How to Install Tire Chains

October 13, 2022

Winter is a few short months away, and it’s not too early to start preparing. If you live in an area that’s prone to snow and ice, you know that tire chains are a necessity. Not only can they save your life by giving your tires boosted traction, but in many places, there are chain regulations that require them.


Install Your Tire Chains

Preparation is key when driving in harsh conditions. Tire chains can give you life-saving traction, but only if you know how to install them correctly. We recommend trying your new chains on for size and practicing installation before you need them (before there’s any snow on the ground). See our tire chain guides below for step-by-step installation instructions.


Installation Guide: Passenger Vehicle Cable Chain


  1. Park the vehicle on a level surface
  2. Uncoil and unfasten one chain assembly and lay flat on the ground
  3. Examine the chain for any twists and tangles in the cross chain or rim/side chain links (Twisted chains can inhibit performance and shorten the life of the chain)
  4. Slide the chain assembly behind the tire (Orientation is key—make sure to have the non-cable side of the chain assembly closest to the tire and the yellow end of the cable pointing toward your left)
  5. From the left side, pull the red yolk fastener around to the front of the tire
  6. From the right side, pull the red draw chain toward you
  7. Spread the chain out evenly on both sides of the tire and make sure there are no twists in the chain
  8. Pull the chain over the tire and connect the cable fastener, then rest the cable on top of the tire tread
  9. At the top of the tire, connect the red hook plate fastener to the first link of the gold-colored side chain
  10. Push the cable to the back side of the tire and center the cross chain sections as equally as possible across the tire tread
  11. Find the red yolk fastener on the left and the red draw chain
  12. Pull both toward you to eliminate slack, then connect the fastener to the chain as tight as it will go
  13. Make sure the connection is secure
  14. To tighten further, feed the rubber tightener through the two circular retaining rings on the right, then pull across the tire, hooking into a sidechain link
  15. Test the chain by driving at least 15 feet, then stop to check the connection points
  16. If you need to retighten, follow these steps in reverse until you reach step 9. Move the red hook plate fastener onto a tighter link. Then retighten the red draw chain through the yolk fastener and tighten it with the rubber tightener
  17. You’ll want to recheck the chain regularly as you use it and retighten it accordingly. Make sure not to exceed the recommended speed limit during use to extend the life of the chain.


Installation Guides for Truck, Tractors, and Beyond

Passenger cable chains are just one of many types of traction chain available. We have a full library of installation videos to provide you with the traction support you need. 


How to Install Passenger Link Chain


How to Install Dual Triple Cable Chain


How to Install Ladder Style Heavy Truck Cable Chain


How to Install Light Truck Cam Chain


How to Install Light Truck R-Chain


How to Install Dual Triple Link Chain


How to Install Heavy Truck Hoop Chain


How to Install Duo Grip and Roadmaster Chains




Get the Traction You Need

At Laclede Chain, we carry the full range of traction chains, traction devices such as AlphaTrax, and tire chain accessories that you need to drive safely in any winter weather.


If you need help finding the right chain for your tires, check out this article on Tire Chain Specs and this easy-to-use Traction Finder tool.


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