Introduction: Customized/ DIY Snow Chains for Tractor Tires

About: We are a family of six who left the city to live and grow on 20 acres. We like to make things and reuse things and build from the land. Enjoy!

For this instructables project I am going to make some custom snow tire chains for our trusty 1960s International Harvester tractor. This could be done with most any tractor and probably snowblowers too. Sure, you could purchase custom snow chains-- but for tires this size, you would pay 100's of dollars. This project only cost me about $90 total for the chain and quick links.

For this instructables project I use my grinder to cut down some smaller lengths of chain and attach them to our International Harvester Tractor tires with the goal of getting more grip on the ice and less slip.

What You'll Need:

  • Safety Goggles
  • Chain (I picked up 1/4 chain from my hardware store. I needed two, twenty foot sections)
  • Chain Quick Connects (I needed 12)
  • Angle Grinder to cut the chain to smaller lengths

Step 1: Gather Some Longer Lengths of Chain

My local hardware store sells chain in 20 foot pieces. I used 1/4 chain for my project. I measured the distance around my tractor tire through the hub. For my tractor this measurement was about 3 feet. My tractor has 6 holes that I can feed through so one 20 foot chain divided by 3 sections gives me 6 3 foot pieces. So I bought 2, 20 foot chains.

Step 2: Cut the Chain to Length

After making my calculations I know I need 12, 3 foot pieces of chain. Using a tape measure I measure and mark the chain with a permanent marker in 3 foot sections. I put on my safety googles and clamp the chain down into my bench vice. Using my angle grinder I carefully cut away 2 sides of one chain length.

Step 3: Attach the Chain to the Tractor Tires

Now I have 12 3 foot sections of chain. Now I simply wrap the chain around the tire and secure it with a 1/4 quick link. These handy links have a threaded section which can be unscrewed to open the chain and screwed to secure it.

Step 4: Test Drive

After securing all 12 chains (6 to each tire) I took the tractor for a test ride and cleared some snow from our homestead driveway. The chains really grip nicely and my tractor is no longer sliding and loosing grip in the snow.

Enjoy and save some money by doing it yourself. Learn about our family homestead and enjoy more HomeStead projects at