Thread: Automatic Tire chains
05-31-2011, 10:12 PM #26
.......we don't need no stinking chains.........."Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."
06-01-2011, 08:50 AM #27
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Erie, PA/ Home of Lake Effect Snow
06-01-2011, 01:19 PM #28
We have On-Spot chains on our engine and tanker. We also have hard chains for both. When we purchased the engine, we bought a set of chains for it. We later retro-fit the unit with On-Spot chains. When we bough thte tanker, we ordered it with the On-Spot chains and got a set of hard chains.
Our SOP's for the use of the On-Spots follow manufacturer's recommendations (5-15 mph and do not put down unless you are moving) and we also allow for the hard chains. Our SOP's state that if the hard chains are on, you do not use the On-Spot as our rep told us that they may get tangled and ripped off.
Even with the winters as bad as they have been lately, we haven't had the hard chains on in 2 years for the engine and never on the tanker. There have been, however, at least 2 incidents that I remember where the hard chains got us to where On-Spots couldn't have. One was a little off road to get to a pond, and another was a steep driveway covered in ice. I also remember driving the old engine once where I had to back into a driveway and have the hard chains brought to me because the Insta-Chains on the old engine wouldn't give enough traction.
06-01-2011, 11:00 PM #29
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
The automatic ice chains are to be used in ice conditions or packed snow. Deep snow could be a problem if snow builds up between the chain wheel and the tire.
I've found that (and I know for a fact) the Insta-Chain works in reverse. Insta-Chain uses a square chain link which allows it to work the same in either direction. You can replace individual chain links if needed. Other manufactures you have to change the entire chain wheel.
OnSpot is a good product also and very dependable. But there is a reason they have a left and right chain (colored red and blue). OnSpot has a twisted chain? Thus, allowing it to work better in forward, but not so good in reverse.
I believe if you took a bit from each of the automatic tire chain manufactures you could put together a pretty good product? The dependability of OnSpot, the square chain links of Insta-Chain and the multiple chain links from Rudd.
06-02-2011, 12:02 AM #30
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Pa Wilds
We run 3 diffeerent systems depending upon winter conditions. Tanker normally is not chained until the overnight temps get below zero with significant snow & ice on rural roads. Then dual chains are applied (never singles) to allow for travel on the empty leg after water has been slopped on the roadway. The reserve engine gets a set of singles and gets moved to second due out of the main station. Attack engine is 4 wheel drive with lock-up differential on rear. Both remaining engines have insta-chains for use when we have ice storms. Rescue is also 4 wheel drive with locking differential. No chains of any type on the aerial. We have been stuck but usually after everything is over and the water is freezing in a driveway or remote location. Automatics are the pits when stuck because the torque gets applied as soon as the transmission is shifted. Sometimes you can get things moving by hitting drive for 1/2 second and then back to nutral and repeat until you start to roll. I much prefer standard transmissions in winter conditions.
06-02-2011, 11:55 AM #31
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
Our dept. is about 50/50 Insta-Chain and OnSpot. We first retro-fitted all front line apparatus with chains about 12-15 years ago, and liked them enough to equip all our apparatus with them a year later. Now they are written into specs of all apparatus.
Like anything, they require a little PM. We do ours in October in preparation for winter use. If you change tires, it's important to check the chain wheel contact for proper operation.
The thing that finally pushed us to go with auto chains was the failure of a conventional chain set that beat up a fender well and fender crown on a brand new pumper.
If you are trying to decide between 4WD and chains, consider your location, terrain, and snowfall. 4WD will have a higher cost of operation: fuel use, increased maintenance and repair costs. And your "vertically challenged" firefighters will ask for a step ladder to get equipment on/off the truck.
All newer apparatus with Allison automatic transmission should be programmed to disengage tire chains at speeds of 35 mph; no explanation needed.
Last edited by Command6; 06-02-2011 at 12:06 PM.
06-02-2011, 12:07 PM #32
Years back we had chains to put on when road conditions warranted it. They were a pain in the butt, but worked.
We ordered an engine in 95 and had On-Spots included with it. Was real nice not having to put the chains on and they worked well.
Last engine we ordered, just in 2010, we did not get the On-Spots. We have only used them about 5 times in all the years so we didn't see the need for it.
I still believe the On-Spots are a great system, just didn't have the need for it here."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
06-02-2011, 08:28 PM #33
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
- Woodbridge Twp , New Jersey
06-03-2011, 09:46 AM #34
Day after the storm we ran a F.A.S.T. call to Brick, had no issues getting there, getting to cover a call for them while they were busy, and getting back. At 32", OnSpots won't help. That was another storm that showed chains just weren't needed, we were able to get everywhere we needed with no slipping issues.
by the way....that storm sucked."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
06-03-2011, 11:38 PM #35
- Join Date
- Apr 2009
My dept has On Spot Brand chains on our Engine, Ladder, Heavy Rescue and 2,000 gal Tender/Tanker. They have proven to be very effective. We learned to remove the chains in the spring due to they will wear as they sometimes would drag.
06-06-2011, 03:57 PM #36
We have On Spots on our engine and tanker. They work great with all the snow in NEPA. The only "problem" we have ever had with them in salt build up which is easily cleaned out and regreased.
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