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A publication of the Product Innovation Division of the Mail Tribune

MOVING AHEAD WITH ODOT

Know your chain requirements before the snow hits

W

hen you drive in winter conditions, you may see signs telling you to carry chains or traction tires and when you are required to use them. In some areas, lighted message signs also will advise you about chaining up.

Snow zone signs inform motorists about the current requirements for chains and traction tires. Normally, three messages may be displayed on these signs throughout the winter months. 1. CARRY CHAINS OR TRACTION TIRES When signs say you must carry chains or traction tires, the chains or traction tires must be in or on your vehicle, and they must be the right size for your vehicle and of sufficient number to comply with the chain rules. 2. CHAINS REQUIRED ON VEHICLES TOWING OR OVER 10,000 GVW When this message is displayed, vehicles towing or rated for more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) must use chains. 3. CHAINS REQUIRED—TRACTION TIRES ALLOWED ON VEHICLES UNDER 10,000 GVW. Vehicles towing or rated for 10,000 pounds GVW must use chains. Vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds GVW or less and that are not towing must use chains or traction tires.

OREGON’S CHAIN REQUIREMENTS Chains include link chains, cable chains, or any other device that attaches to the wheel, vehicle, or outside of the tire that is specifically designed to increase traction on ice and snow. “Traction tires” are studded tires or other tires that meet tire industry standards for use in severe snow conditions. These tires display a symbol of a three-peaked mountain and a snowflake on the sidewall. When towing, cars and light trucks must use chains on both tires of the drive axle. Chains also must be on the two outside tires of at least one axle of a trailer that is equipped with a brake.

Friday, October 12, 2007

3. ALL TRUCKS AND VEHICLES PULLING TRAILERS This next level of conditional closure requires all trucks over 10,000 GVW as well as any vehicle pulling a trailer to chain up. Traction tires cannot be substituted for chains. 4. FULL CHAIN RESTRICTION Short of a full closure, this is the most severe winter conditional closure used in Oregon. Under the full chain restriction, all vehicles with the exception of 4-wheel drive and emergency response, are required to install chains. A traction tire is not allowed to substitute for chains. “When we say a full chain-up, we expect to have all non-exempt vehicles to be running with chains, not traction tires,” McCartin said. “This is probably the least understood restriction for the Siskiyous. “However, most violations are motorists who fail to carry chains under the ‘Carry Chains’ requirement. ODOT and Oregon State Police maintain check points on either side of the pass and we won’t hesitate to turn someone around if they aren’t prepared.”

A WINNING TEAM

In most winter conditions, four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles are exempt from the requirement to use chains or traction tires if the vehicle is not towing.

SISKIYOU PASS In very bad winter road conditions all vehicles may be required to use chains regardless of the type of vehicle or type of tire being used. This is known as a conditional road closure. While a conditional road closure may occur on any of Oregon’s highways, they are most frequent on Interstate 5 through the Siskiyou Pass, because of the geometry of the highway, experience of drivers, high truck traffic, and overall large traffic volumes. “We often find motorists are unaware of the conditional closure requirements on Siskiyou Pass,” said Eryca McCartin, district manager for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). On the Siskiyou Pass, the basic “Carry Chains” requirement and three types of conditional closures are used. 1. CARRY CHAINS When signs say you must carry chains, the chains must be in or on your vehicle, and they must be the right size for your vehicle and of sufficient number to comply with the chain rules. 2. SINGLE AXLE TRUCKS AND VEHICLES PULLING TRAILERS Under this conditional closure, all single drive axle trucks over 10,000 GVW and any vehicle pulling a trailer is required to install chains. Traction tires cannot be substituted for chains.

When Medford Ready Mix and LTM, Inc. combined their professional teams, we knew we had a winning combination. Since then, as part of the Knife River corporate family, we've been setting a new standard for service. Like more trucks and quality equipment than anyone else. An expanded quality control team dedicated to creating outstanding products, guaranteed. With more than 75 years of experience and the largest full-time crew in the region, you know we will stand behind our products and services, today and tomorrow.

When you need quality and value on your team, give the LTM team a call.

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Profile for Rosebud Media

ODOT Moving Ahead - October 2007  

Moving Ahead is a publication of the Mail Tribune Advertising Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

ODOT Moving Ahead - October 2007  

Moving Ahead is a publication of the Mail Tribune Advertising Department and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

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