Chain Up Story

Topic 17302 | Page 1

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Old Roadie's Comment
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I was heading East over Donner Pass earlier this year when I had to pull over and chain up due to heavy snow and the chain rule going into effect. I had never chained up but I had watched training videos. Just a hint... Lay the chains out and back onto them. Much easier. I got my drives and tandems chained and bungeed. But since I had never done it before I wanted to be sure I had it right. The truck in front of me was driven by a weather-beaten grizzled looking old-timer. I figured that if my chains looked like his I would be in good shape. I also guessed that he would either tell me what he thought or tell me what he thought of me! I walked up and asked if I could see what he had done and explained I hadn't had to chain up before. He turned out to be very helpful and encouraging. He said that if my chains looked like his then I had done better than he the first time he put them on. And he stressed several times for me to drive at my own comfort level and not to let other drivers make me feel like I was going too slow. So the point is.... Don't be worried about approaching someone for advice. There are still drivers who are willing to offer the benefit of their experience.

Tandems:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tandem:

Tandem Axles

A set of axles spaced close together, legally defined as more than 40 and less than 96 inches apart by the USDOT. Drivers tend to refer to the tandem axles on their trailer as just "tandems". You might hear a driver say, "I'm 400 pounds overweight on my tandems", referring to his trailer tandems, not his tractor tandems. Tractor tandems are generally just referred to as "drives" which is short for "drive axles".

Tractor Man's Comment
member avatar

Took a Chain up class at the Swift Terminal in Phoenix last week. The Man that was giving the class, John Cramer, put it this way. " I am going to teach you how to do something that I never want you to do". His point, watch the weather and try not to put yourself in the position of needing to chain up. Swift has a policy of chain up ONLY to find a safe place to park, not to continue on your way.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

Old Roadie's Comment
member avatar

I didn't have any options unfortunately. I was committed once I started over Donner and my delivery was in Reno next morning. Headed West back over Donner the next day and the road was clear. Glad to be running the midwest and southeast these days. Still have to deal with winter conditions but at least it's mostly flat!

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

I prefer to lay the chains over the tires, that way you can do them all at once if your chaining both drives. I used to lay them on the ground when I drove straight trucks but I put them over the tire now. If your only chaining one drive axle then laying on the ground is just as fast.

I had a new driver ask me for help the other day, I had no problem showing him how.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old Roadie's Comment
member avatar

I prefer to lay the chains over the tires, that way you can do them all at once if your chaining both drives. I used to lay them on the ground when I drove straight trucks but I put them over the tire now. If your only chaining one drive axle then laying on the ground is just as fast.

I had a new driver ask me for help the other day, I had no problem showing him how.

I guess it is just a matter of preference with me. I tried laying them over the wheels first but it worked out better the othet way.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

Here in the NW they will require chains often even when it seems running barefoot would be fine. Shutting down due to chain restriction isn't an option for me. I would spend to much time parked.

For example cabbage hill is often chains required for just the hill itself then you can take them off. You could lose a whole day just to avoid chaining up for a few miles.

Of course if you don't feel safe continuing on then shut down definitely. I can chain 3 axles in less than 30 minutes. Running NW regional it's chain and go, Throwing iron is part of the job.

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old Roadie's Comment
member avatar

Here in the NW they will require chains often even when it seems running barefoot would be fine. Shutting down due to chain restriction isn't an option for me. I would spend to much time parked.

For example cabbage hill is often chains required for just the hill itself then you can take them off. You could lose a whole day just to avoid chaining up for a few miles.

Of course if you don't feel safe continuing on then shut down definitely. I can chain 3 axles in less than 30 minutes. Running NW regional it's chain and go, Throwing iron is part of the job.

Guess I got lucky.. Never had to chain up for Cabbage!

Regional:

Regional Route

Usually refers to a driver hauling freight within one particular region of the country. You might be in the "Southeast Regional Division" or "Midwest Regional". Regional route drivers often get home on the weekends which is one of the main appeals for this type of route.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Deb R.'s Comment
member avatar

I have noticed signs for chainup areas, but where and when do you take them off once you're over the hill?

Chris L.'s Comment
member avatar

This can be a gamble, it is possible to take them off just to have another chain restriction down the road. What I do is stop at a chain down area, which would be a chain up area on the opposite side of road and ask drivers coming from the opposite direction the road conditions ahead. Sometimes I can get that info on the CB, other times I will walk over and talk to drivers putting on chains.

I have noticed signs for chainup areas, but where and when do you take them off once you're over the hill?

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