Onspot FAQ

The most frequently asked questions about Onspot.

How long have ONSPOT chains been manufactured and sold?

Onspot is the originator of the automatic tire chain system.  The product was invented in Sweden in 1977 and has been sold by Onspot of North America since 1988. Onspot has manufactured in the USA since 1992.

How fast can I go and turn ONSPOT chains on?

ONSPOTs should be engaged and disengaged with the vehicle moving.  The system can be turned on with the vehicle going as fast as 25 mph.

How fast can I go with the chains engaged?

Up to 35 mph

Do ONSPOTs work in reverse?

Yes.  As the chainwheel hits at the tire centerline and the chainwheel is driven by centrifugal force the system will provide traction in forward or reverse.

Where do I get ONSPOTs for my vehicles?

ONSPOT is available as a factory option from over 250 OEM's (original equipment manufacturers) or from over 1800 dealers throughout North America.  Call us for the dealer nearest you at 800-766-7768.

How much does the ONSPOT system cost?

Approximate pricing for vehicles WITH air brakes is $1720 per drive axle for the kit plus freight and installation. Systems WITHOUT air brakes are approximately $2260 for the air kit plus freight and installation. You should contact your local Onspot dealer for specific application pricing.

Will I get traction in deep snow?

ONSPOT is designed to effectively work on ice, packed snow, and up to 6 inches of snow. 

Are ONSPOT chains approved in states with chain control areas?

ONSPOT is acknowledged as a single set of chains in all states with chain control areas.

Add Canadian provinces but check which – Quebec, Alberta may not agree.

What size vehicles can be fitted with ONSPOTs?

ONSPOTs can be installed on vehicles from ½ ton pickup trucks to Class 8 tractor-trailers.  Please keep in mind that not all vehicles can be fit with ONSPOTs.

How do I know if my vehicle can be fit with ONSPOTs?

Please consult with your local dealer or the ONSPOT factory for your particular application.  Whether an installation can be done, is dependent upon the size of the vehicle and the type of suspension.

This is determined by completion of a Vehicle Suspension Information (VSI) measurement form.

Is ONSPOT a “one size fits all” product?

No.  You did not purchase a “universal vehicle” why would you want a universal automatic tire chain system?  ONSPOT will supply you with a vehicle suspension information form (VSI) that can be completed by the OEM, dealer, or customer.  This will ensure that what we ship you will in fact fit the vehicle.

How do ONSPOTs attach to the suspension?

ONSPOT provides a wide variety of mounting bracket designs.  Typically the vehicle mounting bracket is held in place by attachment to the vehicle U-Bolts.

How long does the installation take?

Typical installation for a vehicle with air brakes takes approximately six hours to eight hours for vehicles without air brakes.

Can I do my own installation?

ONSPOTs can be installed without any special tools.  It is helpful to have compressed air available, since U-Bolts may need to be removed.  The system comes with a complete set of mounting instructions and can be easily installed by an average mechanic.

How much weight will the system add to the vehicle?

The ONSPOT system typically weighs 125 pounds per drive axle for a large vehicle with air brakes.

Can ONSPOT fit vehicles without air brakes?

Yes.  ONSPOT can provide a 12 volt electric air compressor kit to put air onboard to operate the ONSPOT chains for vehicles without air brakes.

What is the CFM for ONSPOTs air compressor?

The air compressor has a .49 CFM output.  The supplied air tank holds 600 cubic inches of air.  ONSPOT supplies a pressure switch that maintains between 85 to 100 psi pressure in the air tank.

Why should I get a 6 strand chainwheel?

ONSPOT supplies a 6 strand chainwheel as its standard chainwheel.  The 6 strands are made from thru hardened steel alloy.  12 and 18 strand chainwheels are available as an option.  Our testing has shown that a 6 strand wheel provides more bite ability, lasts longer, works better in deeper snow, and is less expensive to replace than 12 and 18 strand chainwheels.

Why doesn’t ONSPOT use replaceable chain lengths?

Since the system operates by centrifugal force, ONSPOT finds that all 6 lengths of chain wear at the same rate.  We also find that if one chain length breaks today, a second will probably break shortly thereafter, and then a third.  The customer could conceivably end up fixing the same wheel 6 times.  We also find that if you replace one length of chain and leave five worn ones you create the potential for wheel imbalance and the performance deteriorates. Replacing the chainplate with the six new lengths of chain is the correct and most economical repair.

How do I get customer support? 

Your first line of support should be the OEM that supplied the ONSPOT equipped vehicle or the dealer that performed the ONSPOT installation.  

ONSPOT has 5 regional offices for sales inquiries: 

California: 888-404-8689, Colorado 866-530-8977,

Indiana: 800-224-2467, Connecticut: 800-766-7768, Canada: 844-575-0510

For technical support, please contact our factory at 800-224-2467.

How long will my ONSPOTs last?

The ONSPOT system is designed to last the life of the vehicle.  Naturally, the system will consume some replacement parts over its life.  The chains, with our thru hardened steel alloy, typically last for 2,000 engaged miles.

Where can I get replacement parts for my ONSPOTs?

ONSPOT replacement parts are available from over 1800 dealers throughout North America.  Please contact ONSPOT for the dealer nearest you at 800-766-7768.

What can I do to get the most out of my ONSPOT system?

ONSPOT suggests that you follow the maintenance procedures as outlined in our Operation and Maintenance Bulletin #6160004.  As well as familiarize the operator with the system via our operation video.

What maintenance do ONSPOTs require?

ONSPOTs require very little maintenance.  The arm bearings should be greased at the same time as normal vehicle maintenance, and the chainwheels should be removed in the summer.  Please refer to ONSPOT maintenance card #6160004 and ONSPOT's tune-up sheet #6160063.

Is there a troubleshooting and service manual available?

Yes.  Bulletin #6162003 is available by calling ONSPOT at: 800-766-7768 or by clicking here.

Is there a parts book available?

Yes.  Please call 800-766-7768 and ask for bulletin #7170032, or by clicking here.

What other forms of information are available?

ONSPOT has brochures, CD-ROMs and other promotional materials available by request.  Contact your local dealer or ONSPOT at 800-766-7768.

Visit ONSPOT’s website at www.onspot.com to view instructional videos on how the Onspot Automatic Tire Chain system works, measuring, installation, operation and maintenance