Safety chain

Bolted on with through bolt and heavy duty washer/retainer, relatively short chain, mounted near the coupler, crossed under the coupler, not
dragging, not twisted, hooks with latches or use a shackle.
Object is that if the coupler fails, the trailer comes with you without too much fuss. And comes with you ALWAYS.
Long chain does not properly control the tongue. Crisscross helps to support the tongue, allows the shortest possible chain length and still do a 90 degree jackknife. Welding chain is always suspect, one never knows who did it with what kind of rod and what kind of heat treatment (a splash of water to cool it quickly can be deadly). Chains must not drag or they will eventually be useless.
On 10/13/2010 11:55 PM, Steve B wrote:

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You could take some light wire and tie it up. The wire will vaporize when and if the chains are ever in use dragging the trailer behind you.
For that much - man tape could do it - duck tape.
Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net "Our Republic and the Press will Rise or Fall Together": Joseph Pulitzer TSRA: Endowed; NRA LOH & Patron Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot's Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Originator & Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member. http://lufkinced.com /
On 10/13/2010 11:55 PM, Steve B wrote:

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<< SNIP >>
Ok I have read enough to come out of lurk mode. I am a simple, clear thinking New Englander who has towed a few heavy trailers rented from U-Haul and the like and it always aggravates me that the chains are about 18" or more too long. Granted all of my hitches have a chain eye within 6 " of each side of the tow reviever and this may not be the case for every one. Grampa taught Dad. Dad taught me. The length of the chain should be long enough to allow for the tightest turn when the chains are crossed under the tongue of the trailer. One of the other responders mentioned this crossing as a safety measure to catch the tongue as it falls off the ball and cradle it so it doesn't hit the road surface at speed and act like a pole vaulter's pole. That is exactly how Dad explained it to me.
For safety's sake on my utility trailer which is rated at about the same weight in question (1500 lbs) I used chain with a safe working load of 2200 lbs. Combined that is 4400 lbs. At the trailer end we are not allowed to have the chain welded. It must be bolted on to pass inspection. Oddly though I have seen some 3/8 flat plate with holes cut through it for the chains to mount through. That plate was welded to the tongue of the trailer and I don't remember seeing any reinforcing bolts through it and the tongue. Maybe due to the larger weld area of the 4 inch wide plate the inspector declared it safe. If one thinks for a moment that does give 16" of weld bead if all 4 sides are welded to the tongue. Assuming a 4" square tube as the tongue that is. In my case I used 2 bolts (one for each chain) that were as large as to just pass through the chain link. That was 1/2 inch as I remember and of course they were hardened bolts with a 3/16" thick washer I had fashioned from some 1.25" flat stock. At the vehicle end I had used some 1800 lb rated snap shackles. I truly wanted heavier but these were hard to find and again figuring 2 of them certainly gave me more than the trailer is rated for.
So back to the original...if it were me I would allow 6 links more than needed to cross under the tongue to the attachment points. Then I would find a shackle with a retainer of some sort to keep it from being bounced free. So you now have added a bit more to the length of the chain. When hooked up as long as they are a few inches off the road surface when the vehicle AND trailer are FULLY loaded I would call it good enough.
Just my 2 cents...spend it wisely.
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com says...

I really don't understand why people are having issues with chain length. If it's ordinary straight or twisted link chain you pick the link that gives the length you need, put a shackle through that, and let the remaining part hang if it's short, or use some safety wire or whatever you have to tie it out of the way if it's long enough to drag.
As for the shackle coming loose, use a screw-pin shackle and position it so that the screw goes in from above and gravity will be your friend. If you don't trust gravity, a little piece of lockwire through the hole in the pin and around the shackle body will be your friend. Or get a shackle that uses a cotter pin to safety the screw (McMaster has those).
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says...

MY original question was on the type of chains like Krazy Old Man mentioned - obviously minimum 18" too long. You can just twist them so much. If I were to tie knots in them to get them to the right length, I believe there would be three knots in each.
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net says...

