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Ladder pattern chains - facing extinction?

Discussion in 'Snow Talk' started by teckel, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    A heads up.
    Ladder pattern chains may be coming to an end in Australia. I can't say I'm sorry.
    The importer of Konig/Thule also manufactures most Aussie ladder chains (those red hooped ones). Melbourne based. He has reached retirement age (actually, well past retirement age) and has sold the business to a Sydney outfit. This Sydney mob will not be manufacturing ladder patterns as far as I can figure out. Which means they'll die in the bum. Hopefully. The Sydney mob also have no plans to do repairs to rental (or any other) diamond pattern chains, which is a bummer for all chain rental places, and may push the rental prices up.

    Hope you have a good retirement Norm and Liz (and the other Norm). I loved dealing with you guys.
     
  2. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    way overdue.
    should have been banned years ago
     
  3. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Why? While diamond pattern chains are superior I have always thought that ladder chains had a place in the armoury, such as on the rear of end of short wheel base Land-Rovers or on bigger dual wheel 4*4 trucks
     
  4. skifree

    skifree Part of the Furniture Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I trust then that suitable examples of the ladder chains are being captured and preserved in the appropriate museums.
     
  5. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm sure the ones for buses/trucks etc will continue to be imported.
     
  6. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    They'll live on in jindy for years
     
  7. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Until they're all broken. The other ski hires around here use ladder pattern, and are always complaining about broken chains. I only hire out diamond pattern and had no broken chains for 2 years, then last year, a total of about 6. Pretty good really. I must be doing something right! ;)
     
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  8. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Someone round ere will start fixing them.
    It's that sort of place .
     
  9. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Dang!
    Will they be stopping the snake chains too?
     
  10. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    You mean spider chains? No. They're made by Konig/Thule as well as other companies. All imported.
     
  11. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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  12. Untele-whippet

    Untele-whippet beard stroker Ski Pass: Gold

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    Noooo.
    You swap the snake chains for downhill and the ladder chains for uphill. They’re complimentary!
    What board games did you play in your youth?
     
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  13. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Complimentary? Free?

    No dice!
     
  14. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    LOL Good pickup :thumbs:
     
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  15. absentskier

    absentskier Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I refuse to use anything but Aldi chains.
     
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  16. cold wombat

    cold wombat Twitter Contributer Social Media Mod Ski Pass: Gold

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    So you're chained to that solution?
     
  17. Mr. Mook

    Mr. Mook One of Us

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    2 reasons.
    1. they provide blank spots where there is no chain touching the road
    2. they are very difficult to put on correctly, meaning that unless you are really good at it you are more likely to put ladder chains on incorrectly

    Either one of those reasons means they don't make the vehicle safer to drive on snow & ice - which is the exact opposite of their purpose.

    While I have never personally seen a set of diamond chains fall off a car, I have seen lots of ladder ones fall off because they were not put on correctly.

    When I think of all the safety advances that have been made to cars over the last 50 years it is almost criminal that the one "safety" device available for the masses going to snow resorts is even more obsolete than drum brakes. and about as useful as bald tyres.
     
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  18. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I did think that it was actually cheaper to make an adequate diamond chain than a good ladder chain. I had both for the Dyna and noticed no functional difference [ but 8.25R16 tyres not tincy little car tyres] I easily sold the ladders but I still have the diamonds. I think there may be a huge chalk and cheese difference there and I found the ladder chains easier to fit on the truck. Lay them flat and drive over them, tighten; drive 50 metres tighten again, ditto after another short distance. Maye I just got used to using them ? Also I got them cheap from Aussie disposals being ex-army chains so perhaps frugality has something to do with the initial purchase but the army spec ladders were very good
     
  19. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    I have my own diamond pattern chains but I am very rarely am obliged to fit them here in VIC. on my AWD with All Terrain tyres.
     
