Tire Chains FAQ

  • Tractor Forum

    We would recommend searching https://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/index.php for tractor - make, model, and tire size with "tire chains" in the search. You will find the most accurate information and real experience from other owner's with the same tractor.

  • How much clearance do I need for large tractor chains

    For 3/8 cross chain heavy duty large tractor chains, we recommend a minimum of 3" between the frame or the fender. Often, the space needed to clear the frame or fenders can be gained by simply reversing the wheel on the hub to take advantage of the wheel offset.

  • Why do I need a tensioner?

    Tensioners keep the chains tight and in place - thus maximizing the life of the chains. Adjusters or another tensioning device is a must for best performance. Mounts to the side chain on the outside of the tire. One pair per set is recommended. Tensioners are optional.

  • Do you offer free shipping?

    Unlike most products, tire chains are extremely heavy and shipping becomes a significant amount. Other tire chain online merchants that offer free shipping typically include it in the price of their products. Other online merchants may sell thinner or lighter duty chains which make shipping less expensive.

  • What are Emergency Strap on Chains good for?

    ONLY TO BE USED FOR SHORT DISTANCES FOR EXAMPLE A PARKING LOT OR DRIVEWAY. DO NOT SPIN OR EXCEED 5 MPH. ALWAYS CHECK DISC BRAKE CLEARANCE BEFORE USING STRAP ON TIRE CHAINS!

    CAUTION: Emergency Tire Chains are legal in all states. However, emergency tire chains are meant for short distances only and may not be legal when state authorities post “TIRE CHAINS REQUIRED” ordinances on highways. Emergency tire chains are an excellent traction aide when you are already stuck or anticipate getting stuck. Their easy installation and removal make them an ideal safety item in all vehicles. Emergency chains are designed for emergency short term use only! Emergency chains are not designed for any continuous driving. Another restriction of use is that these types of products can only be used with slotted wheels. In addition, we always recommend the use of at least one pair per drive tire, mounted opposite of each other. The purpose of these devices is only to get the vehicle UN-stuck from a parking lot, driveway, side street, etc. Emergency chains must be removed before continuous driving.

  • Why are my chains put together wrong?

    Tangling is normal and expected to occur during the life of your chains. It appears as though the hooks are twisted and installed incorrectly. Tangling occurs during handling, storing, and shipping. With patience, you will be able to manipulate the chain without opening or closing a hook.

  • Who pays to return the order?

    If we make the mistake, we pay the return and we will refund the order 100% including the original shipping or replace the chain with the correct chain at our expense. If the customer makes the mistake by ordering the wrong chain for their size or vehicle, the customer pays all shipping charges. If the chain ordered matches both tire size and part in the industry standard fit carts, the correct chain was shipped. The most common complaint that makes a customer feel they received the incorrect chain is that the chain needs adjusted. By adjusted we mean, shortening the overall length. The width is fine but the overall length needs shortened. Tire chain adjustment is normal and expected and in this case does not constitute a shipping error on our behalf. Tire chains are designed to fit a range of tire sizes and tread designs. The overall length of the chains may be longer than necessary. As long as the cross chain width is correct, the overall length can be shortened by removing 1 (or more) cross chains by prying the cross chain hook open and removing the entire cross chain. The hooks holding the cross chain to the side chain are not hardened and can be opened with a chisel or vise. See http://www.tirechain.com/tire_chainmounting_instructions.htm .

  • Will tire chains damage my alloy rims?

    Since the rim is offset, tire chains normally never contact with the wheel. The chains could make contact with the rim during installation. Be very careful during installation so the chain does not touch the wheel. During use centrifugal force pulls the chain away from the rim so if they are installed properly no scratching should occur.

  • Do you offer cable or alternative chains for garden tractors?

    No, we only offer link chain for garden tractor and snowblowers. Alternate chains such as cables are not adjustable and will not fit most garden tractor types of tires. Their tread has too many variables such as tread type or depth.

  • How do I find prices on your website?

    All of our pricing is available online. In order to get pricing, you need to select your tire size. All the chain options and pricing will be shown for your tire size.

  • What do you recommend for towing or plowing?