IMHO the length of chain matters because every inch further away from your vehicle the trailer can get is that much more force it can apply to both the safety chain and the rear end of the towing vehicle.
Let that chain get long enough that you need wire, tape, or something to hold it up, and you've let the chain get long enough for the trailer to turn itself should the hitch uncouple. What'll happen if the trailer turns but your vehicle doesn't while doing 55 to 65 on a highway? My mind pictures the tail wagging the dog till it falls over....
--
Tin Lizzie
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says...

Then, there's a gas tank up in there on some models, too.
Steve
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says...

Please go back up above and start with "If it's ordinary . . ." and read to the end of the paragraph, instead of reading the first sentence and ignoring the rest.
However since it's 2010 and reading two sentences in a row is a horrible burden for modern youth, here's a picture <http://flic.kr/p/8KW5z9 .
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Wow. Sorry. I'd assumed that your first sentence was useful and informative. I'll not make that mistake with you again.
--
Tin Lizzie
"Elephant: A mouse built to government specifications."-Lazarus Long
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snipped-for-privacy@donttry.com says...

Have you ever once in your life read the second sentence of a paragraph?
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net says...

Plonk. You've not contributing, you're trolling. Say hi to my filters.
--
Tin Lizzie
"Elephant: A mouse built to government specifications."-Lazarus Long
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snipped-for-privacy@donttry.com says...

Fascinating. I take the time to take pictures to show how to shorten a chain and everybody gets angry with me.
Fuckwads.
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So, with all your education, training, and expertise, you come here and tell us that the proper safe way to shorten a chain is with an improperly installed shackle and a fifty cent carabiner? And for that, I'm a fuckwad? If you rigged that up on my job, your name for you for the next year would be "WORM".
Have you, in all your lectures, courses, dissertations, education, practical experiences and travels EVER heard of a twin clevis link? Google it up, and see how it compares to your two links on a shackle pin setup. Google up chain repair link and see how many other industry acceptable ways there are to repair chains, but some of them unsafe for heavy shock loading. Some of them are marginally safe for 10% SWL. (That's Safe Working Load, in case you missed that in your lectures.)
JC, you can use a lot of stuff to rig chains, and the proof of the pudding is whether or not it holds during a lift, an incident, or an accident. There's right. There's wrong. There's improvised using what you got, but you wouldn't use it every day but you just can't do anything else and you hope it lasts for this use. Then there's stupid.
You can't fix stupid.
Steve
Heart surgery pending? Read up and prepare. Learn how to care for a friend. http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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says...

And that excess clipped away would be for what purpose?
Steve
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com says...

In case you need it in the future. In any case it's a lot easier to snap on a 50 cent carabiner than cut the chain.
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The way that the chain is put on to the shackle with two links on the pin is incorrect rigging wise. And that 50 cent carabineer will likely never be found in case of an incident. You might as well use baling wire and save fifty cents.
Steve
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On Mon, 18 Oct 2010 15:37:12 -0700, "Steve B"

True enough. Unless one uses a $40 carabiner
Gunner, who has a number of $40 carabiners....
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wrote

What's the name of those that use a screw type closure? I've always had bad luck with them deforming if a big load was put on them, or the threads getting boogered. They just don't seem that strong, but the rigging experiences I dealt with were up to 350 tons. Never saw one there, but saw six inch shackles. (6" dia. pin.)
I know the carabiners they use for climbing are good, but one does not see a lot of them in the regular market, and the keychain types would be lucky to hold 25#.
Steve
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I have a box of Miller safety carabiners and stuff of that sort for tree climbers. They are plenty strong. The best part is I got them from a trash pile (at Fermilab), for free obviously.
For attaching safety chains to the truck, though, I would just use latch hooks.
i
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says...

So tell me on brilliant genius. In my photo, how much load is the carabiner going to experience and why?
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