Caravan Safety Chains / Shackles

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 22:57
ThreadID: 100741 Views:6521 Replies:9 FollowUps:9
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After a lot of research I can't get a definate statement about Shackles.
The Safety chain issue seems to be straight forward, and well explained in the A.D.R. rules and Main Roads Dept Qld.

I have two existing chains that appear to be quite substantial.

I have just bought a new Tow Vehicle and the existing Chains on my Van are too short.

Can I add another shackle to provide the extra length I require????

Thanks for any info.


Haji-Baba





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Reply By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:07

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:07
I see no reason why yu cant add another shackle...as long as it is a rated one. You can get rated ones from most good tool shops , hardware stores, and spare parts places. The rated ones have the rated load stamped on them ..eg..SWL 1.5T or like...and usually are more rounded than unrated ..with usually a red. yellow, green , or blue pin from memory. All you need to do is work out what your trailer etc weighs altogether...add a bit for a safety margin and purchase the right ones.
HTH.

Cheers Keith
Nothin is ever the same once I own it ...........

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Reply By: Member - Howard P (WA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:44

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:44
Hi Jeff,

If you are going to add more chain to obtain the correct length required then you could join the two chains with a suitable rated "Hammer Lock" These can be purchased form companies such as Sling-Rig etc.
I tried to down load a photo of one from the internet, but failed miserably...
Just search google images and you what see what they are.

Cheers

Howard
AnswerID: 505479

Follow Up By: Member - Howard P (WA) - Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:47

Sunday, Feb 24, 2013 at 23:47
oops - sorry about the typo above - bad hair day!!!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:19

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:19
Hi Howard,

With regard to you not being able to put up an image may I suggest the following method.

Bring up the required image from whatever source you wish.

Then hit the “Print Screen “ key and this will place the “Screen Shot” on your clip board.

Next, open up Windows “Paint or Paintbrush” and use the “Control” and “V” keys together to place the clipboard image into Paint.

Next, use the “Select” tool, see image below, to place a box around the section of the screen shot you wish to use.



Now use the “Control” and “C” keys to copy this selected section onto the clipboard again.

Now you can use the “Clear All” feature in “Edit” to clear the graphics program and make it ready to receive the selected image.

Hit the “Control V” keys again and the selected section will appear in the graphics program.

Now you must “Save As”

So go to, File, Save As, and the Save As Pane comes up.

Here you will select the location for this new file, you will also give it a new File Name and you also must save it as a JPG image in “Save As Type” box at the bottom of the pane.

You might have to give it a go a few times to get it right but see how you go.

Hope this helps,
Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 06:47

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 06:47
Mate,
I just placed a shackle and extra chain on my van. I used a 2 tonne SWL shackle and extra chain that I already had.

Make sure you buy rated short link chain also such as tested anchor chain as there is some pretty ordinary chain out there. You won't need any of the graded chain such as lifting and drag chain.
A 2 tonne shackle will break in excess of 10 tonne.

I also moused my shackle with wire to make sure it can't undo.

RA.

AnswerID: 505483

Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 16:24

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 16:24
I just checked my chain and it is long link not short link.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 06:58

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 06:58
The problem with rated shackles is that they have larger ends which may not pass through the chain link so you would need one that the pin has a small enough diameter to pass through the towbar mounting point and the chain link.

My camper trailer has two chains which are long enough to connect directly, but my off road trailer has only one chain, although it is quite substantial.
I remove a shackle from one side of the mounting point, pass it through the chain end and connect it to the other shackle as you have eluded to.
No problem at all.


Bill


I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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AnswerID: 505484

Follow Up By: Member - Wamuranman - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 12:50

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 12:50
This has always been a problem for us as well.
We have 2 x 3.5tonne rated chains, but a 3.5 tonne rated shackle will not go through the chain link.
Also there can be another problem-
In some vehicles the towbar may be rated at say 3500kg but a 3.5tonne shackle will not go through the pre-drilled hole in the towbar assembly for the shackle to connect the chains to.
It would be good if manufactureres of towbars, chains, shackles could have some consistency / compliance with the Australian standards.

