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How to Put Snow Chains on a Semi-Truck Tractor Trailor: Step-by-Step Guide

How to Install Chains on a Tractor Trailor

This guide will show you how to safely and effectively install snow chains on your semi-truck tractor. Remember, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety when working on the roadside.

Before you begin:

  • Park your truck on a level, stable surface away from traffic.
  • Engage the parking brake and chock the wheels that won’t have chains installed.
  • Ensure you have all the necessary gear:
    • Insulated suit
    • Rain suit
    • Tarp (for kneeling on wet or snowy ground)
    • Snow chains (refer to your owner’s manual for the correct size and type)

Step 1: Prepare the Chains

  1. Lay the chains flat on the ground in front of the drive tires.
  2. Make sure the tightening cams (the mechanisms that adjust tension) are facing outwards, away from the tire.
  3. Check the cross chains (the part that goes over the top of the tire tread) – they should be facing upwards to avoid damaging the tire.

Step 2: Drape the Chains

  1. Take one chain and drape it over the drive tire.
  2. Aim for the chains to hang evenly on both sides of the tire.

Step 3: Connect the Inner Chain

  1. Important: Begin on the inside of the tire. This helps ensure the chains stay on properly.
  2. Reach behind the tire and pull the inner chain section up between the spokes.
  3. Hook the inner chain onto the corresponding securing mechanism on the outside of the tire. Refer to your specific chain model for the exact clasp or hook type.

Step 4: Secure the Outer Chain

  1. Take the outer loose end of the chain and bring it around the back of the tire.
  2. Lift the chain over the top of the tire.
  3. Connect it to the securing mechanism on the opposite side of the tire from the inner chain.

Step 5: Tighten the Chains

  1. Use the tensioning cams (or straps depending on your chain model) to tighten the chains evenly across the tire tread.
  2. The chains should be snug but not excessively tight. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended tightness.

Step 6: Double-Check and Adjust

  1. Once both chains are secured, check them again for tightness and ensure all connections are secure.
  2. If possible, drive the truck forward a short distance (around 100 feet) and then back up the same distance. This allows the chains to settle on the tires.
  3. Pull over to re-check the tension and adjust the cams or straps as needed.

Step 7: Repeat on the Other Side

Repeat steps 2-6 to install the chains on the other drive tire.

Additional Tips:

  • Carry extra chain links and repair tools in case of breakage.
  • Practice installing the chains in good weather conditions before you encounter snow or ice on the road.
  • Be aware of road signs and legal restrictions regarding snow chain use.

By following these steps and consulting your owner’s manual, you can safely and effectively install snow chains on your semi-truck tractor and ensure better traction in wintery conditions.

STATE-BY-STATE CHAIN LAWS VARY. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO UNDERSTAND ALL CARRY AND CHAIN LAWS IN THE STATES ALONG YOUR ROUTE.

PRIOR TO THE WINTER SEASON BE SURE TO INSPECT AND ORGANIZE YOUR CHAINS. THIS WILL PREVENT ANY POTENTIAL PROBLEMS WHEN THEY ARE NEEDED.

1 Comments

  1. Top 10 Truck Driving Tips for Winter | Drive Knight on December 21, 2020 at 10:55 am

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