Front or Rear

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Fselrahc

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Maybe this has been posted...I can't find it.

When installing one set of snow chains on our PWs, assuming 4wd will be engaged, is it better to chain the front or rear.

Browsing the web yields as many opinions as there are trucks. I am hoping to get a consensus from the PW population.

I have not used snow chains in 4wd before but have had success chaining up the front end of a front wheel drive vehicle before. It pulls and steers where you tell it!
 

RamDiver

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Maybe this has been posted...I can't find it.

When installing one set of snow chains on our PWs, assuming 4wd will be engaged, is it better to chain the front or rear.

Browsing the web yields as many opinions as there are trucks. I am hoping to get a consensus from the PW population.

I have not used snow chains in 4wd before but have had success chaining up the front end of a front wheel drive vehicle before. It pulls and steers where you tell it!


If you need chains on a 4x4, why wouldn't you chain all 4 wheels?

.
 

Boondocks

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Front is better for steering. Rear is better for safety. In my experience, both are good for forward traction.

Remember the old days of rear wheel ABS? It’s the same principle. If your front tires are braking hard but aren’t skidding but your rear wheels begin skid, the rear of the truck may quickly spin to the side. It’s because a skidding tire loses directional control.

Do what I say and not as I do because rear is better for safety, but if I’m busting through deep snow at low speeds, I will install the chains in the front. If I’m using the chains for icy roads or on an icy lake, then I’ll install the chains on the rear.

You also have to be more careful with clearance issues with chains on the front. I believe our owners manuals advises that only the rear has clearance for chains.
 

olyelr

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There are perks to both. Seems like either could be better in certain situations, like boondocks was saying.

Just get another set of chains lol. Then u dont have to question it haaaaa.
 
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Fselrahc

Fselrahc

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If you need chains on a 4x4, why wouldn't you chain all 4 wheels?

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I can imagine what a beast it would be in the snow with all 4 tires chained up. I only have one set and, realistically, I won't see enough snow to warrant the 2nd set.
 
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Fselrahc

Fselrahc

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There are perks to both. Seems like either could be better in certain situations, like boondocks was saying.

Just get another set of chains lol. Then u dont have to question it haaaaa.
I like the way y'all think!
 

RamDiver

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I can imagine what a beast it would be in the snow with all 4 tires chained up. I only have one set and, realistically, I won't see enough snow to warrant the 2nd set.

I've never used chains as our provincial overlords have deemed them to be illegal on the roads.

As such, I've always managed quite well, mostly, with winter or AT tires. :)

There have been occasions where I believe chains would have been logical, smart, and much safer, but... the overlords don't agree or care about my opinion.

I'm curious where the line is between justifying 1 or 2 sets of chains. I find myself pondering the days when it was typical to only have snow tires on the drive wheels. :cool:

.
 
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Fselrahc

Fselrahc

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I've never used chains as our provincial overlords have deemed them to be illegal on the roads.

As such, I've always managed quite well, mostly, with winter or AT tires. :)

There have been occasions where I believe chains would have been logical, smart, and much safer, but... the overlords don't agree or care about my opinion.

I'm curious where the line is between justifying 1 or 2 sets of chains. I find myself pondering the days when it was typical to only have snow tires on the drive wheels. :cool:

.
I would imagine that with all 4 wheels locked and chained it would be almost as good as having a tractor!

I live in Seattle and will not likely see enough snow to warrant 2 sets of chains.

Always on the drive wheels has been my experience as well. I am simply curious that when in 4WD, which drive wheels do you choose. The front has the weight to help them grab and the steerage to get you going in the right direction. However, as mentioned above, you don't want the back end coming around either.

My uneducated brain is thinking that chains (and 5 - 60lbs bags of sand) on the rear axle is an equalizer for the front without chains...or something like that. :)
 

RamDiver

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Are you required to have chains in certain areas in Seattle, as in your possession or installed on wheels?

Some provinces in Canada you're able to have them in your possession and other places like Newfoundland, they must be installed on the drive wheels when it snows.


I used to add weight in the winter to rear wheel drive cars and small to mid-sized trucks but not full-sized trucks.

I live in a rural area and sometimes wait up to 36 hours to get plowed after a big snow dump.

Just for perspective, I have vivid memories of plowing through the snow, near home in my Tundra while snow flew across the hood.

I occasionally would have weight in the box for scuba diving trips, firewood or other miscellaneous stuff and it may have been helpful for deep snow conditions but I didn't add weight when I wasn't moving stuff.

The mileage is marginal enough without the added weight. :cool:
.
 
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Fselrahc

Fselrahc

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Are you required to have chains in certain areas in Seattle, as in your possession or installed on wheels?

Some provinces in Canada you're able to have them in your possession and other places like Newfoundland, they must be installed on the drive wheels when it snows.


I used to add weight in the winter to rear wheel drive cars and small to mid-sized trucks but not full-sized trucks.

I live in a rural area and sometimes wait up to 36 hours to get plowed after a big snow dump.

Just for perspective, I have vivid memories of plowing through the snow, near home in my Tundra while snow flew across the hood.

I occasionally would have weight in the box for scuba diving trips, firewood or other miscellaneous stuff and it may have been helpful for deep snow conditions but I didn't add weight when I wasn't moving stuff.

The mileage is marginal enough without the added weight. :cool:
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Amen on the marginal mileage!

Depending on conditions, the only time we see a chain requirement is in the mountain passes.

I've never had to wait to get plowed out, that's incredible!!
 

