The use of large hooks instead of rated D shackles for trailer chains?

Submitted: Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 17:24
ThreadID: 119303 Views:4026 Replies:11 FollowUps:27
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I was watching a US video recently on youtube. The video was a demo of a particular type of spring-loaded tow hitch (see below).

If you watch the video you can see that the bloke attaches the safety chains of the trailer/van with large hooks. These are the type of hooks that would normally be used on a modest size winch.

So, it got me wondering whether this would be legal here ....

Any thoughts? It would be much more convenient than fiddling with shackles (and losing the damned pins!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCnn-x5KYdA

Roachie
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Reply By: Member - Stuart P (WA) - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 17:59

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 17:59
couldn't see any reason as to why not ,as long as the hook had a safety latch fitted to it
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Follow Up By: Life Member TourBoy, Bundaberg - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:14

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:14
and is appropriately rated and stamped.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:36

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:36
If you can find one rated to the same as the chain.

As far as I can remember snap hooks are not legal
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 23:17

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 23:17
Definitely not a good idea using hooks. Hard to explain but I look at it like this "regardless" of the weight rating of either item hooks have a gap and don't complete the circle so there is a weakness there straight away if they get bent the gap gets bigger and the clip is useless. A shackle forms a complete circle when the pin is fitted if they get bent or stretched the circle in still complete so it will still be a securely attached and there is no risk of it coming free where a hook can because they are not securely attached. Hooks are designed with lifting in mind with a quick release catch don't take short cuts because you think their easier and quicker to use just because you think it's a hassle to screw the pin up on a shackle. Better safe than sorry it may be your life or someone else's that you put on the line.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Jun 29, 2015 at 07:36

Monday, Jun 29, 2015 at 07:36
Also not sure how someone can lose shackle pins pretty hard or to lazy to nip them up by hand by the sounds of it a good excuse to take short cuts and look for an unsafe alternatives maybe.
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Reply By: axle - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:47

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 18:47
Hi Roachie,..Not real keen myself, those type of hooks are used on most lifting gear and have weight on them most of the time. you notice how only the first bit of the hook is just sitting in the hole on the tow hitch if something went wrong there, that's not really a secure situation. the hook should be taking the weight from the centre of its self.....those little spring loaded safety locks are a pain in the butt to use if they get dirt or rust in the mechanism, use the old d shackle and keep a bit of grease on the threads, keep it simple...and don't lose anything!!...LOL.


Cheers Axle
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:04

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:04
Hi Axle,
I'm pretty sure that the "Rules and Regulations" regarding towing specify that only rated shackles be used to connect the chains to the towbar.
Can't remember where I was it but am unable to check where at the moment. (crap net connection this end).

I'm sure that someone else will, and either prove me right or wrong.

Cheers

Disco.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 21:03

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 21:03
Rated shackles are not a legal requirement.

Shackles suitably rated for the job are RECOMMENDED

Has be an urban myth debated on forums for over a year
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 23:04

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 23:04
http://transport.nt.gov.au/mvr/standards/vehicle-inspector-bulletins 13 (i).
TomH, no matter how much I read our relevant document for the NT I can only find the word "requirement" not "recommended". Therefore under our vehicle registration rules a non-rated shackle would result in a failure for the purposes of any inspection. Isn't that therefore a LEGAL requirement in the NT and therfore not an urban myth?

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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:01

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:01
Well finally someone has come up with a document that backs that up.
However in other states it seems its different.

Has been a popular subject on Van forums and it seems that Rated shackles are not compulsory.


This is what has been circulated as is normal

http://withoutahitch.com.au/trailer/rated-d-shackle-requirements/
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 10:37

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 10:37
My understanding is that security chains have to meet a standard, at least in Vic, and it's up to the manufacturer to meet it. Would be surprising if the connection didn't.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 15:39

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 15:39
This has been a furphy for ages on a stack of forums , started by someone posting that they were booked in QLD near Bundaberg for not having rated shackles on their c/van chains , the law in Qld is very specific on the subject , that being the chain must be rated and welded on at least a 1/2 link , nowhere in the legislation does it state that a rated shackle must be at the end of the chain-s , they must however be of a suitable size and the chains must be of a suitable length to be able to be crossed over yet not touch the ground...
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 17:36

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 17:36
I have never been able to fathom what the fuss is about.
Rated shackles are a couple of $s more than the cheapies of the same size.
So for the sake of $4 or $5 more you have peace of mind in the knowledge that if your caravan ever broke away, you had done the sensible thing to minimise the risk to some poor sod who happened to be traveling along the same stretch of road at the time.
Alternatively, for the cost of one cup of coffee, be prepared to defend you skin flint approach to the coroner.
Cheers
Andrew
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 18:21

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 18:21
Exactly, Andrew.

