Spider chains are not permitted at Hotham

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gettingtooold

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Mind you I've been to Falls where they had to fit chains from opposite the Gully chair to get to the main car park. Off topic sorry.
 

Skiddy85

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I wonder if the actual clearing of the road is an issue as well. I don't know a lot about the clearing techniques, but last year I drove up on a Thursday night a little after midnight, and the signs were only for 2wd chains. My old Subaru wagon struggled a little with the drifts across the road up to the top of the wheel wells.

I got through because I like to think I know what I'm doing driving on snow, but can easily imagine a person in their commodore, maybe only goes to the snow once every few years, first time the road has been bad for them, with its low profile tyres and snow socks or poorly fit chains struggling and crashing.
 

Heli

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I've followed this thread on and off, so apologies if this has already been raised but there was a previous thread last year: What is the official definition of a snow chain? where discussion revolved around the Michelin Easy Grip and the lack of carry-over of definitions from overseas as to what constitutes a snow chain and what is a snow sock. Michelin call them a snow chain, good luck challenging them over their assessment of their own product!

easygrip.jpg


The French consider the Easy Grip to be a chain, and the link is to French, German, Austrian and Swiss approvals.

equipementb26uk.jpg


There seems to be no actual Australian definition of a snow chain, and opinions about the Easy Grip and it being a snow sock would only be resolved in a court of law, IMO. Certainly snow socks have a textile sock 'gripping' the road surface, but the Easy Grip is clearly a chain pattern albeit using a mix of metal and polymers.

This site has a comprehensive discussion about the definitions, too.

Me? I'm looking to get some Easy Grips at a very affordable price since the idea of replacement wheels for my X3 is ridiculous: I have some left over from my X5 but they are incompatible with the X3 and BMW are quite adamant that they shouldn't be used.

Anyone want $4k worth of X5 17" rims and Michelins for $1k?
biggrin.gif
 
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cqen2l

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gettingtooold said:
No offence Astro but when it's bad it is serious shit. Nothing like Falls.

I've been driving to Hotham for 39 years, have seen some pretty hairy stuff. Ladder chains will get you there at your risk, although it's been done plenty of times.

Switched to Subies many years ago and got into the comfort zone of AWD. Until I got a B4, performance tyres turn to hard plastic in cold temps and are a dog to control, particularly if the tread pattern is low.

My latest Subie GT has newish HP tyres; they will get me through most conditions however if it's looking suss I'll fit the diamond pattern chains. And they actually fit a performance vehicle with a tyre profile or 215/45 R18. Don't know why so many have so many issues.
confused.gif
 
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Heli

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cqen2l said:
[My latest Subie GT has newish HP tyres; they will get me through most conditions however if it's looking suss I'll fit the diamond pattern chains. And they actually fit a performance vehicle with a tyre profile or 215/45 R18. Don't know why so many have so many issues.
confused.gif

Because we have 19" rims and there is a major issue getting a suitable chain to fit?
 
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cqen2l

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Oh, so this is your option:

KS-three-quarters_sized_200x132.jpg


I see your problem with Hotham.

Option to fly in and block the heliport for the day?
 
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Claude Cat

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gareth_oau said:
Claude Cat said:
gareth_oau said:
Given that Audis are a European vehicle and I'm guessing they might occasionally get a little bit of snow there, how do they manage, if those chains that Hotham have banned arent good enough, yet still get used in europe?

In Europe people fit winter tyres. Yes it's true.

many would, and many wouldn't, so what about those who wouldnt?

Where there is snow in Europe people fit winter tyres.
You get away with it in UK where it doesn't snow that often.

And no I don't advocate people fitting winter tyres in Australia unless you're living at a resort and need daily transport.
 
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Astro66

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cqen2l said:
Don't know why so many have so many issues.
confused.gif
Once again.

Clearance issues are not limited to under the guards. Many modern cars have clearance issues on inside of tyres. Front Wheel Drive makes the problem worse as the wheel turns.

So you need a chain system with nothing on inside of wheel. Guess what, in Europe and Nth America they use a system developed just to solve this issue. Spider Chains. And guess what? They work.

Saturn in US have this issue. Many happy spider chain users.
The thing with the Vue, and I guess Saturns in general, is that there is plenty of clearance around the tire except on the inside by the strut. The tire chains which would wrap around to the inside of the tire and risk hitting the strut. The spike spiders are only on the outside of the tire and around the perimeter. The only way I could see using chains on the Vue is running a more narrow tire and/or shimming the wheel out.
Since the Spikes Spiders were the only ones that Saturn would stand behind I went that route.
I went with the Spikes Spiders and have been very happy. In the 4-5 trips up to the snow last year, I had to use them 3 times...at least I'm getting my money's worth...
 