    We recommend the heaviest duty link chains available for towing or plowing. Light duty chains, cables, or diamonds will fail under heavy duty applications.

  • Do diamond chains require or need an optional tensioner?

    Diamond chains do not require an optional tensioner, since diamond have a rubber tensioner and ratchet integrated into its design.

  • UPS Next Day Air

    Next Day Air shipments are delivered Monday through Friday except on legal holidays. UPS does not guarantee any package that is delayed by an act of God such as weather. The UPS package guarantee does not apply when the transportation networks are disrupted.

  • Weather delays

    UPS does not guarantee any package that is delayed by an act of God such as weather. The UPS package guarantee does not apply when the transportation networks are disrupted. http://www.ups.com/content/us/en/about/news/service_updates/snow.html

  • Tire chains are designed to fit a range of tire sizes and tread designs.

    The overall length of the chains may be longer than necessary. As long as the cross chain width is correct, the overall length can be shortened by using repair links to eliminate slack or by removing 1 (or more) cross chains. For repair couplers technique using forged pins or quick links, please see: http://www.tirechain.com/Tire-Chains-Length-Adjustment-w-Repair-Links.htm Or shorten the chain by prying the cross chain hook open and removing the entire cross chain. The hooks holding the cross chain to the side chain are not hardened and can be opened with a chisel or vise. See http://www.tirechain.com/tire_chainmounting_instructions.htm .

  • Why is there a gap which appears to missing cross chain on my chains?

    Tire Chains often have larger gaps between the tail of the chain and the side chain fasteners. This is caused by different tire manufacturer specs, and depth of tread. Sometimes additional cross chain be added to fill the gap. Cross chains can be purchased at https://tirechain.com/TireChainCrossChains.htm .

  • How long does it take to receive the chains after they are shipped?

    We ship exclusively UPS in the continental USA. Please see our UPS Time in Transit Map for approximate delivery time. IMPORTANT: This map is a only general representation of UPS Ground transit times. If you are located an area that borders increased time in transit, assume that your time in transit is the higher number of days in transit. Delivery times are not guaranteed. The UPS delivery Map above applies to UPS Ground packages only. Please contact us for approximate shipping time of large orders shipped by freight companies such as ABF or Yellow Roadway.

  • What info do I need to purchase tire chains?

    First thing you need to do is know your tire size. The tire size is located on the sidewall of the tire. Do not trust the size listed in the owner’s manual it is often incorrect. 2nd, read your owners manual. Look under tire chains or snow chains in the index. Manufacturers usually make specific recommendations to your vehicle. For example, they may recommend type S chains or in some cases – no chains. We fit the tire not the vehicle. TireChain.com only lists by tire size not by vehicle.

  • Can I return or exchange my chains outside the 15 day return period?

    Our return/exchange policy was implemented to eliminate the return/exchange that occurs with seasonal products that may never be used. Our return/exchange period is 15 days from receipt of an order. We understand that the chains are in new condition and apologize that we cannot accommodate requests for a return or exchange. Below is our return policy. Returns must be received by tirechains.com within 15 days of delivery date. Returns for refund are subject to a 15% restocking charge. Effective January 2, 2006, UPS is charging shippers for the return of undeliverable packages, including but not limited to – refused packages and those where three attempts were unsuccessful. Any item that is refused or undeliverable, return shipping will be billed to the customer in addition to the original shipping charges. Chains must be returned in new, unused condition. Credit will be issued less actual shipping charges incurred by tirechains.com. RGA # (return goods authorization) required. No returns accepted without RGA number on outside of package. RGA # MUST BE REQUESTED VIA EMAIL – CustomerService@tirechain.com. EMAIL SUBJECT MUST INCLUDE YOUR ORDER #.

  • How quick do I get credit for returned chains?

    Although credit card regulations require that credit be issued within 30 day after we receive the return, we issue credit within a few days to a week after the return is received by us. We issue the credits promptly, but the credit card companies seem to delay the posting of credits.

  • Are chains sold as a pair?

    All of chains and tensioners are sold as a pair. A pair is like a pair of shoes. One for left and one for the right side. 2 pieces.

