Spider chains are not permitted at Hotham

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ODNT

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teckel

"I'm not a cat"
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If you're worried about theft, drive forward about 15cm after you fit them, so that some chain is underneath the tyres. Would be harder to steal as they'd have to jack the car up. Personally, I'd be more worried that winter tyres would be stolen.
laugh.gif
 
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Ozzifutura

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May 22, 2013
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nicole2292 said:
Many people on here are complaining about this problem, I have been one of them. However, I'm keen to do something about this issue for the benefit of all those affected.

I have not had a satisfactory response from Mt. Hotham Resort Management Board with regards to this matter so I am going to collect some more information with the aim of taking this further.

IF YOU ARE AFFECTED THEN PLEASE COMPLETE MY ONLINE SURVEY HERE: http://www.snowchainsurvey.info/

Please share this link on facebook and with anyone you know who has been negatively affected by this ruling.

Hopefully with some real information gathered in one location we can put together a complete and compelling argument.

Please PM me if you want to help out. Nothing will change if we don't work together on this matter.

Cheers,

Nicole

Thanks Nicole ... done
 
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Ozzifutura

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May 22, 2013
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snowtyres said:
Mount Hotham Resort Management Board will not permit the use of any form of "spider chains" because of performance, operational and safety issues.
"Diamond pattern chains are now mandatory for all vehicles entering the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort. Ladder chains, spider chains and snow socks are not permitted to be used at any time. "

refer http://www.mthotham.com.au/travel/road/driving/



In our local market "Spider Chains" (Rud Centrax, Volvo Centrax, Thule K-Summit, Konig K-Summit and Land Rover Spikes Spider) are generally used on summer tyres and wheel/tyre combinations that have insufficient clearance to fit conventional chains and on wheel/tyre combinations applications where the vehicle manufacturer does not approve fitting of any snow chains.

This type of snow chain should only ever be fitted to a winter tyre. There are always issues when this type of snow chain system is used on high performance 2WD or AWD "summer" tyres, this is mainly due to the width of the "traction bars" of the spider chains, as they are only 90 mm wide, maximium 110 mm on the very largest sizes.
The "spider chain" will grip to the snow/ice but the tyre can slip or spin inside the spider chain as there is no way the chain can be "tightened" on to the tyre. The chain is always "loose" by design to provide the automatic-drive away fitting and easy removal features. The problem is compounded by the camber of the road, the weight and torque of the vehicle and the amount of tread on the tyre that is not covered by the chain. The problem is worse when the vehicle has been parked over night, or longer, at the resort because of the low ambient temperature makes the tyres harder and therefore has even less grip to the chain.

There is no warranty/guarantee from the snow chain makers, Rud, Konig and Thule if snow chains are used on a tyre and wheel combination that is not approved for fitting snow chains by the vehicle manufacturer.

Barras, if you post your vehicle make, model and tyre size will check to see what options are available.

Have forwarded the above advice to Thule for their views and comments. Also looking forward to the outcome of their discussions with Hotham RMB. I understand that manufacturers were not consulted during the decision making process but the discussions are taking place retrospectively !!!
 
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Ozzifutura

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May 22, 2013
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May I suggest that anyone that has been adversely affected by the new rules contact both the chain manufacturer (quoting the advice etc above and seek clarification re the winter tyre requirements) and Mt Hotham RNB to register their concern/complaint . May also help if you comment on their FB and other Social Media sights with link to this thread. The squeaky wheel gets the oil, as it were, so to speak, to coin a phrase.
 

nicole2292

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May 17, 2013
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My reply from Mt. Hotham was the same as George above. A cookie cutter response.

"Dear Nicole,

I am sorry you have been placed in the situation you are.

Some background on the declaration;

The resort had a recommendation a couple of years ago on this matter, as a result an analysis was conducted each year on road issues and other matters associated with driver patterns, driver experience and chains. Consulted were VicRoads, Police and other resorts.

