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  • Snow chains

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    Link-type, diamond pattern snow chains on a front-wheel drive automobile. Snow chains at the front wheel of a grader at the Pikes Peak Highway. Automatic tire chains are permanently mounted near the drive tires and engage by turning a switch, then move into position to fling the pieces of chain under the tires automatically. Automatic chains were invented in 1941 in the United States. The Onspot Automatic Tire Chain System was invented in Sweden in 1977.Snow chains, or tire chains, are devices fitted to the tires of vehicles to provide maximum traction when driving through snow and ice. Snow chains attach to the drive wheels of a vehicle or special systems deploy chains which swing under the tires automatically. Although named after steel chain, snow chains may be made of other materials and in a variety of patterns and strengths. Chains are usually sold in pairs and often must be purchased to match a particular tire size (tire diameter and tread width), although some designs can be adjusted to fit various sizes of tire.

  • Winter service vehicle

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    A winter service vehicle clearing roads near Toronto, Canada A winter service vehicle (WSV), or snow removal vehicle, is a vehicle specially designed or adapted to clear thoroughfares of ice and snow. Winter service vehicles are usually based on a dump truck chassis, with adaptations allowing them to carry specially designed snow removal equipment. Many authorities also use smaller vehicles on sidewalks, footpaths, and cycleways. Road maintenance agencies and contractors in temperate or polar areas often own several winter service vehicles, using them to keep the roads clear of snow and ice and safe for driving during winter. Airports use winter service vehicles to keep both aircraft surfaces, and runways and taxiways free of snow and ice, which, besides endangering aircraft takeoff and landing, can interfere with the aerodynamics of the craft. The earliest winter service vehicles were snow rollers, designed to maintain a smooth, even road surface for sleds, although horse-drawn snowplows and gritting vehicles are recorded in use as early as 1862.

  • Snow tire

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    Winter tire, showing tread pattern designed to compact snow in the gaps.Snow tires—also called winter tires—are tires designed for use on snow and ice. Snow tires have a tread design with larger gaps than those on summer tires, increasing traction on snow and ice. Such tires that have passed a specific winter traction performance test are entitled to display a "Three-Peak Mountain Snow Flake" symbol on their sidewalls. Tires designed for winter conditions are optimized to drive at temperatures below . Some snow tires have metal or ceramic studs that protrude from the tire to increase traction on hard-packed snow or ice. Studs abrade dry pavement, causing dust and creating wear in the wheel path. Regulations that require the use of snow tires or permit the use of studs vary by country in Asia and Europe, and by state or province in North America. Related to snow tires are those with an M+S rating, which denotes an "all-season" capability—quieter on clear roads, but less capable on snow or ice than a winter tire.

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