  • What are cams?

    Cams assist with the proper tensioning of tire chains. Each outer side chain has 3 or 4 cams. With the included cam tool, turn each cam clockwise to the locking notch and take up the side chain slack. Please see Cams for more details.

  • Why does my owner's manual say do not use chains?

    Some vehicles do not have the clearance required to use chains. Sometimes manufacturers say do not use chains when the vehicle does have enough clearance. Some of our chains, such as diamond chains, require minimal clearance and would have a better chance fitting. We will not advise against the manufacturers recommendations. If you need chains, we recommend that you call a vehicle dealer in a chain required area. For example, if you drive a GM vehicle, call a GM dealer in Northern California. Talk to the service department. Ask them what their real world experience is. You are welcome to purchase a pair of chains and test fit them to confirm clearance. However, if they didn’t clear, you can return them per our return policy.

  • Do I need 2 chains or 4?

    For the ultimate traction, chains on all 4 tires would be optimum . However in reality – most people use chains only on two tires. Two wheel drive vehicles would only use chains on the drive axle. If you have rear wheel drive, the chains would go on the rear tires. Front wheel drive – chains on the front only. For four wheel drives, chains normally go on the rear axle. Some four wheel drive vehicles require chains on all tires to prevent drive-train damage. In extreme off-road conditions, chains should be used on all 4 tires. Each vehicle is unique. Therefore, for a definitive answer, look in your owners manual under snow chains or tire chains. The manufacturer will recommend placement for your vehicle.

  • Do off road mud tires use the normal sized chains?

    No. Off Road Mud Tires, Super Swamper, and BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO tires deep lugged tires require one size longer in tire chains to make up for extra depth of the tread. Please call or email to determine the appropriate chain for your application.

  • What does R mean in my tire size?

    R designates radial tire. Nearly all tires today are radial. Therefore, if our charts show with or without the “R” they will fit either designation. For example P195/75R-15 is the same as P195/75-15 or 11-22.5 is the same as 11R22.5. Snow tires, Mud and Snow (M&S), recaps, deep lug mud tires and other oversized may require longer chain.

  • What does P or LT mean in the tire size?

    P means P-Metric. Usually found on cars and light duty trucks or SUV’s. LT means light truck. If our sizes specifically say P or LT, you need to select the correct one. If we don’t show a P or LT, just the tire size, then it fits both the LT and P version of that size. For example, If your size is 245-70R-17 and we show only 245-70R-17 then it fits all types of that size – P, LT and no designation. If your size is P235/75R-15 and we show a P and LT version, select the P version. If your tire size is LT235/75R-15, select the LT version.

  • Is there anything I need to know about using chains?

    Important: Pre-fit chains prior to actual use! For your convenience and safety: 1. Consult your vehicles owners manual to see if chain can be used on your vehicle. 2. Make certain your tire chains are properly sized for your tires. A proper fit is key to performance 3. Follow directions installing tire chains. 4. Apply as tightly as possible by hand for maximum chain life. 5. Be sure to pull off highway to safe place before installing, servicing or removing tire chains. 6. Do not deflate tires to install tire chains. 7. Drive approximately 1/4 mile. Stop & retighten. 8. Extra links may be cut off or preferably retained on the fastener arm. 9. Do not drive at high speed. Accelerate or decelerate slowly. Avoid spinning or locking of wheels. 10. If a cross chain should fail, stop immediately. Repair. Do not drive with a broken chain. 11. Avoid hitting curbs with tire chain. 12. Tire chains are not designed for towing vehicles. 13. Do NOT put chains on a tag axle. Tag axle is a dead axle usually located to the rear of the drive axle. Tire size must be known in order to select a tire chain of correct fit. For passenger cars, vans and small pick-up trucks it is important to check the owner’s manual. The restricted wheel well clearance in most of today’s down-sized and front drive vehicles may require the use of SAE class “S” tire chains, as noted in the vehicles’ owners manual.

  • Do I have enough clearance between the tire, struts, or control arms?

    Check your your owner's manual, vehicle manufacture or dealer to confirm adequate clearance.

