How do I install tire chains?
All Lawn and Garden Equipment
Safety is always a #1 priority, please follow the steps listed below:
o Work on a level surface
o Ensure your equipment is secure, use blocks if needed
o If possible, install your tire chains in a warm place
Removing the tires or wheel assemblies is optional. It can increase the chance of losing parts (such as axle keys and e-clips), but may make it easier to install the chains properly. You can also lift the rear of the tractor to make installation easier.
Chains get tangled in the box. Remove the chains from the box and untangle the chains from each other and themselves
Lay the chains out on the floor. Take a moment to identify all the parts of the tire chain. Notice that they have a regular hook on one side and a lever fastener on the other side. The regular hook goes on the inside, closest to the transmission. The lever fastener goes on the outside.
Steps to install:
There is also a "right side up". The opening in the hooks for the cross links always faces away from the rubber tire.
1. Drape chain over the tire. Make sure the open side of the hooks for the cross links is away from the rubber tire. The regular hook should be on the inside. The lever fastener should be on the outside.
2. Try to center the chain on the tread of the tire as close as possible. Make sure the cross chains are straight across the face of the tire tread.
3. Hook the regular hook on the inside to a link on the other side of the chain. Use the tightest link possible without moving the chain from its centered position on the tread.
4. On the outside of the tire, hook the lever fastener through an open link on the free end of the rim chain. Make sure the extra links do not interfere with the lever.
5. Next, fold the lever fastener back 180 degrees. If the lever won't fold back all the way, try one link longer. If the lever folds easily, try one link shorter.
6. Hook the end through a link on the rim chain.
7. Check the chain tension. When the tension is correct, it will be difficult to fit a finger between the tire and any of the chain links. If the chains are not tight, release the lever fastener and move the regular hook on the inside one link shorter, then use install the lever fastener in a position one link shorter. If it is difficult to reach the shorter links, check for cross links that may be caught in the tire treads. Reposition the cross links so they are all as parallel to each other as possible, then try to hook the next shortest links. It may take several tries to get the correct tension on the chains.
8. Reinstall wheel and tire assemblies or let the tractor down, if necessary.
9. Test drive chains by driving the tractor about 40 feet. Recheck chain tension. Tighten if loose. The chains must be snug against the tires. If left too loose, they will fall off during operation.
10. Use wire or a nylon zip tie to secure any excess rim links. This will prevent damage to the tractor fender or transmission case. Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I really need chains? A:
Probably. Most tractors with turf tires do not have enough traction to operate in slippery conditions. The only exception is Heavy Duty All Tires (HDAP) used on some larger Lawn & Garden tractors which perform well without tire chains on slick surfaces. Tire chains and additional ballast (either wheel weights or frame weights, depending on the model) are necessary for snow removal attachments.
Can I deflate the tires to make chain installation easier? A:
Yes, but it is normally not necessary. Deflating the tires adds another step to the process and only helps marginally. Also, it is easy to accidentally break the seal on the bead of the tire when the tires are deflated, making re-inflation without special equipment difficult.
What is the white powder that's all over my new chains? A:
Some chains are coated with a rust preventative talc to absorb moisture during storage and shipping.
My tire chains fall off when I'm driving. What's wrong? A:
The chains were probably not tight enough. If they went on easily, they weren't really tight. It should take some effort to fasten the lever fastener to the rim chain link. When installed correctly, it will be difficult to slip a finger between the tire and any of the chain links.
Will using tire chains wear the black seal coat on my asphalt drive way? A:
Yes. Asphalt seal coat is a thin coating on the surface of the pavement. Metal tire chains will wear this surface off much faster than rubber tires. If you need more information on compatibility of tire chains and your driveway surface, contact your pavement installer.
Will using tire chains damage brick pavers or concrete driveways? A:
Yes, but the color in most brick pavers goes all the way through the brick, so scratches in the surface caused by tire chains usually don't show very much. Surface scratches in concrete are usually minor and do not show. If you need more information on compatibility of tire chains and your driveway surface, contact your pavement installer.
I have a hill in my yard that I can't get up when I'm mowing because the tires spin. Is it okay to use tire chains to get more traction? A:
No. If you are having any trouble climbing a hill with out tire chains, then the hill is too steep to safely operate your tractor.
My tire chains are rusting. Is there something wrong with them? A:
No, the chains are plated so they will resist rust. However, the plating will scratch off from contact with the pavement. Chains are also frequently exposed to water or salt. These conditions will cause light surface rust. This is normal and it will take many years for the rust to weaken the chains.
Why are the chains so long? The dealer insists he gave me the right chains for my tractor, but they are way too long. A:
Chains are sized according to the tires size that they are intended to fit. Different tire manufacturers and different tire designs will have different tread profiles even though the listed size of the tire is the same. The chains are made to fit all tread designs for a particular tire size. This means that the chains may seem too big or too long for some tires of a particular size and about the right size for other tires of the same size.
Can I install tire chains on the front tires? A:
Generally, tire chains are recommended for use on the rear traction tires only. If you have 2 Wheel Drive, tire chains will not improve traction on the front tires. Tire chains on the front tires of Mechanical Front Wheel Drive (MFWD) or All-Wheel Drive tractors may have interference with steering components which may cause chains to damage the front differential. Changing the tires to Heavy Duty All Purpose tires is a better option for tractors with front wheel drive.