Why do Ambulances have Chains underneath them?

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  1. J.S.Matthew profile image77
    J.S.Matthewposted 11 years ago

    Why do Ambulances have Chains underneath them?

    Every time I see an Ambulance drive by me I hear and see chains clinking and clanking underneath the vehicle. Why do they do this? Is it to warn animals ahead or some other reason?


    1. Charles Emerenwa profile image63
      Charles Emerenwaposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I think it is to guarantee the vehicles are continuously grounded.
      As the ambulance comes into contact with these electrons, static-electricity risk increases. By suspending chains under the vehicle, the charged electrons move to the less-charged ground below.

      1. cellphone holdershop profile image60
        cellphone holdershopposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I think it is to guarantee the vehicles are continuously grounded.
        As the ambulance comes into contact with these electrons, static-electricity risk increases. By suspending chains under the vehicle, the charged electrons move to the less-charged ground below.

    2. duffsmom profile image59
      duffsmomposted 11 years ago

      Bear with me for a minute as we go into left field for just a second.  Grocery carts at our grocery store have small chains hanging down from the bottom of the cart to the floor.  I always wondered why until I heard the manager telling someone that it grounds the cart to avoid a static electricity shock.

      Could the same hold true of the ambulance?

      1. Apollo172 profile image61
        Apollo172posted 4 years agoin reply to this

        Hey its simple they are snow chains they came on our latest Fire Engine

    3. Specialist5 profile image67
      Specialist5posted 11 years ago

      All the school buses in CT and many pieces of heavy equipment I see have chains as well.  I've never asked this of anyone but have always wondered myself.  I figured it had something do with grounding and electricity.  Now it's been confirmed.

      So why don't all vehicles have chains?  What's different about cars, etc. that they don't need them or aren't required to have them?

    4. bloggerjones profile image68
      bloggerjonesposted 11 years ago

      When I worked as a Paramedic in Colorado, we used a product from a company called "Onspot" for winter driving.  The idea was that there was a hydraulic swing-arm above each tire with a number of short chains connected.  When the system was put into use, the arm would lower and rotate, effectively swinging the chains under the tires as the vehicle made its way down the road.

      All that to say, when the system was not being used for winter driving, there were just chains hanging below the ambulance.

      Along the same lines, many trucks, etc. store their "tire chains" under the vehicle.

    5. JamesGrantSmith profile image58
      JamesGrantSmithposted 10 years ago

      In the UK Ambulances do not have chains.

      1. J.S.Matthew profile image77
        J.S.Matthewposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        That's very interesting JamesGrantSmith. Thanks for sharing your information.


    6. Jon A Webb profile image58
      Jon A Webbposted 9 years ago

      The automatic tire chains answer is correct, at least for ambulances. If you look at the chains they are not actually dragging on the road, so they would not work to ground the ambulance. And in any case, the idea of static electricity somehow building up and affecting systems INSIDE the ambulance doesn't make sense, first because the interior of the ambulance would have the same charge, and second because of Coulomb's law.
      Also, look at the diagram here: http://www.carguydad.com/wp-content/gal … spot-2.jpg -- the chains you see under ambulances look exactly the same. They are there for traction, not static discharge.

    7. ryan-cd profile image58
      ryan-cdposted 6 years ago

      Interesting question, in my country Ambulances don't have chains, so it may be something for traction if you are in a country like Canada that snows allot?

    8. profile image52
      MindMatters2posted 6 years ago

      The chains that are usually located in front of rear axle or rear end, is for wintery roads, school buses usually have them as well. It makes sense for icy roads. To cause heat to the ground for solid tread contact. For safe driving.

    9. LauraTallo profile image62
      LauraTalloposted 6 years ago

      My father has to have a special device dragging under his vehicle to keep electrons from making his heart defibrillator from going off.

    10. WheelScene profile image76
      WheelSceneposted 6 years ago

      Interesting, these are not chains for winter driving on the tires? They may be suspension related, to raise and lower the vehicle, sometimes you will see chains on Handicap Accessible vehicles.

    11. Tarun Sikka profile image60
      Tarun Sikkaposted 5 years ago

      Ambulances having Chains underneath is mainly to do with winter conditions. During winter season the Icy roads are a major hurdle for the patients reaching the hospitals. Chains make sure that the weather condition doesn't post any major hurdle & patient reaches hospital safely. Also it helps during winter foggy mornings when water becomes solid & Ambulance with chains cut through it safely.

    12. tehgyb profile image81
      tehgybposted 4 years ago

      The chains are simply for traction on snow or ice.They hang under the vehicle when not in use, but can be deployed around the drive tires quickly.
      You'll often see all kinds of vehicles with them. Especially emergency vehicles, trucks, buses and even mail carriers.


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