Sitka Mountain Gear
TIRE CHAINS FOR HALF TON
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
vaelkhntr 12-Mar-19
dirtclod Az. 12-Mar-19
badlander 12-Mar-19
SlipShot 12-Mar-19
Glunker 12-Mar-19
Ambush 12-Mar-19
Mule Power 12-Mar-19
Zbone 12-Mar-19
JSW 12-Mar-19
huntabsarokee 12-Mar-19
jax2009r 12-Mar-19
jax2009r 12-Mar-19
jerrynocam 12-Mar-19
lawdy 12-Mar-19
coyote13 12-Mar-19
YZF-88 12-Mar-19
txhunter58 12-Mar-19
HDE 12-Mar-19
Jethro 13-Mar-19
Tlhbow 13-Mar-19
Franzen 13-Mar-19
dirtclod Az. 13-Mar-19
JusPassin 13-Mar-19
320 bull 13-Mar-19
keepemsharp 13-Mar-19
Tlhbow 13-Mar-19
vaelkhntr 13-Mar-19
Blakes 13-Mar-19
txhunter58 13-Mar-19
Ambush 13-Mar-19
txhunter58 13-Mar-19
StickFlicker 14-Mar-19
Jack Whitmrie jr 14-Mar-19
Jack Whitmrie jr 14-Mar-19
Swampbuck 14-Mar-19
HDE 14-Mar-19
Franzen 26-Mar-19
patdel 26-Mar-19
Mathewshootrphone 26-Mar-19
BigRed 26-Mar-19
txhunter58 26-Mar-19
Cheesehead Mike 26-Mar-19
Nwmontana14 26-Mar-19
Franzen 27-Mar-19
elkstabber 27-Mar-19
Glunt@work 27-Mar-19
Ziek 27-Mar-19
vaelkhntr 27-Mar-19
From: vaelkhntr
12-Mar-19
HELLO ALL I Have a newer Toyota Tundra Crew Max 4x4 in need of tire chains going to Colorado for elk hunt. Chains are recommended to have for this area due to the steepness and quality of soil when wet. Manufacture does not recommend chains for the front due to clearance issues. I believe they are ok for the back. What have others used for an option for front chains? Wheel spacers or cables? Could these options work? Not going is not an option! Any advice would greatly be appreciated!

From: dirtclod Az.
12-Mar-19
Cables don"t work,Chains with rubber tighteners do.

From: badlander
12-Mar-19
I would say get some and check them. I have a 2014 F-150 and the manufacturer says no chains on the front. I'm stubborn and I already had a set of chains so I tried them and they were right, there physically is not enough clearance with the chains on.

Offset rims might give enough clearance but factory rims and tires there was no way. Maybe toyota is different, but if you have access to a set just try them and see, or buy a set and return them if necessary.

From: SlipShot
12-Mar-19
It is crazy how most newer trucks do not give room for chains in the front!??!?! What the hell is wrong with today's engineers?

From: Glunker
12-Mar-19
My silverado lists the front wells being too small for chains. I used some and got out of a nasty spot. My take is get the right size, adjust somewhat tight and wire tight the tag ends. Look for potential issues, maybe brake lines. Good luck, I have little experience but that is it.

From: Ambush
12-Mar-19
Manufacturers recommend no chains because they don’t want you tearing off brake lines and sensor harnesses that could cause dangerous situations.

It’s kinda like the warnings on blenders to not use your fingers to push food down. They have to assume some people with no sense will do stupid things.

There is plenty of room for good fitting chains on the rear of my Tundra , but I’ve never looked at the front.

Chains with too long of cross chains can wipe out lots nesand harnesses. The place to fit them is on dry flat ground.

From: Mule Power
12-Mar-19
Exactly Ambush! Chain up the front ... it’s more important than chaining up the rear. Just make sure the chains are tight and if you have extra links after cranking them down cut those off. You’ll be just fine.

From: Zbone
12-Mar-19
Didn't know they still made chains for tires... Where to buy?

From: JSW
12-Mar-19
Get a set for the back and try them on the front. Maybe try one of the lighter weight sets first. There are many different brands and thickness of chains. Don't go with the biggest and gnarliest. If they don't work on the front you can always use them on the back.

Put them on a front tire and jack it up. Slowly rotate them while having someone else turn the wheel all the way from left to right and back again. You should be able to tell if you have enough clearance.

12-Mar-19
I agree get a set for the back and try them on the front. That is what I did except for the part of trying them on the front and I have a Tundra. I don't think there is enough room with the stock wheels. Maybe with spacers or a change of wheels. The black TRD wheels are something like +65 offset. You need to move closer to 0 offset which should move the wheel out giving more room. I have read where some guys use spacers. I got mine from either Altoona or Johnstown PA via the web. Maybe it was tirechains.com They were real helpful on sizing but the chains were only on in my driveway.

