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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm getting my first snowblower ready to use and I'm not sure about tire chains.

My first question is whether I need chains. My driveway is pretty steep, having a 12% grade, or about a foot of rise per 8 feet.

My tires are Nanco Blizzards, 13 x 5.0-6. They look like Carlisle Snow Hogs. I measure their width to be about 4.4". Tread circumference is 40". The tread has what I guess you'd call lugs or knobs, each about 1/4" high. Will these give enough traction so that I won't need chains, even on the slope?

Are the cross chains supposed to go between or on top of the lugs? If they go between them, are they going to stick out enough to grip the pavement?

The tread pattern has 13 repeats in the circumference. Does that mean there should be 13 cross chains?

How do I know what size/model to order?

Edit: see the pictures below.
 

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Put them on as tight as possible and there's still going to loosen up. On top, in between, doesn't matter, they'll move.
 

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Pictures would help .... I never used chains .. tried them once on lawn tires years ago and I bounced myself and the machine to death.

All my equipment have the XTrac tires except my new to me Snapper, which I have a new pair of Snow Hogs.

Never had an issue in any kind of weather or incline.

If you have tires that are worn down to a 1/4 inch of tread, I would just put on some new XTrac ... done deal and travel smooth as butter.

btw, XTrac are the industry standard for a reason.
 

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Yeah, those look wore down somewhat ... you could try reducing the air some, but a new pair of XTrac would work wonders on that machine.
 

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The tires are worn down, yes, I have described before the best way to install your tire chains involves letting all the air out of your tires and then installing the chains one at a time by connecting the inside tire chain lock to its tightest position and then doing the same to the outside chain locking it at its tightest point making sure the chains are within the lugs and then putting air back in the tires to the recommended pressure.

The issue comes as to whether you want 2 link tire chains or 4 link tire chains for your snow mule or whether you want V bar snow and ice chains when you go to buy them.

The two link tire chains have the ladder cross chain attached at every second side link. The 4 link snow chains have the ladder cross chain attached at every fourth side link of the tire chains.


You can contact any of the suppliers below to get help with selecting your tire chains if you decide on buying chains.

www.tirechainsareus.com

www.tirechain.com

www.peerlesschain.com

www.mcgeecompany.com

www.tirechainsonline.com

www.lacledchain.com

As it is still early you could take the tires to a tire dealer and get a new set of Carlisle snow blower tires like the X tracs or Snow hogs pretty quickly.

If you decide on new tires make sure to ask the tire dealer to use the black graphite grease tire lube on the tires and rims to keep them from rusting together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all those links (the Laclede link is misspelled). 2-link vs. 4-link, v-bar, okay thanks.

Some of the makers barely show any info other than the targeted tire size. Some of them provide specs that I don't understand.

I would like to get right to some written information like tutorials or glossaries online that would help me understand the issues, features, terminology, etc. so as to gain some literacy in choosing and using tire chains.

Do you know of anything like that?
 

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Pictures would help .... I never used chains .. tried them once on lawn tires years ago and I bounced myself and the machine to death.

All my equipment have the XTrac tires except my new to me Snapper, which I have a new pair of Snow Hogs.

Never had an issue in any kind of weather or incline.

If you have tires that are worn down to a 1/4 inch of tread, I would just put on some new XTrac ... done deal and travel smooth as butter.

btw, XTrac are the industry standard for a reason.
🍺
 

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Thanks for all those links (the Laclede link is misspelled). 2-link vs. 4-link, v-bar, okay thanks.

Some of the makers barely show any info other than the targeted tire size. Some of them provide specs that I don't understand.

I would like to get right to some written information like tutorials or glossaries online that would help me understand the issues, features, terminology, etc. so as to gain some literacy in choosing and using tire chains.

Do you know of anything like that?
============================================================================================

The best thing I can suggest is to talk to the folks at tirechain.com or tirechainsrus.com
for information about chains and how to select the right ones.

A lot goes into making tire chains of many types for many types of vehicles and what the vehicles are
used for.
The standard 2 and 4 link cross chains have been used for years on automobiles,
small and medium trucks, 4 wheel drive trucks, farm tractors, road graders, 10+ wheel dump trucks, two and three axle truck tractors used for hauling frieght over the road.

The standard cross link chains come in various link thicknesses for the vehicle that needs them as well as the steel hardness for the use.

The V bar type of chains have carbide steel V's as cross links that are better at digging into snow, ice and mud.

Ring Chains have links that are made of round cross links connected together to create the cross chains and they are typically found on farm tractors.

Heavy carbide chains are made as an H type laced chain for log skidders and road graders and the links have huge carbide buttons that are welded on to the chain links.

The quickest way for you to find out more about snow and ice chains is to read the various catalogs and look at each chain type to understand how they create traction to maintain adhesion on what ever surface they are used on.

A simple to mount 4 link ladder chain would be best for walk behind snow blowers as long as the snow blower is set up with the skids all the way down to allow the snow blower tires and chains can create the adhesion in the snow and ice.
The slower you clear snow the less likely it will try to ride up on the snowpack.
 

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glossaries online that would help me understand the issues, features, terminology
I have a Canadian link for you, the FAQ page that may (or may not) answer some of those for you. They also have a few photo's as well.


I use the V bar style on my plow truck, bought them 4 or 5 years ago from same company, I see the price has gone up quite alot since then.
If you do end up getting a set I'd keep the tires you already have on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
If you do end up getting a set I'd keep the tires you already have on it.
Yes, I'm thinking that the tire lugs are worn down enough that twist-link cross chains would stick out enough to contact the pavement, even if resting between the lugs--also that they won't stick out enough to make the ride too bumpy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...
The quickest way for you to find out more about snow and ice chains is to read the various catalogs and look at each chain type to understand how they create traction to maintain adhesion on what ever surface they are used on.

A simple to mount 4 link ladder chain would be best for walk behind snow blowers as long as the snow blower is set up with the skids all the way down to allow the snow blower tires and chains can create the adhesion in the snow and ice.
The slower you clear snow the less likely it will try to ride up on the snowpack.
Thank you. I probably put too much generality in my question. I'm just interested in chains for my two-stage walk-behind snow blower.

I'm not seeing a lot of 4-link chains being offered. IDK why they would be better than 2-link.

I didn't follow what you wrote about the skids. Maybe you mean that the skid plate should be riding high so that it's not bearing much weight and the wheels are bearing maximum weight.

No problem going a little slow: my driveway isn't real big. Mainly I'm a little worried about getting enough traction to get back up the slope and back into the garage.
 

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Just to add, (IMO) if you're not already using them, poly skids on your bucket will offer your blower much less drag.
 

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I have never had an issue on inclines with the XTrac .....
Agreed.

I have about a 40 foot section at my entrance that is rather steep at me entrance...my XTracs go right up...very impressive.
Since only a small portion of the weight is on the skids of a snowblower and the rest is tire to the ground...posi track at that...they do rather well.
I was going to get chains..but haven't found a need for them yet.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was going to get chains..but haven't found a need for them yet.
This afternoon I took the new-to-me old beast out for the first time, and had no trouble at all getting up my driveway (one foot rise per eight feet). Pretty sure I'm not going to need chains or new tires unless things get icy.
 
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This afternoon I took the new-to-me old beast out for the first time, and had no trouble at all getting up my driveway (one foot rise per eight feet). Pretty sure I'm not going to need chains or new tires unless things get icy.
Excellent...catching the snow fresh is key...once it gets drove on or walked on its essentially packed to ice and leaves a packed layer below...hard-to-find get under it with a blower anyway

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