Driving your semi in treacherous conditions during the winter, when there’s ice and/or snow on the road, can be dangerous. This is where tire chains can come in handy. By simply putting these chains onto your truck’s tires when you know you’ll be driving on slippery roads, you can get more traction to better maintain control.
Keep in mind that tire chains are meant to be used only when you’re required to drive through winter weather conditions, so they shouldn’t be left on your tires once you don’t need them anymore. When roadways are dry, and there’s no more risk of slipping, it’s time to take the chains off.
Here’s a Short Guide to Putting Tire Chains on Your Semi
In a few easy steps, you can have your chains on your tires. Here’s a basic guide to help you get started:
- First, you’ll want to be sure you’re parked in a location that’s safe and away from traffic. Then, after taking the chains out of their bag or box, place them flat on the ground with the hooks facing up. Examine the chains to be sure they’re in good condition and there aren’t any twists. To keep things organized, you can place the chains near the tires that they’ll go on.
- Drape your chains over the top of your tire. Make sure they are distributed equally, so half of the chains would fall to the left and the other half would fall to the right. Also, make sure the cams are on the outside of the tire and the hooks are on the inside.
- Tuck the chains as close to the front of the tire as you can get them, and then drive the truck forward (just a couple of feet should be enough) over the chains. After getting out of the truck, it’s time to hook the inside chain before fastening the outside chain.
- Use the cam tightening tool to properly tighten the chains around the tire until they’re snug enough that there isn’t any slack and they won’t make contact with the truck while you’re driving.
- At this point, you can test the chains by driving your truck for a short distance, getting out, and inspecting the chains to be sure that they aren’t loose. Then, make any necessary adjustments before you get back on the road.
Side note: What tires do you chain on a semi truck? The drive wheels.
Always Drive Safely, Even with Tire Chains!
Now that you have a better idea of how to put on tire chains on a semi, you can take this extra step to stay safe on the road during the harsh winter season. Just remember, you’ll need to reduce your speed (typically, max speeds are around 30 mph) while you’re driving with chains on your tires to ensure your own safety, as well as the safety of other drivers. And it’s also important to be aware of any local requirements regarding when to use tire chains so you can follow the law.
Once you get the hang of things, you’ll be able to efficiently put tire chains on your tires, as well as take them off, without spending too much time getting it all done.
Updated on November 18, 2020
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