Once becoming aware of the safety issues a decision had to be made, making no decision would be turning a blind eye to a danger. As a result the declaration was made and circulated in September last year.

I realise this does not answer all your questions, however I am unable to give you further advice."

I then wrote a long and detailed letter covering the fact that no clear circulation was received in September 2012 prior to season passes being purchased for 2013. As a season pass holder I have been on the official mailing list for years. Also in my subsequent letter I requested to be put in contact with someone who could actually answer my questions and provide further advice. I was not put in contact with such a person.

I then received another letter stating (here's the kicker)...

"Hi Nicole,

At no time has The Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board said that Thule or Konig chains are unsafe. The use of certain types of chain has proven less safe and more problematic on the Great Alpine Road.

The Hero Pass is offered and sold by the Ski Company not the Resort Management Board.

In regards to your pre-booked matters please take the issue up the the provider."

So in effect the chain are "not unsafe" they may be "less safe" like a lot of older cars or drivers
wink.gif


Plus I was handballed on to the Ski Company... I have since called the Ski Company to enquire about the availability of refunds for Season Passes etc. I have been told that no refunds will be offered. Although when I disputed the legality of the no refund policy it was suggested that I put my enquiry in writing anyway so we'll see how that goes.

The problem is myself and my partner don't actually want a refund. We actually just want to be able to drive to Mt. Hotham in our perfectly safe Audi as we have done for the past two seasons.

I am hesitant to put the survey on the Mt. Hotham facebook page as I fear that it will be taken down immediately. I will consider PM'ing people who have shown an interest in this matter on the facebook page.

Thanks so much to those people who have already filled in the survey. Your support is greatly appreciated
smile.gif
 
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Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
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Just had an exchange with Thule who have said that the spiel from Snowtires , re-posted from start of thread to close above, is incorrect. Hotham RMB apparently just hired a small time contractor with little experience - sounds like they, Thule, have a various legal options on the go. Lets hope common sense will prevail.
 

dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
Ski Pass
Oct 26, 2002
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Check this out

Thule CU 9

I have the CK-7 095 on 225/45-17 and whilst they work fine are not very durable. The PB " drive over 3 passes with a little snow + mostly dry AC road in between" destroys the 7mm links.

The same thing happens to "Spider Chains".
 
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nicole2292

First Runs
May 17, 2013
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I can confirm that my K-summits are very durable. They have already done more than 3 trips to Mt. Hotham where they were fitted right down near Harrietville. I'm sure you all know what great snowfalls we had last season
smile.gif


After multiple trips which involved the chains being on for roughly 50km in total each trip there are no signs of excessive wear or damage to the chains.
 
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Azz

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Jun 16, 2006
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Nicole, have you thought about taking the RMB and / or the Ski Co (in pursuing a refund) to VCAT?

There certainly no mention of the new chain regulation when we purchased our car pass last year.

While we are on that topic. Did you know you can only access the resort twice in your car with a season pass in a day?

Quote;

"(m) This season permit authorises the permit holder to bring a vehicle into the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort a maximum of 2 times between the hours of 2am and 7pm. Multiple entries outside of the before mentioned times are permitted. Contact the Resort Management to apply for a written exemption if multiple entries into the resort are required between the hours of 2am and 7pm (changed for 2013)."

http://mthotham.alpineeasyaccess.com.au/terms2.html

It has been put in place to stop people driving multiple loads of passengers from Dinner Plain, avoiding having to pay the costs of resort entry.
A friend who purchased a pass at the same time as ourselves contacted RMB and pointed out that this was not included in the T & C's when the pass was purchased and has since been added. RMB said that people who bought there pass before the extra line was added to the T & C's were not held to this addition for 2013.

Fair enough I guess, no doubt there were people rorting the system. I bet they catch a few out with that added condition.
 
