Are Snow Blower Tire Chains Worth It?

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If you have to deal with deep snow and ice, it might take more effort to move the snow blower in the direction you want. This brings up the question of whether or not snow blower tire chains are worth it. A lot of people swear by them and others might tell you they are not required. In this article we look at the situations when these tire chains are useful.

If you have an old snowblower, it almost certainly needs tire chains. Modern snow blowers only require them if there is ice. But it is better to have tire chains around than not having any when you need them.

Bottom line is even if you have a modern snow blower, it is still a good idea to have tire chains. After all you never know when heavy snow and ice might hit. There are other benefits that comes with owning some snow blower tire chains.

Gain Better Traction

The whole point of tire chains is to provide better traction. Pushing snow blowers can be difficult under heavy snow and ice. Having tire chains will make it easier.

If you are faced with deep icy snow, snow blower tire chains make a huge difference. Some might argue these chains only benefit older snow blowers, but that is not entirely true. Even a new blower will produce better traction when equipped with tire chains.

You can tell the difference once the tire chains are installed. Your snow blower is easier to move even under icy, snowy conditions. The risk of slipping and sliding also goes down.

Superior Handling

Anyone can use a snow blower in mild snow, but if it is several inches deep and ice scattered around, it is a different story. Handling and maneuvering is going to take more effort.

Under light snow, it is easy to move a snow blower. Very little is needed pushing is required and you just sort of guide it with your hands. With heavy, icy snow, it takes more out of you. There is also the risk the tires get stuck on ice.

A good set of snow blower tire chains we can recommend is 1061756 Max Trac from the Security Chain Company. With these tire chains you can focus on clearing ice and snow without worrying about the handling. If you have ever used a blower in heavy snow without tire chains, you will notice the difference right away.

Improves Performance

Snow blower tire chains make the job of clearing snow and ice easier. It can be hard to see the benefits when handling light snow., but those chains make the difference when you are dealing with deep snow and ice.

When the snow is deep and packed with ice, a snow blower will struggle to move. There is just too much material for its tires to go through. Can it pull through? Yes it might, but it is going to take a long time. Plus you will be exerting a lot of effort to make sure the snow blower is going in the right direction.

Tire chains minimize these problems. You can go through the ice without worrying about the blower tipping over or getting stuck. Because tire chains are meant for these kinds of conditions, you will get more work done in less time.

Putting tire chains on a snow blower increases productivity. It also reduces the amount of wear that goes into the snow blower, which is good for the long term.

Longer Tire Lifespan

Even if you have a good snow blower like the Ariens 938032 Path Pro, tire chains can prolong its life. The tires take less punishment from the snow and ice. Now you can go into those hard to reach spots without worrying about slippage or losing control.

Tire chains also reduce the impact snow and ice have on the snow blower. This means less maintenance work needed. When you do clean the blower, there is less to do. Since the chains did most of the work, there is less wear and tear on the machine.

How to Install Snow Blower Tire Chains

This video demonstrates how tire chains are installed on a snow blower. There are also step by step instructions provided below.

Step 1

Important: practice installing the tire chains prior to the winter season. Depending on the chains and the tires, you might have to increase the tension using bungee cords or trim a bit of the chain off. Knowing this before it snows is going to save you a lot of time and trouble.

Step 2

Set the tire chains on a flat surface with the cross chains’ curled part up. Keep in mind that the cross chains’ flat surface needs to be on the tire sidewall when you install them.

You also have to make sure that the side chains are not crossed. They have to be straight otherwise the installation will not work.

If you look at the chains you will see two types of hooks on their ends. One of the hooks is for the snow blower tire interior, and the other is away from the tires. Arrange the chains in the manner which you will install them on the tires.

Step 3

Turn the snow blower off. Use jack stands so you can work on the tires safely

Hold the inside chain and hook it into the first link on the side chain it is on. For the outer chain, you can hook it by moving the shank into the first link. Do this on the same side chain it is on. Fold the chain in on itself.

Hook this on the chain. If you notice plenty of slack, hook each side onto the succeeding links on the side chain. Repeat this for all the snow blower tires.

If the chains are very loose, the tires may not be fully inflated. It is however, normal for tire chains to be loose. If it is too loose then check the tire inflation, otherwise you are done installing.

The goal is to make sure the chains do not come off when you are using the snow blower. If the tires are properly inflated but the chains are still very loose, use bungee cords to tighten it up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are snow cables as good as snow chains?

Snow cables are meant for lighter snow. They cost less than snow tire chains and easier to put on. But they are also less durable. If you want better traction under icy snow, tire chains are the better option.

How do tire chains help snow blowers?

Tire chains make it easier for a snow blower to go through icy snow. They also have zinc plating that protects the wheels from corrosion. These chains are built for heavy duty work and provide extra traction for the tires.

When should I not use snow blower tire chains?

Do not use tire chains if there is little snow on the ground. The chains could cause damage to the tires and the ground. These chains are meant to be used on snow, not regular driving surfaces.

How much snow and ice can tire chains handle?

It depends on the snow blower. Single stage snow blowers are good for 6-12 inches of snow. Dual stage snow blowers can handle up to 24 inches. The tire chains help with mobility but mostly it depends on the snow blower power.

Do tire chains help snow blowers break down ice?

Apart from providing additional traction, tire chains also provide extra power for the snow blower. In many cases it allows them to break down ice.

Are tire chains easy to install on a snow blower?

The process is straightforward as instructions are provided with the tire chains you buy. However, you should practice installing the chains before it snows. This way you know how it works and can get it done faster when you really need the chains.