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Author Topic: Tire chains - how tough to mount ?  (Read 2588 times)
Dirtball
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« on: December 30, 2012, 05:11:11 PM »

 1996 MCI 102 DL3  with Michelin ribbed Highway tires with 15,000mi on them. Need to get to a festival tomorrow in Pennsylvania. Roads are good but I may have trouble getting out of my farm and the last half mile to the festival site.  We had freezing rain a few days back , then 6in of light snow. Temps in 20's.   I can buy chains tomorrow - singles - for $250/pair.  I have mounted chains on multiple cars, trucks, my farm tractor, but never the bus. I guess if I air up the rear bags , I'll have some more working room on top of the tire. Do you guys start from the top or drive over them first ?  I have some logging chains and my tractor chains I can carry and just throw on the ground in front of the drive axle or buy the chains tomorrow. btw which side of the axle does the differential go direct with, driver or curb ? If I get stuck on ice (pretty flat terrain), which side should I give more traction aids? I'll take some sand and salt also. I don't travel in Western USA , yet. Still working 50 weeks/yr but a few years away from really using this bus.
 It's fully converted by Custom Coach. I am 48,000 lbs. 300gal fuel and 190 gal water, both full.
   Thanks and Happy/ HEALTHY New Year to all.
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1996 MCI DL3 Custom Coach conversion
lostagain
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2012, 05:43:39 PM »

Don't bother with the chains. Your bus has really good traction because there is a lot of weight on top of the drive axle. If you get stuck, dump the air out of the tag axle to increase the weight on the drive axle. You can drive that way slowly to get out of a slippery spot. If you're still stuck, you could throw some sand in front of the drive wheels. Chains are a real PIA to put on a bus. I drove ski buses for years in the Canadian Rockies, then more recently the Junior Hockey team's bus, (a 102D3 by the way) all over S.E. BC and Washington state in winter conditions and never needed or used chains. I kept the tire pressures at 105, 85 and 75 psi front to back. I always had good winter tread tires though. You could also lower the pressure in the drivers to say 60psi to temporarily get out of a slippery spot, then air up again later. I have chains in my bus now that came with it from the PO, they are brand new in the box never been used. I carry them in case some official wants to see them somewhere to go over a pass.

Save your money for something more fun like dinner or beer,

Happy New Year,

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
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Eagle Andy
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2012, 06:03:20 PM »

I would agree bus's have great traction with the weight in the back.
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RJ
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2012, 06:29:40 PM »

Name??? -

Altho I agree with JC, if you HAVE to have chains, then make sure you buy CAM-style (http://tirechain.com/cams.htm).  Much easier to tension.  You only need to chain the outer dual, don't even consider messing with dual chains, there is no room to get them on.

Working the casino runs to Reno & Lake Tahoe, I often had to hang chains during snow conditions.  Not because I really needed them, but because CalTrans & CHP insisted everyone do so.  I got to where I could hang chains faster on the bus than I could on my car.  Here's how:

1.  Before you leave, lay out one chain on each side of the coach adjacent to the last baggage bin, which you should also open.  Take out all the tangles, etc., pulling it straight.  Position the chain so that the hook ends are facing the rear of the coach, with the outside hook on the side away from the bus's body.

2.  With the chains neatly ready, stretch your arms out, and putting your fingers underneath the outermost cross link with your thumb on top (like a "C"), slowly and neatly bunch up the chain by bringing your hands toward each other.  Once gathered, gently set the bunched chain on the floor of the last baggage bin, without disrupting it's orientation.  Make sure your 2/3 tensioner bungees are also available next to the bunched chain.

3.  To hang, open the baggage bin and pick up the chain in exactly the same manner you set it down - with both hands holding it bunched together.  Set on top of the outer drive dual, then allow the hook end to slowly drape down the tire until it just barely touches the ground while holding the rest of the bunched chain on top of the tire with your left hand.

4.  When the hook end just touches the ground, put your right hand back up on top of the tire to hold that portion of the chain in place.  Now, with your left hand, guide the chain down the other side of the tire to the ground.  Bunch the leftover tightly against the tire.  Do NOT move the coach yet!

5.  Repeat #3 & 4 on the other side of the coach, again bunching the leftover chain tightly up against the tire.

6.  Climb back in the driver's seat, put coach in D, release parking brake, and gently add throttle until you feel the coach bump over the chains.  As soon as you feel the bump over, STOP!  Set the parking brake and return outside.

7.  Pull the remaining bunched chain open, hook the INSIDE hook first, then the outer hook.  Tighten the cams and install the bungees.  Repeat on the opposite side and you're ready to go.