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cqen2l

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Dr. Wood Duck said:
How much dry tarmac ?
Hotham can have 2wd vehicles fitting chains 5k before they even might be required. A small patch of ice any where will trigger the sign going up.
rolleyes.gif
 
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dawooduck

relaxed and comfortable
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Just like PB. 3 km of "snow" broken in 3 x 1km and 20+km of dry road.

Chains and road surface are not designed for that type of abuse.
 

bdenny4

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Jun 28, 2008
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Azz said:
Quote;

"(m) This season permit authorises the permit holder to bring a vehicle into the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort a maximum of 2 times between the hours of 2am and 7pm. Multiple entries outside of the before mentioned times are permitted. Contact the Resort Management to apply for a written exemption if multiple entries into the resort are required between the hours of 2am and 7pm (changed for 2013)."

Doesn't have that condition for the Day or Multi Day Passes
 
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nicole2292

First Runs
May 17, 2013
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Hi Azz, yes I am looking at the available options for pursuing Mt. Hotham.

Refunds should be possible to get with a bit of hard work. It is against fair trading rules not to offer refunds when people made purchasing decisions without being provided the full information upfront or if the conditions have been recently changed by the retailer (or their associates) which would have affected the purchasing decision in the first place.
I am awaiting a response to my email regarding refunds and will share the information when it is forthcoming.

The problem is myself and many others in this situation don't actually really want a refund, although sadly this may end up being the only option. We live for the snow, we love going to Mt. Hotham many times throughout the winter. We have been doing so for over 10 years. Purchasing a new car for the season 2013 is not an option, therefore what we actually really need is for them to change the new rule.

There are a number of reasonable alternatives which could be looked at:

1) Allow a 2 year introduction period of the new chain rules during which time vehicles owned prior to this decision being publicised in May 2013 are exempt from the rule. This would give people a reasonable amount of time to purchase a new vehicle to travel to Mt. Hotham and also would mean no pre-booked arrangements would be affected. It would also be very easy to police who actually owned their vehicle prior to May 2013.

2) Alternatively if the problem really is the chains being incorrectly fitted then a comprehensive chain fitting / fit checking program could be implemented for vehicles which require non-diamond chains. I would argue that this should be at the cost of Mt. Hotham due to the lack of notice given on this rule change and therefore the inability of affected customers to acquire an alternative vehicle in time for the 2013 season.

3) At the very least the non-diamond chain alternatives should be allowed to travel up the Omeo way. That road is far less hazardous than even the roads Falls Creek or Mt. Buller. If it weren't for the problems with the Harrietville approach over the years this issue would never have been raised and would therefore not apply to the whole resort. It certainly would never have even been considered for the Omeo approach so why apply a blanket rule in a location where it is clearly unnecessary. Unfortunately this does not help those who live in North East Victoria which is where my family is from. Although I am currently living in Melbourne and I understand this option may help many people who are affected.

I realise it is a tough ask to actually expect them to DO anything or CHANGE anything... hence it will require a lot more effort.
 

Claude Cat

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(1) might be hard to prove (unless everyone who bought them has kept some sort of proof of purchase). And doesn't really help those that have no alternatives.
(2) & (3) seem like reasonable compromises. I think I said earlier, allowing use of these chains through Omeo might be a good option.
 

nicole2292

First Runs
May 17, 2013
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Hi Dr. Wood Duck,

You are right, all chains are not designed for use on dry tarmac, even diamond chains will wear in this situation. However that is a problem to address with Mt. Hotham and their placement of the chain fitting signs.

As an aside I was once driving down from Mt. Buller on a day when chains were not even being fitted and we found ourselves behind a 4wd belting along at 100km/h near Saw Mill settlement with their diamond chains still on! Needless to say sparks were flying everywhere and despite our efforts flashing lights and honking etc. we were unable to get their attention. We didn't want to get too close as this was extremely dangerous and a piece of chain could come off at any time and fly back to hit our car. Therefore we slowed down kept and our distance.

