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Options for Winter Driving in Mountains

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by sandpiper97, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. steved

    steved Former Member



    If you read the fine print, I will bet you find that only applies to commercial vehicles...I drove all over Oregon in the winter, and never once was stopped for, let alone asked, if I had tire chains. Besides the portion you quote: "on any single drive axle vehicle" means a 2wd, not a 4wd. I was also all over the Rocky's with nothing more than either a set of Revo II ATs or a set studded Cooper M&S, I never found a single place I wasn't comfortable going.

    OP, I would look at a true set of winter tires, with the severe weather rating symbol (the snowflake and mountain)...if you're out on winter roads, the highway patrol WILL look for that if you are stopped...they asked me about this little symbol, but not about tire chains. The Cooper Discoverer M&S is a true studdable snow tire that works very good (I had a set of these in the 265 flavor)...they can be had in Load Range E. When studded, they are a formidable tire on winter roads. If you are looking for something to run year round, I would take a set of Bridgestone Revo IIs over a set of BFG A/Ts (based on my experience for both).

    Here is a link for the (wrong size) Cooper M&S: http://www.bigotires.com/Tire-Detail/COOPER/DISCOVERER-M&S/13123
  2. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    They are actually legal and may be used under certain conditions. The law is here: http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/statutes/statutelookup.pl?statute=20-122
  3. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

  4. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Most people only use chains on the drive wheels for traction. I suppose you could put them on all 4. Have you ever driven a vehicle with chains? If not, there are things that you need to know BEFORE buying ANYTHING...

    First, Once you install chains, your wheel is no longer anywhere NEAR balanced - you cannot drive the vehicle at highway speeds with chains. The max safe speed is about 30mph, so this isn't something you can put on when there is a chill in the air and take off when you see new grass starting to grow.

    Second, Chains do not last long. They will wear out really quickly and will become projectiles if left on too long. Driving over dry pavement kills them fast! Having a chain break will absolutely rip your fenders apart before flying off to destroy someone else's windshield. Bear in mind that YOU are responsible for any damages that are done by your chains. Most insurance companies will NOT cover damages to your vehicle or others by use of chains. Make sure you are covered!

    I lived in the NC mountains for several years. You really don't NEED chains to get around. In some cases, a 4x4 is a must, but most of the time a 2 wheel drive is fine. If the weather is too treacherous for a 2 wheel drive, you might consider staying home! Chains are a pain in the ASS!

    You MIGHT get some benefit by using chains in the ice. Whatever gains you see, it won't be much.

    Just be careful regardless of what you decide to do.
  5. RayVoy

    RayVoy Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Well said.
  6. Pikey

    Pikey Active Member Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I am going to have to agree with rayvoy on this one.
  7. steved

    steved Former Member


    This depends on the chain...a set of "V" groove chains are pretty impressive on ice. I've driven 4wd pickups with "V" type chains out plowing, on solid ice its pretty much normal driving, but they eat up asphalt driveways.

    I rarely see anyone around here with chains, most people have 4wd/AWD vehicles, install snow tires, or both (I'm the latter).
  8. sandpiper97

    sandpiper97 New Member

    Just an update on my winter driving issue. I drove over Mount Hood (Highway 26) on Dec. 20th. Hard packed snow for about 20 miles. 4-wheel drive handled it nicely. Signs indicated chains or traction tires were required. I did buy a set of chains just to carry in the toolbox and meet the carry chains requirement by ODOT. Otherwise I understand they can turn you around if you otherwise get stopped for another matter. So will go with this and only use the chains if absolutely necessary. Happy New Year everyone and thanks for all the good replies.
  9. giorge

    giorge Rockstar 100 Posts

    I used to live in Oregon, I carried chains and never used them and never had Odot question me even going over Hood to Bend or from LaGrande to Pendleton. My tires had the little mountain symbols on the sides of the tires so that they were Odot approved. They don't have to have studs to be approved. If you get stuck is when you will get in trouble and then it is a hefty fine.
  10. buckmeister2

    buckmeister2 Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    God help you if you try using a set of cables in place of chains in real ice and snow, over any normal road. Have you never noticed how many cable sets are strewn on the highway after a major snowfall??? they are crap, meant for absolute minimum use.

    GM is protecting themselves from litigation by not recommending chains. Chains will damage any vehicle if they are improperly installed, or if they break (very uncommon). Living 12 years at Lake Tahoe, and driving over the passes every week for the entire time I was there, never once was I required to install chains (operated various 4x4 pickups). However, I was often required to show that I had them. If I had not had them, I would not have been allowed over the pass. Carry the chains, use them if needed, practice installing and removing them several times before first time of potential use. Be sure your rubber snubbers are in good condition, and do not be stupid and use light-duty shock cords, like I see a lot of idiots doing. Good luck. Oh...as for spider spikes...they work well for one season on a light vehicle (3000 pounds), and if going short trips on smooth roads. Don't even think of using them on a heavier vehicle to cross over long passes that may have ruts, potholes, etc.

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