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Thread: Trailer Safety Chains

  1. #1
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    Trailer Safety Chains

    Hey there. I was hoping you could help me with a simple question in regards to towing a trailer. The bumper I have does not have dedicated brackets for safety chains BUT it does have 3/4" Clevis mounts on either side of the receiver rated for 4000lbs each. So my first question is, can I use these shackles as my attachment points for the safety chains? If need be, I'll upgrade the shackles to S2140 type (bolt, nut and pin) for added safety.

    If I can use the points indicated above, the safety chains are long enough not to be crossed, but as most people do, they cross the chains for stability. Question 1 is do i have to cross the safety chains? If not, is it appropriate to extend the safety chains with properly rated chain or replace it?

    I've never towed with a trailer so this is all kinda new to me.

    Thanks for your time.
    Last edited by Ozzman; 07-19-2012 at 09:18 AM.

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    I'm sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you on this!

    I'll try to address all your questions here as best as I can. I believe the "shackle mounts" you're referring to on the bumper, are actually other mounting holes for different size trailer balls (if you had more than one size). That being said, I couldn't see why these wouldn't be strong enough to use for your safety chains. Bear in mind, whatever shackles you use, they must be rated.

    There is no requirement that I know of, that mandates the crossing of chains under the tongue. It is done so that it will create a "cradle" of sorts if the tongue ever did come off the ball. The chains where they attach, however, must be incapable of falling off the mounting point (ie spring clips to hold the hook on).
    You can replace the safety chains on your trailer, no problem. Make sure you use the correct weight rating. Also, make sure whatever you use to attach the chain, is also the correct weight rating. Don't use any unrated "quick connects" or unrated "add a link".

    I hope this has answered your questions, if you have anything further, please don't hesitate to ask.
    Opinions expressed are those of the author, accuracy of information posted cannot be guaranteed. These opinions in no way represent the OPP, any other Police Department or Police Officer.

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    Is the chain rating required to be that of the total weight of the trailer, the tongue weight, or something else? What if I'm flat-towing a vehicle?
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    The breaking strength of each chain should equal the gross weight of the towed trailer.

    Same applies for a flat tow (with tow bar) as it is your secondary means of attachment.

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    Thanks!

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    I know this is a no no to give advise, but what if the Officer is incorrect (There is no requirement that I know of, that mandates the crossing of chains under the tongue) http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dan...ion5.4.6.shtml

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    Quote Originally Posted by rikker001 View Post
    I know this is a no no to give advise, but what if the Officer is incorrect (There is no requirement that I know of, that mandates the crossing of chains under the tongue) http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dan...ion5.4.6.shtml
    Then PM him your question. You are suggesting he is incorrect but your link that you referenced does not even cite a statute. Yes, we know and agree that the chains should be crossed so as to be able to catch the tongue should the coupling fail. What you are debating is whether that is actually legally mandated in Ontario but you did not provide a reference to back your claim.
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    ^I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks CTD....

    When I am asked questions on here, I don't cite recommendations, I try to give actual LEGAL requirements. I am of the same opinion as CTD above, that it is the prudent thing to do (cross chains underneath). That isn't the question that was asked though.

    I am not perfect, and I can only answer to the best of my ability. If you can find legislation that shows this as a legal requirement, great! Please share.

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    From the Mto web site.
    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/saf.../trailer.shtml

    You must have two separate means of attachment between your vehicle and the trailer. Safety chains should be crossed under the tongue to prevent the tongue from dropping to the road should the primary hitch accidentally disconnect. It is recommended that chain hooks have latches or devices that prevent accidental disconnect. The breaking strength of each chain should equal the gross weight of the towed trailer. (See: Farm Vehicles and Equipment and The Highway Traffic Act, Appendix A - chain grades charts.) Chains are required for goose neck type trailers that utilize a ball and socket type hitch. Fifth-wheel type hitches that have safety latches do not require safety chains

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    ^Thanks for posting that... I'm not sure what more that adds to the discussion, except to show again that MTO recommends crossing the chains.....?

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    Quote Originally Posted by my85jeep View Post
    Oy....again, you referenced a link that suggests recommendations that does not even reference that pertinent law or statute for this topic. It seems there is a bit of a mix up between a statute/law and a recommendation.

    At the risk of over stepping my bounds and having my posts deleted like you guys, I'll help you out and cite the statute in of the HTA that pertains to trailer safety chains:

    http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/sta...es_90h08_e.htm
    "Attachments required when vehicle drawn on highway
    80. (1) No motor vehicle, other than a motor vehicle in which there is a person licensed to drive a motor vehicle on a highway, trailer or other object or device shall be drawn by a motor vehicle or farm tractor on a highway unless there are two separate means of attachment so constructed and attached that the failure of one such means will not permit the motor vehicle, trailer, object or device being drawn to become detached; but this section does not apply to a trailer, object or device attached or coupled to the towing vehicle by means of a fifth wheel attachment or to a trailer or other object or device when drawn directly across a highway by a farm tractor. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 80."


    Mr ON OFFroad, If I have cited the incorrect statute, please correct me. And I apologize for jumping into your forum - but they started it! lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by my85jeep View Post
    From the Mto web site.
    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/saf.../trailer.shtml

    You must have two separate means of attachment between your vehicle and the trailer. Safety chains should be crossed under the tongue to prevent the tongue from dropping to the road should the primary hitch accidentally disconnect. It is recommended that chain hooks have latches or devices that prevent accidental disconnect. The breaking strength of each chain should equal the gross weight of the towed trailer. (See: Farm Vehicles and Equipment and The Highway Traffic Act, Appendix A - chain grades charts.) Chains are required for goose neck type trailers that utilize a ball and socket type hitch. Fifth-wheel type hitches that have safety latches do not require safety chains


    You are doing the exact same thing that rikker did...you are quoting something that does not have a regulation attached to it. Nowhere in that statement does it say the chains MUST be crossed under the tongue and again there is no reference to an actual law in regards to safety chains being crossed.

    It is logical and common sense to cross the chains, but as the officer has stated, he has not found a regulation mandating that they be crossed.


    As has also been stated, if you can find a regulation and can quote the Act/section/subsection, etc. then post it up, but stop posting info that is not mandated.



    THIS FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS A GENERAL STATEMENT TO ALL MEMBERS AND NOT DIRECTED AT ANY PARTICULAR INDIVIDUALS

    If you can't find a regulation mandating the crossing of safety chains or have nothing else productive to add to this thread then please refrain from posting. Familiarize yourself with the rules located in the sticky at the top of the section, and be aware that they have been and will continue to be enforced.

    If any individual can find a regulation mandating the crossing of safety chains please post it up. If nobody can cite an actual regulation within one week from this post then this thread will be cleaned up to remove all incorrect information/discussion.
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    ^Mr CTD, you are correct. That is the exact section from the Highway Traffic Act dealing with towing.

    I'll try not to confuse this any more than it already is, but there are also accompanying Regulations for certain specifics, none of which I have found to contain any LEGISLATION that says you must cross your chains underneath.

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    Im sorry I refered to an MTO web page that stated it wasen't the LAW but a recamandation. I will endever to never try to help again. if this offends people Im sorry and feel free to delete me. If that is the case "so long and thanks for all the fish"

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