Automatic snow chain systems can be explaned in two ways: 1) The physical properties of the system, and 2) What the system provides for you. Here we have them both listed. Learn more below.
1) The physical properties of the system
The physical function of an automatic snow chain can be described as simply utilizing a wheel fitted with chains in place of wrapping traditional chains around the tire. The chainwheel, as we call it, is guided and held to the inside of the tire where centrifugal force allows the individual chain strands to extend beneath the drive wheel.
A system matches the function of traditional snow chains without the need to exit the cab to install them. Automatic snow chains are designed to be permanently mounted to each specific vehicle and is activated by the use of a dashboard switch.
What about conventional snow chains then?
Conventional snow chains increase traction by providing a stable surface between the tyre and the road surface. If you could simply lay the chains on the road and drive over them when you needed extra grip it would accomplish the same function.
A single tyre chain takes about 5-15 minutes to install per wheel. Depending on the type of vehicle an installation could take 20-60 minutes. Also, don’t forget that you have to take the chains back off again once you have passed the ice and snow or you will quickly damage the chain, road, or even your vehicle.
Many of the tutorials for these installations actually list “untangling the chains” as a step in the process. Anyone who has come across old Christmas lights or extension cords can appreciate the pain that comes to my mind when I see the word “untangle” in the instructions!
2) What the system provides for you
When you have an automatic snow chain system installed, the stabilizing feel of a conventional snow chain is achieved by simply flipping a switch in the cab. Once you’ve returned to safe conditions the driver simply switches off the system without the need to stop and remove anything from the vehicle.
The system provides drivers and fleets with solutions that can't be offered by other traction devices or with 4x4 on its own.
- The system is permanently mounted and ready to use at the flip of a switch.
- Automatic tire chains actually increases the coefficient of friction at the wheel, something 4x4 can't do on its own.
- Many users report an increased feeling of safety and peace of mind by providing their drivers with on demand traction for stopping, starting and reversing.
Browse our free online resource, All about automatic snow chains, to learn more.