There are some mandatory requirements with safety chains. Apart from them having to be a rated chain that’s approved, you also are expected to cross your chains when you connect them up if the trailer is fitted with dual chains. By that, it means the chain from one side goes to the opposite side on the tow bar. In this article we will show you how to correctly use and set up your safety chains.
Now, before you start something you want to do is work out the length of your chains and get the length right. Often these chains are way longer than they need to be. If you put your shackle into a link further up the chain from the end you can shorten it to the desired length. Ensure you have enough free play in the chain that the trailer is going to articulate no problems at all. If you’re off road and the hitch is articulating vertically as well as horizontally, ensure you’ve still got plenty of slack. By connecting both chains up in this way, if something does go wrong and the trailer becomes unhitched, it will drop onto the chains and not strike the road. The drawbar will be kept up off the road, so it’s not going to hit a groove, or a rock on the tracks, or something like that, and all of a sudden come to a dead stop and cause even more problems or an accident.
It will also make sure that the trailer doesn’t come far enough away from the back of the car that it pulls out the electrical plug that also operates the brakes on the trailer. So, in the event of a hitch coming off, or some other kind of problem, you can activate the brake controller, and brake the car, and slow the whole rig up, and do minimum if any damage at all.
So, remember that, folks. Rated shackles, cross your chains, and shorten your chains up to the ideal length so you still get full articulation but they’re not going to bind up and come tight. If it does come unhitched, it’s going to stop it from striking the ground.
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