In this short article, we will find out together how to install snow chains safely and quickly, making your winter travel a smooth experience. To tackle icy roads and to venture into the mountains, it is essential to equip yourself with the right equipment.
Whether you are an expert on snow or not, Snowit will guide you to tackle the roads safely.
When to install snow chains
Understanding when is the right time to install snow chains is critical, before knowing how to do it.
On specific roads in mid-October, you must have chains on board according to the Highway Code. You have one month, until Nov. 15, to equip yourself.
This rule also extends to highways starting November 15 each year. However, as of April 15 of the following year, the requirement for chains ceases, and summer tires become mandatory. Make sure you are ready to tackle winter roads!
What the law says: obligations and penalties
The Highway Code offers drivers a choice between winter tires and anti-skid equipment suitable for driving on snow and ice (including snow socks), subject to specific approval standards.
For vehicles up to 3.5 tons, approved snow chains must carry the “UNI 11313” symbol. It is essential that this logo is visible on the product to enable law enforcement agencies to verify compliance during inspections.
The obligation to use snow chains does not apply to all roads and highways, but only on stretches marked by appropriate signs. In addition, motorists must have snow chains or winter tires on board, as required by Article 6 of the Highway Code. Check online whether the obligation is in effect on the planned route is always recommended.
Penalties for not having snow chains on board can be severe, with fines ranging from a minimum of €41 to a maximum of €168 if stopped in a built-up area with an obligation. Outside built-up areas, the penalty can range from a minimum of 84 to a maximum of 335 €, as stipulated in Articles 7 and 14 of the Highway Code.
The types of snow chains and where to buy them
There are different types of snow chains that make travel safer and trouble-free:
- Manually tensioned chains: after installing them, it is necessary to make a stop after a few meters to tighten them further.
- Self-tensioning chains: a more convenient choice that eliminates the need to stop twice. Install them and you’re ready to go again without further interruption.
- Spider chains: ideal for those with large rims, they attach to the outside of the wheel, avoiding interference with car elements.
To find out which type of snow chains is right for you, technicians have conducted extensive tests evaluating ergonomics, safety and durability. Choosing the best chains thus becomes an informed decision based on real performance, especially if you intend to traverse mountain roads in difficult conditions.
If you need to buy them, snow chains are available not only at auto parts stores, but also in hypermarkets or online. Finding the perfect solution for dealing with snow has never been more affordable and practical!
How to install snow chains
Snow chains should be attached to the drive wheels, and once used, it is essential to clean them thoroughly to remove any salt residue.
To ease installation in cold or freezing weather, the use of gloves or a cloth is recommended.
Here are the basic steps for mounting snow chains easily, safely and quickly:
- Stop the car on a flat surface with the wheels aligned with the body;
- Stretch the snow chains, making sure to unravel the links, which often become entwined;
- Identify the colored clasp and unhook it;
- Place the arc of the colored, usually rubber-coated hook on the ground, sliding it behind the wheel until it emerges on the other side;
- Lift both ends of the hook and join them over the wheel, resting the chain on it;
- Also join the hooks in front of the wheel. These hooks usually have the same color, but are different from the hook you joined first;
- Pull the end of the chain you inserted into the mechanism to tighten it on the tire. When the chain is tight, secure it to the hooks on the part of the chain that is on the rim.
By following these steps, you will be ready to tackle the snow and go on vacation safely!
Face the road safely and hit the road with Snowit
And now that you have all the tips on how to install snow chains, you’re ready for a worry-free mountain adventure!
Plan your next mountain vacation with Snowit and make sure you have all the equipment you need to deal with all weather conditions.