  • When are V-Bar chains recommended?

    V Bar Tire Chains are V-bar are helpful on hill, ice and hard packed conditions. They are not recommended on pavement since they can damage the surface it the tires begin to spin. V-BAR also called, Ice breaker, ICE BAR and REINFORCED TIRE CHAINS. The V-bar is a piece of hardened angle iron, welded to each link of the cross chain. 15/64 or 9/32 thick depending on actual tire size. Recommended for ice and off road use. Double the wear over tire chains without the V Bar.

  • Which is better 2 or 4 link spacing?

    2 link is always better. It provides for a more consistent ride by having more chain on the face of the tire. Therefore, helping to reduce the bumpy ride from being on chain – off chain. 2 link is always recommended for steering tires, since it allows more steering control.

  • Are your chains made in the USA?

    All of our chains are made in China. They are built to the USA standards set by the National Association of Chain Manufactures (NACM). When necessary, we do assemble chains in Johnstown PA but the steel is all made in China. There are many chain factories in China. But only a few produce consistent quality products. We have been dealing with this factory for over decade. Our customers such as highway departments, military, and fire departments return year after year trust us and our chain.

  • What is your return policy?

    If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return your order for a exchange or refund (Returns must be unused, in the condition you received it). With TireChain.com's 15 day return policy, there are no special catches or exceptions. All we ask is that you send the items back to us in the original condition. You can request to return your purchase for up to 15 days from the purchase date. Products must be in the condition you received them. Once your return is received and inspected by our fulfillment centers (usually within 72 hours of receipt),your refund will be processed and a credit will be automatically applied to your credit card or original method of payment within 7 days. Please note that depending on your credit card company, it may take an additional 2-10 business days after your credit is applied for it to post to your account. Return Policy: Returns must be received by tirechains.com within 15 days of delivery date. Returns for refund are subject to a 15% restocking charge. Effective January 2, 2006, UPS is charging shippers for the return of undeliverable packages, including but not limited to – refused packages and those where three attempts were unsuccessful. Any item that is refused or undeliverable, return shipping will be billed to the customer in addition to the original shipping charges. Chains must be returned in new, unused condition. Credit will be issued less actual shipping charges incurred by tirechains.com. RGA # (return goods authorization) required. No returns accepted without RGA number on outside of package. RGA # MUST BE REQUESTED VIA EMAIL – CustomerService@tirechain.com. EMAIL SUBJECT MUST INCLUDE YOUR ORDER #. Canada and International customers: Please note that due to the high cost of shipping and brokerage charges, we have some unique policies applying only to Canada and International Shipments. Any shipping delays due to UPS errors in routing, delays and weather are not refundable. Any packages refused or returned to shipper, all costs including outgoing, return and brokerage will be deducted prior to issuing credit.

  • What is your warranty?

