Topic 32712 | Page 1

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Surferjohn's Comment
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I have a question I haven't seen addressed on any of the YouTube videos I've watched, and hope some veterans can fill me in. I've got the basic idea of how to put tire chains on, but how MANY tires do you do at once? The videos always show 1 tire as an example, but I really doubt anyone does that. Do you do 2? 4? I'd love it if someone enlightened me. Thanks

Pacific Pearl's Comment
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Varies by state and road conditions. Generally, you chain up the outside tires on your drives. Sometimes you chain up the trailer tires (outside tire, either one axle or both). You can google, "CDL chain requirements by state to get the full list. Here are the west coast states:


ll vehicles over 10,000 pounds GVW shall carry a minimum of 2 extra chains for use in the event that road conditions require the use of more chains or that chains in use are broken or otherwise made useless, WAC 204-24-050 (2) (f).

Approved chains for vehicles over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight shall have at least two side chains attached sufficient cross chains of hardened metal so that at least one cross-chain is in contact with the road surface at all times. Plastic chains shall not be allowed. The Washington State Patrol may approve other devices as chains if the devices are equivalent to regular chains in performance (cable chains allowable).

On the following routes, all vehicles and combinations of vehicles over 10,000 pounds shall carry sufficient tire chains to meet the requirements from November 1 to April 1 of each year or at other times when chains are required for such vehicles:

I-90 between North Bend (MP 32) and Ellensburg (MP 101) I-82 between Ellensburg Exit 3 (MP 3.00) and Selah Exit 26 (MP 26.00) SR-97 between (MP 145) and Junction SR-2 between Dryden (MP 108) and Index (MP 36) SR-12 between Packwood (MP 135) and Naches (MP 187) SR-97 between junction SR-14 (MP 4) Columbia River and Top*****h (MP 59) SR-410 from Enumclaw to Naches SR-20 between Tonasket (MP 262) and Kettle Falls (MP 342) SR-155 between Omak (MP 79) and Nespelem (MP 45) SR-970 between (MP 0) and (MP 10) SR-14 (MP 18) to Junction 97 (MP 102) SR-542 Mt Baker Highway between (MP 22.91) and (MP 57.26)

Vehicles making local deliveries as indicated on bills of lading and not crossing the mountain pass are exempt from this requirement if operating outside of the chain required area.

The Washington State Department of Transportation or Washington State Patrol may prohibit any vehicle from entering a chain/approved traction tire control area when it is determined that the vehicle will experience difficulty in safely traveling the area.


Must carry chains on your truck if you're driving through a snow zone on a state highway. Must chain up when directed by signs. Minimum of 6 chains required.


During the winter months, there might be traction chain controls in the mountain areas. When these are established you will see signs posted along the highway. These signs will also include the type of requirement, which will include one of the following:

R1 – Chains, traction devices or snow tires are required on the drive axle of all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles. R2 – Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four wheel/ all wheel drive vehicles with snow-tread tires on all four wheels. R3 – Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.

Minimum of 8 chains required.


Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.


Operating While Intoxicated

IDMtnGal 's Comment
member avatar

Each State has different rules for chaining.

I run to the Port of Oakland CA every week, usually by going over Donner's. In early October CalTrans pulled ALL trucks off the Applegate exit and gave the following card out to every truck on what they expect trucks to do when the chain up laws are in effect.

One month ago they only required 4 chains, one set on the rear drives and one set on the rear trailer is what they told us at the checkpoint at exit 180 going westbound. Coming back 2 days later, we had to throw six chains and maintain 30 mph and that included 4-wheelers.





Operating While Intoxicated

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