Tire chains must be properly installed to be effective. Winter and mountain driving can be difficult when the roadway is covered in ice and snow. Ice and snow reduce traction, which is the amount of contact the tires maintain with the road surface. Tire chains are designed to fit around the tire and provide additional traction during adverse driving conditions. Improperly installed tire chains can damage your vehicle or be thrown from your vehicle and become a road hazard.
Lay the chains on the ground and inspect them for broken, twisted or missing links. Inspect the cams to ensure they are not twisted. Lay the chains so the sharp ends of the cross chain hooks are facing upward. This will reduce the chance of damaging the tire sidewalls.
Drape the chains over the tire and spread them across the tread. If you are installing a set of doubles (chains designed to cover a pair of wheels in tandem) lay them on the ground and fold them in half, pulling the side nearest the truck over and across toward you. This will make draping the chains over the tire easier and allow you to unfold the top chain onto the inside wheel with less difficulty.
Pull the vehicle forward about 2 feet or until the leading end of the chain has passed completely under the tire.
Fasten the hook on the inside wall of the tire to the opposite end of the chain.
Pull the chain toward you and remove any extra slack.
Fasten the S cam-style hook on the outside wall of the tire to the opposite end of the chain.
Use the T-shaped cam tool to tighten the cams on the outside wall of the tire. A cam is a flat, half moon-shaped metal plate with a slot cut into it. The T-cam tool is used by inserting the square end into the square opening in the cam and twisting. The cam should lock into place.
Fasten a rubber tarp cord or chain-style tensioner across the width of the tire. The hooks on the cord should be facing away from the sidewall of the tire to avoid damaging it. Two cords can be used to better secure the chains in place. Five-pointed, web-style cords are also available.
Drive about a quarter mile, then recheck and re-tighten the chains. Check the chains about every 10 to 15 miles thereafter and listen for any unusual noises that might indicate a problem.