Why all the stress about using Snow Chains

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by Arsas, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. Arsas

    Arsas Active Member

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    I am just wondering why there seems to be so much stress and annoyance about having to use snow chains?
    I use to drive a 4WD and never had the issue of fitting chains (NSW). But then the family grew and we ended up in a Hyundai Imax and have had it for 4 years.
    As soon as I bought the Imax I bought some easy fit V2 Traction chains, watched the fitting video online and practiced in the driveway. I setup a chain fitting kit with rubber mats, gloves and an old raincoat that always sits in the same spot in the back of the car.
    I had to fit chains at Wilson's V the other day and it took me all of 7 mins to fit both chains and be on my way.
    Do most people just ignore the chains and hope that they wont need to fit them? which is pretty stupid considering chains are required in OZ pretty regularly. When I pulled in to Wilson's V the other day there was at least 20 cars in front and I had my chains on and drove off before any of those cars had moved.
    I check the chains at the start of each season and have a go fitting them to make sure I still remember. I guess a lot of people dont follow the 6 P's
    Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance
    I know that I would rather be in a 2WD fitted with chains than a 4WD with no chains on those really bad days.
     
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  2. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers New Member

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    Fitting my chains gives me that quick pit stop feeling where I come in at the back of the field and leave 20 cars in front of the punters, still don't like fitting chains though.
     
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  3. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Ummm ......... Fear creates spending. Spread the fear.
     
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  4. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    Some cars are easier to fit chains to than others. Hyundai iMax is a van, right? Plenty of clearance around the tyres, easy to reach in and position the chains.

    I've taken 2 different cars to Perisher, a Falcon wagon and Astra diesel. Same chains fit both cars. Piss easy to put on the rear tyres of the Falcon. Lots of room to manoeuvre. A right royal PITA to put on the front of the Astra, as the diesel model sold here has the biggest diesel engine available in the range and is sold as a sporty model in Europe, complete with a lowered suspension.

    Fitting time is about 5 minutes for the Falcon, never yet under 20 for the Astra.

    Next car almost certain to be a Subaru or Skoda AWD wagon. :)
     
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  5. CarveMan

    CarveMan aussieskier.com
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    Yes cars where you can't get your hands in the wheel arch and over the back of the tyre definitely add difficulty.

    I had a car like this a few years ago and I actually found that it was quicker to jack it up, it had a neat little jack so I made sure it was accessible and it made fitting the chains a breeze.

    Currently have a 4wd with air suspension and snow tyres. I don't expect to have to use chains but when I do I'll crank it up to max height, can get your whole head in the wheel arch!!
     
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  6. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    I hate putting chains on, but I love putting chains on.
     
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  7. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    True.
     
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  8. dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room
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    Its not the fitting so much its the driving on many kilometers of "dry" asphalt between slightly snowy passes that kinda makes the whole "chain regime" a bit of a hysterical carry on.

    But yeh, chains are shit !!!!
     
  9. FlatLander

    FlatLander Active Member

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    Arsas this is so true, what a great post.

    It is such a small component of the ski day, and its a safety mechanism, I also dont get what all the huff and puff is about. Its like someone abolished the 4th Amendment, or what ever the local chain fitting equivalent is...." You have the right to have bare tyres"

    No one complains about waiting 20mins in a queue at an on mountain food outlet, to be served by rude staff still coming down from whatever their substance of choice was the night before, paying $18 for a dried out Mrs Mac's meat pit with 7 soggy chips on the side.

    I like you, really dont get it, just get over the chain issue peeps, get up 7 minutes earlier. and get on the snow at the same time. The journey is part of the whole experience, "wow look its snowing down here kids we will be fitting chains soon, which one of you is going to be the chain master today :) ", or "OK fellas looks like we have to fit chains here, I will buy the first round if you ratbags fit them, dont worry about wiggling Jeff awake he is always asleep in this big red car"
     
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  10. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    Perisher skier?
     
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  11. dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room
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    I don't queue unless forced too .... the really interesting thing is that these days we have less snow and more chain events.

    The chain regime is just an extension of the "Snow Blitz" overkill, rules, enforcement, removal of independent thought, process and skill.

    Man you should see the antsy FB posts about people getting overtaken when all chained up at 40km/h on dry roads. If you like chains, enjoy them but please don't be telling us its some sort of "happy event" LOL
     
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  12. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    Paging @JoeKing LOL
     
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  13. dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room
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    Crikeys ..... why do people put themselves in such subservient and yet judgemental positions

    Stralya
     
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  14. FlatLander

    FlatLander Active Member

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    no Hotham is my spiritual home.

