Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions about SoftClaw Rubber Tire Chains, you've come to the right place! Feel free to read through all our FAQ's or jump to the section you are interested in below.

Functionality and Design FAQ's

This is the most common question I get asked. Of course they work - or I wouldn't sell them! OK, so that's not really the answer that I give. Obviously you have a legitimate concern, and I can't say that I blame you.

The best way to answer this is to remind you that the rubber snow chains are not designed to be an IMPROVEMENT to the conventional steel chains. We do not claim to be able to take you places that you can't go with the chains you're using now. Some of our customers have made that claim; however, so perhaps in some conditions you will find that our chains increase performance. What we're really selling; though, is a set of chains that will improve traction without causing damage to your paved surface. In other words, you would want to buy these chains because you're concerned about damaging your blacktop, not because you want something that will take you up that steep driveway that you've never been able to conquer before.

Do they work? These chains have been in production since the late 1980's and we've had many repeat customers, many raving reviews, and many folks who come back and order replacement parts for an old set of rubber chains that are starting to wear out. I am very confident that you will not be disappointed with our product. If you would feel better talking to someone, you can certainly give us a call at (717) 983-0123. Also visit our Satisfaction Guarantee for more peace of mind.

SoftClaw rubber snow chains were developed as a product to enhance tire traction while also protecting surfaces - including drive ways, sidewalks, lawns, etc. You can learn more here.

While most conventional chains can tear up or scratch paved surfaces and lawns, SoftClaw rubber snow chains will provide traction while preserving your surfaces. You can drive around on driveways, sidewalks, lawns, etc without scratching them. You can also park your lawn tractor in your garage or shed without removing the chains or worrying that they will damage the floor.

Our rubber snow chains have been in development and use for over 20 years, and I hear very little negative feedback from any customers. One misconception that some people have is that these rubber chains are somehow BETTER at producing traction than conventional steel chains. That is not necessarily our goal. You may find that the rubber chains do better than steel chains in some conditions (why are our tires made of rubber instead of steel in the first place?), but the primary reason these chains were developed was to save your driveway from scratches. There will be times when steel chains do a better job - particularly on ice and heavy wet snow - but then you're running the risk of excess driveway damage.

SoftClaw rubber snow chains can also be used year round in mud and wet grass with much less surface damage than conventional chains. The only conditions that SoftClaw chains have been known to struggle with is deep, heavy, wet snow.

Sure! But good luck with that one. Obviously most of the damage done on your driveway happens when you're using steel tire chains and you spin your tires. You have two options: 1) Drive very carefully and make sure you don't spin, or 2) Simply use rubber snow chains and "hammer down" without worrying about the spinning. The choice is yours.

We have been mimicked, but never duplicated. There are other similar products on the market; however, you will find that the rubber bars used on those products are of inferior quality to ours. SoftClaw Tire Chains use high quality reinforced rubber bars that will give you better traction and longer life than the recycled rubber used on other brands. Furthermore, our bars are bolted on and it's easy and economical to purchase replacement bars when your original set wears out.

We offer two options for the slat spacing on our chains. The standard option places the rubber slats on every fourth chain link (shown in our pictures). This is the original spacing and was designed to be a good compromise between price and utility. Many customers asked for more aggressive traction options; however, so we now offer the aggressive slat spacing. This places the slats one chain link (approximately 1") closer together , giving you slightly more traction, but at a higher cost. Which one should you choose? It really comes down to cost and utility. Paying the extra cost for the aggressive spacing may not always be worth it - especially on larger tire sizes.

Product and Company Infomation FAQ's

SoftClaw Rubber Tire Chains were originally developed in 1987. In 1997, Hemler Manufacturing bought the product and continued to develop it and enlarge the client base. In 2008 they began retailing the product online. Before that, all chains were sold wholesale to dealers who then sold them to customers. In 2010, the product rights and development equipment were purchased by J. Esh Manufacturing. We continue to work hard to make a quality product that will fit your needs as a customer.

We would love to hear from you. You can call us or send us an email. You'll find the phone numbers and a contact form on the contact page.

Since it's inception in 1987, we have provided SoftClaw tire chains to many happy customers. If you would like to speak to a third party about our product, check out our contact us and we will see if we can put you in touch with a current customer.

You can also peruse our online reviews to see what people are saying about us! 

Yes. We do guarantee the workmanship of our product. We guarantee the parts under normal wear and tear for one year. For more information click here to visit our warranty page.

Purchasing FAQ's

Start on our rubber snow chains page. On the right side of the page you will see a list of available tire sizes and the price for a set of chains for that size. Choose your size from the list, select how many pairs you would like and any other options, and add the product to your cart. If your size isn't listed, you can easily order a custom size from us. is very concerned about your security, and we have taken every precaution to make your transaction safe and painless. Your checkout process is secured VIA SSL, the industry standard for data encryption. What this means is that hackers will not be able to steal your personal information while it's being sent to the online server from this site. If you prefer, you can call us at (717) 983-0123 and we will process your payment for you directly through our merchant account.

We accept Visa, American Express, Discover, and Mastercard. Your information is protected by industry standard 128 bit SSL encryption. In other words, your credit card information is coded so that no one can steal it while it is en route between your computer and ours. You can also send us a check or money order; however, your purchase will not ship until payment is received. You will be provided with a mailing address when your order is complete.

We accept personal check or money order as well as all major credit cards including Visa, American Express, Mastercard, and Discover.

Delivery time will vary somewhat depending on when you order your tire. If you order in the fall or winter, we will usually ship it within two business days. During our off season (spring and summer), we usually ship within five days, but it may take up to seven days to fill your order. Your order will arrive 3 to 5 business days after it is shipped, depending on your location.

Tire Sizes and Installation FAQ's

Your tire size is printed on the side of the tire. We have also put together a short video to help you find you tire size.

We can certainly make a size that will fit your tire. You can order a custom size on our Custom Size page.

No. At this point we do not make rubber snow chains for trucks or cars. We are researching this and may begin making these in the near future. Check back on this site for updates.

We have; however, teamed up with some other vendors who can provide you with chains for your car or truck. You can click on one of these links for more information:
Conventional (steel) tire chains
Tire chain alternatives for cars and trucks

Installation instructions can be found on our chain installation page.

Why Purchase From Us?

All parts manufactured in the USA

Custom sizes available

Satisfaction Guaranteed

1-year warranty on parts

Family-owned business

High quality rubber & metal

It's time you had rubber tire chains that don't damage your driveway!