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November 1st is Near: Make Sure your Truck is Equipped with Chains

Chain Training

Washington State trucks need to make sure that they are carrying their chains as of November 1st. That’s next Saturday. To make sure you are prepared, here’s the list of requirements for Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California:

Chains must be carried Nov. 1 through April 1. It takes five chains to comply with the requirement. However, all vehicles of more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight must carry two extra chains in the event that road conditions require the use of more chains or if chains in use are broken or otherwise useless. Chains must have two sides attached with cross-sections. Cables can be permitted. Plastic chains are prohibited.

OR law applies to ALL highways in the state. Signs advise when you are required to carry chains and when you are required to use them. You will need to have six chains on hand to comply in Oregon.

Officials in ID can determine, at any time, that Lookout Pass on I-90, Fourth of July Pass on I-90 or Lolo Pass on Highway 12 are unsafe. When this occurs, signs will alert you to chain up.

CA does not require trucks to carry chains during any specified time period. When the weather hits, it takes at least eight chains for a standard tractor-trailer configuration to comply with the regulations. Conventional tire chains and cable chains, as well as other less conventional devices such as “Spikes Spiders,” are permitted. Trucks with cable-type chains are legal, but may be restricted at times if severe conditions are occurring ; this happens frequently in the higher elevations such as Donner Pass. Automatic chaining systems are permitted in the state; however, you may still be required to add additional “traditional” chains to fully comply with the placement requirements.

Last year, during our first Driver Appreciation day at TC Trans, we produced a video on Chain Training. The video covers: key tools to use while chaining up, how to chain up without having to move your truck, and how to make sure you are legal for the specifications of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California for truck and trailer:

Remember, carrying chains also adds to your total gross weight. Most chains sets weigh approximately 300lbs.

For a comprehensive list of all states, check out our Chain Laws, State-by-State post.

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