Does Your Tractor Need Snow Chains?

As the winter season approaches, it’s time to prep your tractor for the weather. Tractors are great vehicles year-round, but their capabilities can shine as they push snow off the roads. A tractor that can double as a snowplowing machine is also handy for farmers with lots of land to maintain.

However, a tractor often has to be equipped with special attachments to keep it steady on packed or deep snow. If you need to plow driveways and other icy areas, investing in snow chains is worth it. Tire Chains ‘R’ Us shows us several options for tractor snow chains.

Which snow chains are better for plowing driveways?

A tractor driving on a snowy road with with snow chains on its tires
A tractor with snow chains on its tires | Annette Riedl/picture alliance via Getty Images

As seen on the Tires Chain ‘R’ Us site, the Roadmaster Ladder 4 Link was designed with more challenging surfaces, like roads, in mind. You can travel with them attached at higher speeds without having to worry about reduced traction. The Fieldmaster Ladder Square 4 Link and 2 Link chains also provide good traction on and off the road.

The Aquiline MPC Square Link chain set allows you to travel between driveways without scratching up the asphalt.  Despite their solid steel construction, the chains are light enough to get excellent clearance. The Round Twist 2 Link chains give the tractor a smoother ride but aren’t durable enough for deep lug tires.

Which ones provide traction off-road?

Many tractor drivers prefer double-ring chains for fieldwork, as they’re very versatile in both deep snow and mud. The rings are self-cleaning to protect against both debris and rust during the course of many years. According to one user on Tractor Forum, the double-ring tires also provide excellent traction on steep inclines. Best of all, a set of double-rings is relatively inexpensive compared to other options.

The Duo 7mm tire chains are for off-road use only and are reportedly one of the most popular options. These have more cross chains per side and are linked to ride on top of the lugs, reducing tire wear. These chains are also available with a V-bar link, allowing the chains to dig into ice without traction loss.

Aquiline also offers a pair of heavy-duty off-road tire chains, complete with cross-chain hooks and side fasteners. Maxtrack snow chains are some of the most expensive options, but the alloy steel construction increases their longevity significantly. These chains are suitable for both on- and off-road use, but the U-Grip Square link provides the best traction.

If you’re looking for oversized studs with improved grip, studded alloy tire chains are a good buy. These come with flexible side chains and hooks that can be adjusted on new or worn tires. TRYGG also offers these chains with wear bars for an even longer lifespan and smoother operation.

USA Square makes multiple four-link chain designs, offered up to 12mm and crafted with manganese alloy. These reportedly provide at least 32% more traction compared to standard steel alloy chains. You can also reverse the chains to increase their lifespan.

Alternatives to tractor snow chains

Although snow chains are helpful, they can be difficult to install, and many have high price tags. Tractor snow tires provide better traction and can be left on all year. However, the larger tread means more tire wear and a harsh ride. These tires will also leave hard ruts on the bare ground and pavement.

Truckinginfo also recommends GoClaws, a durable poly-urethane rope system that wraps around each tire. It gets excellent traction on all types of terrain and doesn’t do any excessive damage to roadways. Each set of ropes is easy to install and costs much less than a pair of tractor snow chains.

RELATED: Are Snow Cables Better Than Tire Chains?