    Its even worse at PB :)
     
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  15. FlatLander

    FlatLander Active Member

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    not trying to be judgmental at all, was meant more as comic relief, although when paying gourmet prices one would probably expect a similar level of service
     
  16. Seth

    Seth Old And Crusty
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    Exactly.

    Snow in the forecast, quick get the fit chain signs out.
     
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  17. FlatLander

    FlatLander Active Member

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    Yes I agree absolutely, definitely less snow and absolutely sooo much more chain fitting

    But fact is its the law, (carry and fit where directed) and does it affect your decision to go up the mountain skiing on a given day?

    The Hotham road chain regime etc is another story, especially given we have only had one double digit snowfall (I think) so far this season...but again its the law, you can avoid it if you want although from memory its a hefty fine. Mind you as far as I am aware, this has substantially reduced the number of incidents on the road, and effectively helped in visitors arriving in the resort in a timely manner - some days its quicker some days its slower, but they are not being dragged out of a bank (generally)

    So in days gone by, they use to close the road, although would let staff through gate in HV, then open the road to the masses and all hell would break lose. So the current policy is based on the lowest common denominator, for the "benefit" of the majority. So I used to stress about it abit, not anymore, it just is what it is
     
  18. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    LOL cheeky fokker!!
     
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  19. Vermillion

    Vermillion Pool Room
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    Surely with that sort of wanchor status you have someone on standby to fit them for you?
     
  20. FlatLander

    FlatLander Active Member

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    and they should bring back the old rule, where you could get a "Chain Exemption" sticker by demonstrating to vicroads that you had a 4WD, with good tyres (probs not as good as the Nokians ;) ) and that you had correct fitting chains. So only on the really bad days you were made to fit them.

    A friend traveled the Ho Hum road for many years with a bucket of chain the the back LOL
     
  21. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture
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    Chains are a PITA. Who likes crawling around in slushy snow at 12pm after a 6 hour drive from Sydney to fit chains? (Which is when I'm usually fitting them). So much happier to have an AWD and avoid that pain
     
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  22. Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Part of the Furniture
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    I saw a Camry last Wednesday (clear day, hadn't snowed for days, no snow on the road) leaving Thredbo with its chains on.
     
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  23. skichanger

    skichanger Dedicated Member
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    Back to the OP and why people stress bout chains.... If you are orginised and experienced it fitting them it is fine. But that is not the case for many people. Lots of people, both men and women, are not at all mechanical so it is daunting task for them.
     
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  24. kimberlee81

    kimberlee81 Dedicated Member

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    Skoda - SO MUCH car for the money!! (I have a Superb wagon)
     
  25. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Saw someone FLOOR it out of Siberia past DHG back up thehill with chains on. 1cm slush outside of the tire lines on the road. Bizarre.
     
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  26. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Absolutely Brother. . Rolling in the mud is for livestock.

    Get an AWD. Ski in NSW. Leave the wallowing in mud to the swine down south and the peasants up north.
     
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  27. telecrag

    telecrag Part of the Furniture
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    I have only put them on the van when the cops made me, that thing doesnt need them.
     
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  28. gareth_oau

    gareth_oau Old And Crusty
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    I cant even get a regular jack under mine. Needs a low profile trolley jack LOL.

    Question: would my trolley jack need chains?
     
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  29. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Bro please......... Thredbo skier with village at sea level, schooling us on snow chains ???

    Pfffft ............ Next you'll tell me there's lots of parking.
     
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  30. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Addicted Member
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    Was half expecting you to say they were on the back wheels. LOL
     
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  31. Onlybackscratchers

    Onlybackscratchers New Member

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    Got AWD tick
    Skiing NSW tick
    Still live south of the border tick
    (better coffee)
     
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  32. Astro66

    Astro66 Still looking for a park in Thredbo
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    Better coffee !!! .......... Thredbo Skier. :D
     
  33. dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room
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    I love that Gotham road but if I was a regular Vic resort skier I would own an AWD probably with winter tyres. That will go anywhere a 2wd with chains will go and probably further.
     
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  34. Gimp

    Gimp Dedicated Member
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    Old German bloke next door worked for the Snowy Scheme back in the day. No snow chains, no problem, couple extra bags of cement in the boot of his old banger and away he'd go, Euc to Cabra via Happy Jacks
     
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  35. tdc

    tdc Active Member
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    19 y/o daughter drove down to Perisher this week with a few mates.

    A couple of snow chain lessons before she left and now is a pro! Have had to put them on twice this week, the 2nd time coming back from PV this afternoon.

