Universal fitting Tire chains

Chez

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I'm in the market for another set of chains for my truck and learned there are a few new thing on the market. Does anyone have experience with the universal fit chains? On the surface they seem like a great idea but most of what I find online has been commercials for different brands.

I'l be using them for off-road snow/mud
 

boneguy

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The new stuff looks nice and simple to apply, BUT, I have yet to see anything as good as a set of V-bar chains for getting you home no matter what you run into. I always mount and check my chains in summer or shop in winter to make sure they fit. Carry gloves, zip ties, etc to help make it easy to put them on.
DENNY
 

Big Bend

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With Chains you want a good tight fit ,not something that fits over a lot of different size tires. A loose set of chains can tear up the fender well of a pick up real quick. Putting chains on is enough of a chore with out trying to get them unwrapped from the back side of the wheel and brakes. Sometimes it is better to stay with a tried and tested method.
 

AlaskaENGR1

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I have found that v-bar chains sized for your tires with cam tensioners and a set of stretchers is a good solution. Like the others have said, you want a tight fit.
 

Daveinthebush

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I agree with the others. Only had to use chains on one truck and the ATV for plowing. If you need chains, it is because your going into something probably shouldn't be going into. My 2 wheel drive truck with chains was amazing. My 4 wheeler ATV really pushes snow extremely well. And like someone else said, try them on before you need them to get a feel of how they are going on. A "high lift" jack could be handy too. Usually you lay them down and back over them. That might not be an option so if you can get the tire off the ground, it'll help.
 

AlaskaENGR1

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If you need chains, it is because your going into something probably shouldn't be going into.

I knew a guy in the northern Rockies that used to argue that you should drive as far possible up the mountain with chains on your 4wd pickup until you got completely stuck and then start elk hunting. The theory was to get away from the crowd and gravity would help you get unstuck. Your point definitely applies to his case; however, I always keep a set on hand for the pickup just in case. Ideally you never use them but nothing provides traction like a high quality set of chains.

Chains also make sense on skidders and tractors, but you don't want to be the one who has to put them on. I had a set for an Ag tractor I used to plow with and each tire chain was well over 100 lbs. Huge pain to put those on. In the off season I stored them on a pallet and moved them around with the loader.
 

pa12drvr

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With Chains you want a good tight fit ,not something that fits over a lot of different size tires. A loose set of chains can tear up the fender well of a pick up real quick. Putting chains on is enough of a chore with out trying to get them unwrapped from the back side of the wheel and brakes. Sometimes it is better to stay with a tried and tested method.

I use chains on my plow truck and on my non-plow pickup. For both the plow truck and the pickup, the 95% reason for the chains is my circa 75 yard sloping driveway that ices up in the winter, particularly winters like this one so far in Los Anchorage. For the pickup, since 2008, I've tried universal chains, cable chains, "traditional" (without bar) and v-bar.

By far, the most reliable is the v-bar setup matched to the tire size; not only does it provide the most traction, but getting it tight ( which is not automatic even when sized to the tire) is simply a matter of putting more tighteners on it.

FWIW, the spider rubber tensioners seem to last about 1.5 seasons, the metal/spring tensioners about 3 seasons (but I had a spring break once while attaching and now have a phobia about it), and good old black rubber bungees about 3 seasons if those seasons don't involve too much below zero weather....in which one likely doesn't need chains anyway.
 

AlaskaENGR1

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FWIW, the spider rubber tensioners seem to last about 1.5 seasons

I have found the same thing. But they are cheap, so I just plan on buying a new set every year or two depending on how much I use them.
 

Genna-AK

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............. If you need chains, it is because your going into something probably shouldn't be going into. ..................

Well, that depends on where you are. I grew up in Wyoming, on a ranch. We were the only family on an 8 mile long road. We had a big old GMC Suburban with 3 rows of seats, for all of us kids. In winter, it was pretty normal to chain up all 4 wheels and have it in 4x4 the whole way home. My Dad had a dozer, but seldom plowed the road out, because it would just blow in again, and be super hard. We did a lot of cross-country driving across sagebrush, trying to find a route that had less snow.
I think that falls under the category of "good ole' days". :D
 
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With wheel well clearance and wide tires this style of tire traction device does have a place on newer vehicles.
Still like the ladder type metal chains with ice bars and side cam tensioners.
There is a place in Anchorage called Glacier Chain that has a sales floor with different styles of chains.
 

4merguide

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Well, that depends on where you are. I grew up in Wyoming, on a ranch.

For some reason I'm imagining that a beautiful place???!!! And indeed, I grew up in Lake Tahoe. As you've probably heard, that beautiful place can get some snow. Chains were used all the time just getting around town when the plows couldn't keep up. In fact, as a kid, installing tire chains was part of my job in the winters. If we wanted to go someplace we didn't let a little snow stop us from getting there while we still could. Many a times my old 55' Willys was chained up going back into the mountains. Winter camping was a pretty common thing for us to do then...
 

cdubbin

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For some reason I'm imagining that a beautiful place???!!! And indeed, I grew up in Lake Tahoe. As you've probably heard, that beautiful place can get some snow. Chains were used all the time just getting around town when the plows couldn't keep up. In fact, as a kid, installing tire chains was part of my job in the winters. If we wanted to go someplace we didn't let a little snow stop us from getting there while we still could. Many a times my old 55' Willys was chained up going back into the mountains. Winter camping was a pretty common thing for us to do then...

Driving to the Nutcracker in the pouring rain last night, we were talking about trying to buy some property around McCall, ID in a few years...because if we ever want to be able to enjoy winter again, we'll have to leave Alaska to find it....:|
 

4merguide

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Driving to the Nutcracker in the pouring rain last night, we were talking about trying to buy some property around McCall, ID in a few years...because if we ever want to be able to enjoy winter again, we'll have to leave Alaska to find it....:|

The other day, my oldest daughter that lives in FL., made it a point to say that it was colder there than it was here. Now THAT'S friggin crazy!
 

Genna-AK

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Yeah!!! Lubbock, Texas got 10" of snow!!!! That is seriously crazy.
It did cool off here, though. +3 degrees F at my place last night. Warmed up to +12 this morning.

(Yup, Wyoming is about as beautiful as it gets....and it's a whole lot easier getting around to hunt down there. )
 

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