First get your Tyre sizes

this tyre would be 205/65/16,
commercial tyres (van, table -top, etc)
may only have two numbers ie: 205/16

Snow Chain Fitting

There are several different kinds of snow chains the two main types are ladder pattern and diamond pattern.

Chain fitting

If you have not fitted chains before, learn how to fit them when you get them in the dry because it won't be any easier. You can expect below zero temperatures, chilling winds and wet cold hands when you have to fit your chains on the mountain.

Which Wheels?

Fit chains to the driving wheels. (Do the front wheels propel the car, or do the rear ones?) Look underneath your car for a tail shaft (long round piece of metal that spins and connects motor with back of car) fit chains to rear wheels if so. If not fit to front wheels.

Chain size

Chain size is calculated using three of your tyre sizes - Wheel Size, Tyre Width and Series. There are a number of different chain sizes, one size chain can fit over 35 different tyre sizes. Additionally if your rims have been altered from standard the profile of the tyre would also change. The only guarantee that your chains will fit is to check them at point of purchase or hire

When to fit chains

When travelling into the mountains the roads are usually marked by signs indicating when to fit chains, however if you are travelling and it starts to dump snow before signs are in place you will have to use common sense. You will notice the snow on the road is building, reduce your speed to a crawl then push hard on the brakes, if the car slides on the road it is time to fit chains. If you are driving up the mountain at this stage you can expect the weather to be colder and therefore the snow thicker definitely requiring chains. Look for a clear spot on the side of road or chain fitting bay. Don't stop in the middle of road! (yes, people do)


National Park regulations state that all vehicles (except 4WD vehicle) entering the National Park must carry chains when driving through designated 'snow and ice' risk sections Random chain inspections take place throughout the ski season and fines exceeding $300 will be issued to drivers who fail to comply with National Park regulations on the use of snow chains While four wheel drive vehicles may not be required to fit chains, it is still wise to carry them and will certainly assist if you lack experience driving on ice and snow. You may also need them in the event of extreme weather conditions

AWD vehicles

The regulation does not clarify the status of AWD vehicles. When fitted with winter tyres or snow chains AWD vehicles provide the same advantages of driving on snow covered roads as other types of 4WD vehicles

The outer hoop should sit evenly on tyre and not sit on shoulder of tyre. Different chains may tension differently, but most operate as a hook and chain which pulls the ends of the hoop together. Drive forward half a revolution and check chain tension. With the weight of the vehicle (and the fat guy who won't get out) the tyres tend to bulge at the bottom when you move forward the chains is loose.

If you hear any banging or repetitive knocking, stop the car. Get out and investigate the loose chain will make a mess of your paint work not to mention damage to the under body of the car. Give yourself at least twice the distance as usual between your car and the car in front of you. Anticipate your stops, corners, and turns- avoid making sudden movements Removal When the road becomes clear of snow and ice pull over and remove the chains. Do not drive with chains on pavement unnecessarily. The steps are the same as above, but in reverse order. Pick a spot where other cars can see and avoid you. Unhook the inside and outside chains. Pull the chains off the tire and lay on the ground. Drive off forward until the tires are completely off the chains

Ladder Chains

Take a sheet of plastic to lie on Pick a spot where other cars can see and avoid you Check chain is not tangled,fit inner hoop over tyre (Hoop with hook on one end and chain on other connect hook on chain - you may need to adjust by shortening a link, you won't know until you connect outside hoop

The inside hoop should sit evenly around tyre, the hoop should not be on the shoulder of the tyre

pull outer hoop tight and connect chain at bottom on the tightest link possible

fit excess chain on to tension arm or secure loose chain

pull back tension arm and lock off with locking link

Diamond Chains

Pick a spot where other cars can see and avoid you,Check chain is not tangled, Slide chain along road around tyre (yellow end first to avoid dirt and ice)

join inner hoop link at top on outside shoulder.

pull outer hoop tight and connect chain at bottom on the tightest link possible

open tension block with thumb and pass through connection hook, feed tension chain through clip or blue chain, pull tight, connect hook on to blue chain.
Drive half rotation of tyre and retighten.


Undo tension chain, Undo green link, Disconnect inner hoop, Lay chain on road, Drive forward.