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Tire Chains - Front or Rear?

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Old 12-10-2018, 03:19 PM
Dockmaster1
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Tire Chains - Front or Rear?

Looking for some real world experience and input on whether to put tire chains on the front or rear when chains are required or necessary? I realize having two sets and putting them on both axles is the ultimate way to go but not very practical to buy and carry two sets, let alone the added time to put them on and take back off. I've read a bunch of info so looking for what others have actually found when using chains.
With chains on the front you supposedly get drive traction, steering traction and help with braking since most braking is done on the front axle. However, you apparently run the risk of the back end of the truck coming around on sharp turns or heavy downhill braking.
With chains on the rear you get drive traction and lower risk of unexpectedly driving backward but sacrifice steering and braking on the front.
So how many of you have used only one set of chains? Did you install on front or rear? And what were your results?
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:25 PM
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Chains go on the drive axle. Think about it.
 
  #3  
Old 12-10-2018, 03:27 PM
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Rear or both unless front wheel drive. Then front.

I think you will find exactly zero front axle only users when talking about an 4x4.

Drive axle, and if you have trailer brakes, on the trailer too. You may or may not always be in 4 wheel drive in snow conditions.

http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/docs/ChainRequire.pdf
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:30 PM
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I've never seen chains on the front.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:31 PM
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Call me zero but on 4x4 we've (many of my Montana buddies) always chained the FRONT first, for 50 years. Pulls better than pushes, improves steering in deep snow.
O-oh, disagreeing with a Moderator..
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:35 PM
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In 4x4 mode both axles are drive axles thus the question which axle to put them on. Thanks!
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:38 PM
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Thanks. I've seem them on the front (only) many times. I've ran mine on front or back but only for very short distances.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Dockmaster1 View Post
In 4x4 mode both axles are drive axles thus the question which axle to put them on. Thanks!
Check with your local ranchers... ya know, the guys with the skinny tires..
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:00 PM
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On a pick up wouldn't it make more sense to have them on the front? Especially the PSD's with all their heavy weight on that front axle? Of course assuming you would have 4x4 engaged.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:03 PM
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The benefits of putting them on the front are valid but you'll be glad you put them on the rear if your front dif goes up or the ESOF vacuum system fails.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ExtremeDuty View Post
O-oh, disagreeing with a Moderator..
I was wise-cracking with a smile with this comment..
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:09 PM
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That's ok. I can see the value in deep snow. But have not seen it done, especially since I am 40 years removed from snow. (Other than that afternoon on the Grapevine a few years ago....)

Well, I am at my quota of wrong answers for the day so I shall slink off for now.

Good luck with snow driving, chains or not.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:13 PM
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I’ve always used chains on 4 corners. I guarantee she pulls better than she pushes but I wouldn’t chain just the front.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by CBEllis View Post
I’ve always used chains on 4 corners. I guarantee she pulls better than she pushes but I wouldn’t chain just the front.
Agreed, all 4 is best and nearly unstoppable, often eliminates the need for a winch, provided the driver is smart enough to get turned around before burying with chains, at which time he'd better have the maximum winch, great tie-off points, and another rig with winch to get outta there. I've had guys tell me that with the right tires (they're usually talking big, oversize tires.. lol) you don't need chains. Bring 'em on. I'm a skinny w/chains kinda old school guy. No intention of ever chaining up the new Ford tho', I have other toys for that.
Time for a poll? Hahaa. I'm not trying to be argumentive, just sharing experience. Run whatcha brung.
 
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Old 12-10-2018, 04:44 PM
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I've always found the front to work best, at least for short hauls to get out of trouble and only have one pair. Once, had to chain all 4 and drive about 1/4 mile plowing snow. Then, unchain the rears and walk them back to my Dad who had no chains. Put them on the front of his rig (pulling a popup camper) and drove up to mine. Repeat this for about 2 miles.
I have found that front clearances might prohibit using good chains up front on "modern" vehicles.
To this day, if I need chains they go on the front first.
 

Last edited by dsandfort; 12-10-2018 at 04:48 PM. Reason: added info

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