The point of this story is that you can make as many rules as you want but you can't stop inexperienced idiots from doing incredibly stupid things.

I wonder if there is a massive fine for driving at 100km/h on tarmac with chains on the car? Probably not... the authorities are definitely concentrating on the wrong people with this new rule!
 

nicole2292

First Runs
May 17, 2013
15
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0
Hi Claude Cat,

With regards to point 1) I was suggesting anyone who owned their car (which cannot be fitted with diamond chains) prior to 2013 would be exempt. Everyone has proof of when they purchased their car. There is the transfer of registration document, the roadworthy certificate and the vehicle registration history which the police can even access on the side of the road when pulling people over. Although I would be happy if the onus was on the customers to carry proof that they owned their vehicle prior to May 2013.

In addition to ownership proof the epass system at Hotham has a record of vehicle registrations for all vehicles which traveled last season if they wanted to limit it to only those who have traveled before. However, I was suggesting that everyone who owned their car prior to May 2013 should be exempt because some people may have only just purchased an affected vehicle in the last 8 months and therefore have never traveled to Mt. Hotham in that car. That would be extremely upsetting.

I'm quite sure the true number of people this ruling affects will not come to the forefront until the season actually hits full swing and people are actually travelling to the mountain. I can guarantee that not everyone has checked the Hotham website for this new rule and many people are not on the email lists or facebook page. These people are currently going along merrily with their lives and making bookings at Mt. Hotham for the snow season completely oblivious to the fact that they have no viable way to actually get up the mountain.

Therefore if this matter goes unaddressed there are going to be many people stranded at Harrietville unable to go further up the mountain when they see the signage related to this matter or they are stopped by police. These people will have already paid for their accommodation and will not be in a position to get a refund at that late stage. To allow refunds at that stage would be detrimental to accommodation providers.

Therefore this issue needs to be addressed upfront now before we even get to this situation. Hence why I am trying to work with others who are affected to come up with a reasonable solution.

Other suggestions are welcome
smile.gif
 
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"Other suggestions are welcome"
To nicole2292,
There are alternatives available for your Audi, again I ask if you could please post, or PM, your Audi model, year and tyre size and we will check to see what other options may be available for you.

We were able to offer a viable option for Heli and I am sure there will be one for you as well but this can not be done until the vehicle details are known.
 

Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
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Hi Snowtires

Understand you also run/ran the Audi winter wheel exchange program....so what is the deal there. Do they/you have a set of 18" wheels for an RS4 and how does the deal work.

Ta
 

FlatLander

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May 18, 2002
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nicole2292 said:
Hi Dr. Wood Duck,

You are right, all chains are not designed for use on dry tarmac, even diamond chains will wear in this situation. However that is a problem to address with Mt. Hotham and their placement of the chain fitting signs.

again, the RMB dont make the determination where and when chains are to be fitted. This is made by the VicRoads appointed snow clearers, and kindly paid for by all Victorian taxpayers.

As to where the chain fitting bays are located is probably determined by a few factors, including safety, landscape, flatish ground and probably where that best fits with historical requirements for chain fitting again determined by Vic Roads
 
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"Audi winter wheel exchange program....so what is the deal there."

Snowtyres supplies the Nokian winter tyres and does not run the program.
This program was set up by, and continues to be run by, Audi Australia (since 2006) and operates through the Audi dealer network in VIC and NSW.
Refer (Audi Australia – Inner Circle Bulletin of July 2006)
"New winter wheel program keeps Audi owners mobile"
"The Winter Wheel Program has just been expanded by way of additional 'snow chain friendly’ wheel and tyre sets. Wheels have been added to the program with Nokian Winter Tyres, all carrying the European Severe Service Emblem (snow-flake –on-the mountain-peak) This emblem indicates the tyre has met specific performance criteria for snow and ice conditions using special compounds that remain pliable in extremely cold temperatures. Customers can now book a set of winter loan wheels through any Audi dealership and head to the NSW & Victorian Alpine regions with peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that if conditions warrant snow chains, they can be fitted without compromising the vehicle’s suspension and steering mechanicals.â€

"Do they/you have a set of 18" wheels for an RS4 and how does the deal work."

