Putting on and taking off snow chains has always been an annoying, time consuming hassle for truckers -- especially here in the Midwest when it can be snowing and blizzarding one hour and sunny the next! Putting on chains is a cold, slushy, muddy job, but there are a few alternatives you might consider!
You might have seen these mentioned in one of our previous blogs, but we can't stop talking about them because of how great they are! Autosock is a textile tire cover, and they're a great option for increasing your traction and grip on icy and snowy roads. The slim-fit and smooth design is a heck of a lot quieter than snow chains, they're easy to put on and take off, and they're even more effective than snow tires in some conditions. This is because the tough-as-nails fabric covers the full tread of the tire.
We offer AutoSocks to our K&J company drivers, and our owner operators can get them at a reduced rate. We even had one of our drivers make a video showing just how easy it is to install AutoSocks. We can't get over how easy these are to use! They store in small, flat packages that you can easily store away when not needed; and they perform well on the road!
2. Flex-Trax SnoClaws
SnoClaws by Flex-Trax are made of urethane rubber that wraps around your tire with plastic ratchet straps. One of their perks is that you can install them without moving your rig! Like AutoSocks they are much lighter than snow chains, and they're generally easier to put on the wheel and take off, saving you time and energy.
But how do they perform? Well, if their website is to be believed, they are a trucker favorite! The inventor of SnoClaws says the biggest difference stems from the fact that they cover 50-60% more of the tire than chains or cables, allowing greater surface area for traction. These come with a 3 year warranty and you can request replacement parts for free during that time. Truckers in forums are reportedly getting 6-8 years out of these, primarily because there are no metal parts to rust.
This is more in the "emergency use" category. If you're stuck in the snow, ice, or slippery mud and need to get out quickly, TruckClaws are a great resource to have on your truck. The TruckClaw is a metal cleat with a reinforced strap and heavy-duty ratchet that you can put around tires when you need to get out of a tight place. Thankfully each claw only takes about a minute to install so it is easy to put a few on and get out of a tight place. You can even install these over the top of other traction devices for a bit of extra help in an emergency.
While they won't completely replace snow chains, TruckClaws are great to have around if you only use your chains to get out of tough spots, rather than for everyday winter driving. They are very affordable and last a long time with proper use.
Driving in the winter can be a hassle, but it is always better if you are prepared and know your options. No matter what option you choose for your rig, remember to read all the instructions and product information carefully so that you can maximize your product's life. Stay safe out there!
If you're looking for a trucking job, you might just be the person we've always waited for! Contact us today and get the process started. We have openings in the following areas: Sioux Falls, SD; Guymon, OK; and Kearney, NE.