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Tire Chains--Quick Tip

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We’ve all been there.

The weather report is calling for a good accumulation of snow and we’re excited to get our well equipped toy into action, but we need to get the chains on the tires. I’ve been using my 3000 series tractor to plow my hilly ¼ mile driveway for 7 seasons. Every year I just lay out the chains, drive over them, hook-'em and bungee-'em. And usually I’m half-way down the driveway on my hands and knees in the snow trying to untangle the chains that are now wrapped around the axle and reinstalling them in less then optimum conditions.

We’ve all been there.

This year I figured I’d try something different. I jacked-up the rear of the tractor, held the leading edge (first links) of the chains with one hand and just spun the tire about 3/4 of a rotation. Using this method I was able to get the chains on much tighter and more evenly distributed. In fact, after I installed the chains (and before installing the bungee straps) I rotated the tires a few times and found that the chains needed to be retightened by an additional link. In all I'd say the chains were 4 or 5 links tighter then past years. Some on the forums also advise that you can deflate the tires while they are up in the air and reinflate them after the chains are tight. I haven’t tried this and probably wont as I have my tires filled with beet juice.

Even without a deflate/reinflate I didn't get any fender slap and I had much better traction because the tires couldn't slip in the chains. Raising the tractor will be my go-to method for chain installation from now on.