chain up and mountain driving

by lyle
(chilliwack, BC)

I am a Canadian driver from Alberta with experience from the oil patch and OTR with mountain driving. I cannot tell you the pain staking days I see drivers in the winter put chains on and go up the mountain with mud flaps dragging, shocks being all slapped to hell as well as a few other things that get destroyed by sloppy chain applications.

Ever hear the saying do it right the first time? Nice thing about chains is if their hung up properly they go on nice without the grief of being cold and wet, if they are tucked away in a bag in the jockey box, then you have a headache. Here we go...if you keep this beside you when applying your chains you will see what I am saying.
chains hung up properly make chain up less difficult

-3 rail chains are applied same way as singles
-drape chains over tires evenly with more slack to the front of the tire( tell you why soon)
-loose ends go forward hooks to the back of tire make sure there is enough slack to get under the back of the tire, should be able to hook the ends together loosely just the inside and outside rails, don't worry about the centre rail
-I prefer to back over my chains due to the fact if you have to work behind the tire you don't have to fight with the shock or air bag. More work space, less swearing...careful don't bump your head ( if you do it only happens once..take your time)
-roll over the chains and proceed to hook up your links
-use your links on the outside tires as a third hand, also a bungee will help to hold up the slack
-start with the inside rail first, make sure you get tight as possible
-hook your loose end first, then what ever you can put over the hook will be the tight end
- do the inside tire next, get as much tight as possible, but don't lock it, whatever slack you have, put the loose end over the lock hook, this will save your shocks fenders and airbags
-proceed to front of tire this will do the final tightening of your application
-NOTE: 6" bungees are nice to keep to cover any slagg that will cause you grief in your travels, also always carry extra bungees to keep chains snug
-bungees are not there to tighten chains
-extra chain hooks are nice to keep on hand
before winter season, if you are in the same assigned unit put your chains on to make sure links and rails are good before the fact winter arrives, nothing worse than finding out at the chain up light

Down hill driving

-be in the gear that will take you down safely with little or no brake application, any sign that is over 5% will make it a task to navigate, a few minutes extra to walk your unit down a hill will save you the embarrassment of putting your fire out when your truck is on fire or having to sit on the side of the road for 2 hours for them to cool down....


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to New Driver Tips.