Frequently Asked Questions

How fast may I drive with snow chains?

All winter traction products are subject to the legal speed limit of 50 km/h.

On which axle should snow chains be installed on trucks?

Minimum installation: on one drive axle

Better: all drive axles plus the front axle (for steering and cornering) and one axle of the trailer (to avoid loss of control during braking and cornering).

Truck axles

When should I install traction products?

SOONER RATHER THAN LATER!

We strongly recommend that you install your traction devices before or at least when you start driving on snow and ice covered roads. Look for a good spot which is out of the way of traffic and where you can put on your traction devices.

Putting traction devices on your vehicle when you are already stuck usually results in considerable more time and effort. In addition, one icy spot can be enough to cause an accident. Like insurance, traction devices only help if you use them before you really need them.

Can winter traction products cause road damage?

The road damage by cable or link style chains (temporary traction devices) is minimal compared to road damage by studded tyres (permanent traction devices). Snow chains are only temporarily used in extreme winter conditions while studded tyres are driven all winter long.

Should campers and RV’s use light truck or passenger car chains?

Unfortunately, there is no clear division between passenger car tyre sizes and light truck sizes. Many manufacturers equip their campers with passenger tyre sizes even thought the weight of the vehicle is significantly higher than that of a car. The products we show in our application charts are the ones we believe will work best for a particular tyre size, even if only a passenger chain is shown for a heavy camper.

Why do I need to buy winter traction products?

Safety for you and your vehicle. The use of a traction product is the most effective and safest way to stop your vehicle and maintain control under winter road conditions.

Many of today’s vehicles have improved traction performance (i.e. front wheel drive, four-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, etc.), by which the ability to drive on ice and snow is improved, but none of these devices help to stop quickly and under control! The most dangerous weather conditions exist with temperatures around 0 degrees celsius with ice, slush or packed snow with ice underneath it. Under all these conditions even winter tyres have very little traction and the use of traction devices is of vital importance for safe driving. Cornering and braking on ice are the most dangerous driving conditions faced during winter driving! Only the use of a traction device makes it possible for vehicles to stop and corner better on snow or ice-covered roads, for your safety and the safety of others!

Road Safety

If my car has anti-lock brakes (ABS) do I need chains?

Yes, many drivers think ABS systems are an alternative to traction devices. NOT TRUE! ABS is a great advantage in helping drivers maintain control. Its main purpose is to “manage” a vehicle’s available traction more efficiently than a conventional braking system. In placing steel cross members between the tyre tread and the snow or ice-covered road surface, stopping traction for the ABS system to manage is actually increased. SCC products support ABS because both tyre and the traction product simultaneously have contact with the road surface at all points of each tyre revolution.

On which axle should chains be installed?

Chains should at least be installed on the drive axle:

  • On the front tyres with front wheel drive.
  • On the rear tyres with rear wheel drive.
  • On the front or rear tyres with all-wheel drive

Look in your car’s owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation.

REMARK: If winter traction products are only installed on the front tyres, the rear of the vehicle can swing during braking and cornering. If winter traction products are only installed on the rear tyres, the steering ability of the vehicle is limited.

Optimum traction

How do I figure my exact tyre size?

Tire SizingThe tyre size is printed on the sidewall of every tyre. Most tyre sizes will look like this: 205/70R14. All of these numbers are necessary to find the traction product that will fit your tyre. In our example the tyre is 205mm wide, has an aspect ratio of 70% and is mounted on a wheel whose diameter is 14 inches (1 inch equals 2.54 cm).

IMPORTANT: Always prefit your chain on the tyre it is intended to fit. Actual tyre sizes can vary due to different manufacturers, age, wear or deviation from the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation). Winter tyres also might require bigger chains than summer tyres of the same numerical size due to the deeper treadface. This is also true for off-road tyres. For commerical tyres (for example 215/75-16C) and retreaded tyres pre-fitting your chains is even more important due to even larger variations in size.

What about traction/stopping ability?

Snow chain tracksTHE PROOF IS IN THE TRACKS

Snow tracks are the simplest way to demonstrate a product’s traction ability. As you can see from the diagram, ladder-style cable or link chains offer the least amount of traction/stopping. These types of products have the biggest gaps in tyre coverage and they are the least effective with ABS systems. (When using a ladder-style product, the vehicle is constantly trying to manage a traction/no traction pattern instead of the continuous traction other devices can provide.) Ladder-style traction products also create the most noise during use. Again, this is because the cross members are not continuous, so every time a cross member makes contact with the road surface there is a thumping sound.

The tracks for the next type of traction product shown are the diamond or X-shaped cross member pattern. This product offers more traction/stopping than the ladder-style because there is more constant contact with the road surface. This means less confusion to a vehicle’s ABS system and a less noticeable cross member “thump” during use.

The last set of tracks illustrates a continuous diagonal cross member pattern like SCC’s Z-family. This product offers more traction/stopping than the ladder style because there is constant contact with the road surface. The continuous pattern ensures that both the cross member and the treadface of the tyre are always in contact with the raod surface at the same time. The diagonal design affords a smooth transition from cross member to cross member and sends true signals to the monitors of the traction control system. Traction control and ABS systems do not have to compensate for a gap or loss in traction as with other styles of traction products. Additionally, there is no cross member “thump”, the noise that is normally associated with the use of a winter traction product.