The LandCruiser 200 Series owners manual says chains should only be installed on the rear wheels of the iconic off-roader 4x4 a Toyota spokesman says.
GoSee understands that clearance issues constrain fitting snow chains to the front wheels.
GoSee suggests that as the first point of reference, drivers should refer to their owners handbooks.
Drivers could also consult with the vehicle manufacturers via customer support.
Snowchains are an emergency item which are used to provide traction on ice and snow. In Australia they come in two types: ladder and diamond pattern.
Snow Chains. The law requires you to carry properly fitting snow chains for your tyres whenever you enter the Kosciuszko National Park (chains are not required for travel to Skitube and 4WD vehicles are exempt) there are many chain hire outlets located in Cooma, Berridale and Jindabyne.
Make sure you know how to fit the chains properly, and always fit chains to the drive wheels of your car. Take care when fitting chains on the roadside and observe all regular road regulations and directions.
1. When hiring chains, first know the tyre code and dimensions which are found on the outside of your tyres.
2. Pack a waterproof blanket to lie on and keep your gloves accessible.
3. Practice fitting the chains before leaving home or at the hire outlet.
Victorian Regulations from www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
Snow chains must be fitted when directed to by the authorities in the snow fields.
The Alpine Resorts (Management) Regulations outline the following: A person in charge of a vehicle who enters an alpine resort must at all times during the snow season, carry wheel chains suitable to be properly fitted to that vehicle.
An authorised officer may, at any time, for reasons of safety or for the control or protection of an alpine resort, direct a person in charge of a vehicle to ensure that wheel chains are properly fitted to the drive wheels of that vehicle or, in the case of four wheel drive vehicle, to either the front or rear wheels of that vehicle.
A person in charge of a vehicle entering or in an alpine resort during the snow season must, when directed to do so by an authorised officer under sub-regulation (2), ensure that wheel chains are properly fitted to the vehicle in the manner directed by that officer. Penalty: 20 penalty units.
In 2009-10, one penalty unit was $116.82.
In Victoria it is illegal to enter a alpine national park without snowchains during the ski season, even in 4WDs. On a 4WD it is necessary to fit snowchains to the front wheels in order to assist with steering.
There are exceptions to this rule, some vehicles even need to fit chains to all four wheels to alleviate problems with the vehicles traction control. To overcome this, even if you think your vehicle is standard, check your cars manual. This will give you a clear indication of what is necessary when fitting chains to your vehicle.
When snowchains are attached to the vehicle, you must not travel over 40 kph this is the recommended speed because otherwise the chains may break and damage the vehicle.
Legally all vehicles entering an alpine resort between 1 June - 31 October must carry and fit chains when directed.
If caught without, a heavy fine may follow.
When directed fit chains at bays where you see the Fit Chains Here sign.
Unless directed 4WD vehicles may progress without chains fitted.
Key points to remember:
Snow chains must be carried at all times during the snow season.
Remember to slow down when driving in the snow or icy conditions. Driving on snow or ice is significantly different from driving on normal, dry, road surfaces. Overlooking the differences between driving in the snow and on a normal dry surface is what can bring people unstuck.
Drivers should be prepared to fit snow chains to their car when directed by authorities. Generally signs give the required directions.
Ensure that the snow chains that are being carried will fit your vehicle and you are able to fit them before beginning your journey.
The capability of any vehicle without chains depends on a number of factors including road and weather conditions, tyre grip and vehicle type.
Drivers should seek advice from the manufacturer about the capability of their vehicles before they embark on their trip.
When in doubt, it is safer to fit chains than to drive without.
Penalties can apply if caught without snow chains. Perhaps the worst penalty though is potentially ruining your holiday as a result of being turned away from the snow fields, becoming bogged in the snow, or even worse, having an accident as a result of failing to fit snow chains.
In Victoria all inquiries regarding the regulations included here should be directed to the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE). www.dse.vic.gov.au