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Claude Cat

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Astro.
People in US and Europe also use winter tyres.
That is the key difference. Because we don't and are unlikely to ever use winter tires here.
 

Ozzifutura

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Winter tires are not used always used in US and Europe, the K summit works fine whichever tyre you have....yes maybe better on winter tyres...I guess the same can be side for diamond chains too. What are Mt Hotham also requiring everyone have winter tyres - so given thay are unable to monitor proper chain fitment how do you suggest they check everyones tyres ?
 

cqen2l

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Don't believe Saturn made it to Oz but I do acknowledge some cars are having tolerance issues with some chain types.
 

Claude Cat

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Ozzifutura said:
Winter tires are not used always used in US and Europe, the K summit works fine whichever tyre you have....yes maybe better on winter tyres...I guess the same can be side for diamond chains too. What are Mt Hotham also requiring everyone have winter tyres - so given thay are unable to monitor proper chain fitment how do you suggest they check everyones tyres ?

They are not requiring you to have winter tyres. Only tyres that can accommodate diamond chains.
It might be debatable that they would allow spider chains with winter tyres, given so few people use them, they've taken that off the table.
 
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Ozzifutura

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Yes - and the argument is that the restriction to diamond chains is rediculous A - as there are equally good alternatives and B - Many modern cars(including 4x4s) cannot be fitted with them. Thus the manufacturers have come up with solutions that are as good , if not better , eg K Summits. The only people that do not recognise this appear to be those living in (making the decisions for) the Hotham area ????
 

Astro66

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Claude Cat said:
Astro.
People in US and Europe also use winter tyres.
That is the key difference. Because we don't and are unlikely to ever use winter tires here.
I don't understand how that justifies banning of spider chains. The peeps are using spider chains intead of snow tyres. My point is, they work. They don't fall off. Which is Hotham's excuse for the ban.
I don't travel in snow enough to warrant snow tires. Usually I just encounter snow while traveling over one of the passes on I-80, I-40 or I-5. On a 1,000 mile trip in two days I might encounter 10 miles of snow. It doesn't warrant snow tires.

By the way, I installed the hardware for the Spikes Spiders last night
 
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Claude Cat

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Hotham say they don't work as well, period.
Clearly their experience says they do not perform on the GAR in the bad conditions we get there.
They might work as well if fitted to winter tyres, but because nobody uses winter tyres, then the result is the same.
People not using spider chains in lieu of winter tyres. They are using them in lieu of diamond chains.

This is not a difficult concept.
 

Ozzifutura

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We understand what Hotham says and thinks - the sad thing is what they say and think is ill-conceived and clerly incorrect....therein lies the problem. I guess at the end of the day they will only review the 'thinking?' if there is a significant drop in income as people take their business to other resorts. A bit annoying but I'll spend my money elsehwhere.
 

Claude Cat

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I'm sure it's not a decision that was made lightly. Why on earth would they willingly, without damn good evidence, potentially affect a percentage of their clientele which would go elsewhere? I just dont see a conspiracy here. They are clearly doing this for safety reasons.

I'd love to see the evidence that they are incorrect on the safety aspect, specifically for use on the GAR.
 

Ozzifutura

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People do not use spider chains in Lieu of winter tires - they use then A because they work and B because diamond chains dont fit the vehicle and maybe C because they are easy fit and D work as well if not better
 

Claude Cat

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No people use them because the fit and nothing else does. Not because the safer or work. Hotham says they don't work. Where's your evidence they are ok for use on the GAR.
 

Ozzifutura

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Well we did the conspiracy thing yesterday and have been warned not to go there. Maybe they have not 'thought' enough or consulted the right people . eg Thule who have stated that they have not been consulted but are by all accounts trying to work with Hotham on the issue.
 

Ozzifutura

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My evidence is from my own experience both at Hotham and Threadbo and the of cousre the fact they sell many thosusands of units worldwide and are still in business with many thousand of satisfied customers. It seems only Hotham/GAR mob have a different view - we have explored many possible reasons why that may be the case some of which are out of bounds and may be subject legal complications
 

Claude Cat

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Frankly I hope there is some compromise that can be made. Perhaps allowing them from the Omeo approach.
Anyway I am done with this.
 

Barras

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Claude Cat said:
No people use them because the fit and nothing else does. Not because the safer or work. Hotham says they don't work. Where's your evidence they are ok for use on the GAR.

I do, nothing else that qualifies as a snow chain will fit on my car.
 
