Tired of chaining up? Here are 5 reasons this tire traction device is an easier alternative
Traction textiles are common in Europe, but the technology hasn’t become mainstream yet in America.
For the Tahoe Daily Tribune
Editor’s Note: This sponsored content is brought you by Sierra Traction.
Visit sierratraction.com to watch a video showing science behind traction textiles and how they work on snow and ice.
SAFETY IN THE SNOW
Chaining up during a winter storm can be brutal — you’re outside fighting the elements while trying to remain safely out of the way of oncoming traffic. Often this leads to freezing and dirty hands and an overall miserable experience.
But what if you could hop out of your car and “chain up” in just a couple of minutes, without using any chains at all? It turns out Europeans have been doing this for at least the last 16 years, but Americans can safely and legally use traction textiles, too.
California-based Sierra Traction is bringing the ISSE Safety brand traction textile to the American West because the product is safe, effective and easy to use. It’s perfect for mountain roads throughout the Sierra Nevada.
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“In Europe, traction textiles go on almost all cars — Traction Textiles have taken a significant portion of the traction industry market share,” said Alora Reynolds, founder of Sierra Traction and local South Lake Tahoe real estate advisor. “We really want Sierra Traction to be the first to introduce this awesome product to the market here.”
Here are 5 reasons you should consider this snow traction device for your tires.
1. Legal alternative to chains and cables
As a traction device for snow and ice, this traction textile is as safe for use as chains and cables. Reynolds said she often hears questions about whether or not these traction textiles are legal on area roads. Currently, these devices are approved for use in Colorado, Washington, California and Oregon.
“Traction Textiles are Department of Transportation (DOT) approved — a list of the state vehicle codes are available at Sierra Traction’s website and certificates can be provided upon request,” Reynolds said.
2. Safe traction
The product incorporates a lot of complex technology to protect you and your car from sliding all over icy roads. Utilizing the physical law of tribology — the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in motion, which includes the science of adhesion, friction, lubrication and wear — the design and materials optimize tire grip under adverse conditions, according to ISSE.
The fibers are woven together in such a way that has this tribolic effect with the snow. The rotation of the tire creates this tension with the snow, providing friction when the tires would otherwise be sliding.
ISSE produces and weaves its own fibers to ensure the most durable and safest traction control. This includes TriboTek, a braiding design that optimizes the physical law of tribology for additional traction; High Tenacity System ultra-resistant fibers; HybridTrak, which combines the tribological effect of grip with mechanical pull; and Active3D, a braid that provides increased durability and grip.
3. Easy to use
By using traction textiles as an alternative to chains or cables, people are also reducing their safety risk during installation. When you’re outside installing cables or chains, your fingers get uncomfortably cold as you fumble around with hard-to-install equipment.
“With traction textiles, you’re not out there long enough for your fingers to freeze,” Reynolds said. “I’ve installed them on both tires in about 3 minutes. It might take you 5 minutes if you’ve never done it before.”
You install the textiles on your drive wheels — the front wheels for front wheel drive vehicles, and rear tires for rear wheel drive vehicles. On 4 wheel drive vehicles, you can install the textiles on either the front or back tires. Just like with chains or cables, always consult your vehicle owner manual for proper placement, Reynolds said.
“With traction textiles, you can be back inside your car in just a few minutes,” she said.
There are three simple steps, according to ISSE:
1. Place the textile chain on top of the tire.
2. The user should simply pull it down to start placing the cover over the top of the tire.
3. Drive slightly forward, then slip the cover over the top of the tire again, making it evenly adjusted around the tire.
4. Better for your car
Traction textiles don’t cause any bouncing, noise or vibration while driving like you’d experience with chains or cables. And for low-clearance vehicles, there can be a risk of damage to the vehicle with chains and cables.
ISSE also reports that the space between the tire and the body is minimal, so these traction textiles do not affect the operation of the different active safety systems of your vehicle, such as traction control, stability or ABS.
The ISSE traction textiles are for intensive use, and can drive from snow to asphalt, however driving on asphalt for long periods of time is not recommended. Reynolds said she’s tested the product on asphalt and found no deterioration after about 10 miles on straight asphalt, but it’s still not recommended. As with all chain and cable traction devices remove once on clear asphalt and keep the speed at 25 mph or less. Intensive use means it’s meant to be used over and over again, similar to cables. Some snow sock brands are made only for emergency use and not for repeated use.
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