    Limited Ninety-Day Warranty THIS WARRANTY SUPERCEDES ALL PRIOR WARRANTIES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THOSE WARRANTIES STATED ON THE INSTRUCTION SHEETS ENCLOSED WITH YOUR PRODUCT SHIPMENT. This product is warranted by tirechain.com to the original customer against defects in material and workmanship under normal operating conditions and use for a period of ninety (90) days after delivery to the original customer. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED HEREIN, TIRECHAIN.COM MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED. IF THE LAW OF YOUR STATE PROVIDES THAT AN IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, AN IMPLIED WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR ANY OTHER IMPLIED WARRANTY APPLIES TO TIRECHAIN.COM, THEN ANY SUCH IMPLIED WARRANTY IS LIMITED TO THE DURATION OF THE WRITTEN LIMITED WARRANTIES CONTAINED HEREIN. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED HEREIN, TIRECHAIN.COM SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY OR RESPONSIBILITY TO CUSTOMER OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY LIABILITY, LOSS OR DAMAGE CAUSED DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY BY USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE PRODUCT OR ARISING OUT OF ANY BREACH OF THIS WARRANTY, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ANY DAMAGES RESULTING FROM INCONVENIENCE, LOSS OF TIME, PROPERTY, REVENUE, OR PROFIT OR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, EVEN IF TIRECHAIN.COM HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES. Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts or the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. In the event of a product defect during the warranty period, the original customer must (i) report the product defect to tirechain.com in writing within the ninety-day warranty period, (ii) present evidence of the warranty start date (such as providing the sales receipt order number) at the time of the making of the warranty claim, and (iii) receive a return authorization number from tirechain.com, and (iv) return, freight prepaid, return authorization number clearly marked on the outside of the package, the defective product, along with the sales receipt as proof of purchase, to tirechain.com, 115 Haynes St, Johnstown, PA 15901, within 10 days thereafter. No returns will be accepted without a valid return authorization number marked on the outside of the package. Tirechain.com will then inspect the product to determine cause of failure. If the product is determined to be defective as warranted herein, tirechain.com will then, at tirechain.com?s option, unless otherwise provided by law: (a) correct the defect by product repair without charge for parts and labor; (b) replace the product with one of the same or similar design; or © refund the purchase price. All replaced parts and products, and products on which a refund is made, become the property of tirechain.com. New or reconditioned parts and products may be used in the performance of warranty service. Repaired or replaced parts and products are warranted for the remainder of the original warranty period. You will be charged for repair or replacement of the product made after the expiration of the warranty period. THIS WARRANTY IS MADE ONLY TO THE DEALER, RETAILER OR OTHER DIRECT ORIGINAL CUSTOMER OF TIRECHAIN.COM. TIRECHAIN.COM MAKES NO WARRANTY TO ANY OTHER USER. THIS WARRANTY IS NON-TRANSFERABLE. This warranty does not cover: (a) damage or failure caused by or attributable to abuse, accident, misuse, improper or abnormal usage, speeds over 25 mph, crash, collision, impact, failure to follow instructions, improper application, improper installation, improper fit, improper maintenance, improper adjustment, neglect, or alteration; (b) any repairs other than those provided by tirechain.com; © cosmetic damage; (d) transportation, shipping or insurance costs; or (e) costs of product removal, installation, set-up, service adjustment or reinstallation. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights that vary from state to state. Information or assistance regarding a warranty claim may be obtained by writing: South Fork Hardware Company d/b/a tirechain.com, 115 Haynes St, Johnstown, PA 15901

  • How do I change or cancel my order after it is placed?

    Order Changes or cancellation must be received within 1/2 hour of placing the order. To make changes or cancel you order, email customerservice@TireChain.Com with your order number in the subject with any changes or cancellation instructions in the body of the email.

  • Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles

    4-wheel drive does not replace the need for tire chains. In extreme conditions tire chains will dramatically enhance the four-wheel drive ability and improve stopping distances. Two sets are always recommended on 4 wheel drives, unless the vehicle owners manual recommends otherwise.

  • What is a Type S chain?

    Class "S" is a minimum clearance requirement set by some vehicle manufactures. To determine if your vehicle requires Class "S" tire chains, refer to your vehicle owners manual (usually listed under "tire chains" or “snow chains”) or contact the vehicle manufacturer directly.

  • What is a SAE Class U chain?

    SAE Class "U" - Regular (non-reinforced" and lug reinforced passenger tire chains for vehicles with regular (non-restricted) wheel clearance. In simple terms… Class U vehicles usually have enough clearance to use any chain.

  • What is SAE Class "W"?

    Class W - Those passenger tire chains that use light truck components, as well as some light truck chains. In simple terms, Class W vehicles usually have plenty of clearance to use any type of chain.

  • How fast can I drive with chains?

    30 MPH At speeds faster than 30 centrifugal force lifts the chain off the tire and causes it slap the pavement accelerating wear. For example: If the chains are as tight as possible: At 30 mph you get maximum chain life. At 40 mph… 57% of the chain life At 50 mph… 31% of the chain life. If the chains are loose: At 30 mph you get 50% of chain life. At 40 mph… 16% of the chain life At 50 mph… 7% of the chain life.

  • What is the hardness of your chain?

    Rockwell 56. Less that Rockwell 56 will prematurely wear. Harder than Rockwell 56 will be brittle.

  • I can't find my tire size on your website.