Are automatic tire chains the correct choice for me?

Written by Eric Jones,

A quick look at today’s modern commercials fleets proves the endless variations that now exist in their design and use. On any given day the average person will see dozens of these vehicles in action. 

My day started with sending the kids out to the school bus, then receiving packages from a high roof cargo van, followed by the refuse truck picking up the recycling, and finally hearing the sirens of our brave men and women who operate the local ambulance service. 

From emergency apparatus to school buses we can all agree that there are endless varieties of commercial vehicles. But, regardless of the type, these forms of transportation have adapted from the same basic truck, van or bus concepts.

Flaws lead to improvement

Some products are so functional and effective that there is little potential to improve them. The violin, for example, was designed by the Italian master violin-makers in the 17th century. Countless efforts have been made to challenge its basic construction in order to improve it, but in vain. The violin is so close to perfect that no one has come up with a fundamental improvement during the last 350 years.

Tire chains are not that old – they were patented in 1904 and ever since they have proven to be very effective for increasing traction – but they are certainly not perfect!

Even if conventional tire chains are a good example of simple and reliable function, there are flaws. Tire chains are sturdy thus they are excellent for heavy-duty work. For example, on heavy fire trucks that go out on calls irrespective of road conditions, the key to tire chains' ruggedness is steel. However, depending on the use, weight may be considered a flaw, and heavy steel may not be the best option. One solution to this is to use textile socks providing a good grip and easy mounting at a very low weight – but at the expense of durability. Simply, textile covers do not withstand the wear when mounted on a heavy vehicle on rugged road surfaces.

Another flaw is the manual mounting which is tedious and puts the driver at risk since they are often forced to mount the chains at the roadside in bad weather and at reduced visibility. Also, improperly installed or aging tire chains can break causing heavy damage to the vehicle's body components.

Getting two birds with one stone - automatically

In my opinion, the optimal improvement of the good ol' tire chain has already occurred. Onspot makes them automatic so they can be engaged and disengaged from the cab, even while driving. 

We keep the steel chains’ durability and effectiveness while completely eliminating two flaws: the mounting time and the mounting effort. 

For the rescue driver, saving critical response time may be most important benefit of a traction aid. A commercial driver may view the comfort of activating from the cab and keeping to their schedule as the winning factor. Bus drivers are of course mindful of the safety of their occupants.

However, it doesn’t matter if the mounting time, safety, or driver comfort are the deciding factor – with  Onspot Automatic Tire Chains  they are all improved. 

Browse the free online resource, All about automatic tire chains, to learn more. 

All about automatic tire chains

Eric Jones

About Eric Jones

Eric is the Global Sales Director for the Onspot brand. He has over 15 years of industry experience and received an MBA from Ball State University. Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and two children and being active outdoors. On the weekend, you can normally find Eric enjoying a craft beer with food sizzling on the grill.


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