What is the point of having rated chain properly welded to the trailer and then not have a suitably rated device to join it to the towbar? Beats me.

What also beats me is why doesn't the legislation, be it federal or state, CLEARLY state rated connection devices (shackles, hooks, whatever) as a requirement in ALL states?

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 13:38

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 13:38
What it boils down to it is the operators duty of care to make sure the connection is safe and if it fails due to using below standard gear they will be held responsible so it would be safer to use rated equipment than to save a couple of bucks which may find you forking out a lot more cash or worse if something goes wrong.
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Follow Up By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 15:50

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 15:50
Batt's....very true....but the hooks I'm talking about are rated for at least 1 tonne. I was envisaging using something like these: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/321764254250?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT plus these to join to the chains: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/301643490667?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

This would undoubtedly be way stronger than the typical rated shackles we use, but whether constable plod would see it that way is another thing.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 19:56

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 19:56
I really don't think strength has anything to do with it safety is more important as I replied below your original post
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Reply By: Nomad Navara - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:22

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:22
Just love where the breakaway cable is connected to, it wont work too good if the chain lets go.
AnswerID: 556389

Reply By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:33

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 19:33
Thanks for the replies.....we'll just add this to the LONG list of stuff that the yanks can do that our nanny-state pollies won't allow us to do.

Bear in mind that the size of truck and trailer that the yanks use in every day use are much larger than our "average" rig here. Some of those big 3500 trucks (Chev, Ford, Dodge) haul trailers up to 19,000lb (which I think is about 9 tonnes)....and they have no issues with those hooks.

I wish that Ricky Muir (the senator who got in on the Motoring Enthusiasts Party) would earn his bloody keep.....to my knowledge there has not been ONE thing he has put forward that would make the life of a motoring enthusiast any better than it was before he got elected. I relaise, however, that the vast majority of these nanny-state laws are state-based, so there may be severe limitations as to what he can achieve...
AnswerID: 556390

Follow Up By: Bigfish - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 20:07

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 20:07
Ricky Muir mate is just another one with his snout in the trough...
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Follow Up By: Legendts - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 11:51

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 11:51
OT and got in by the stupid electoral rules and pure luck.
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Follow Up By: BunderDog - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 18:00

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 18:00
Just another nanny state requirement, when I lived over there that was all we used. On another topic you can buy really strong 50mm/2" towballs with an 1 1/4" shank over there rated to 15,000lbs.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 22:14

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 22:14
Quote

"and they have no issues with those hooks".

Any photos as to how they stand up to being made to hold a 9T trailer when it disconnects.

Ive never had issues with a garden trailer loaded with concrete and a tiny D shackle on it.

Maybe I would have if something broke.

Also the way that guy had the breakaway wire connected

A it would never work if the chains came away as wasnt connected to any part of the tug.
B The R clip would probably just pull out anyway even if it was.

Looks like they could do with some of our rules by that video.
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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 21:01

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 21:01
Some could stop and think that perhaps the rules are there to protect us from ourselves.

Going by what is said on here at time they sure are needed.

Have seen vans with D shackles I wouldnt use on a garden trailer and both chains on one tiny shackle

Same van would have been far overweight for the Prado towing it.

To add insult to injury he had the brakesafe wire wound twice through the hitch handle and onto the same tiny shackle.

Have also seen snaphooks or Caribieners that were too light even for climbing being used to attach chains to vehicle. In another case was just a wire open hook

They live amongst us and breed as well. but we dont need rules. Spare me.
AnswerID: 556393

Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:26

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:26
You may gather from this question that we don't tow. What is a "breaksafe wire"? Is it something to do with electric brakes? I saw the wire, I think! Looked like stainless steel wire to me and just clipped onto the chain with a type of safety loose clip.

