When it comes to winter trucking tips, knowing how to chain up your big rig is essential. Chains can help you keep you and your truck safe and unstuck. Plus, certain areas require chains during the colder months regardless of whether you think you can drive safely without them. Additionally, specific weather conditions could also make them a necessity, even if they aren’t mandated locally. 

Chaining up a big rig can be a bit tricky. If you want to make sure you get it right, here’s what you need to know. 

How to Chain up a Big Rig

When it comes time to chain up your truck, start laying them flat on the ground and giving them a once over. That way, you can make sure they are in good repair before you begin. 

Next, drape the chains over each wheel, having just an inch or two dangling over the front, and the rest tucked behind the back, making sure the cross-chain clips are facing outward. Spread the chains out over the tire surface evenly, centering them on the tread as much as possible and working the chains into the groves. 

Once that’s done, you’ll need to move your truck forward slowly. You want to get the chain end at the front to rotate down and around until it’s crossed underneath and is positioned toward the back. That way, you adjust the centering and connect the ends, creating the complete circle. 

Then, reach in and hook the inside tire chain clip before tackling any others. In some cases, you might need a fifth wheel hook for this part, just to make it easier. After that, tighten the cams to fasten the chain into place. 

Bolster up the security of the chain with some bungee cords, keeping the hooks facing out. That way, the chains remain tight, and you don’t risk any unnecessary damage to the tire surface. 

Once that’s complete, your chains should be in place. Get into your truck and move about 50 feet (either in a straight line or by going back and forth), working the chains into the treads. Finally, give them one more look before hitting the road, ensuring everything is good to go. 

Bonus Truck Chaining Tips

One of the most important truck chaining tips is to inspect your chains well before you need them. You don’t want to be out on the road only to discover your chains aren’t in good shape right when you need to use them. 

Additionally, doing a test fit before winter weather strikes is a smart decision. It lets you ensure you have the right chains for the job, giving you a chance to replace them if that isn’t the case. 

Finally, if you have your chains on and are having issues with slack, zip ties could be the answer. Use zip ties to connect adjacent links, allowing you to bring them together to reduce the slack. 

If you’re looking for more winter trucking tips, check out our other winter safety blogs.  If you’re looking for a better CDL position, contact us to speak with one of our knowledgeable team members today. 


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