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  • Tire chain us/SOP's

    Looking for information to use in putting together an SOP for tire chain use, operations and installation. These would be convential around the tire chain, not on-spots. Any SOPs or comments from a winter climate department that has experience with them would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • #2
    We play it by ear. If a significant snowstorm is expected to hit the area within the next 4 hours or so, we'll tone out a work detail to hook up the chains. Same for after the storm when they come off. However, at this point we are down to only one large apparatus that doens't have on-spots and it is being replacing this winter anyway. All of our smaller trucks are 4wd.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    • #3
      OnSpot

      I know what these are but I have always been curiuos to how they work. Any insight?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by skipatrol8
        I know what these are but I have always been curiuos to how they work. Any insight?
        We have some Roto-Grip (Rud) and some On-Spot. Also, all of our vehicles have positraction rears. We rarely have to use the chains, but when we do, they both work well for us.

        On the balance, we've had better luck with the Roto-Grip because they will work in reverse as well as forward. I've had fewer maintenance issues with them, too. No matter which you use, supposedly they are for use in snow under 4 inches.

        The last vehicle that we had chains for was a 1948 Ward LaFrance. When we sold the truck in 1968, we wanted to give them to the purchaser, Gordon County, Georgia. They asked us what chains were supposed to be used for.

        Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skipatrol8
          I know what these are but I have always been curiuos to how they work. Any insight?
          There is a mounted cylinder under the vehicle near the drive wheels. A switch in the cab activates the On-spots and they "drop down" into position. The cylinder then starts to rotate the chains (usually a set of 3 or 4), the drive wheels then roll over the chains. Good at a MAX. speed of about 30-35.

          Thats the short and simple version....anyone else?
          "If people concentrated on the really important things in life, there'd be a shortage of fishing poles."
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          IACOJ

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          "Criticism is prejudice made plausible."
          - H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)

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          • #6
            Way back when...
            In questionable weather we'd pull the truck ahead 4 feet and lay the chains out, then back into the chains but not hook them up. If properly set up I could get the chains onto both outer rear tires in under 3 minutes. Obviously a second person cuts the time in half. If we would clearly need them they went on and stayed on till the plow crews got the roads cleared.

            www.onspot.com has lots of pictures on how it works (used to have a video but I can't find in now).

            I don't have any experience with the roto-grip, but they look just like on-spots. On-spots do work in reverse.

            With any automatic chains you loose them if you lock up the tires (chains slide out from under the tire), and the chains don't get very far under the tires at lower tire speed or thick/heavy snow. In those conditions conventional chains are superior. Also, top speed is limited to 35mph with the chains deployed. I've seen damage to the units from running over things like curbs and hard packed snow/ice mounds (usually while backing up).
            Last edited by Fire304; 11-17-2006, 05:05 PM.
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            • #7
              We are an extreme snow zone (BC ski resort), and we cable up the engine all winter, and leave the aerial as is.

              The cables seem to do well enough on the snow/ice, while not resulting in the familiar bounce of a conventional set of chains, and speeds up to 70-80 kph are fine.

              The aerial has aggressive winter tread tires, but we plan to retrofit on-spot chains onto it in the near future.

              I think for most, the idea of parking on the chains is probably best.
              Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

              IACOJ

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Fire304
                Way back when...
                In questionable weather we'd pull the truck ahead 4 feet and lay the chains out, then back into the chains but not hook them up. If properly set up I could get the chains onto both outer rear tires in under 3 minutes. Obviously a second person cuts the time in half. If we would clearly need them they went on and stayed on till the plow crews got the roads cleared.

                www.onspot.com has lots of pictures on how it works (used to have a video but I can't find in now).

                I don't have any experience with the roto-grip, but they look just like on-spots. On-spots do work in reverse.

                With any automatic chains you loose them if you lock up the tires (chains slide out from under the tire), and the chains don't get very far under the tires at lower tire speed or thick/heavy snow. In those conditions conventional chains are superior. Also, top speed is limited to 35mph with the chains deployed. I've seen damage to the units from running over things like curbs and hard packed snow/ice mounds (usually while backing up).
                This is exactly how we used to do it. Park on them and wait until we had accumulation to actually hook them up.

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                • #9
                  if a decent storm is starting we chain the heavy appartus, lighter units have onspots, when the storm clears chains come off.

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                  • #10
                    ok well we run 3 trucks, all 3 have different set-ups for winter driving.

                    1st Engine - 1978 Mack CF, retrofitted w/ onspots plus we have tire chains, making all 4 rear tires useful in the snow (onspots only go under inner dully tire, chains go on outside tire) and this truck is a standard, a bear to drive if you don't practice, but this also helps w/ ability to keep the rig under control.

                    2nd Engine - 1995 E-Won't, only equipped w/ onspots (even though we've had no problem driving through 10 inches plus of unplowed roads and through plow banks up to my chest, automatic trans w/ abs braking (jury is still out on if this system still works, the light stays on more than it is off)

                    Quint - 2005 Pierce DashNO CHAINS AT ALL, due to a solid block rear suspension onspots are unable to be attached to either axle (this suspsension system eats up alot of space under the truck), onspot is supposidly working on a solution for this, some type of other swing mechanism. However, this truck is equipped w/ ABS and automatic traction control, in theory the tires won't spin uncontrolled or lock up. Worked great last winter, but we didn't have many huge storms, we looked into getting rubber "chains" but for some reason this never came to be, and if we don't run into any problems i don't see us getting them.

                    AND BEFORE ANYONE ASKS, WE HAVE SOME HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE GRADES TO CLIMB AND DESCEND
                    Last edited by ResqShrek; 12-06-2006, 03:22 PM.
                    IF YOU WANT AN EASY WAY TO ENFORCE A SEAT BELT POLICY, ARMOR-ALL THE SEATS

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