Cheers
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Reply By: ozjohn0 - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:01

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 10:01
I have letters from every State and Territory road authority on this isuue.
Some will allow the use of shackles to join chains whilst others won't.
The Federal regulations say chain. NOT chain - shackle - chain.
Best to remove the chain(s) and have chains of the correct length fitted, that way you'll cover the requirements of all States and Territory's.
The shackles that attach the chain to the tow bar do not have to be rated, but each shackle (One per chain) must be able to support 1.5 times the ATM of the trailer.
Cheers Ozjohn.
AnswerID: 505497

Follow Up By: Flighty ( WA ) - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:53

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 11:53
Ozjohn.
That all looks good on paper, but how does anyone know what the rating / SWL of the shackles used are when they're not rated?
I'm afraid I would'nt be using shackles that are'nt rated.
As stated there are some pretty ordinary units out there.
Cheers
Paul

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Reply By: andrew t - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 13:22

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 13:22
http://www.liftingonline.com.au/products/Hammerloks
http://www.nobles.com.au/Home
try these links to see if you can find some rated shackles and hammerlocks or rated chain joiners, cheers
AnswerID: 505508

Reply By: Member - Andrew - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 14:39

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 14:39
VSB 1 is the document put out by the government to provide advice on building trailers under 4.5 tonne.
VSB 1 here

It covers the strength of chains and how they are attached to the drawbar.
It doesn't mention how chains are attached to the towing vehicle.

The towbar requirements in the ADR's include provision for attaching chains to a non removable part of the towbar but I haven't found anything yet that specifies the standard of the connector (shackle).

The question then is, has anyone found the rules for the the bit(s) between the end of the chain and the towbar?

It seems logical that shackle should be rated to match the chain, but this obviously does not always happen as can be verified in any car park.

The argument about joining chain with shackles may be practical because there are more bits to accidentally come undone, but is there an actual law or legal standard covering it.
If you use hammerlocks, do they just become links in a chain or is it still regarded legally as using two chains which may or may not be regarded as legal.

Food for thought (and more research)

Regards

A
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 16:28

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 16:28
Andrew,
here is mine joined with a shackle and if you look at the pic you can see it can't come undone as I used a mouse wire. That chain will break before the 2t shackle lets go. From memory a 3.2t shackle lets go around 18 tonne.



Have a good one,
RA.


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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 21:46

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 21:46
Thanks for the pic Rockape.
Haven't seen that done for a long time but I am about to do it on mine for the same reason. I have been looking for the locking clips that were made to do the same thing but no one has heard of them in recent times.

Regards

A
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Reply By: Jeffrey B2 - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 18:26

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 18:26
Thank you for all the replies, some good info there I shall do a bit more study.

I would have replied earlier but my puter has had a temperature lately and I am hoping the wet weather will keep it cooler. B.S.

Thanks again Lads.

Just for interest the new vehicle is a Colorado rated to pull 3.5 tonnes but it will never get the ultimate test with that load with my van.

Haji-Baba
AnswerID: 505536

Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 19:01

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 19:01
I really do fail to see why this cant be done.
Having had forklift and front end loader tickets for more than 2 decades...it has been excepted practice to join lift chains with rated hooks and shackles.
My 4wd club joins drag chains and tree trunk protectors and snatch straps with rated shackles, hooks and pulleys..so whats the difference?
Also I would go more on the weight plus a margin on what you are actually towing...rather than the SWL of the safety chain. Most manufacturers tend to err on the heavy side I have seen. My Goldstream camper has 2 rated chains at 4.5 tonne each...tare weight is 1.12 tonne...go figure.

Cheers Keith
Nothin is ever the same once I own it ...........

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Reply By: Olsen's 4WD Tours and Training - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 22:22

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 22:22
My understanding is shackle to shackle is not legal- at the very least not recommended.
I recommend the use of

hammerlocks

BTW to a previous post- shackles must NEVER be used to join two snatch straps
AnswerID: 505568

Follow Up By: Member - Keith P (NSW) - Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 22:43

Monday, Feb 25, 2013 at 22:43
X2 on the shackle joining snatch straps.....a big no no!!!
But...they can be used to join a tree trunk protector to a snatch strap...or a rated drag chain to a snatch strap....or a tree trunk protector to the end of a winch rope. The main criteria is that the shackle needs to be on the unmovable item end.

HTH.

Cheers Keith
Nothin is ever the same once I own it ...........

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