as I was reading through the instructions on how to shorten them. Thanks for catching it; its definitily not something I'd want to get backwards on the trail in the middle of the maze! :cheers: