By Gene L. Gillespie
Since I find both the installation and removal of tire
chains a pain, I devised a quickie set of grippers that I
can install or remove in less than a minute as winter
driving conditions change, and which are small enough to
fit in an ammunitions box in my trunk or on the floorboard.
However, I want to caution readers that, although traction
is good with my homemade versions, they don't have all the
gripping power of a regular set of snow chains and,
therefore, don't have as much braking power. This
should be considered if you expect to encounter steep
grades. For normal terrain, however, my quickies will get
you there and back reliably.
To make them, weld eight 3/8" single chain links—at
equal distances from one another—on the inside and
outside of a couple of spare tire rims ...after grinding
away all the paint in the areas where the links are to be
attached. Take care not to inhale the fumes while welding,
because the cadmium plating of the galvanized chain is
highly toxic. Then, when you're finished, chip the slag,
and prime and paint the rims as you see fit.
Next, install a good set of snow tires, have them balanced,
cut lengths of 1/4" chain, install snap links to connect
them to the rims, and you're ready to face Old Man Winter's
variable moods. To extend the life of your chains, drop the
tire pressure a few pounds to reduce the slapping of the
metal on pavement.