If you are driving a big rig loaded with hazardous goods and the weather turns bad, you should know how to chain up. Chaining up allows you to drive safely over snowy and icy conditions, enabling you and your dangerous load to reach your destination safely.
Here's a guide on how to chain up your big rig.
Before you start
It's important to note that you must never drive on a road that is clear of snow with your chains still on. Chains are specifically designed to run on snow, and they will snap and fly off if you use them on a hard road surface. Once you're clear of the snow, stop and remove the chains before proceeding.
When you have your tyre chains on, you must not exceed 40 kph. The chains are intended to keep you mobile when the going gets rough, so take it slowly until your road is clear and you can take the chains off.
- Put the chains flat on the ground with the adjustment cams facing outwards on the outer edge of the tyre where you can access them easily.
- Drape the chains over the tyre starting on the side furthest away from you. Make sure that the securing clips on the chain are facing outwards so that they don't rub the inside wall of the tyre. You may find it easier to fit the chains if you roll your rig forward a little so that you can reach all the clips.
- Now reach in behind the duals and hook the inside clip of the tyre chain into position. You can use the fifth wheel hook for this job. Move the mud-flap out of your way, reach in with the hook, pull the chain forward, and then clip the inside clip to the chain. The clip should now be fastened to the outside of the dual.
- Tighten the cams on the front face of the tyre, using an adjusting spanner. Insert the spanner into the cam, and then turn it to increase the tension. Be sure to tighten up every cam so that the chain fits snugly on the tyre.
When you are asked to haul a dangerous load in snowy conditions, it pays to know how to fit tyre chains. Although having to use tyre chains should hopefully be a rare occurrence, you may find it useful to practice fitting them from time to time so that you don't forget how. Consider enrolling in a dangerous goods transportation course for more help.