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Tips & Tricks
December 22, 2020


Welcome to another installment of The ROP Shop’s Rugged U How-To videos.

Some of the toughest conditions for both Outdoor Power Equipment as well as Power Sport vehicles is sometimes traveling through the mud in the spring and fall, or snow in the winter. One of the best ways to avoid getting stuck is by installing tire chains. Today we are going to look at the right way to install your ROP Shop tire chains, best practices, and installation of optional tensioners to ensure they stay in place.

Let’s get started…

  • The first thing you are going to want to do is to double-check The ROP Shop tire chain size before ordering from Sku’s: 100145-100158. Click tire chains to see our inventory. If you are not sure which one is best for you, you can call, email, or chat with us, through our website, to help select the best fitment for your unit.
  • Next, set up your lawn tractor/snowblower/ATV in a place that you can easily roll the unit forward or reverse over the chains without hitting obstacles.
  • Be aware of what surface you will be driving on since the chains can cause damage to some surfaces.
  • Have your brake engaged and/or hydrostat engaged until you are ready to move the unit.
  • Lay the chains out behind the mower tires. Untangle the chains, ensuring there are not any twists.
  • It is quicker and easier to install two adjacent tires at the same time, but it can be done one at a time as well.
  • Be sure the chain is set up so that when it surrounds the tire, the link ends that go around the sides of the tire will not dig into the sidewall.
  • See that the ends of cross-chain hooks are facing upward and with the chain fasteners to the outside of the unit. Also, keep the hooks out from ending up under the tread of the tire when you roll the unit over them.
  • Disengage your brake and/or hydrostat and put your unit into neutral to allow your unit to roll. For safety reasons, it is suggested that you do not drive over the chains when possible. However, if you do drive over the chains, take extra safety precautions.
  • Roll your unit backward until it is about 3/4 of the way backed over the chains you laid on the ground. Stop and adjust as needed.
  • Release air pressure from the tire to provide an easier install and snug fit. Doing this now made it easier to roll.
  • Taking the corners of the chains under the mower, and keeping the chains from twisting, pull them up and over the tire until they drape on the other side.
  • Pull the inner chain tight and fasten hooks.
  • Note the number of links remaining on the inner chain for when you move to the outer chain hook, placing the fastener through the same number of links.
  • Re-inflate tires to provide a snug fit with the chains and back to factory specifications. Make sure the chain falls on the tread of the tire and not between the tread.
  • It may be necessary to drive the unit with all of the chains on. This will work out any unseen kinks in the chains and allow the chains to settle into where they will be going forward. Drive slowly to protect against the chains falling off and becoming damaged or damaging your machine. Reassess the chains for any needed adjustment.
  • To adjust a chain tighter, unhook the outside latch, but keep it connected to the link, then adjust the inside hook. Since the inside is just a hook, it becomes more difficult to adjust, so adjusting it first, makes it easier to then return to the outside latch, and refasten it where the chain fits the tightest.
  • Finally, when you are satisfied with the chain fit, use wire or heavy-duty twist ties to tie back extra chain links. If the chains will be used again on the same unit, season after season, you have the option of cutting off the slack with bolt cutters or marking the link that the fastener attaches to for quicker installation in the following years. Leaving the extra links on the chains will give you some play in case you replace your unit with something that has slightly larger tires.
Video intro screen for Rugged U Video intro screen for Rugged U
  • See our video for an example of tire chains that are installed upside-down and riding too loose to the tire. This can cause problems driving as well as risk damage to your unit as well as you. It is best to then check your installation and ensure you purchased the correct chains for your size tires.
  • If you are not sure you can call, email, or chat with us, through our website,, for help with fitment.
  • If you have properly installed your chains, they should fit snug to the tire. You can decrease the likelihood of your chains coming loose, and increase the pull on the chains by installing The ROP Shop’s spring tensioners, sku: 100159. Simply attach each spring to four opposing points over the rim.

We hope you found this video helpful when installing your tire chains and chain tensioners. Be sure to visit us again, as we are always updating and adding new how-to videos. Thanks for joining us and as always... Stay Rugged.

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