Selecting The Correct Chain


16 mm chains are the normal choice for these large machines, which in practice means Multistud 160TS, Superstud 160TS or Megastud 160TS.

Machines that nowadays usually have 24.5 inch tyres or bigger. Both 13 and 16 mm chains are suitable here. 16 mm chains are preferred if it is often wet and muddy as they provide better grip in such conditions. Megastud 160TS are a good choice on single axles of 6WD harvesters – outstanding grip and excellent tyre protection.

These machines usually have 600 and 700-22.5 tyres. 13 mm chains are normally the best alternative here. 16 mm chains are an option for 6WD machines with 26.5 inch tyres or bigger on a single axle. Piggelin Flex 11HD are a popular choice for thinning harvesters. However, in very rocky terrain, Multistud 130TS and Superstud 130TS are preferred as they protect tyres better against damage.

9-13 mm chains are suitable for machines with 22.5 inch tyres or smaller. Piggelin Flex 9 and Piggelin Flex 11 are suitable chains for “small” forest machinery. If there is enough room between the tyre and frame then 13 mm chains are an alternative if extra strong chains are required.



The alternatives for trucks are 5 mm light chains and 8 mm chains, with or without studs. Grip SR5 is the best choice for trucks operating on icy and snowy highways. It is a light chain that can withstand high speeds and is very flexible for easy fitting and removing. They are also low weight. For trucks driving on more demanding roads in rural areas, an 8 mm chain is a good choice and preferably a chain with a Z-pattern such as the unstudded Grip SR Z8 or the studded Grip +Z8. These chains are also available for dual wheels. For more demanding needs, there are the U-studded Grip Z8B and unstudded Grip SR A8. These are chains that are suitable for off-road vehicles, such as terrain cranes. Steering chains should have a Z pattern or similar, in other words Grip SR5, Grip SR Z8 or Grip +Z8.



1-3 Tonnes

These machines often have small diameter wheels and usually confined spaces between tyres and frame/ mudguards. In this case, a 5 mm square patterned chain with wear pads, such as Loader SR5, would be a good choice. 

3-6 Tonnes

8-9 mm thick chains are suitable for these machines. In practice, this means 8 mm truck chains or 9 mm tractor chains that are appropriate. For example, a 5 tonne loader with 365/80-20 in an urban environment is best equipped with Grip SR Z8 truck chains or in tough terrain with 9 mm SR Flex 9 tractor chains. 

6 Tonnes

SR Flex 9 are standard chains also for large and heavy machinery weighing 20 tonnes or more. But both weaker and stronger chains can also come into question. On a loader clearing snow from roads at high speed, Gunntrac 6.5 are suitable chains and for a machine on tricky terrain, Piggelin Flex 11HD is a good alternative. If it’s really difficult, 13 or 16 mm forest chains are the chain of choice. Unstudded 16 or 19 mm chains are best on very large machinery operating in quarries.


Chains on a wheel excavator make a big difference when it’s slippery because of ice or smeared mud. Unstudded SR Flex 9 or studded Piggelin Flex 9 are suitable for wide single wheels. These chains are also suitable for close-fitting dual wheels. The chain will then cover the dual wheel as if it were a wide single wheel. An alternative chain for dual wheels is an asymmetric single chain on the outer wheel.  


Fork SR5 is a chain for small to medium size counterbalance forklifts. It has vibration free running thanks to its Z pattern. For larger wheel dimensions, 8 mm chains are also suitable, for example Grip SR Z8. 13 mm chains are suitable for large timber yard forklifts and timber trucks. Flexible and moderately aggressive alternatives for these machines are unstudded Skogsgrip 130 and Superstud 130.