SNOW CHAINS

Alpine News - - News -

There can be is­sues when di­a­mond pat­tern snow chains are used on very wide high per­for­mance 2WD or AWD "sum­mer" tyres. On sum­mer tyres snow chains will grip to the snow/ice sur­face of the road but the tyre can slip or spin within the chain even when they are cor­rectly fit­ted to the tyre. The prob­lem is com­pounded by the cam­ber of the road, the weight and torque of the ve­hi­cle and the amount of tread on the tyre. The prob­lem is worse when the ve­hi­cle has been parked at the re­sort be­cause of the low am­bi­ent tem­per­a­ture makes the tyres harder and there­fore has even less grip to the chain. This will help you un­der­stand why 'spider chains' and lad­der chains have now been banned for use at Mount Hotham

Snow chains fit­ted to sum­mer tyres on the front wheels will in­crease trac­tion for take off and driv­ing but can not as­sist with lat­eral sta­bil­ity.

Be­cause of the in­ad­e­quate grip on the rear tyres the ve­hi­cle will over­steer and un­der brak­ing the ABS sys­tem will be ac­ti­vated, fur­ther in­creas­ing the stop­ping dis­tance. The prob­lems are al­ways worse when driv­ing down hill than up hill.

Snow chains fit­ted to sum­mer tyres on the rear wheels will in­crease trac­tion for take off and driv­ing but can not as­sist with steer­ing or lat­eral sta­bil­ity. Be­cause of in­ad­e­quate grip on the front tyres the ve­hi­cle will not 'turn in', it will un­der­steer and un­der brak­ing the ABS sys­tem will be ac­ti­vated, fur­ther in­creas­ing the stop­ping dis­tance. Again the prob­lems are al­ways worse when driv­ing down hill than up hill.

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