RamDiver

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Amen on the marginal mileage!

Depending on conditions, the only time we see a chain requirement is in the mountain passes.

I've never had to wait to get plowed out, that's incredible!!

I remember seeing the chain requirement signs in the mountain areas of BC.

I didn't say that I had to wait for the plow, although I usually did because I would find a small mountain of plow droppings at the ends of my laneways. :cool:

I prefer to be on the side where the snowblower lives when the plow passes.

Snow clearing at my place after a big snow dump is usually a 3-5 hour event and then as is typical, the minute I get into the house, the plow goes by and fills my 2 laneways with an enormous pile of snow.

I have a walk-behind snow blower that works quite well unless it's warm outside with wet/heavy snow, then I just shovel.

.
 

Dean2

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Front is better for steering. Rear is better for safety. In my experience, both are good for forward traction.

Remember the old days of rear wheel ABS? It’s the same principle. If your front tires are braking hard but aren’t skidding but your rear wheels begin skid, the rear of the truck may quickly spin to the side. It’s because a skidding tire loses directional control.

Do what I say and not as I do because rear is better for safety, but if I’m busting through deep snow at low speeds, I will install the chains in the front. If I’m using the chains for icy roads or on an icy lake, then I’ll install the chains on the rear.

You also have to be more careful with clearance issues with chains on the front. I believe our owners manuals advises that only the rear has clearance for chains.
Complete and thorough explanation. Captures front versus back perfectly.

Only thing I will add, is if you want fast chain install, deflate two tires, install the chains nice and tight, tie off all loose bits, reinflate tires. Test fit on front and back to ensure clearances.

WAY faster to swap over two tires than to try and put chains on in mud or deep snow.
 

Boondocks

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I can imagine what a beast it would be in the snow with all 4 tires chained up. I only have one set and, realistically, I won't see enough snow to warrant the 2nd set.
There comes a point in which the chassis and body starts to ride up on the snow. If it’s hard snow (like a bad drift), or deep wet snow, the truck becomes high centered and no amount of chained tires will get you unstuck. It’s how I typically end up getting stuck.

I didn’t say this in my first post but I ended up with a second set of chains this fall. Could be some fun times ahead if we get bad enough weather this winter to need them.
 

62Blazer

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Generally recommend installing them on the front tires. That is because they provide steering control and the majority of the braking. In regards to the rear end spinning out, that can be controlled by pointing the front tires in the direction you want to go, and applying power. The front tires will "pull" the vehicle back in line. It's kinda' against most people's natural instincts to let off the gas and apply brakes, but in this situation you should actually apply power and let the front chained tires do the work. I'm by no means a driving expert but did spend many years doing automotive testing and went through many driving classes that taught those techniques. As soon as you take your foot off the gas pedal or hit the brakes you lose all of the advantages of being 4wd.
In regards to the comment about ABS and the front vs. rear sliding, that is completely irrelevant because ABS systems all have independent control at each wheel. Therefore either of the rear wheels doesn't care what either of the front tires are doing. I understand where their thought process may be coming from with chained front tires not sliding but the rears sliding because of no chains, but it simply does not work that way. In that case the ABS would still kick on in the rear to keep the rear tires from locking up. 30 years ago when ABS first came out it was maybe a concern, but anything made in the last 15-20 years ago shouldn't have an issue.
 

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I live where there are white roads Nov - Apr and I cross the Cascade summits 50+ times per year in every weather condition. Your best friend is a 3PMS AT tire and and air compressor. I've yet to need tire chains, though I do carry a set of square links just in case the pass goes to chains required.

With weight in the back (I'm 9,000 lbs, evenly distributed) and 20-25 psi, traction has yet to be an issue. Obviously, speed moderation and driving tactics come hugely into play. Freezing rain is a different beast than any type of snow or ice and for that chains have their place.

When you're solidly back on wet, pull over grab a coffee and let the compressor air you back up. If you don't have time for this then it was poor planning. Don't ever be in a rush in the winter.
 

RAMPO

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Well said Overlander and 62Blazer. Tire pressure and good tires are the key to most situations. The best tool you have is your head. It controls your feet and hands. As as stated above, drive slow and not in a hurry use power to pull through as momentum is a good thing as long as it’s not rushed. Chain your front first and lower tire pressure in the back. If your in a 2wd truck you do one front left and one rear right as that’s your drive tire and it’s better to be able to stop then go. Just my 2cents.

One thing about most vehicular activities is weight is not a good thing. The lighter you are the easier it is to do anything, stop, go, and change directions. With most trucks being heavy, and that being a good thing to help with controlling heavy loads. The same isn’t true on snow or i slippery situations. More weight needs more friction (traction) to move that weight. In limited friction environments aka slippery, we use mechanical traction as in sipping on tires to hold more snow, chaines/ studs to force grooves into ice and snow.

Sorry venting a little information. But adding weight to the back of a truck only causes the tires to bulge out like with a heavy load. But now you have that extra un-needed weight to move as well. You could ge the tires to do the same effect by airing down. It also makes the tire softer so it will get more traction on bumps, won’t upset the already limited traction as much on rough spots. It should also help soften the ride for those in non power wagons or 1500s.

Again sorry venting. But recap chains on front, air down rear, go slow and power through turns or slides. And use your head, get out and test in safe areas so your head is ready for the snow too. ;)
 

Danny Phillips

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I had a Pinto Station wagon in MT and I put snow tires on it with studs. I had to put a couple of cinder blocks in the back to help keep the rearend from passing the front.
 
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