Whatever happened to …

… tire chains and studs?

On the heels of last week’s post, I got thinking about this.

I grew up in the snow belt. I was in high school during the big blizzard of 1971 with the farm kids being billeted in town. Nobody was going anywhere – except for some dumb reason those of us who owned snowmobiles actually went back to school.

The Great Blizzard of ’71 has become the gauge by which every other storm has been compared by Huron County residents.

Snow tires were always a big deal and there were also some that came with studs to help with traction. Tire chains? I don’t recall any on cars but I do remember that the town had some on the graders that eventually cleared the streets, putting it all in our driveway, it seemed.

The whole concept was to get extra traction as you navigated or tried to navigate the roads.

It seems so far away here in sunny Essex County today. It’s -6 and there’s a bit of snow left from a dusting that we had a week or so ago. I’m still wearing running shoes as I go outside.

In doing my research, I ran into this legal summary indicated what’s legal and what’s not legal across Canada. TL;DR, studs are available in Northern Ontario and chains are not allowed everywhere. The rationale for banning seems to be to preserve the road.

I’ve seen what a shredded tire does to the side of a NASCAR car; imagine the damage that a broken chain would do to a car’s back panel or even the road underneath!

It might have made more sense back in the day since vehicles were rear wheel drive but today we get better traction with front wheel or four wheel drive. And, of course, better tires.

Photo by Arisa Chattasa on Unsplash

Around here, we have one vehicle with all season tires and another with all weather tires. It’s flat here in Essex County and snow is only a threat compared to most other places in the province. Besides, where you going to go anyway?

For a Sunday, how about spinning your tires and sharing some thoughts?

  • do you switch to snow tires for the winter?
  • if you do, where do you store your summer tires?
  • what’s the difference between all seasons and all weather tires?
  • do you remember tire chains or studs?
  • Toyo has a modern alternative to tire studs. What are they? Have you tried them?
  • if you switch to snow tires, why don’t you put your fancy wheel covers back on?
  • if you’re old enough to remember rear wheel drive, would you agree with me that they were more fun for a little recreational spinning and fishtailing? I’m thinking specifically of frozen ponds in Goderich Township.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments below.

All of the Sunday “Whatever happened to …” posts are available here. If you have an idea for a future post, please let me know – I’m @dougpete on Twitter or there’s a Padlet that you can add your idea to.

Let’s close with a smile.

4 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. I remember my Dad putting chains on tires when I was a kid. They seemed like a lot of trouble to put on. I have seen signs by mountain passes in the western us requiring chains or studs. Steep roads with ice and snow.

    Yes rear wheel drive is fun.

    Like

  2. Pingback: My Week Ending 2021-01-24 – doug — off the record

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