    Was very proud of herself when the guy checking the chains said they were perfect
     
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  36. SkiMountaineer

    SkiMountaineer Active Member

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    Just sold a 2012 Superb Ambition Wagon. Tears rolled down my cheeks as the guy backed it out of the driveway. He emailed me the next day to tell me he left our place and just drove it around until 1am, and how much they loved it. Glad it went to a good family.
     
  37. Sno Sno SNO

    Sno Sno SNO Active Member

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    Probably forgot they had them on - car in gear, brain in neutral...
     
  38. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook Dedicated Member
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    It really isn't hard to fit diamond chains and it can be done in under 5 minutes.
    practising a few times before going worked for me.
    The real problem is NSW still allows ladders chains - they should have been banned years ago.
    I have seen ill-fitted ladder chains come off the wheel of the car in front of me and continue rolling along the road next to it!
     
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  39. kylep

    kylep Dedicated Member
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    Have practiced many times putting chains on at the servo when hiring them... in the old car. Got the AWD and 2 months later I was driving in snow and slush from Cooma to Jindy. Driving up to Perisher have not once felt uncomfortable without chains on. Some driving in Canada and the US in proper snowy conditions helps reinforce the right behaviour too.

    As to why people hate it - as mentioned many people (increasing these days) don't have any general mechanic/handy skills. So glad we grew up with very handy grandparents and Dads
     
  40. lardarse

    lardarse New Member

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    Wait, whats the fuss?

    I bought some chains, and fit them at the slightest slight of ice or snow. Why? Because I drive a brand new car and dont want it banging into anything, stuff running the gauntlet to save 10 minutes!
     
  41. sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture
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    Mandatory chain fitting, one of the things I definitely don't miss about Aussie skiing. 25 years since I had to do it, not ready yet to start again.
     
  42. teckel

    teckel Old And Crusty
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    This is the third winter that I haven't had a single broken chain hired from my shop. (And I hire them to people going to Buller and Hotham, as well as LM) Figure I must be doing something right, as I doubt there's another ski hire in the country that could make that same claim.

    I also turned away my first chain hire customer yesterday. Nice enough but young fellow still on Ps. He had low-profile tyres (which I could have fitted) with lowered suspension and flanges of body work coming over the rear tyres, which made it impossible to fit. I asked why he didn't bring his gf's 'normal' car or his mum's 4WD and he said he thought he'd need the power of his street machine to get up the mountain. Hopefully, he's learnt his lesson.

    Oh, I only hire diamond pattern, btw.
     
    #42 teckel, Jul 21, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  43. Nidecker

    Nidecker Dedicated Member
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    At sea level? Its normally so wet and slushy on the lower runs I thought it must be below sea level :p:p:p
     
  44. pegasusSki

    pegasusSki Active Member

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    Reality is that it's a fiddly exercise for those who have never done it, and therefore not had any practise. Add in tiredness and a degree of impatience and a lack of rubber gloves or jacket and cold hands would make it a disagreeable exercise. I did take photos and instruction from the hire shop for my old Falcon but bet I would have stuffed it up.
     
  45. teckel

    teckel Old And Crusty
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    I often get people whipping out their phones and videoing me doing the demo.
     
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  46. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    FWIW my old man reckoned he only ever needed chains to get out of Thredbo ONCE, in all his years skiing there. (How many years? Don't ask) After trying several times to get up the hill past the tip, with everyone sitting in the boot to add traction, they kept spinning out halfway up. Admitting defeat they had to buy chains from the Thredbo service station.

    It was an eye opener in Colorado when I stayed there...a foot of snow in suburban streets...everyone just jumps in the car, no chains, ordinary tyres, business as usual, to slither all over the road down to Taco Bell & mickey Ds (or up the I70 to go skiing). Sure I also saw dozens of accidents and terrible traffic as a result, but it's a small price to pay for Muricn' Freedumb.
     
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  47. Seth

    Seth Old And Crusty
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    Totally opposite to my experience in Park City.

    Chains, what chains.
     
  48. sbm

    sbm Dedicated Member
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    Park City is an actual ski town though, much smaller, higher, snowier and richer than Denver.
     
  49. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki Dedicated Member
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  50. jabiru

    jabiru Active Member

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    to save slushing around in the mud i went to Bunnnings and bought a 4 pack of solid foam mats 50 x 50 cm and 12 cm thick , cost $12 ,, you can kneel on them sit on them throw them in the boot, dry and comfortable ,, also very handy if you are putting on boots at back of car ,, stand on one in socks and put boot on other ,, then throw in boot take nearly no room
     
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