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simonwoof

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I have just read this entire post and apart from going round and round I am not sure what the point is

It does remind me of rulings the RMB tried a couple of years ago to define AWD as not 4WD when requiring chains which caused a huge furore and they retracted it before season started (Subaru owners are a fearsome bunch!)

i think it is worth making a noise but i doubt whether the RMB watch the forum

<:)
 
"There seems to be no actual Australian definition of a snow chain,"

VicRoads have a definition, I will post it tomorrow.

In NSW there is more definition info, re V5117 and V5121, in.....

http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/registration/d...9_june_2009.pdf

"Easy Grip and it being a snow sock."

Easygrip is not a snow chain, never has been, never will be.

If you can read the original French you will see, from their own information, Easygrip complies with V5121, NOT with V5117

Refer

http://www.easygrip.fr/cms.php?id_cms=8
 
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Astro66

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ST, don't skew the truth. In NSW, it's a recommendation not a definition.
The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) recommends that snow chains comply with the performance criteria specified in the Austrian Standard ONORM V5117
 
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hothamite

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cqen2l said:
gareth_oau said:
Given that Audis are a European vehicle and I'm guessing they might occasionally get a little bit of snow there, how do they manage, if those chains that Hotham have banned arent good enough, yet still get used in europe?

It's all about the tyres Gareth, not the car. Even your AWD with the wrong tyres will leave you in a heap of trouble.

A couple of years ago , I came to a chain fitting bay in the evening on a Friday. Dungeys Hollow from memory. There lights blazing and police checking tyres. There were a number of cars sent back as their tyres were not suitable even though they had diamond chains that fitted . The copper told me that the weather was bad up further , and it was , so any vehicle with dodgy tyres was being sent back
Should they be doing more of this ? There was only one time I experienced this. Don't know how often they do police it to that extent. First and only time I have seen it.
 
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Donkey

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You could drive your Audi with spider chains up to falls and take the heli across to Hotham cheaper car Parking up there aswell
 

Astro66

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AstroSki66 said:
ST, don't skew the truth. In NSW, it's a recommendation not a definition.
The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) recommends that snow chains comply with the performance criteria specified in the Austrian Standard ONORM V5117
BTW, they also recommend AWD use snow chains or an alternative snow traction device. But it's not a requirement.
The RTA recommends that persons driving 4WD vehicles that are not fitted with winter tyres carry and
fit snow chains (see page 2) or an alternative snow traction device that provides an equivalent performance as snow chains. Such snow traction devices, such as items made from textiles, should comply with the Austrian Standard ONORM V5121.1
 
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teckel

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That RTA definition is a total mess. "Some types of snow chains, such as certain ladder chains, should not be used as the spacing between the chain ‘rungs’ can be excessive and allow the bare tyre contact with the road surface" Should not be used, but are not banned. It goes on: "recommends that snow chains comply with the performance criteria specified in the Austrian Standard ONORM V5117". Only recommends, does not say anywhere that snow socks & similar should not be used. I think the correct interpretation here is that textile chains are OK and are preferred by the RTA to ladder chains on 2WD vehicles.

What is also very interesting here is the amount of space devoted to winter tyres. I wonder why? And the implication that chains are not required with winter tyres. "An added advantage in using winter tyres is that being already fitted to the vehicle, there is no need to stop at chain bays to put on and take off snow chains." Utter bullshite! Wonder where they got that crap from about winter tyres?
 

gareth_oau

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cqen2l said:
gareth_oau said:
Given that Audis are a European vehicle and I'm guessing they might occasionally get a little bit of snow there, how do they manage, if those chains that Hotham have banned arent good enough, yet still get used in europe?

It's all about the tyres Gareth, not the car. Even your AWD with the wrong tyres will leave you in a heap of trouble.

yep well aware of that, which is why I'm asking the question.

I made the comment earlier that AWD/4WD is good for starting but no use in stopping.
 
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the_guru

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People are turned away every day when the conditions require chains.
They have RMB staff that will not let you through if you do not comply. This was enforced last year and slightly the year before.
If you drive up the hill every now and then, good chance you won't experience this.
Multiple days last year they had people in place, that would not let you through if you weren't up to the requirements.
I'll say it again. If your car doesn't fit the requirements. Get the bus or Limo or even a chopper. If you have such a swish car you can afford other transportation.
Or drive an old beater like the LOCALS do and where diamond chains. Who gives to hoots if someone dings your car!
Love overtaking the latest and greatest in my old beater.
laugh.gif
!
 