Check with your Audi dealer or contact the Technical Service section at Audi Australia in Sydney for availability and other details.
Video shows how your RS4 can be a great winter drive when it is fitted with correct shoes.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=l7GJtzsWbSs
 
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Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
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Thanks Snowtire .... recall there was a connection there. I will follow up on that one , another option I guess. Got a set of 15"tin wheels and 16 " alloys from my previous 1.8TQ A4 - unfortunately they will not fit the RS4
smile.gif
 
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nicole2292

First Runs
May 17, 2013
15
0
0
Hi Snowtyres,

I am interested in what other options you have available which will not cost a lot.

My vehicle is a 2006 Audi A4 Avant. The wheels are 235/45 17.

According the Thule fit guide the K-summits are the only option, these chains are what currently I own.

Obviously I have already spent $600 on my K-summit chains and I'm certainly not made of money so I really don't want to spend any more, nor should I have to due to an unnecessary rule change with a severe lack of notice.

I purchased my Audi second hand and I'm quite tired of the belief that Audi owners are made of money. My vehicle is a base model A4 and I paid less for it than it would have cost for a new Mazda 3 or similar car which people of my demographic frequently own. I'm over people defending this rule change by saying it's a prestige car or a sporty car. It's actually a base model family wagon with a few of the niceties you get with a European vehicle, that is all.

I'm also quite tired of the belief that snow goers are made of money. We quite frequently have to stay off mountain in order to save money as we simply cannot afford on-mountain accommodation during peak season. We also have Hero passes to allow us the opportunity to go to the snow frequently, at a reasonable price, and we often have 4 people in the car (I have snowboard racks as well) to save on petrol and mountain entry.

So please do let me know what options you have available, other than changing the wheels over completely, which involves a MASSIVE COST (I have received quotes of $1200-$1500). Also I just put brand new tyres on the current wheels car ready for this snow season (sadly prior to this news) at a cost of $900 so I really don't think changing the wheels over is a suitable alternative right now.

Lastly I'm not interested in the Audi winter wheels program. I looked into this two years ago and the cost of it is so high it is simply not an option for people who plan to drive to Mt. Hotham every 1-2 weeks for the whole season. In fact I have been in contact with Audi recently and spoken with 4 different people across different dealerships, service centers and departments and only one person has even heard of the program. No-one can actually confirm that this program is even happening again for 2013 or supply me with pricing. I have also googled "Audi Winter Wheels Program" and "Audi Snow Wheels" and it returns nothing for Australia, other than this thread. So if anyone can supply more information on this program specifically for 2013 then please let me know.

Looking forward to your reasonably priced alternatives for my Audi A4.
 

gareth_oau

Pool Room
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hi Nicole - I recently hired an Audi to head to Thredbo in a few weeks time and ended up having to amend the booking to a Falcon because I couldnt get any confidence that rental snow chains werent going to be an issue.
 

nicole2292

First Runs
May 17, 2013
15
0
0
Hi Gareth,

Are you certain the Falcon will be ok? I think it should be fine if it's the base model, however I have had submissions to my survey at http://www.snowchainsurvey.info/ where the affected people owned Falcon's, although the sportier models.

If the hire company has confirmed you can get chains for the vehicle then hopefully you should fine. Enjoy your trip to Thredbo
smile.gif
 
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Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
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Nicole

I have contacted Audi re the Winter Wheel Program with Zero response.

Perhaps they have ditched it -

Snowtires are you able to confirm that the program is still running ?