  20. snowtyres

    snowtyres Addicted Ski Pass: Gold

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    The Alpine Resorts Act wheel chain regulations for Victoria are currently being reviewed.
    Future Victorian wheel chain regulations will come from VicRoads and will include a requirement that wheel chains comply with the European ON-V5117 Standard. Ladder chains will not be approved. There is also likely to be a special classification for AWD vehicles fitted with identified winter/snow tyres in relation to wheel chain fitting. Winter/snow tyres will be required to comply with ECE 117.02 snow test and identified by the 3PMSF ‘snow flake’ alpine symbol. Tyres with only the M+S marking are not likely to be recognised as a winter/snow tyre in this new wheel chain classification.
     
  21. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    My understanding is that all chains in Vic will need to comply with the ONorm 5117 standard in 12 months time, rendering ladder chains and various others including Aldi redundant.

    You have been working hard with Vicroads, haven't you! Getting special regs in regard to winter tyres to suit your business.
     
  22. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    I hope you're being tongue in cheek there. It seems perfectly sensible to adopt a practice that works in snow conditions around the world.
     
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  23. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Yes, provided he stops at this point. But I fear he may keep going until it becomes a requirement that every vehicle going to the snowfields must have winter tyres fitted. That would destroy the whole snow industry in Australia Victoria.
     
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  24. Marty_McSly

    Marty_McSly Backwards to the future! Ski Pass: Gold

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    Today, Victoria. Tomorrow, the world! :p
     
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  25. Mister Tee on XC Skis

    Mister Tee on XC Skis One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, there must be a balance between safety and vested interests moving the goalposts to suit circumstances to their advantage ergo tilting towards a monopoly.
     
  26. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Looks like Upgraded (chain) regs in Vic soon, while in NSW many drivers will be playing chicken on the roads assuming predicted snowfalls don't arrive. As witnessed many times over recent decades. . Very strange NSW!!
     
  27. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    NSW people think snow driving is easy. ROFL Who needs chains? ;)
     
  28. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    If the ONORM5117 is the new norm for the EU and ALDI sell millions of sets of chains there I would simply assume that ALDI chains would then be compliant when the new standard applies. How does the new standard differ from the old? How do you tell the difference once out of the makers plastic bag?
    I have found my ALDI chains easier to fit and fit better than my Rud-Matics and at the 40klick limit no difference in performance. 40kph being the cars limit with chains fitted not the chains strength limit..
    How will a numpty at Hotham or Falls tell the difference?
     
  29. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    That's like saying that your bike helmet doesn't have a compliance sticker but you prefer wearing it. How can anyone tell the difference? a) it lacks a compliance sticker b) your head will notice the difference in a crash.
    Now, a) do they sell them in Europe?
    b) Why did they stop selling them in Australia?
     
  30. nezumi

    nezumi Addicted

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    Not quite - as long as it was compliant with the relevant regs when it was sold, it is compliant. The release of updated regs doesn't impact product that has already been sold and is currently in use.
     
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  31. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I'd conjecture that they were selling off old stock in Australia while they got ready to be compliant with the new regulations and they have simply run out of stock. I don't have any contacts in Germany to ask, perhaps somebody here does?
     
  32. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Regardless, they're crap. $6 to $7 chains:



    Is that all your life (and those of your family) is really worth?
     
  33. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Funny! But my Aldi chains were labled Made in Italy.
     
  34. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    Hey Teckel can you post the link please? I could fit these to the car while parked just in case they got stolen and keep the good ones in the boot. $7- is all the government thinks I'm worth
     
  35. Arsas

    Arsas One of Us

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  36. qwill

    qwill Part of the Furniture Ski Pass: Gold

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    that's the wholesale price..............
     
  37. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Right. And since when do the Chinese have any honesty in stuff like that? They'll put "Made In Antarctica" if that's what the client wants.
     
  38. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Further down the page:

    QC Team:

    Our QC Team has been recognized by TESCO, ASDA, Wm Morrison, CARREFOUR, ALDI, LIDL, Wal-Mart, AutoZone and other super customers around the world wide.
     
  39. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    I don't doubt the Aldi chains are made in China. The majority of things are.

    at 6 to 7 usd for 500 moq.

    Those chains would usually retail in a store at around $70 to $90. To make a decent enouggh margin. Minimum.
     