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gareth_oau

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Claude Cat said:
gareth_oau said:
Claude Cat said:
gareth_oau said:
Given that Audis are a European vehicle and I'm guessing they might occasionally get a little bit of snow there, how do they manage, if those chains that Hotham have banned arent good enough, yet still get used in europe?

In Europe people fit winter tyres. Yes it's true.

many would, and many wouldn't, so what about those who wouldnt?

Where there is snow in Europe people fit winter tyres.

yes, I'm not gormless I'm well aware of this. Let me simplify the question.

someone who lives in England and decides to drive to the French Alps for a long weekend in their audi.

They arent going to lash out and fit winter tyers for the 3 days they are in the snow, so what might they do to get their audi up there?
 
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Ozzifutura

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"Probably Spider chains which don't perform on steep accents and descents" - and on what evidence, that you canshow, do you base that - I am genuinely keen to know as I obviously do not wish to smash my swish car or be it by some over confident local in an old beater as you put it ! I wonder if there are any stats on 'old beaters' .....
 

Ozzifutura

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the_guru said:
People are turned away every day when the conditions require chains.
They have RMB staff that will not let you through if you do not comply. This was enforced last year and slightly the year before.
If you drive up the hill every now and then, good chance you won't experience this.
Multiple days last year they had people in place, that would not let you through if you weren't up to the requirements.
I'll say it again. If your car doesn't fit the requirements. Get the bus or Limo or even a chopper. If you have such a swish car you can afford other transportation.
Or drive an old beater like the LOCALS do and where diamond chains. Who gives to hoots if someone dings your car!
Love overtaking the latest and greatest in my old beater.
laugh.gif
!

Yes I have seen how the locals drive in their old beaters drive - on the wrong side of the road without a care in the world for other users - I can imagine that the converstaion in board room when they came up with the new determination was not too dissimilar to the language used above. Perochial and biased (discrminatory even - on tha basis of the car a person drives). Now we are getting even closer to the truth of the matter ........
 
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the_guru

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Ozzifutura said:
"Probably Spider chains which don't perform on steep accents and descents" - and on what evidence, that you canshow, do you base that - I am genuinely keen to know as I obviously do not wish to smash my swish car or be it by some over confident local in an old beater as you put it ! I wonder if there are any stats on 'old beaters' .....
And now in English please. Few to many shhhcotches. Broh!!
 
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Ozzifutura

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I spell a bit more clearly for you guru - "Probably Spider chains which don't perform on steep accents and descents" - and on what evidence, that you can show, do you base that - I am genuinely keen to know as I obviously do not wish to smash my swish car or be hit by some over confident local in an old beater as you put it ! I wonder if there are any stats on 'old beaters' ..... the space and h missed should make it simpler to read !
 

the_guru

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Doesn't really matter what car I drive up that road. It's all about if you can drive the road with confidence. Not over confidence. What your car is capable of.
I drive a very nice beater. Built in 93.
What I don't like about taking my better, nicer and newer car up there, is the tossers in the Carpark that can't carry their equipment through the carpark without dinging my nice car.

PS respect the road on Hotham or it will give you a good slap.
 

Ozzifutura

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So we can say your appraisal of spider chains is based on no evidence but just an ill-informed comment....maybe beating is your speciality and you should stick to that
smile.gif
 
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hongomania

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i laugh at this when dad tells me about driving up in the 70s. in a rear wheel drive 3 speed HR holden wagon. without chains. on a dirt road. with snow.
 

teckel

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Hongo, I'm surprised. I drove the Falls Creek road many times in the 70s with ladder chains (all that was available then) because chains were compulsory and had to be fitted quite often. Given that the Falls Creek road was sealed and much easier than the unsealed Hotham road, I am very surprised that chains weren't required.
 

dossa5

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hongomania said:
i laugh at this when dad tells me about driving up in the 70s. in a rear wheel drive 3 speed HR holden wagon. without chains. on a dirt road. with snow.

I think the HR was 2 speed
 
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FlatLander

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dossa5 said:
hongomania said:
i laugh at this when dad tells me about driving up in the 70s. in a rear wheel drive 3 speed HR holden wagon. without chains. on a dirt road. with snow.

I think the HR was 2 speed

not if it was manual.

Also probably wasn't fitted with fat tyres that didn't allow the fitting of chains!
 
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gareth_oau

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I just did a very quick search on a UK audi forum and there were a few comments that snow tyres in parts of Germany, France etc are compulsory, with a need for chains as well, in certain conditions.

so it would seem that a spare set of wheels and tyres (to be stored in a garage for 51 weeks a year) is a requirement if you drive (an Audi) over on holiday.
 
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