Out of interest do you know if any of the other manufacturers offer a similar program.
 
best to send request for current details of the program via the Audi contact form, it will get to the the 'right people'.

http://forms.audi.com.au/Contact.aspx

there were 'logistics issues' for Audi Australia, within the dealers, for the wheels/tyres not being returned etc. It was a great service but a big cost project for a relatively low $ return.

Some of the BMW dealers in Melbourne offered 18" wheels to replace the 20" and 21" wheels on X5s so chains could be correctly fitted.
Bilia Volvo did it as well for some of their models
 
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hothamite

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teckel said:
Nicole, I don't think option 1 is acceptable, because it only caters to current Hotham skiers. Surely Hotham wishes to attract new skiers and skiers from other resorts. They will be the ones who get caught out - the very ones they want.

Well put. Hotham has created a nightmare with this decision. Again without consultation with regular patrons and certainly without thought for any new visitors.
If I was a new visitor looking at this new ruling and all the trouble it's generating , it would be an easy and predictable decision to go elsewhere.
In the current day , where the snow fall is so unpredictable and visitors are making spontaneous decisions to go , rather than booking in advance , this chain situation is going to reduce visitor numbers again . How short sighted this decision is.
It makes it so easy for people to go elsewhere. The businesses at Hotham will suffer more than ever in these uncertain times.
Chains for a new visitor is an unfamiliar aspect, often regarded with trepidation . This just pushes the chain requirement into the " too hard basket ".
I am feeling a huge sense of relief that my car , a Forestor will be ok, selfish I know . But I do feel the outrage and sense of absolute frustration with the decision makers up there.
I , too, have had zero success with issues that I have put to the management. Ie RMB.
The arrogance astounds me , still , after being a regular patron of over 30 years and now , my daughter as well.

Edited to add: that I would fill in the questionnaire Nicole but at the moment we are not affected by the rule change.
 
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bdenny4

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Jun 28, 2008
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nicole2292 said:
Hi Snowtyres,

I am interested in what other options you have available which will not cost a lot.

My vehicle is a 2006 Audi A4 Avant. The wheels are 235/45 17.

According the Thule fit guide the K-summits are the only option, these chains are what currently I own.


So please do let me know what options you have available, other than changing the wheels over completely, which involves a MASSIVE COST (I have received quotes of $1200-$1500).

Lastly I'm not interested in the Audi winter wheels program.

Looking forward to your reasonably priced alternatives for my Audi A4.


I would like to know what the answer to this question is.....
 
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Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
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That is 2 funny posts in one day Gareth ...there are rules you know !
smile.gif
 
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Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
57
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Some history of the decision from the Annual Rpt 11/12 - would love to see the report that was the basis for the decision "Glen
has catalogued the history of accidents
and incidents on the GAR which
amongst other things, serves to inform
us about such matters as which type of
wheel chains work, and which don’t." and "One of the more significant outcomes of
these severe weather events was a
detailed analysis of the types of wheel
chains being used by our patrons and the
relative effectiveness of these chains"

Here is an extract from the annual report:

Severe Weather Event
Protocol
With the fantastic snow falls of the 2012
snow season the Great Alpine Road
(GAR) experienced road closures partly
due to poor visibility and deep snow on
the road and the resultant vehicle
accidents. For the past 12 years the
Resort Management Board has provided
a GAR roadside courtesy service. Glen
Billman, or ‘Fluffy’ as he is affectionately
known on the hill, is generally the first
response to minor accidents and
incidents occurring during inclement or
severe weather on the GAR. The
purpose of having Glen service our
patrons in this way is to provide a sense
of safety and security when travelling en
route to Hotham. Over his 12 years, Glen
has catalogued the history of accidents
and incidents on the GAR which
amongst other things, serves to inform
us about such matters as which type of
wheel chains work, and which don’t.
Unfortunately one of the main
contributors to the closures were
vehicles becoming stuck, principally
because drivers had not fulfilled their
responsibilities and requirements when
driving in these conditions. These
responsibilities include appropriate tyres,
the fitting of appropriate chains when
directed, obeying speed restrictions and,
driving for the current weather
conditions.
With the heavy snowfalls this year,
August presented a high number of road
related issues. Consequently the Board,
in concert with Vic Roads and Victorian
Police agreed on a management strategy
which harnessed our combined
resources to deliver a controlled traffic
management plan arrangement. This
plan is implemented when severe
weather and heavy traffic flow coincide.
This plan was executed on four separate
occasions and was very well received by
all concerned. The capacity to manage
the road in such a controlled manner
from Harrietville to Mt Hotham provides
our patrons with the safety and security
that we all seek for our families.
The opportunity to be safely guided in a
severe snow blizzard on top of the
Australia Alps does not come along very
often. When it does it would be our hope
that it is seen as a positive experience
adding to the value of the visit to Mt
Hotham as opposed to something that
was once dreaded.
I am deeply appreciative of the
cooperation and assistance of the
personnel from Victoria Police and the
Vic Roads road clearing contractor,
Stadelmann, for their unswerving,
passionate and very professional
execution of these planned road
management events. Again, it is the
people who make the difference and
these people deserve our gratitude and
thanks. I express it now to them on
behalf of all our patrons. Thank you
indeed.
I would like to acknowledge all Mount
Hotham Resort Management staff who
worked tirelessly and overtime to ensure
the success of this protocol. At its peak,
the plan required the immediate
redirection of 16 staff for up to two days.
Willing, flexible and competent people
giving it their all. It certainly instils a
sense of pride across the organisation
that we do what we do irrespective of the
condition. Best of all, you can see it in
their faces. It is what brings us to work
each day!
Whilst it goes without saying that ‘Fluffy’
is the anchor point for our road safety
focus; ‘Fluffy’ warrants a special mention.
Life without ‘Fluffy’ is no longer an option;
which is a good thing because he is not
only very good at what he does for all of
us who work and play at Hotham, he is
also an extremely likable character. I
thank him, my Board thanks him, and I
know all the patrons who have had the
significant benefit of his help, also thank
him.
Chain Declaration
One of the more significant outcomes of
these severe weather events was a
detailed analysis of the types of wheel
chains being used by our patrons and the
relative effectiveness of these chains on
the unique road conditions produced on
the GAR at these times. Good quality
diamond pattern chains are the only type
of wheel chains considered to perform
satisfactorily.
Only the best quality diamond pattern
chains must be used in these conditions.
The diamond pattern chain by design,
offers improved traction to provide
momentum, will have greater chain
contact with the road, helps to prevent
lateral movement of the vehicle and if
fitted to front wheel drive vehicles, also
assists with braking and steering. A high
quality diamond pattern chain will also fit
the tyre better and will not allow the
wheel to spin inside the chain. High
quality components include, hard steel
links that can endure the torque of a
vehicle spinning its wheels and good
quality plastic fittings able to withstand
extreme cold temperatures.
Consequently, under the power of the
Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997
regulations and for reasons of public
safety and for other purposes connected
with the protection, control and
management of the alpine resort, the
following specific declaration as to what
is the appropriate wheel chains to be
used on the GAR has been made.
1. For the duration of the declared 2013
snow season the Mt Hotham Alpine
Resort is a prohibited area for
vehicles not carrying or fitted with
diamond pattern wheel (snow) chains
of an authorised type.
2. An authorised type of diamond
pattern wheel (snow) chains is one
which is;-
(a) The correct size for the tyres fitted
to the vehicle.
(b) Suitable for the wheel, tyres and
the weight and construction of the
vehicle.
(c) Constructed of hard high alloy steel.
(d) Of a pattern and design where
some part of the chain will be in
contact with the road surface at all
times when properly fitted.
(e) Suitable for a road of varying
gradient and sharp corners.
(f) Not modified or altered from original
commercially manufactured wheel
chain.
3. A driver or person in control of a
vehicle must not enter the Mount
Hotham Resort or upon the Great
Alpine Road and road related areas
as defined by Rule 13 of the Road
Safety Road Rules 2009 within the
Mt Hotham Alpine Resort, in
contravention of the determination.
The Great Alpine Road consists of
numerous corners, inclines and declines
and steep drop offs. It is described as
Australia’s highest sealed road and has
some unique features which contribute to
the road being hazardous. The road
comprises of steep shaded areas, high
windswept parts and steep areas with icy
corners. The length and elevation
subject to icy conditions due to it
exposure to the elements is significant. It
is not a road to be taken lightly and I
urge all our patrons to ensure their
vehicle is in the best possible condition
when travelling to our great Resort.
 
