Snow chains

Link-type, diamond pattern snow chains on a front-wheel drive automobile.
Snow chains at the front wheel of a grader at the Pikes Peak Highway.
Automatic tire chains are permanently mounted near the drive tires and engage by turning a switch, then move into position to fling the pieces of chain under the tires automatically. Automatic chains were invented in 1941 in the United States and Sweden in 1977.
Cable chains on a car tire, with a relatively simple and easy-to-secure design; this is a ladder-type design
Cable chains on a bus tire
chain for motorcycle
Traction chains on a wheel loader

Snow chains, or tire chains, are devices fitted to the tires of vehicles to provide maximum traction when driving through snow and ice.

- Snow chains

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Traction (engineering)

Force used to generate motion between a body and a tangential surface, through the use of dry friction, though the use of shear force of the surface is also commonly used.

Diagram of the longitudinal coefficient of adhesion (fx) in function of the speed and the weather conditions for the asphalt: 
A) dry asphalt 
B) Asphalt drainage in wet conditions 
C) Asphalt in wet conditions 
D) Snow 
E) Ice
Change cross tack (Fy) average during the seasons (represented numerically from 1 to 12) and with different road surfaces. 
A) Hot Rolled Asphalt 
B) Gravel 
C) Quartzite 
D) Conglomerate cement 
E) mastic asphalt 
F) Gravel sedimentary (unbound)

For low-friction surfaces, such as off-road or ice, traction can be increased by using traction devices that partially penetrate the surface; these devices use the shear strength of the underlying surface rather than relying solely on dry friction (e.g., aggressive off-road tread or snow chains)....


Two distinct chains can be connected using a quick link, carabiner, shackle, or clevis.

A common metal short-link chain
Roller chains
Links of the American Revolutionary War-era Hudson River Chain as a memorial at West Point
Ball chain pull switch for a ceiling light
Chains on a disc golf basket
Silent chain
Rope chain
Twisted link chain
Wheat chain
Single jack chain
Double jack chain
Stud link chain
Ladder link chain
Foxtail chain
Singapore chain
Rolo chain
Bike Chain

Snow chains, used to improve traction in snow

Snow tire

Snow tires, also known as winter tires, are tires designed for use on snow and ice.

Winter tire, showing tread pattern designed to compact snow in the gaps.
Snow tire with metal studs, which improve traction on icy surfaces.
Tire showing the ASTM 3PMSF (Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake) symbol, denoting a qualifying snow tire, and a separate snow flake symbol, that recommends tire replacement with 4 mm of tread remaining
A Czech road sign Winter equipment, which mandates the use of snow tires
Russian studded tires warning sticker.
Vehicle in cold, dry, powder snow, which offers comparatively better traction than moist snow.
Vehicles in warm, moist, granular snow encounter decreased roadway traction.
Compaction of snow under an advancing snow tire, causing rolling resistance while passing through about {{convert|10|cm|in|sigfig=1}} of snow.
Compaction in about {{convert|5|cm|in|sigfig=1}} of snow left behind a snow tire, showing tread-snow interaction.

All prefectures of Japan, except for the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa, require the motorized vehicles to be fitted with winter tires or tire chains if the road is icy or slushy.

Snow socks

Snow sock

Snow socks (also known as auto socks) are textile alternatives to snow chains.

Feldberg Pass

The Feldberg Pass (el.

Plaque and Reichsadler commemorating the building of the highway depot in 1938/39

In snow conditions, lorries are required to fit snow chains.

Royal Hill

Mount at the Nagano prefecture, Japan.

View of Royal Hill from Kurumayama at November, 2006

The car access to Royal Hill does not require the four-wheel drive, but at heavy snow, the snow chains may help a lot.

Snoqualmie Pass

Mountain pass that carries Interstate 90 through the Cascade Range in the U.S. state of Washington.

Ben Evans, Director of Playfields of the Seattle Parks Department, skiing at Snoqualmie Pass, 1935. For five years in the 1930s, the department operated a ski park at the Pass, about 54 mi from the city.
Variable speed limit sign along I-90
Snowshed constructed 1950, removed in 2014.
Snoqualmie Pass landmarks

Depending on traction they may call for tire chains to be installed, usually on large trucks but occasionally on smaller vehicles as well.

Mandatory sign

[[File:Mandatory signs around the world.svg|thumb|right|450px|

A "pass on the left" sign embedded into an illuminated plastic bollard in the United Kingdom.

Other signs of the type include "attach snow chains" and "remove snow chains" seen at the entry and exit points of mountainous areas, and "compulsory direction for vehicles carrying dangerous loads", used to divert vehicles carrying explosives or poisonous chemicals away from areas with open flames such as oil refineries.

Nagano Expressway

4-laned national expressway in Nagano Prefecture, Japan.

Nagano Expressway

IC - interchange, SIC - smart interchange, JCT - junction, SA - service area, PA - parking area, BS - bus stop, CB - snow chains, TN - tunnel, BR - bridge

Jōshin-etsu Expressway

National expressway in Japan.

Expressway in Ueda, Nagano

IC - interchange, SIC - smart interchange, JCT - junction, SA - service area, PA - parking area, BS - bus stop, CB - snow chains, TN - tunnel, BR - bridge