In the following interview, Ron Rosenbalm, a 25 year veteran of Onspot of North America explains some of the engineering philosophies that have driven our product development. As an Application Specialist, Ron has spent his career optimizing everything from mounting systems to the basic form and function of individual components.
Why does Onspot supply custom mounting solutions for every kit it sells?
Automatic Tire Chains are designed to last the life of the vehicle with minimal maintenance. One size fits all bracket solutions often place the engineering burden on the installer. Even seasoned veterans will find difficulty in achieving the proper adjustments necessary for the best performance. The result of custom made brackets is an easier and more reliable installation. One size fits all brackets require the end user to figure how to achieve the proper operating angles which often leads to incorrect installation and product dissatisfaction.
When it comes to an Automatic Tire Chain installation, chassis are often different, even similar makes and models. The normal stack up of tolerances can lead to variations that can have a big impact on the mounting and operation of the product. The use of the VSI process allows Onspot to provide a largely trouble free and reliable installation every time.
What is the optimal amount of chains per wheel to provide maximum traction?
When it comes to traction, it’s the size of the chain not the amount of strands that counts. ONSPOT supplies a 6 strand twisted chainwheel with each link being 8mm thick. In our testing, this combination provides the best balance between traction and the ability of the chain to pass through deeper snow. The twisted chain lengths prevent the chain from “rolling” when underneath the tire which can undermine the amount of provided traction.
What is the difference between Onspot’s chainwheel and chainwheels that use replaceable flat link chain?
Automatic Tire Chains operate by centrifugal force, we have found that the chain lengths wear at the same rate. We also find that, if one chain length breaks today, a second will probably break shortly thereafter, and then a third. A user could conceivably end up fixing the same wheel 6 times. We also find that, if you replace one length of chain and leave the remaining worn ones, you create the potential for wheel imbalance and the performance deteriorates. Replacing the chainplate with the six new lengths of chain is the correct and most economical repair.
Does Onspot work when the vehicle is driving forward and in reverse?
Yes. As the chainwheel hits at the tire centerline and the chainwheel is driven by centrifugal force, the system will provide traction in forward or reverse.
When ordering a new vehicle what parameters are recommended to ensure that Onspot can be installed?
In general, we look for potential obstructions such as brake chambers, storage cabinets, exhaust, or auxiliary components up to 34” directly in front/back of the mounting area. We also would like to have a minimum of 7” from the ground to the mounting area. If you are concerned about fit, contact your local Regional Manager and we can help you through the process. Customers are often surprised at how often we can make tight spaces work. We are always available to have individual conversations based on your particular needs, especially during the chassis specification process.
Interested in learning more about Onspot? Watch the video below for information on our training programs.