8.  As a check, pull forward one or two bus lengths and reinspect everything.  Do so again after roughly 1/2 mile.  Keep your speed to 25 mph or less until it's time to remove the chains.

If you take the time to do #1 BEFORE you leave, you should be able to hang both chains and be back on the road w/in 10 min.  Especially if you practice it a little first when it's dry and not miserable outside.  BTDTHTS!

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink


PS:  #3 starts on the driver's side of the coach, btw. . .
« Last Edit: December 30, 2012, 07:02:44 PM by RJ » Logged

RJ Long
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2012, 07:00:26 PM »

 Just within the last couple of weeks the 2 major east/west passes in Washington were at one point requiring chains on anything over 10,000 lbs. Both of them were also shut down for spinouts, wrecks, or trees across the road. The one pass was closed for a couple of days.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2012, 07:09:13 PM »

 Ed, does that mean you just have to have them on board, or do you actually have to put them on?

JC
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JC
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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2012, 07:10:55 PM »

Ed, does that mean you just have to have them on board, or do you actually have to put them on?

JC -

When the man with the ticket book says put them on, you put them on!

 Grin
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RJ Long
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« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2012, 07:12:11 PM »

what is the speed limit with chains
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Todd
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2012, 07:18:01 PM »

Well guys, the heck with putting the jewelry on if you're on holidays in your bus conversion, just hole up at Walmart and wait out the storm...

JC
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JC
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2012, 07:28:27 PM »

JC, after Nov. 1st in Wa. and some of the other states, you are required to carry them with you. Now they will never check to see if you have them until the snow gets bad enough that they post that chains are required. When that happens they mean that you are required to have them on your tires or else you are going to get a ticket and/or not allowed to proceed.  I make sure i am in Az before Nov.   Grin    Don't have or want chains for the bus, bought a set for the Jeep in 99, have never used them.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
Van
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2012, 07:32:00 PM »

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=24920.new#new
Be careful out there!
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2012, 07:46:43 PM »

As RJ said, when the guy with the ticket book says put on chanis you put them on.

To me the secret is doing it at home first so your not "learning on the job" so to speak.
A few years ago I was taking my daughter to California for horse training,shows etc. We had to be there New Years day and had to cross the Sykious Pass from Oregon into California. I drove the bus and my wife towed the horse trailer with our dually. Both were required to have chain for the pass. And dad(that's me) got to put them on the bus and the truck. I was prepared with winter cloths, gloves and a big piece of carboard to sit/kneel on. Got them on-no problem.
And I can say this"I WAS NEVER SO GLAD IN MY WHOLE LIFE THAT I HAD CHAINS ON THE BUS" .The pass going up AND coming down was snowy,rutty and icy.
As soon as conditions allow take them off. Chains don't do well in bare pavement situations. Probably not a good idea to go any faster that 15-20 mph. and one more thing. Have a few bungee chords to take up any side slack in the chains. The tighter it fits the tire the better.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2012, 07:49:57 PM »

 Todd, doesn't matter what the speed limit is, you want to drive according to the conditions at the time, 25 mph might be fine or 15 mph might be too much,.....it all depends.
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1968 MCI 5A with 8V71 and Allison MT644 transmission.  Western USA
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2012, 09:51:02 PM »

Or you could eliminate all this gobbledy goop of hanging chains by installing automatic tire chains. They are certified for school bus and fuel tanker operation. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 06:36:36 AM »

When I pulled out of Kingston Ontario on Friday morning, the day after our little blizzard that hit all of eastern Canada (Kingston got 12"), I had seen at least five tractor trailer rigs stuck - in the parking lot at the truck stop...  Big tow truck was hooking a cable on, pulling them forward about 10 feet to where the plow had cleared the snow, and then they could go.  Along the route (Highway 401 to Quebec, then AR 20 and 30 to Edmunston NB) I saw at least 12 tractor trailers off on the center median, they looked like they had just parked there on the side of the road in the ditch, but of course they drove off in the blizzard - there are no delimiter stakes on the inside, just on the outside.  One got off and hit something big, probably a concrete abutment for a culvert, because the tractor was torn in half, the front axle and the engine were several feet from the frame.  Hope the driver got out OK.  Quite late in the day, road dry, some sun, I came upon an accident that must have happened only minutes earlier, a tanker truck had gone off the inside edge, into a quite deep ditch, rolled over, again took out the front of the tractor but the cab seemed ok - they were climbing out, and I passed an ambulance going the other way at a high rate of knots a couple of minutes later.  All I could think of was a car did something stupid and the tractor trailer went into the inside ditch avoiding the wreck and became the wreck.

For me, if you need chains carry them, but try real hard to never put them on... 

Brian
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