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Hello all, until last month I was a Floridian, i now live in eastern Oregon, I know all about driving in monsoon rains, hurricanes and dodging old people. But I know nothing about snow or its terrifing sadistic cousin ice. Especially as level ground is hard to find arround here.

By next winter I will have a smaller commuter vehicle for me to drive and probably winter tires, possibly studded, but for whats left of this winter I am sharing the wife's Sequoia with all season tires and I am finding them lacking in ice traction. we probably will never get winter tires for the Sequoia, she is a homemaker and is likely to just not drive until it melts. But we should have some chains for emergencies or if we get caught out.

But that leads to the question witch ones? Les Schwab in town is selling thier "quick fit" line, seams reasonable, anybody run them on a Sequoia? should I be looking at something else?

Her sequoia is 4wd, should we get 4 or just two? If just 2 witch axle should we use the chains on?
 

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Are you running in 4hi in the snow? The atrac system does pretty good to move power where needed. I would just run them on the rear if at all. Driving style is going to determine more than the chains. Slow down, don't oversteer or over brake. Downshift to slow down
 

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Discussion Starter #3
4/hi 2/hi, haven't had much problem getting going yet, just accelerate slowly, but I have found ice a few times, and the increase in stopping distance especially downhill on ice has scared me a few times already. We have only had a few days of ice here so far but I did not like it one bit, most folks here are on studded tires and driving like its a regular sunny day.
 

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I plow snow every year for residential customers in our icy mid-Atlantic east coast winters. We use a diesel Ram 2500, and I drive a 2000 Tundra Access Cab V8 Automatic 4x4 every day. I have never been to Oregon and I don't know anything about your weather, but my region of Maryland is full of incredibly steep hills and narrow roads with hairpin bends at the bottom, perfect for careening off into the ditch. Through many many miles on such roads in icy and snowy conditions, I have never had a time when I've even considered chains, even in snow as deep as two or three feet.

My Tundra does not have any sort of locking differentials, anti-lock brakes, or traction control, but with 4x4 and a good set of Mountain-Snow rated all-terrain tires (my choice is the BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2) you should be able to handle yourself as long as your technique is good. The M+S rating is usually expressed as a set of mountains with a snowflake symbol on the sidewall of the tire.

Chains are a massive PITA to put on and if you manage to break one it can do a lot of damage. Sturdy V-bar chains work well but if you only keep them in the vehicle for "emergencies," let me assure you, they are much harder to put on in a ditch than in the garage. I personally don't see much value in it.

Use 4Hi and approach the top of steep curvy hills slowly, putting the transmission into L or 2 (1st or second gear) if necessary and very gently use brakes to control the speed down the hill. Powering up the hills shouldn't be a problem in that heavy V8 SUV as long as you start accelerating early at the bottom, as soon as it's safe to step on it. Absolutely DO NOT press the brakes while turning in slippery conditions or you will likely slide sideways off the road, and it may in fact help to use gentle throttle in 4Hi to pull the front end around the corner if you are having trouble turning. Too much throttle at any point can cause the back end to fishtail. Driving in the snow is all about being gentle and planning every action ahead of time.
 

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Les Schwab sells good products. They aren’t the cheapest around, but they are a safe bet and back the products they sell. They used to advertise that they’ll give you your money back for a set of chains if you haven’t used them by the end of the season. I don’t know if they still do that. Definitely buy chains that are quick fit. If you take them on and off more than once a season you’ll be kicking yourself on time wasted and knuckles busted otherwise.
I would just get 2. Unless you are out in a 12” in a day blizzard you won’t need all 4 chained up. I haven’t used chains on a 4x4 before, but I would think I would do the front for better steering and braking. You do still have to be careful though because the back end could still come around a bit, especially when braking on a corner. Just like all new driving techniques, I would recommend practice. Go to an empty parking lot and drive around. Make sure you know how your vehicle responds.
To those that have commented that you don’t need chains, the roads are different in Oregon, or more the care of the roads during snow. I grew up in Pennsylvania and never used chains there, they were illegal to use unless a state of emergency had been declared. In Oregon the roads aren’t salted, and even most of them don’t get plowed. With that combination, people driving on them, and the temperature swings, roads quickly turn to a sheet of ice filled with a bunch of people who have no idea how to drive on it but insist on it anyway. At least in the Portland area, we don’t get enough snow for people to practice driving on it. Someone from Florida wouldn’t either. So chains are just normal practice here.
When going over mountain passes, chains or traction tires are required. In Oregon, in all but the worst conditions, MS rated tires count for that, though I haven’t seen anyone actually check on passenger vehicles. I have the BFG AT KO2’s on my Tundra and have never felt that I needed chains with my driving experience. I do want to get a pair for driving to California though. They require you to chain up on passes during storms and actually have multiple check stations along the way. Both times I’ve had to do that I’ve been in a car, but didn’t feel it was necessary at all. We’ll probably want to start taking our Tundra to California instead of our Corolla, so I’ll need a set for the Tundra.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yep, our town does not have plows or salt trucks, ODOT does plow and gravel the major roads in town becuase they are part of state highways but all side streets are just solid ice.

We got 16" of snow last week but it is melting pretty good on the roads now, it was very slick for a while. the sequoia did well, the very long stopping distances still freaks me out but I have not slid all the way into an intersection yet but I have come close. Abs and traction control got a work out.

a lot of normal cars were un-drivable even with chains, they would high center on snow and loose weight and therefore traction to the tires. With that storm the locals brought out thier chains and everybody who is not running studs seams to be running the les-schwab chains, there must be something to it.

I think we will get just a single pair for just in case.

Next year I will have a diffrent car for my commute and it's getting studs for the winter. Trying to decide on a AWD Lexus to stay in the Toyota family or go with the local favorite ( and higher maintenance) Subaru outback, used Lexus/Toyota's go for a fortune here and are hard to find. Used subaru's are plentiful and cheap.

The wife will not likely take the Sequoia out in the Snow, she has no interest in even learning how.
 
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