Loader Chains: Everything you Need to Know

You can use loader chains in your vehicle’s tires as a type of traction device. It will help you to avoid slippage and provide you more stability, reducing the risk of accidents or getting stuck. You can use loader chains on various vehicles, including trucks, SUVs, vans, and even certain types of heavy machinery like wheel loaders. If the loader chains are properly installed on your vehicle’s tires, it will increase the tire-to-road contact, allowing you a better acceleration, braking, and steering control on slippery surfaces you may encounter. Here, you will learn everything about loader chains and we will solve all your questions. Let ‘s start!

Loader Chains

How many loader chains should you use?

It depends on the specific application and the weight distribution of the load you have. You need to consider a few factors when deciding the number of loader chains you will use. 

Load weight: The weight of the cargo is a crucial factor. Heavier loads generally require more chains to ensure proper load securement. 

Tire Size: The size of your tires also affects the number of chains you will require. If your vehicle has larger tires, you may require more chains to ensure proper coverage and traction when operating. 

Four-Wheel Drive Vehicles: For vehicles with four-wheel drive, we advise you to use all four tires. This will provide you with balanced traction and help you maintain control of your vehicle. However, you should also check your vehicle’s manual for any specific recommendations or restrictions.

Load size and shape:  Play a role when you are determining the number of chains you need. If you have irregularly shaped or oversized loads, you may require additional chains to properly secure all sides and it prevents shifting.

Load Distribution: If the load is concentrated in a specific area, you may need additional chains to secure the load effectively.

How fast can you go with loader chains?

It depends on the road conditions you could be facing.  Loader chains for tires are mainly designed for you to use in challenging terrains, such as snow, ice, or mud. These terrains usually require reduced speeds for safe driving. It’s crucial that you adjust your driving speed according to the road conditions and be cautious to maintain a better control and in that way, you will prevent accidents.

On the other hand, factors such as visibility, traffic, and your comfort level with driving in challenging conditions should be taken into account.  We think it’s better to be very cautious and you drive at a speed that allows you to maintain control and react to any unexpected situations.

Loader chains for tires are not intended for use on dry or bare pavement. It can cause damage to your chains and the road surface. 

How can you identify the correct loader chains?

Step 1: Determine your tire size

Usually, you can find this information on the sidewall of your tires and is represented by a series of numbers and letters. The numbers indicate the tire width, aspect ratio, and rim diameter.

Step 2: Check the chain compatibility

Verify if the tire chains you are considering are compatible with your tire size. If you are an operator of heavy machinery like wheel loaders, you can check Las Zirh Usa website to input your tire size and find the suitable chain options for you.

Step 3: Consider chain type

There are different types of tire chains available, such as ladder chains, cable chains, and diamond-pattern chains. Each type can offer you different levels of traction and compatibility with your vehicle’s tire sizes and the driving conditions you may face. Important tip for you: Please consider the type of driving you’ll be doing like snow, ice, mud! And choose the chain type that best suits your needs.

Step 4: Determine chain size

Once you have identified the compatible chain type, we recommend you consult the manufacturer’s sizing guidelines to determine the appropriate chain size for your tire size.

Step 5: Consider Load Rating

it’s important you select chains that can handle the weight you will be carrying. So please, make sure the loader chains you choose have a load rating appropriate for your vehicle and the weight of your load. The load rating should be clearly indicated by the manufacturer.

Loader chains

How long loader chains last? 

There is not an specific life time of loader chains because it depends on several factors, including:

Quality of chains: If you get chains made from high-quality materials, such as hardened steel, it is better. These chains are more durable and resistant to wear and tear.

Frequency of use:  If you regularly drive on challenging terrains requiring tire chains, the chains may wear out more quickly. 

Harsh conditions like icy or rocky surfaces in mining can accelerate wear on the chains. Also, if you have an aggressive driving style or make sudden accelerations and stops it can add additional stress on the chains, potentially reducing their lifespan.

Maintenance: We advise you to remove any debris, dirt, or corrosive substances that may have accumulated on your vehicle’s chains after each use. Thoroughly dry the chains before storage to prevent rust or corrosion. Regular inspections for damage, such as broken links or excessive wear, can help you to identify any issues that may require replacement or repair.

How often should you do maintenance to loader chains?

As a general rule, we advise you to conduct visual inspection and cleaning before and after each time you use it. Also, it’s important that you know that the frequency of maintenance can change because it depends on factor such as: 

  • How often do you use loader chains?
  • What are your driving conditions? 
  • What are the loader chains manufacturer’s guidelines? 

If you provide to your loader chains regular maintenance, make repairs on time or replacements when you consider necessary, it will help you to make sure your chains remain in good condition and perform effectively when you need it.

Common mistakes when you are using loader chains?

If you are using loader chains, it’s important for you to be aware of common mistakes that can compromise their effectiveness and your safety. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid:

  • Incorrect installation 
  • Using damaged chains 
  • Overlooking tire size compatibility 
  • Failing to maintain proper tension 
  • Driving at excessive speeds 
  • Chains on for unsuitable road conditions 
  • Neglecting regular inspections and maintenance

In this quick guide we have answered some of the common questions we have when using loader chains. Here you will find an idea about it: Loader chains can give you improved traction and stability, which lower chances of accidents and getting stuck.  However, it is important to check a few factors such as tire sizes and to determine the number of chains you require. When driving it’s important to adjust your driving speed based on road conditions and refrain from using chains on dry pavement. Make sure you do frequent maintenance and avoid common mistakes when using loader chains.