Three tips for rescue drivers on when to use Onspot

Written by Eric Jones,

When is the correct time to engage your Onspot Automatic Tire Chains? This is a common question that we hear from our friends in the fire and rescue industry. Actually, it’s a frequently asked question in many of the markets that we serve.

The easiest answer to the question is to engage your Onspots before you need them! The device assists with both stopping and starting and being mindful of the current situation can keep you out of trouble before it starts. However, we all know that black ice and other hazards can occur with little to no warning.

Let’s further explore this topic in three parts:

  • Using Onspot while driving in poor conditions
  • Engaging Onspot when the vehicle is already stuck
  • Engaging Onspot during emergency braking and or sliding

We have a standard set of recommendations to maximize the benefits of using Onspot while driving in poor conditions. The main idea is to engage at a slow speed and to disengage before encountering dry pavement. We also recommend keeping your speed under 35 MPH.

If you are already stuck, or become stuck after parking, Onspot can be a real advantage. We often hear stories of fire trucks or ambulances that become stuck while being parked at an accident scene. The run-off water or melting snow and ice can refreeze around the vehicle and create a situation where the tires can’t get traction on the roadway, driveway, parking lot or frozen ground. In this situation we recommend slowly spinning the tires and then engaging Onspot. The idea is to get the chain underneath the tire but also to stay safe! Using this method can be dangerous as the vehicle will break free once the chain bites into the surface creates a friction point for the tire. Use extreme caution and ensure that no people or property are in the path of the vehicle.

Emergency braking requires a similar procedure to work. If the wheels are locked up and skidding during the braking our chain will likely not find its way underneath the tire when the system is engaged. Pumping the brakes to allow the chain wheel to spin will provide the centrifugal force to propel the chain underneath the tire and provide traction for stopping.

Now that you know how to use your Onspots in tough conditions check out our guide to keeping them in good condition for years to come!

Download: How to keep your Onspot working properly


Rescue Vehicles Application School Bus Safety

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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