How many chains?

prhunter

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Aug 2, 2014
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Far West Texas
I see that most tire chains are sold in pairs. Question is would be ok with just two or should I have one for each tire in my vehicle?
 

Mthuntr

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In the Sagebrush of SW Montana
2 is better than none. 4 is better than 2. Consider avoiding situations where you need any BUT things happen so be prepared.

Many trucks these days are designed such that only the rear tires have the right clearance for chains. You can get less beefy "passenger" or low clearance chains or cables for front which are better than nothing.
 

SFC B

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Colorado Springs
Better to have 4 but I have had to make do with a pair on vehicles where that was the only option. What kind of vehicle are you talking about?
 

PNWGator

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Feb 24, 2016
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Go all four. Recommend ‘real’ chains too. Blue Jay Industrial in Hayden Idaho offers top notch service and a variety of quality choices along with competitive prices.
 

MTGomer

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MT —> AZ
Things have to be pretty darn western to need 4 but it’s not a bad idea.

I have never put more than 2 on my own truck and have gone everywhere I’ve wanted but I’ve had a little pucker factor that could have been avoided with another set
 

Mallardsx2

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Apr 4, 2015
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When I chain up, I chain up before I need them and I chain all 4. Its the correct way to do things regardless of what people say. Been there done that with 2 chains...I prefer 4. If you put 4 chains on a diesel truck you now have a tank. And I promise you it will still get stuck if things get too "western" lol
 

mtmuley

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I take four. Usually use just two. On the front. It has to be bad to need four. I do notice big, heavy diesels suck in deep snow. Nothing more annoying than one stuck in the road in front of you. mtmuley
 

brushcreek

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I got in a bind in Unit 66 Colorado last year third season. Going up the mountain in deep snow, tread filled up and froze. Tried getting out with just two, that did not work. Put on all 4 and made it out fine.
I'd highly recommend 4.
 

Losing_Sanity

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Years ago while hunting in southern Utah, we hiked out on a trail that was frozen over with snow and ice. A jeep had gone up that trail earlier that morning. After hunting that morning, we headed back to the trail head which was up on top of a pretty steep hill and have some lunch. The sun had warmed up and it was a pretty nice blue sky day. Most of the snow had melted off and the ice was gone which meant the trail was now extremely muddy. That jeep (CJ5) that went up the trail earlier came past us going out and down that hill. Well, they only put chains on the front for pulling up the mountain. We immediately saw what was about to happen. As the driver went past and gained speed down the hill, he put on the brakes which spun the rear around and the jeep (with 4 passengers) rolled several times down that hill. One passenger got a broken collar bone as he was pinned under the jeep and the others received minor injuries as they jumped from the vehicle.

I learned that day, that chaining all four tires is the best option... Vehicles are designed for all four wheel braking to stabilize the vehicle. Better to put them on and not need to, than need to and it's too late.
 

hank4elk

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SW NM
03 Tacoma with rear diff lock
I only have one set for the rear on my '98 Tacoma,& that's all I have ever needed....it is also all that will fit unless I put spacers on & change this & that. Also that is what is recommended in owners manual.
I need some for the Ford I got...just in case.
I use fairly aggressive tires here due to roads we have & I just don't get myself into bad situations if I can help it any more. Better to wait a while in NM if conditions get iffy,I have found. But I carry a bunch of extraction stuff regularly & use it when needed. Usually helping someone else get out of my way....LOL.
 

JLS

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I take four. Usually use just two. On the front. It has to be bad to need four. I do notice big, heavy diesels suck in deep snow. Nothing more annoying than one stuck in the road in front of you. mtmuley
I can confirm diesel trucks suck in deep snow. I chain up two for going in. All four is reserved for the self extrication

@Guy should chime in here.
 

Tradewind

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Aug 19, 2015
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Buzz, I see the claws are sold 2 per set. Are 2 claws (1 set) on each rear or front wheels enough to get you out of deep snow or mud?
Do you like them better than chains, or just easier to put on
thx
 
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mtmuley

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montana
Driving skill and one's comfort level on snowy, icy mountain roads makes a difference. I once chained up a guy with my chains and drove out with none because he was in my way. He was pretty puckered and had no business being on the mountain in those conditions. mtmuley
 

Sandpounder

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Nov 19, 2018
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I might have to get some of those deals on that link. I carry four chains but rarely use them. Those claws would have worked out this winter. I tried to go help pull somebody out and by the time I got there they had dug out and ended up pulling me out. I thought about chaining up to go in, but nope. Not that smart.
 

Gr8bawana

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Jul 14, 2013
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Nevada
In the 30+ years I've been hauling around my chains I have ever only needed to chain up all 4 tires twice. It would have been very bad situation indeed not having chains for all 4 tires.
 

oleefish2

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Oct 16, 2007
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wy
I always stop and adjust my tighteners more than one time. Also I have some tarp bungy straps as backup tighteners. You can get them super tight and they will hold up really well.
 
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