Home > All Mercertown Blog Posts > COLORADO CHAIN LAW


The Colorado chain law went into effect on September 1. Remember, to run I-70 between mp133 (Dotsero) and mp259 (Morrison, west of Denver) units MUST CARRY enough chains to chain four drive wheels. The fine for not CARRYING chains in the required area between September 1 and May 31 is $50 plus a $17 surcharge. Statewide, the fine for not chaining up when the chain law is in effect (signs are lit) is $500 plus a $157 surcharge. If you do not chain up and subsequently block the highway, the fine is $1,000 plus a $313 surcharge (plus a wrecker bill). Trailer chains are not required in Colorado. In previous years, it seems as if US 50 over Monarch Pass was a required carry area, but that is not currently indicated on the Colorado DOT website. We will post additional chain law info for other areas before October 1. Generally, my advice for everyone running west is to carry at least seven chains: enough to chain four drives, two trailer and one spare. We will look at this in greater detail later.

Speaking of Colorado, remember that they use vans with photo radar around construction zones, particularly in the Greater Denver area. CSA 2010 makes any speeding in a construction zone a big deal (8×3=24 points) because of high accident frequency. Carriers, including Mercer, will have a difficult time keeping drivers who speed, tailgate and/or have preventable accidents in construction zones. The prevention of accidents in construction zones has a high priority with the FMCSA, as well it should. It is important to exercise extreme caution in all construction zones. Watch out for the dummies, because construction zones seem to bring them out.

Winter is coming, boys and girls, it is time to start winterizing the truck. Don’t procrastinate. Be safe.

  1. Jane and Dan Danger
    September 8, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for posting this very useful info. Chain Laws are definitely one of those things with no consistency throughout the different states. It’s hard to remember all the various rules that come about and the blog us a great way to share and to remind.

  2. chuck
    September 8, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Len I just drove though OR they have carry chain sign up now

  3. Len Dunman
    September 9, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Kinda early this year….I’ll check it out. Oregon generally requires 4 drive tires and one on each side of trailer plus a spare when signs are lit. Most of the other states don’t start until October 1. I’ll get them all out next week. My advice is to get by the house and get ’em on the truck.

  4. Roger Osborn
    September 9, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Len, Thanks for the update and the Reminder. Do you know what states allow & if any do not allow Automatic chains on the drives?

  5. Len Dunman
    September 13, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    Hey, Roger, just got on today….Mondays get a bit hectic here. Anyway, I’ll try to include that with all of the state listings later. I do know that Colorado does allow them on the drives.

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