What Size Tractor Tire Chains Do I Need?

Tractor Tire Chains

If you are looking for traction when you are hauling or driving in muddy/snowy conditions you will need chains. Put them on before you get stuck.

Tractor tires have a series of raised numbers molded into the sidewall that tell you the tire width and diameter.

When shopping for chains, check that they list the tire sizes they’re compatible with. Using this information will help you find the correct size.


Putting chains on the front of your tractor can be helpful in some conditions, but they are not very effective. They will not dig in and help your tractor to get traction in the snow or mud. The front of your tractor is designed to assist in turning and not to drive the tractor over ice and snow. A good way to add more traction is to put chains on the rear wheels.

A set of tractor chains that fit your tires will also help you to get up and over obstacles like fallen trees or branches. There are many options for tractor tire chains, including the pattern “DUO” style as well as traditional ladder-type chains. They can be bought at most any farm and garden store or at some larger auto parts stores.

Examining your tractor tires is the first step in finding the correct size. Look on the sidewall of the tire for a series of raised numbers. These are the tire diameter and width. Measure the tire diameter and width to get the exact sizes of your tractor tires. Then look on the internet or at a tractor parts store to find a set of chains that will fit your tires.

When you are ready to install your chain, take a few minutes and check that they have the right fit. You do not want them to be too tight, or they will be uncomfortable. The goal is to have them fastened in a position where they are snug but not so tight that they can come off the side of the tire. If they are too loose, you can cut off a link or tie them up to make them tighter.

The last thing to remember is that a new set of chains will probably not be sized exactly to the tire size of the factory. They will usually be a little bit longer than needed. If this is the case, it is recommended that you cut off a link and wire-tie the extra chain to the tire side. This will prevent the chains from coming off if you happen to hit a rock or other obstacle.


Unlike lawn tractors that have enough traction to get by on bare ground, tractor tires can quickly become stuck in snow, mud, and slush. Putting chains on the rear of your tractor will provide much-needed traction in these conditions.

Ladder tire chains offer excellent traction that bites into the road surface and helps to prevent slippage. They are easy to install; simply drape them over the tire and secure them in place with tensioners or fasteners. They are available for most tractor sizes and are relatively inexpensive. The size of your tractor tire greatly impacts the length of chain required as the side chains wrap around a larger radius than the center section of the tire. This means a 31″ set of chains is going to be longer than a 33″ set because the side chains overlap 1″ more on each side. If you need to cut off any extra length of the side chain, we recommend you wire-tie it on the inside of the tire so it will be there for future use if you ever need it.

If your tractor has deep lug tires, we recommend a cross-chain rather than the ladder type, as it will not fall down between the tread lugs and will be more effective in helping to dig into the snow or mud. Cross chains are also more economical and can be replaced in minutes without tools.

The double-ring style is also an excellent choice. They are high enough to grip the top of the lugs and are self-cleaning in mud. They are durable and affordable and work well on both asphalt and concrete.

When selecting a pair of tire chains for your tractor, be sure the compatibility information on the product page matches the raised numbers on the sidewall of the tractor tire. This will ensure that the chains fit correctly and won’t damage the tire or the rim. It’s also important to consider the terrain that you will be using the tractor in, as hilly, icy, or wooded areas may require a different style of chain.


Tractor tire chains amplify your tractor’s performance, offering robust traction and stability. However, proper and frequent maintenance is essential for ensuring long-lasting utility like any tool or machinery part. Luckily, there are a variety of tractor tire chain maintenance tips that help you get the most out of your purchase.

The most crucial thing to consider when selecting a tractor tire chain is the terrain you’re tackling. Different landscapes, from icy fields to muddy tracks, demand specific chain designs for optimal grip. Similarly, weather conditions play a role in determining whether you need tractor snow chains or mud tire chains for your vehicle.

As you evaluate the options available, remember that most tractor chains must be adjusted and/or tightened from season to season for a snug fit. It’s common for new chains to need to be cut or removed from time to time as the chains stretch and wear out. It’s important to avoid cutting off excess links on new chains until you have a chance to see how they perform since doing so could result in loss of traction and damage to your tires.

The Roadmaster is one of the most popular and durable tractor tire chain styles. Suited for winter farming, these chains boast a solid track record of providing reliability and superior traction.

Another option is the Studded style, which boasts robust durability and formidable traction. This type of tractor chain is a great choice for heavy snowfalls, as it will ensure you’re not stuck on your farm.

Other tractor chain styles worth considering include the h-pattern “DUO” chains and traditional ladder-type chains. The h-pattern DUO chains offer consistent traction and can be used in various terrains, including mud, mulch, gravel, grass, asphalt, etc. Ladder-style chains are also an excellent option for muddy environments. They are easy to install and come in a wide range of sizes. Just make sure that you install them with the open ends of the hooks facing the inside of the tire. It’s critical that they are not installed backward or facing the outside of the tire because this can result in them flexing over the sidewall and wearing out the tires faster.


We have many tire chain options if you need to get your lawn or snow blower tractor through the snow. We have twist-link ladder pattern chains designed for garden/lawn/subcompact tractors and snow blowers that will give you superior traction in the snow. These chains fit all lug styles and are sold in pairs to cover two tires. We also have heavy-duty road chain options that will work well in snow/ice and on highways for farm/utility tractors with deep lug treads. These chains sit high in the lugs and don’t fall between them like highway chains do. These will also work on mud tires and give you the traction you need in these conditions.

Finally, we have studded traction chains that will outperform all others in hard-packed snow or ice/snow. These will not damage pavement and are available in a square pattern chain, providing outstanding traction and stability. The Talon Studded Tractor Chain is a favorite for tough winter conditions on ice and hard compacted snow.

Choose the type of chain you want based on your terrain, usage requirements, and tire size. Always test the chains before you need them and check that they fit the tires as described in your owner’s manual. It is best to install the chains on the drive wheels, the front wheel for 4-wheel drive, or the rear wheel for 2-wheel drive tractors.