How effective are snow chains on snow and ice

Imagine being caught up halfway through your journey by a blizzard on the road, it could be quite disappointing and costly. These situations can be totally evaded with the use of traction chains; snow chains. It enhances traction and road control during extreme weather conditions. With this simple device installed, journeying through icy or snowy roads wouldn’t seem so much like a problem and you can see for yourself how effective are snow chains

How snow chains work

Snow chains is a system that is designed as a cover for tires for the purpose of enhancing traction during bad weather conditions like snow. These tire traction devices are used basically on snow, but can also work on ice, or on any form of frozen surface. They are generally not allowed on dry roads because they cause damage to the road surface.



Snow chains were invented in 1904 by Harry D. Weed in Canastota, New York. The idea of creating snow chains was birthed when Harry saw drivers wrapping up their tires with ropes and some with vines just to increase the traction of their vehicles on muddy or snowy roads. He sought to make a traction device that was more durable and would work with snow as well as mud.

The chains usually come in pairs and are made to perfectly match a particular tire size although some designs are adjustable and can fit various sizes of a tire. It is advisable to invest in tire chains even before you need them and to also endeavor to have it in the vehicle every time during the winter.

Snow chains also called tire chains usually come in a variety of two. They are either manual or Automatic. The automatic snow chains came as an improvement to the manual snow chains. The automatic snow chain is activated by the user from a dashboard switch inside the vehicle. The driver is not required to leave his seat unlike those of manual, just flip the switch and the chains come into operation or back to neutral.

Snow chains operate by increasing the amount of grip that tires have on icy and snowy roads. It Increases the traction between the car and the road thereby making driving much safer as it reduces the chance of cars losing control and skidding on icy surfaces.

The effectiveness of snow chains on ice

Snow chains on ice is not as effective as they get while in the snow. It should be recorded that ice produces smooth surfaces, and are not are porous as snow and these factors make it very difficult for snow chains to operate. They are barely able to maintain any grip on the road let alone access road control. The success of snow chains on ice comes in really slim chances.

How effective are snow chains in deep snow?

Snow chains have high capacity in providing excellent services in highly packed-up snow and it can handle to a great level, the uncertainties of bad winter driving conditions. They are very effective even in packed snow, which poses a great problem for even the best of snow tires.

In the case of snow tires, Snow will usually fill up the tread gaps on the tire and render the peculiarity of the tire of no effect.

How much snow requires a chain?

Most people only wait till the ice has gotten right up through their vehicles before fixing the snow chains. It is quite understandable that the fixture could be really difficult and tasking to fix but it is advisable to get off and attach the chains as soon as the ice gets up to one inch above the ground level.

Do you need chains if you have snow tires?

Depending on the location area involved, it is quite possible that one will be needing both. In areas of severe snowing and a lessened rate of snow plowing, it could be very important to own both and actually use both.  But in areas of mild weather conditions, either of the duo will meet the need perfectly.

The effectiveness of snow chains in comparison to snow tires

Both alternatives have their pros and cons. Snow chains offer great traction, but they are difficult to attach especially with the fact that you have to come out in the cold to handle wet and frozen chains. It provides traction on ice and can penetrate a significant layer of snow while on the contrary, the snow tires are mere rubbers designed for wintry conditions. Snow tires don’t get as deep as snow chains in snow. But then, snow tires have a higher longevity compared to snow chains and is capable of making the braking process smooth and effective. Another drawback to chains is that they don’t have a very long lifespan unlike snow tires and they have higher tendencies of denting and damaging the car in an event of faulty chains.

Can you put snow chains on snow tires?

This question is one that lingers in the mind of users that most likely face really extreme weather conditions. Snow tires are an excellent option but snow chain is an even better choice to maintain greater grip and traction on icy or snowy roads. The combination of both will undoubtedly yield mind-blowing results. People have tried and testified of its efficiency but I must warn that the duo can and should only be used on extremely snowy or icy roads.

How easy are snow chains to let on

Unless the snow chains in use is automatic tire chains that require the user to just turn on a switch within the vehicle, attaching snow chains is a pretty difficult task. In fact, drivers try to avoid it. Some people opt for other alternatives because of the stress involved in its engagement and disengagement.

Alternatives to snow chains

Snow chains don’t operate a monopoly market. There are a number of alternatives available to meet the same need that snow chains provide. There is the snow tire, snow socks, and snow cable.

The snow cable operates like the snow chains,  the only difference is the constituent material. While snow chains is made of metallic materials, snow cable is made of cable materials. The snow tire sock is made of a material worn over the tire to increase the vehicle’s road control. It is most useful in getting out of an already stuck vehicle.

Snow chains or snow cables. What is better?

Pundits have stated the superiority of Tire chains over Tire cables. Chains give a higher level of traction and even have a longer lifespan. Another reason to consider is that with chains, you can easily do a repair on faulty chains by yourself with the use of a Link joiner. But once a snow cable gets defunct while on its journey, it could mean the end of the journey. Considering these factors, it is quite glaring that Chains are better than cables. They are even more corrosion-resistant compared to tire cables.

How much difference do snow chains make?

Snow chains affect a whole world if differences when engaged. It is an add-on that deletes fear posed by bad weather conditions. It is a mechanism that brings ease to transportation. it promotes efficiency, punctuality, and integrity.

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