From: jax2009r
12-Mar-19
I always put the chains on the front tires ....Always have a set ...Makes a unplowed log Rd nothing

From: jax2009r
12-Mar-19
I always put the chains on the front tires ....Always have a set ...Makes a unplowed log Rd nothing

From: jerrynocam
12-Mar-19
I’ve used tirechain.com several times and was happy. They’ll help you get the right ones for your truck.

From: lawdy
12-Mar-19
I use chains all the time on our snow packed logging roads. I use the ones with V bars on them. Always carry repair links and bungees to snug them up. Don’t expect to drive over 20 or so with them. I put mine on, drive a hundred yards and resnug. Most of the time chain up one front tire for steering with my 2 wheel drive Tacoma. Even our fire trucks are chained up with over 6 feet of snow up here. You meet a logging truck on a backwoods road you had better have chains because you are headed for a snow bank or get crushed.

From: coyote13
12-Mar-19
Look up Pewag tire chains. They are on pricey side, but they work great and are easy to install. They have chains that should work for your Tundra. They helped me out with 2015 F150, they set me up with 2 different types a cable/ chain set for the front and a regular chain set up for the rear.

From: YZF-88
12-Mar-19
Grip RUD 4x4 Truck Tire Chains Is what I use on my Titan in snow and mud. Saved me twice getting out.

From: txhunter58
12-Mar-19
"Manufacturers recommend no chains because they don’t want you tearing off brake lines and sensor harnesses that could cause dangerous situations.

It’s kinda like the warnings on blenders to not use your fingers to push food down. They have to assume some people with no sense will do stupid things. "

But that is ONLY because late model trucks are designed by brain dead engineers. Older trucks handled chains just fine.

AND, chains on the front work better than chains on the back. Back when I could use chains on the front, many times I used them JUST on the front. Your weight is up there and you can pull thru turns. Pushing doesn't work near as well.

From: HDE
12-Mar-19
Let me guess tx, you're not an engineer...?

From: Jethro
13-Mar-19
Brake line and fender clearance most likely ok on your Tundra front end. Issue is going to be the upper control arm. Put your hand over the top of your tire and feel how little space there is between inside sidewall and your UCA. Its tight. Barely finger width on my Ram, I could not trust a chain fitting through there. I've felt a Tundra, its pretty tight too (all 1/2 tons are these days). Hub centric wheel spacers or less offset wheels do offer some options.

From: Tlhbow
13-Mar-19
Get a set and try them at home like above ti off the loose ends. A good quality tie wrap would be a good idea for that and use a couple black bungee in the front . You would not want to crank the wheels in much . Seems like 45 mph is max speed but back in coyote hunting days I've run 80 multiple times with chains . They tear crap up when they do break . One( without) cleats would have more clerance.

From: Franzen
13-Mar-19
LOL, the engineers are worried about many other things that actually sell vehicles, the last of which is probably whether chains fit on the tires. Actually some of the engineers would probably think about things such as tire chains, but are being told things like fuel economy, junk electronics, and looks are far more important.

From: dirtclod Az.
13-Mar-19
If you jack up your truck in your driveway and install chains to test, your suspension is not compressed and won't give you real test results.

From: JusPassin
13-Mar-19
Yeah, sorry to say it fellas but today's pickup trucks are not meant for off road use. They're for folks with money to drive around town and look tough.

From: 320 bull
13-Mar-19
Maybe someone should come up with a chain system that works on the trucks that the brain dead engineers created.

Been a long winter

From: keepemsharp
13-Mar-19
If you jack up the front to check clearance it will be different than when the weight is on the wheel.

From: Tlhbow
13-Mar-19
The only time s ive jacked up the truck to put chains on I was already stuck. You lay them out and drive up on them.

From: vaelkhntr
13-Mar-19
Thanks for everyone's input. I appreciate it!

13-Mar-19
Even most 3/4 ton trucks today do not allow enough room. I had a 2008 F250 where they worked....I have not yet tried to get them on my 2018 F250.

From: Blakes
13-Mar-19
I have a 2013 F150 and it also says no chains. I put the chains I already had on it and there was VERY little room. I put 1 1/2" spacers on all the way around and now I have no problems other than getting lots of mud on my truck when it's muddy.

When I first got the truck and was unhappy that they make them for no chains I got on a Ford Truck forum and asked what other did. Almost every response was something like "you don't need chains, just get good studded snow tires..." Yea, right, try that when you are trying to get out of the mountains and pushing snow with your bumper!