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  40. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    No.
     
  41. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Well i'll back my experience of 15 years of bringing items (plus 10years of retail) in from China (usually 40 containers or so per annum) and then selling to shops such as yours.
    Those chains would be be LC of around 20 aud. The low MOQ means they would be a LCL. (hence freight costs would be higher). Throw in some local freight forwarders costs, duty .
    They'd need to W/s at 36.36 minimum .
    Looking at a an ideal markup of 100% thats $80 retail at shop.
     
  42. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I did go to look at AliExpress.
    Some chains that look just like the ALDI and / or the Rud-Matics I have. $23 to $32- USD a pair PLUS ~$128- shipping then add 10% for GST. This is probably why my big Polars haven't yet sold Too damned heavy to post.
     
  43. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    My old man boasts he's only needed chains ONCE in a lifetime of skiing at Thredbo.

    Of course, the situation that a lot of people complain about with Thredbo, that the village is at a low altitude and rarely has snow on the ground, is actually great from the perspective of safe winter driving!
     
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  44. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Lots of things from China look like the real thing - until they fall apart. And I'm sure your Aldi chains are exactly the same as you've found on AliExpress. LOL But the Ruds would be copies/fakes. Do you really think a fake NorthFace jacket from a tourist market in China is the same as the Northface jacket you buy in a reputable shop? Would you buy fake skis if they looked the same (graphics that is) as a good pair? Why would you do it with chains?
     
  45. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    I would say that the Chinese factory simply pirated the design of the Rud-Matic, it is a very simple design after all. It's just steel and mild steel at that and as the Chinese now have the most modern and efficient smelters in the world they can make the raw materials cheaper and they also have the benefits of extreme mass production. I don't trust the Chinese where business is concerned but they do have fine engineers and a great spy network and millions of agents worldwide. But that "fake" Northface jacket at the market is probably the real thing, the OEM factories make them available for the tourist market in China and sell them without the 500% mark-up of TNF. The North Face is a fashion brand these days, been a decade since they made clothing and gear for real climbers.
    Without doubt China makes some of the best gear and clothing in the world, and it's not because of cheap labour either, it's simply that they have built the most efficient factories. Where they fall down is in quality control. Ethics are a different matter but that is partly due to the bad feeling left over from the Opium Wars, 100 years and we still remember the Somme, think how the Chinese must feel after the Opium wars and Nankin
     
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  46. teckel

    teckel Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    No. Steels ain't steels. Chinese steel is regarded world wide as low quality - inferior products in; inferior product out. Why do you think Japan imported our iron in the 30s when they had easy access to what China now uses?
    And they're not made of "just steel ; a mild steel" - are you looking at your Aldi ones? Snow chains should be made of carbon steel.

    Now, ask yourself the question - why don't many Chinese chains conform to the ONORM V5119 standard?
     
  47. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    No offence Tecks... but what *used to be...and what has changed dramatically in recent times. Ain't the same.

    As Moondog55 has pointed out. China now has the most efficient and one of the most advanced steel industries in the world. 50% of the steel in the world comes from China.
     
  48. Telemark Phat

    Telemark Phat Pass the butter Ski Pass: Gold

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    China imports 23 million tonnes of steel a year. What if the steel in those chains was made from imported steel?

    Like everything which is made in China, quality depends. It can be the whole spectrum from best in the world to be total shyte.
     
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  49. Moondog55

    Moondog55 One of Us

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    All steels are a carbon iron alloy with small bits of other stuff That page you posted does say the chains conform to the ONORM V5119 standard, and it was pig iron we were sending Japan, the cheapest form of raw material. Why make something as simple as wheel chains from tool steel? I can see the point about using a good hard steel in a wear bar but on a disposable item like modern LW chains I can't see the point. Modern cars change wheel and tyre sizes so quickly not it isn't worth buying a chain with a 20 year lifespan
     
  50. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ironically as the quality of Chinese steel has improved. So has the viability of a steel mill in Wollongong .
    Last I read Blue scope was running at 1.5 Billion buck profit per annum.
     
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