Ozzi, good of you to post the extract as it clearly explains the RMB protocol in response to the traffic incidents and accidents that occurred during the 2012 winter.

Link to full 2011-12 Mount Hotham Annual Report.

http://www.mthotham.com.au/resort/about/corporate/publications/2013226139631.asp

This paragraph from the report sums it all up very well....

"Unfortunately one of the main contributors to the closures were
vehicles becoming stuck, principally because drivers had not fulfilled their
responsibilities and requirements when driving in these conditions.
These responsibilities include appropriate tyres, the fitting of appropriate chains when
directed, obeying speed restrictions and, driving for the current weather conditions."
 
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Ozzifutura

First Runs
May 22, 2013
57
0
0
That is OK Snowtires - I think it would be more open and transparent if the contents of the report were promulgated so that we can better understand the details that lead to the determination re chains in particular. The report states that there was a detailed analysis - I am sure that people like me would be far less sceptical if the full report that formed the basis of the decision was made public.
 
Nicole: The first thing to do to work out the best way comply with the Hotham requirement for diamond pattern snow chains for your Audi A4 is to check the actual clearance between the front tyre, at the 12 o'clock position, and the suspension strut.
We can do this for you at RCS or you can do this yourself using 'dowel, a pen or something similar to fit into the gap and then measuring it.
From this measurement we can calculate what the increased clearance would be using a different width wheel with a different offset. We can then offer a diamond pattern snow chain that will fit within the available clearance.
As soon as you can provide this measurement we can give a "reasonably priced alternatives for your Audi A4."
Another thing, if you purchased the chains from RCS can you provide the sale date and reference number, if not from RCS can you please confirm where the chains came from.
 

MAC

Hard Yards
Jul 4, 2012
12
6
53
As a result of Mt Hotham's decision to ban spider chains, I am now finding it very difficult to get chains to fit on the front wheels.

As I can't fit diamond chains to the front wheels (due to clearance problems), what about if I were to fit the diamond chains to the back wheels. (the car is a Volvo XC60 AWD) as I don't have the same clearance problems on the rear wheels.

I know chains are supposed to go on the front wheels (but if they don't fit)

Still looking for a solution.
 

CarveMan

I Never Slice
Ski Pass
May 12, 2000
86,312
73,682
1,515
Les Hautes Montagnes
aussieskier.com
Spoke to my Hotham contact recently - spider chain issue is definitely a discussion point up there at the moment, they're certainly listening.

That being said don't be afraid to contact the RMB with your concern to add weight.
 

stansi

One of Us
Ski Pass
Aug 1, 2007
1,626
724
363
Shepparton Vic.
MAC said:
As a result of Mt Hotham's decision to ban spider chains, I am now finding it very difficult to get chains to fit on the front wheels.

As I can't fit diamond chains to the front wheels (due to clearance problems), what about if I were to fit the diamond chains to the back wheels. (the car is a Volvo XC60 AWD) as I don't have the same clearance problems on the rear wheels.

I know chains are supposed to go on the front wheels (but if they don't fit)

Still looking for a solution.

I reckon you've found the the solution.
 
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