13-Mar-19
chains on the rear is better than no chains at all.

From: txhunter58
13-Mar-19
HDE: Nope, not an engineer, but the engineers who designed 4x4 trucks since the beginning of 4x4s allowed room for chains on the front (until recently that is) because it helps a 4x4 do what it is designed to do: offroading!

So it is absolutely possible to design them to work, But as stated above, they just put other things ahead of that because 99% of those using a 4x4 will never use chains. I get that. But it is still stupid because they are limiting what the vehicle is capable of doing. At one time I owned a Bronco II and with 4 chains on that vehicle, it was amazing offroad. I went some godawfully places, and never got it close to stuck. Now the trucks are mostly built for "urban cowboys" I am also scared to take my truck where I used to because it would probably get stuck. Can't blame me for wishing for the "good old days"

I think I paid $11, 000 for that Bronco II back in the 80s and I will never forget a trip to Colorado. Got behind a high dollar 4x4 with CA license plates that had a set of chains on the back tires only. He tried to go up this very steep and slick, muddy hill so I just sat behind him and waited. He tried it 3 times and never got more than 1/2 way up. After the 3rd try, I just went around him and went right up without looking back.

From: Ambush
13-Mar-19
txhunter58, you can still have the "good old days" by just buying one of those older 4X4's. Tons of older and old Broncos, Jimmy's, Jeeps and even Scouts. I had full size trucks, Willy's and three different Scouts from '65 to '79. I could have any of them again, if I was willing to put up with all that comes with it. I spent a lot of miles off road with four chains clinking away. These days, I drive in comfort to the mud, then unload the quad.

From: txhunter58
13-Mar-19
Good point, but that is only true if you have enough funds to have a second 4x4 or a 4 wheeler. I want my cake and eat it too! LOL

And of course, with a 4 wheeler, you need a trailer that you have to haul to another state (1000 miles for me), and buy a $35 permit to drive it (in Colorado) when I wouldn't have to if someone had the balls to make it work even with all the new additions on new trucks.

From: StickFlicker
14-Mar-19
Trucks and SUVs are continually designed more and more for the soccer mom to haul groceries. Just look at how much time and expense they are putting into designing tail gates that open in creative ways and foot operated automatic openers to accomodate women. Most are no longer designed for use offroad.

14-Mar-19
I have extensive experience with tire chains , using them in the red clay mud in the natural gas industry here in Appalachia. The first key is to select the tires you want. While the tires are NEW fit the chains to your tires on the dry concrete not in a mud hole. Buy or borrow a good tire chain tool then cut and fit the chains to the tires you use. Put colored ( yellow) zip tie on the link you need to get the latch in BEFORE you are in the mud. The key is to practice putting chains on BEFORE you need them. Yes there is little clearance in the fender wells. It's amazing where a good set of tire chains will take you when properly fitted and installed. NOW WHEN IN THE FIELD PUT THE CHAINS ON BEFORE YOU NEED THEM, NOT AFTER YOU NEED THEM !!!!!!!!!! I could go into many tips about using tire chains but I'm limited for time this AM. Watch videos on UTUBE about them I'm sure there is some good tips on there.

Good Luck Jack

14-Mar-19
Not bashing on engineers ( work with great ones everyday) but they need to use what they build in order to design a good product. So yes they need more clearance for tire chains ,not everyone is a yuppie driving in the snow on the highway.

From: Swampbuck
14-Mar-19
Would there be enough clearance if there’s a leveling kit on these newer truck or a small lift kit for that matter? Just wondering

From: HDE
14-Mar-19
^^^ Not necessarily, the suspension gets in the way, but it does help. If one does a little research you can find low clearance chains. I have a set that no loner fit (right now) because I put 10 ply tires on which upped the size a little. Driving around with them all day allows you to steer better and stay on a road without driving sideways all the time. Definatley would not use them to go "diggin'" into a spot to hunt. For the casual recreationist (occasional hunter) chains are made to get you out, not in. When you're stuck in 4 wheel drive with all 4 chained up, your're stuck.

From: Franzen
26-Mar-19
I got the truck stuck the other day. It is a 2018 Silverado. Another thing you all can complain about is the tow hooks on the new ones. I knew when I bought the truck that the tow hooks were completely enclosed loops, so I bought a shackle. The previous model I owned had J-hooks, which are, you know... useful. Anyway, low and behold the shackle I bought won't even fit inside the little pocket area around the hook such that I could get it through the hook. That is part my fault for not trying it first. Good thing I brought a chain along, as normally I only have my looped jerk strap. I pulled the truck out no problem, but without the chain, I would have been "stuck" trying to ruin my jerk strap. Personally, I wouldn't blame the engineers though, as I'm sure the directive to ignore items such as functional tow hooks and tire chains comes from above.

