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Old 04-14-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Anyone ever actually need your tire chains?

I live in Denver and frequently drive in winter conditions especially in the mountains in my daily driver (4x4) and have never needed chains.

My used SMB came with chains and I'm trying to avoid carrying them, just wondering if the size of the SMB causes an increased need for chains or if I can leave them behind like I normally do. (Assuming I have good snow tires and a winch)


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Old 04-14-2016, 10:01 PM   #2
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I'd leave them behind, I've never used chains in my rig either and sold them on CL.

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Old 04-14-2016, 10:48 PM   #3
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Depends on where you are. Some mountain passes can require chains even with 4x4. Also, do your tires have the "snowflake". Some places do not allow 4x4 without chains without the "snowflake" on the tire. Having said that I drive in Chicago in the dead of winter when other cars fear to go out and the beast handles very well.

Here is more info from tire rack webpage.

In 1999, The U.S. Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Rubber Association of Canada (RAC) agreed on a performance based standard to identify passenger and light truck tires that attain a traction index equal to, or greater than 110 (compared to a reference tire which is rated 100) during the specified American Society for Testing and Materials traction tests on packed snow. The new standard helps ensure that drivers can easily identify tires that provide a higher level of snow traction.
A three peak mountain/snowflake symbol branded on the tire's sidewall identifies tires that meet the required performance in snow testing.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:09 PM   #4
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One time at Mammoth, CA Ski resort I used chains and was glad I had them. The Z chains were easy to put on, the ride was good, and the braking control was excellent.

Why the chains? Crazy ice in the parking lot on a sloped area had me sliding for 30 feet while in 4WD with no control and I almost took out a new Escalade that had crossed in front of me. Literal missed him by two inches. Put the chains on after that and I was much more relaxed, and my marriage was kept intact. I have room, they pack up pretty small really, so I carry them if I have concern about weather.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:05 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I'll be putting on new tiers soon, probably going with BFG ko2. My buddy has them and loves them in snow. Yeah the chains that came with it weigh probably 60lbs so I might check out the ones you have. I have yet to come across bad ice but it would be good peace of mind to have some that were newer/lighter design I guess.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:19 PM   #6
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Yes. 2 months ago I had trouble pulling both trailers through several feet of un-plowed snow and I didn't want to unhitch.

Also, 2-3 times/year I run into chain restrictions while towing, which means both van and trailer get chains.

2 years ago Corvallis got feet of snow, which I'm not sure had ever happened before. That wasn't bad, until about 5 days in when it started to rain and it turned into a foot of wet heavy slush, which felt more like a mud bog. I didn't get stuck, but could barely drive in a straight line and was burning lots of extra fuel keep the tires spinning to clear the treads out. Chains ended up making the drive a whole lot smoother.
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Old 04-15-2016, 01:24 PM   #7
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if we would have had a set of chains we wouldn't have got a tow bill on love day. ill have a set before the snow flies again...along with new rubber.
"understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of your car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of your car, horsepower is how hard your car hits the wall, and torque is how far your car moves the wall."
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:00 PM   #8
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Depends on where you are going. Some of the dirt roads in the Colorado back country are worse than ice when wet. Have used chains there while hunting and it has been a lifesaver.

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Old 04-16-2016, 07:19 PM   #9
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The only time I've ever absolutely needed them I didn't have them, so yes, in winter when I'm planning on getting off road, I always carry them. I live in the desert so mud is not often an issue but if I lived somewhere wet I'd probably make a dedicated carry tube for them under the edge of the body and just have them all the time.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:11 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by witoke View Post
...if I lived somewhere wet I'd probably make a dedicated carry tube for them under the edge of the body and just have them all the time.
Reminds me of the time I was with a friend somewhere off-road late at night, kind of in a hurry to meet up with some others. He was driving his Bronco and managed to get the right front wheel stuck in a hole in the track we were driving on. No problem, just get out the hi-lift jack and jack it out of there, put in a few rocks etc whatever. But his choice for mounting the jack was under the front bumper, which happened to be, at that moment, sitting on the ground due to the position of the tire. Did I mention it was winter and the ground was frozen? A few hours of cursing ensued, along with use of a shovel and an entrenching tool. Somewhere in all of this, my friend decided that the jack should not be mounted underneath any part of the body.


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