Onspot FAQ

The most frequently asked questions about Onspot.

Q: Sometimes it’s difficult to adjust the Onspot wheel to the right angle to the tyre. Can it be done more easily?

A: It can seem difficult, but we have now introduced a marking that simplifies the adjustment, both on the bolt head and on the angle spacer. The markings should always be opposite each other. Tighten the bolt slightly, turn the bolt and the angle spacer at the same time without moving the marking to adjust the right angle to the wheel, hold the bolt head still and then tighten the nut to the right torque. See also the mounting instruction which comes with the wheel kit.

We have also introduced a “throw guard”, which in certain cases can be fitted on the arm to the Onspot wheel. It can happen that a chain fastens between the wheel and the arm, which locks the Onspot wheel, but which the will “guard” prevent. Installation is simple, and is described in the instructions.


Q: We were discussing which Onspot chain wheel is the best. What do you say?

A: All Onspot chain wheels give a good grip in slippery road conditions. The type of driving you do and the situations you are most often exposed to determine what you should choose. The 6-chain wheel with the most powerful links gives the best grip in most road conditions, especially on packed snow and slush. The 12-chain wheel gives the best grip on ice and snow, with always two links between the tyre and the road. The 18-chain wheel is a comfort wheel, which is good on ice and which you can’t feel that much in the vehicle. There is also a spark-resistant wheel intended for ADR vehicles. Talk to your dealer, or get in touch with us to have assistance!


Q: Onspot does give an impression of precision and quality. I’ve now discovered that the anchor bolt for the Onspot wheel is bent. Should it really be like that?

A: Yes. In actual fact it is curved, not just a little but exactly 5.0 degrees. The reason for this is that the Onspot wheel must sit a certain angle so that the chains can go under the tyre in the right way. When installing it is also important that the conical spacer lies flush with the bottom of the arm. Otherwise there is a risk that the adjustment will be incorrect, and that the wheel comes loose.


Q: You talk so much about your Onspot, but last autumn it didn’t work anything like it does in your glossy brochures. Is there something I must do before I refit it for the winter?

A: Yes. Not even Onspot can cope with everything without some maintenance. If you want to make sure it works this winter, do a quick service. It only takes a few minutes, and it can save you a lot of problems and delays. What you have to do with Onspot is to look at the wheels and check that the chains are not worn and that the rubber is good condition, on the wheel bearings, the arm bearings and the angular toggle joint. There must not be any play.  Check the seal as well. Replace the parts if you are not sure. Order a checklist for Onspot. It also contains wear limits and tightening torques for couplings.


Q: How long have Onspot chains been manufactured and sold?

A: Onspot is the originator of the automatic snow chain system. The system was invented in Sweden in 1977. In North America Onspot has been available from Onspot of North America since 1988. The system has been manufactured in the USA since 1992.


Q: How fast can I go and turn Onspot chains on?

A: Onspot should be engaged and disengaged with the vehicle moving. The system can be turned on with the vehicle going as fast as 50 km/h (25 mph).


Q: How fast can I go with the chains engaged?

A: Up to 50 km/h (35 mph).


Q: Does Onspot work in reverse?

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


Q: Will I get traction in deep snow?

A: Onspot is designed to effectively work on ice, packed snow, and up to 6 inches (15 cm) of snow.


Q: What size vehicles can be fitted with Onspot?

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


Q: How do I know if my vehicle can be fit with Onspot?

A: 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.


Q: Is Onspot a “one size fits all” product?

A: No. The Onspot kit delivered is adapted for the specific vehicle chassis, depending on vehicle brand and model.


Q: How does Onspot attach to the suspension?

A: 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.


Q: How long does the installation take?

A: Typical installation for a vehicle takes approximately 5-8 hours.


Q: Can I do my own installation?

A: Onspot 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.


Q: How much weight will the system add to the vehicle?

A: The Onspot system typically weighs approx 22 kg per drive axle for a large vehicle.


Q: Can Onspot fit vehicles without air brakes?

A: Yes. Onspot can provide a 12V electric air compressor kit to put air onboard to operate the Onspot chains for vehicles without air brakes.


Q: What is the CFM for Onspot’s air compressor?

A: The air compressor has a .35 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.


Q: Why should I get a 6 strand chain wheel?

A: Onspot supplies a 6 strand chain wheel as its standard chain wheel. The 6 strands are made from thru hardened steel alloy. 12 and 18 strand chain wheels 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 chain wheels.


Q: Why doesn’t Onspot use replaceable chain lengths?

A: 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 chain plate with the six new lengths of chain is the correct and most economical repair.


Q: How long will my Onspot last?

A: 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 (3,000 km).


Q: What maintenance does Onspot require?

A: Onspot requires very little maintenance. The arm bearings should be greased at the same time as normal vehicle maintenance, and the chain wheels should be removed in the summer.