From: patdel
26-Mar-19
I put them on my f350 dually work truck, and my 1/2 ton gmc personal truck at times.

I agree, fronts are better than just the rear. I have broken cross bars and torn brake lines off before. It happens. I would try them. Dont put them on if you dont need them. Go slow, if you hear something funny, get out and take a look. Sometimes they jump off. Or you broke a cross bar, cut it off with a bolt cutter and and keep going.

You can find a set with 4 or 5 little cams built in, they turn over easy with a screw driver and make tightening up easy.

If you have a dually, get single chains. Duals are a pain to put on if you cant get the tires off the ground.

Some guys hate chaining up. I love em for ice, snow and mud. There does have to be a bottom though. If it's just mush, you'll just dig a hole and get buried.

26-Mar-19
I'm one of those guys if I need chains I don't need to go .But I will put them on to get out I like Pewag chains have a complete set for Silverado my Tacoma they've never been on those trucks except for test fitting thanks goodness

From: BigRed
26-Mar-19
Just curious. Where are you seeing or getting the information that chains are recommended for the terrain due to being steep and muddy? Generally, if a road is going to be in that kind of condition during the hunting season, it's closed to all traffic but foot. I'm not saying that having them with you isn't a bad idea. You never know what mother nature is going to throw at you. But I wouldn't go there knowing I'm going to need chains to get up and down that road.

From: txhunter58
26-Mar-19
In Colorado much of the country you hunt will get muddy (it is already steep) when it rains. So it may be great when going in but wet and slippery and boggy coming out. Those roads are not closed due to weather or condition.

26-Mar-19
Franzen,

If your tow strap has loops in each end, you can push one looped end through the metal tow hook loop on your truck and then feed the other end of the tow strap through that strap loop and attach it to your tow vehicle...

From: Nwmontana14
26-Mar-19
I have a 2010 Toyota Tundra. My manual also says no chains, but in Montana that is not an option for me. I just make sure that my chains are very snug. Before you are in the mountains and at the comfort of your home get the chains as tight as you can and then cut off the extra, so they don't hit your brake lines as they are going around. I have never had an issue.

26-Mar-19
Good advice above. I have a new truck.....but I'm gonna fit my chains this weekend in the driveway! Should be the same...my old F250 had the same size tires.

From: Franzen
27-Mar-19
I know you can do that Mike, but it actually isn't good on your strap to do that; at least that is my impression. From a statics point of view, it makes sense because you are going to put more than just pure tension on the strap. It's also a booger to get the strap undone if you've done some hefty pulling/jerking. In a pinch, I would do it if I had to.

From: elkstabber
27-Mar-19
vaelkhntr: I'm not saying that you won't need chains. But I've been a lot of places in CO and haven't needed chains yet. BTW: Every year since 2013 I haven't needed heavy duty rain gear when hunting in CO either.

Typically, in September in CO you may get a mid day brief storm that will drop 1/2" or less of rain. Even the nastiest roads become drivable again within a couple of hours.

Since you mentioned that this is your first time hunting in CO I just thought you should know that it doesn't rain in CO like it does in VA.

From: Glunt@work
27-Mar-19
Important rule for chains is they are for getting out of a bad area. If you use them to get in to a bad area, you don't have much more you can bump up to if things get worse.

That said, my buddies and I broke that rule many times coyote hunting in winter. Sometimes we were home on time, other times we had some really late nights. I'm less into that now.

I've bowhunted since the 80's in CO and have never put chains on during Sept. Yes it can get bad but usually it's not.

From: Ziek
27-Mar-19
Chains and a full size pick-up for getting IN somewhere?! I don't know what the roads are like where you are planning to go. If it's actually a road, I can't imagine needing chains in September. But in general, if it's a mountain 4 wheel drive road in Colorado that's muddy, it's also steep, rutted, off-camber (off the mountain off-camber) and/or full of deep holes and boulders that will leave you high centered. In other words, you need a more appropriate vehicle, not chains. And if you need chains to get in, you also need a winch to get out.

From: vaelkhntr
27-Mar-19
Thank you for all the replies. Most were helpful. Although, I did not say I had never been to Colorado nor elk hunted. I've been plenty of times. The area I will be going to this year is new to me. Also going on a drop camp with outfitter. Outfitter recommends 4x4 with chains as an option. They live on a single track road 2hrs from main road. Apparently there is a real steep part plus gets slippery if it rains or snows.

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