I understand about the chains.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:45

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:45
I've never heard that particular term but I think in this context it means the small cable that operates the break-away brake system.

Trailers above 2000kg GTM are required to have a system that, in the event of the coupling failing, will apply the trailer brakes for a minimum of 15 minutes.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:54

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:54
Thanks Frank. Kind of guessed that it was that. We didn't have them when I towed heavy loads like this. Say the early 70's.

Phil

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Reply By: TomH - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 21:04

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 21:04
Put the pins in from the top and they wont fall out. If worried put a cable tie around the shackle and through the pin
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Reply By: Whirlwinder - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 22:35

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 22:35
I agree that there should be rated shackles but my son recently got his boat trailer registered in NSW with hooks not shackles on the chains. It tows at 1600kgs.
Beats me how that happened. The hooks do have gates fitted so they can't come off.
Ian
AnswerID: 556397

Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:03

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 09:03
They will just open up and straighten out if a sudden jerk hits them.

Have seen climbing caribeiners do that and they are screwed together at the clip
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 22:43

Friday, Jun 26, 2015 at 22:43
Hook vs Shackle is not the issue it's the real rated strength of hook/shackle and chain. I have hooks on an imported trailer they were passed. Problem is a lot of imported cheap shackles making their way onto the country and they may break imo.
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Reply By: Member -Pinko (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 08:30

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 08:30
Roachie

The U bolt stops the receiver from jiggling about but if you look closely there is a pin on the bottom of the towbar just below where the receiver goes in.
I don't use D shackles, just the chain link.
I removed the towbar to work on it and welded three 12mm plates with a gap between them to accept a chain link. one single pin with an R clip in the end to hold it there.
Pull the pin that goes through all three plates and the chains fall free.
Many trucks that tow dog trailers use this setup.
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Follow Up By: Roachie.kadina.sa.au - Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 22:24

Saturday, Jun 27, 2015 at 22:24
Yes, Stan...I am familiar with the lugs on heavy trucks that accept the chains link via a pin with R clip. You could also use a drop-nose pin in lieu I imagine.

I'd be a bit worried about yours only having one pin to serve both chains though....if you lose the pin, BOTH chains fall out. But the concept is great.

The 5 tonne rated towbar on my Silverado has a couple of different chain-up options, two of which are large enough to comfortably take a large (winch-type) hook....hence my initial reason for posting the question. There would be no need to fiddle about with pins and clips if these hooks were permitted. I reckon they'd be stronger than the typical rated shackle that most of use too .
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Follow Up By: The Original JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 21:55

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 21:55
Hi Roachie, the draw bar on my Ram has two attachment points with hardened pins through and takes hammeloks in them like the illustration here. I have a pair and they are easy to connect to with rated shackles. Hate the thought of hooks like you are talking about, though I have seen some attached to the back of some vehicles


Be past your road the week after next weekend too by the way. If you are able to catch up for a coffee somewhere it would be good. Just call, or I can as we head NW up the highway
Cheers,
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Follow Up By: TomH - Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 22:04

Sunday, Jun 28, 2015 at 22:04
Just as a matter of interest, when I bought a new towbar I didnt like where the D shackles would attach to as it was underneath.

I asked the seller to weld a plate along the top like a Toyota bar has.

He said No. I said why not and he said it was because each model of towbar is certified as a design under a standard and may not be altered in ANY WAY AT ALL as it would no longer comply in the way it was certified.
Just a thought for those who do alter them.
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Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 13:30

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 13:30
In the QLD safe towing guide Section 6 explains what is required in QLD under the title Safety Chain Connections. http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Vehicle-standards-and-modifications/Loads-and-towing/Safe-towing.aspx
AnswerID: 556527

Reply By: BunderDog - Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 20:53

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2015 at 20:53
This what we used on our trailers in the USA..................USA safety chains and hooks.
AnswerID: 556540

Follow Up By: TomH - Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 14:31

Wednesday, Jul 01, 2015 at 14:31
All very good but dont meet the regs here.

Probably adequate for the job but not able to be used in Australia
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