Chains needed for winter mountain driving

FRESNO, Calif.

It's tempting to take a last minute ride up the hill, but before you do you want to make sure you have the right chains for your vehicle.

The signs as you head up Highway 168 serve as a constant reminder - chains are always required during the winter months. CHP Officer Tim Sartono says not only is it the law, but for the safety of everyone on the roads.

"It's a tourist environment up here so what we do is we try to do a lot of education and information, and so the violations and the citations are the last thing that we want to do," Sartono said.

A little confused on what type of chains to get for your car? It's easy to find help. Most sporting good stores like Herb Bauer are ready to offer you expert advice.

Before you head out to buy your chains you want to make sure you know what size your tires are. You can find that easily on the side of the tire, the portion that is closest to the rim.

Heavier vehicles with bigger tires may need to use traditional chains, but most vehicles can use the more user-friendly wire chains. Asking for a quick tutorial before you leave the store is a good idea, it will help makes sense of the manual that comes in the box.

"Basically what you want do is cinch them as close as you can to your tire here, and then swing them around like this. Connect it down on the bottom first. Gather them around your tire and do the same thing in the front," Shane Powell from Herb Bauer said.

Once you are ready to hit the road, remember these four safety tips: when pulling over to put chains on your vehicle make sure you do it in an area where you are visible to on coming traffic, if you are using chains you already have, make sure there is no rust damage, never travel faster than 30 miles per hour, and do not drive with chains on your tires on dry roads, it can cause damage to your tires and car turning your trip from winter fun to a winter nightmare.

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