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Old 11-22-2014, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,057,246 times
Reputation: 6721

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Wamer27 :

Guess what is sitting in my driveway, right now ? A 2005 Ford F 350, 4 by 4 , with a 10 foot western plow blade on it, and a "down easter " sand and salt spreader. I too plow for a living, and I have never needed chains, ever.

In the last four years that truck and snow tire combination has been a money maker, both as a plow truck, and a "pull em out of the ditch truck " with a 4 ton Warn winch and a 200 foot cable and hook. $50 a car, $75 a van or light duty truck. Cash only.

Jim B. In Toronto.
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:06 PM
 
Location: MN
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I'm not saying I'd ever need or own chains, but they would give you 10 times more traction then just snow tires while going through unplowed snow. Someone who lives where it's 70+ degrees all winter and ventures into the mountains occasionally for work, buying winter tires seems a little extreme.

You have time to pull people out of the ditch while your plowing? I did a random favor to a plow truck stuck and I ended up getting screwed out of it, never do that again. Are you having trouble getting salt now? The Minneapolis area where I am is...and now lots of it is heading to Buffalo, NY.
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:45 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,540 posts, read 3,057,246 times
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Wamer :

No I don't do pull jobs while I still have my plow route work to do, but when its icy, I have a number of hills and ravines that I check out, on the way to other jobs. I have a set of "scotch blocks " that are ramps made of steel, with teeth , that I use to hold the truck on the road, while I winch the vehicle out .

Salt is not a problem at this time, as the supplier that I buy from has two huge yards with enough bulk to last two years. Both are within a 5 mile radius of my house.

Here in Ontario, near Windsor, across from Detroit, we have some of the largest salt mines in North America. They extend out under the bottom of Lake Huron for miles. No shortage at all.

Jim B. In Toronto.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:09 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
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As I've posted elsewhere, I've been driving in the Rockies for over four decades and can count the times on my hands that I've had to chain up--mostly on unplowed ranch roads and trails. Dedicated winter tires can be a big help, but they wear extremely fast on dry roads. Once they are worn down a fair amount, they are little better for traction than an all-season tire that is in fairly good condition.

Yes, chaining up is a major pain in the ass, and, as others have noted, may have to be done and undone multiple times. Most state "chain laws" relate to vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of over 10,000 lbs. or for passenger vehicles carrying 15 passengers or more. Now, if a chain requirement is posted for those vehicles, it is a good indication that road conditions are pretty poor. If a "chains only" requirement is posted for either commercial vehicles or for all vehicles, that is a good time to simply rethink travel on that road until conditions improve.

Chains, snow tires, etc., etc. ARE NOT a substitute for winter driving experience. If a person doesn't have that experience, then they need to stay out of those conditions until they do. How to get that experience? Learn from somebody who is a good winter driver or go to a winter driving school. Then practice the techniques where sliding around is not going to imperil you or anyone else. Learning how to winter drive on a slick highway is no smarter than learning gun safety with a loaded gun in a crowd at a football stadium.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:38 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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Jazzlover:

You make some very good points.

I used to work for the city of Toronto Ambulance Service ( the largest such service in Canada) and we had a winter skid training program , that every department driver had to go through, every fall . It was a two day program, on a old air field, using the Ambulance vehicle that you drove in your day to day work.

Foam and water on the pavement, and a series of drills, at increasing speeds up to 60 mph, with a full gas tank, and all patent equipment on board. Dodge 350 extended body vans ( it was the 1990`s ) which are just about as nimble as a rhino on hockey skates........ Full lock to lock steering drills, 180 skids and lots of lane changes at 60 mph, on ice, and snow. Do it at least 50 times, then let your partner do it in the afternoon class.

Training is the key to winter driving confidence.......but how many drivers EVER have a winter driving training course, at any speed ........ Not many.

Jim B.. In Toronto.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:02 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canadian citizen View Post
Jazzlover:

Training is the key to winter driving confidence.......but how many drivers EVER have a winter driving training course, at any speed ........ Not many.

Jim B.. In Toronto.
True, and not many people learn to be "weather savvy," either. Part of being a good winter driver is being able to "read" weather and road conditions. For example, a snowpacked road at 0 F. or below will offer better traction than a slushy, partly snowpacked road at 32 F. A whole lot of people would (wrongly) think just the opposite.

Understanding weather is also important. I don't just look at conditions where I am and right at that moment; I look at conditions along my whole route and what the weather forecast is along the whole route. Depending on what those are, I may adjust my travel time or revise my route to make the best out of the conditions that are occurring or are predicted. I always plan a route of retreat or an alternate route in case conditions become such that a road may be closed or hazardous. I may also cancel or modify a trip if the forecast looks particularly bad. For example, I was supposed to be traveling tomorrow on a 500+ mile roundtrip, however, over 2/3's of that route is under a winter weather advisory for heavy snow and blizzarding for the next 36 hrs. So, instead of fighting the idiots in the middle of a fairly vicious winter storm, I rescheduled.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,166 posts, read 27,421,913 times
Reputation: 11834
Nowadays "cable chains" are used on cars and small trucks instead of the very heavy chains used on heavy equipment and some big trucks. These cable chains are sold by most automobile auto parts stores, and even by Amazon (both cable and chain listed). The heavy chains can damage the brake lines of some vehicles when one or more of the links snap. But the small links or rollers on the cables just slip out of the cable reducing the "hammer" effect chain links are known for.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&key...l_35effdzvy4_b
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Old 11-22-2014, 04:09 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,091,437 times
Reputation: 9065
The other advice that I have about tire chains is this: Put them on and take them off of a vehicle in a nice warm garage before one needs them out on the road. That way the driver can a) make sure he/she knows how to mount/unmount them before needing them on the road; and b) make sure that the damn things will actually fit on the tires, not bang up the wheel wells, not tear up brake lines, etc.

I can't count the times that I've seen people trying to put on chains out in miserable winter conditions when they don't know how and then find out that the chains wouldn't fit even if they knew how to put them on.
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Old 11-22-2014, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,783,990 times
Reputation: 29355
There are some quick-fit alternatives like Clack and Go, Autosock, Spikes Spider, etc. Availability in the US may vary.
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Old 11-23-2014, 09:40 AM
 
2,025 posts, read 2,751,710 times
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These, they are spendy but the easiest method to do "chains"


http://www.amazon.com/Spikes-Spider-...=spikes+spider
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