RUD Rotogrip Q&A’s

Automatic tire chains were designed to give you traction on ice and snow pack at the flip of a switch. The ROTOGRIP® system provides excellent traction at low speeds due to the adjustable mounting system and unique chain wheel types. With replaceable contact rings, easy installation, and superior design for traveling in winter conditions.

Automatic tire chains were designed to give you traction on ice and snow pack at the flip of a switch. The speed of the vehicle causes the chains on the chain wheel to lift by centrifugal force; the weight of the chain determines the speed at which they lift and go under the tire. RUD Rotogrip chain wheels use a smaller chain which will lift at 3 to 4 MPH, and up to speeds of 30 MPH. The wheel has a flat surface which contacts the drive tire so that it has more surface area for less slippage. The chain wheel contacts the drive tire around 4 inches above the ground, thus if the snow is less than 4 inches they will perform as they should. If the snow depth is greater than 4 inches, the snow will stop the chains from lifting and going under the tire.

Automatic chain systems will correctly function well if the snow is light and powdery, but if the snow is heavy and wet it may stop the chains from lifting and going under the tire. In mountain driving you may not encounter ice until you reach the higher elevations, but with the flip of a switch you will be ready for the icy conditions. Automatic chains save time because you will no longer need to stop to install and remove the tire chain wraps, thus preventing the potential hazard of being struck by other drivers while outside of your vehicle.

No, Automatic tire chains  were designed for use on ice and packed snow only.  We would suggest that you use traditional tire chains to help with better traction in mud.

Automatic chains will function correctly if they are installed properly; they work best when the chain wheel location is centered on the drive tire. When the chain wheel is set up correctly the vehicle simply drives over the chain- this reduces the wear on the chain wheel and drive tire; this is one of the best features of RUD’s automatic chain mounting. For adjustability, RUD uses a mounting tube which allows us to move the chain wheel forward, or back to locate the chain wheel perfectly.

When they are used on ice and the snow pack you will feel them under the tires but the noise that they produce is low. When you reach dry pavement the noise level will increase slightly. At that point the chains need to be retracted.

The RUD Rotogrip can be used on 3/4 ton pickups and up, including ambulances. There is not enough clearance for automatic snow chains to be used on cars and SUVs.

RUDs wheels are not color coded because it works in reverse as well as they do in forward, and at lower speeds! If you have any questions or concerns about RUD ROTOGRIP chains please contact a RUD representative for the correct information.

The chains are designed to run safely up to speeds of 30MPH and if used correctly they have been tested extensively and will not break. The Rotogrip chain system is used worldwide and when used correctly it is the safest means of traction on ice and snow pack that is available today. Deploying the chains at high rates of speeds is the only way to break the chain links. The chains should be deployed and retracted at 10 MPH or Less.

Automatic chains were invented in 1941 in the United States. source:, but the technology really did not take off until late in the 1970’s.

For technical support, please contact our location in Hiawatha, IA 800-553-7993 #3  for ‘Traction Chains’.

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