Why do chains on tires provide more traction in the snow?

  • #1
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Wouldn't the chain easily get caught on a rock or something? And how does metal provide more traction than rubber wheels?
 
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  • #2
Vanadium 50
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Wouldn't the chain easily get caught on a rocket
Huh?
 
  • #3
phinds
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Wouldn't the chain easily get caught on a rocket or something? And how does metal provide more traction than rubber wheels?
That's like asking if a paddle boat with just a cylinder and no paddles would work better than one with paddles.

Also, one generally doesn't drive over rockets.
 
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  • #4
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That's like asking if a paddle boat with just a cylinder and no paddles would work better than one with paddles.

Also, one generally doesn't drive over rockets.
Rock* lol
 
  • #5
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Chains sink down into the snow easier than a rubber tire, therefore they provide more traction. The tread on your tire is sufficient under ordinary conditions (depending on where you live), however in snow having the extra traction can make a big difference. Chains can also help prevent skidding. They are kind of like cleats for your car.
 
  • #6
sophiecentaur
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Rock* lol
Chains are the next best thing to snow studs or spikes that you find on specialist snow tyres. The reason for the improved traction is probably the higher local pressure under the chain links which can cause local melting and allow them to dig in where the shallow tread of the tyre will not.
 
  • #7
jrmichler
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Chains will dig down into hard packed snow and ice, and give traction where winter snow tires will not. Chains will dig into wet packy snow, and give traction where winter snow tires will not. A two wheel drive vehicle with chains will keep going in conditions where four wheel drives without chains get stuck.

Chains are not perfect. You can still spin your wheels, the chain can grab something, which rips loose a cross chain, which flies around and tears out the plastic inner fender, which cost $133.36 to replace.
 
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