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View Full Version : Scariest thing happened to me today!!!!!


DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 08:50 PM
So me and my dad were going to pick up my walkbehind from storage today and on theway to pick it up we had some problems on the high way. We were pulling my 6' by 14' landscape trailer with my dads 2500 dodge and all of the sudden we heard this noise and we looked out the mirror and there was my trailer rolling across 4 lanes of high way and it hit the middle wall and sparks went flying. We pulled off to the left berm and my trailer went for about 100 feet just riding the middle wall with sparks flying. I think every swear word possible was said by me or my dad.Thank god there was no cars within 100 feet of us. After the cars passed we pulled over to the high speed lane and dragged it over to the left berm. We found that it ripped the safety chains off the trailer and the part that locks the ball on the bolt that was in there fell out and it must have been enough to wiggle it up which caused it to pop off. Suprisiing there was no damage except for some paint that was scrapped off and the angle iron that comes up from the trailer was maybe bent half of and inch in one place. But no one was hurt and my trailer is fine thank god it was empty other wise who knows what coulda happened.

Cuttinitclose
03-21-2009, 08:53 PM
Dam your LUCKY it hit no one!! Oh well, what did get damaged can be fixed easily.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 08:56 PM
It doesnt even half to be fixed if you saw it you would under stand but i have really no way to explain it.

Grits
03-21-2009, 08:59 PM
Let this be a lesson to everyone, inspect your trailers before hitting the road.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 09:02 PM
yes and dont use a bolt with a nut cause the nut vibrates lose.

Fox Lawn & Garden
03-21-2009, 09:14 PM
You're real lucky DRB.
Not sure what part you're referring to. My ball/bolt is all one piece, fastened at the bottom by a nut.
That happened over here in Pittsburgh a year or so ago with a wood chipper. It smashed up a car and killed one person. Cops and DOT were ALL over THAT story for some time. can you think: Scrutinize???
I'd go kiss something if I was you!
Have a safer tommorrow! And a good season.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 09:16 PM
Fox lawn and garden it is really hard to explain how mine is, but all i could think of was if this trailer hits the wall and pops back out into traffic then im screwed and man talk about a weird feeling it was horrible.

Tony Clifton
03-21-2009, 09:23 PM
Thats scary, imagine if there was a lot of traffic.
A buddy of mine lost a trailer with a tractor on it on I-95 about 10 yrs ago. He said he looked in the side view mirror and the trailer was cruising down the rd in the lane next to him. Similar situation though, it just road over to the center.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 09:26 PM
dont be dumb go buy one of these and be done with it, glad everything turned out ok
http://jasperpa.img4.kr/boat/coupler/trailercoupler_50717800_500.jpg

tiggazee
03-21-2009, 09:30 PM
you know you forgot to secure it

CLARK LAWN
03-21-2009, 09:32 PM
i had that happen to me about 15 years ago but i had a backhoe on the trailer. the pintle hitch failed and i hit a bump and it broke lose. trailer stopped about 2 feet from hitting a brand new house.

CLARK LAWN
03-21-2009, 09:33 PM
dont be dumb go buy one of these and be done with it, glad everything turned out ok
http://jasperpa.img4.kr/boat/coupler/trailercoupler_50717800_500.jpg

buy what???

bohiaa
03-21-2009, 09:36 PM
Worked for these dopers once, Plumbing, We went to rent a ditch wench, rolling down a major hiway in Dallas TX, the dope driver, looked next to him and started laughing like a doper does, he was pointing to someone's trailer passing us.

DUH, it was ours, it caused a 7 car wreck, the co was sued many times. the driver had involentery man slauter charges filed against him.
this was my 1st day of work with these DOPE HEADS and my last.

however you being lucky, Thnak GOD it turned out the way it did.

EVERY TIME YOU GET IN OR OUT OF THE TRUCK, CHECK THE HITCH

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 09:42 PM
yes i am usually very good at checking the trailer but i guess not everything works 100% good some times and sometimes things fail.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 09:50 PM
You need to get some better safety chains. They shouldn't have popped on an empty trailer.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 09:52 PM
buy what???

do you not see the pic i posted???

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 09:54 PM
It was like it when the i bought it the safety chains were connected to the trailer by a bolt and the bolt snapped off and the chains were still attached to the truck just dragging lol and no we do not see the pictures you posted

ProTouch Groundscapes
03-21-2009, 09:57 PM
i totally agree with you about safety chains. the way my chains are attached to the trailer, there is no way they would hold if there was a load on it. even empty if the trailer jerks hard enough i bet theyd break. its basically half a chain link welded onto the coupler unit/tongue of the trailer. its a 6.5x12

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 09:58 PM
how bout this??
http://image.basspro.com/images/images2/500-000/507-178-00.jpg

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:02 PM
yes we went and bought one of those pins right after it happened lol

ArTurf
03-21-2009, 10:05 PM
Can you post a picture of the part that originally failed, not talking about the safety chains.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:08 PM
It didnt really fail it was that i had a bolt through it and when the bolt is through there is no way it will come off. But the bolt vibrated out and the piece is able to flip up enough to release the part on the bottom that locks around the ball.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 10:09 PM
Can you post a picture of the part that originally failed, not talking about the safety chains.

how hard is it he didnt have the proper pin keeping the ball coupler on, he had a nut and a bolt, the nut came off the bolt and the bolt fell out which in turn made the ball uncouple and send his trailer going on it own.

All Seasons Landscaping
03-21-2009, 10:10 PM
Should always have two safety chains, each bolted to the tongue of the trailer, and criss-cross them under the hitch to hold up the nose if it pops off the ball.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:11 PM
Yes pretty much what gold pro said. Even though i have been using the bolt and nut for about 2 years and usually i only hand tighten it but when i go to unhook i usually have to get pliers to losen it.

weasel
03-21-2009, 10:11 PM
I would biy a Lotto ticket if I were you. However a tie rod broke on my F550 and I went skidding across 3 lanes and a median before hitting a fence. No contol at all ,missed every car ,well they missed me, it freaked me out.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 10:20 PM
A picture is worth a thousand words. . . . . . . .

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 10:23 PM
do none of you guys use a pin to secure your trailertoung to the ball?????? its pretty simple, no pics are needed.

Jason Rose
03-21-2009, 10:24 PM
Sounds like a scarey situation.

I used a bolt with a nut on it for YEARS in the hole to hold the latch on my trailer tounge. Never lost the nut in all that time. Well, I think I lost one a few times, but it was me dropping it and accidently kicking it under something, it never vibrated loose and fell out.

For the last ?? 5 to 6 years though I've used a pin just like what GoldPro posted. It comes with the hitch.

I know too many people that don't use any sort of pin or bolt to keep the latch down...

I'm going to bet that the nut/bolt was never put on, and more than likely the latch wasn't locked onto the ball either. They will ride fine as long as the trailer has some weight to the tounge, right up till you hit a good bump. Also agree that your saftey chains should have never snapped with an empty trailer (or loaded for that matter).

DLCS
03-21-2009, 10:26 PM
and criss-cross them under the hitch to hold up the nose if it pops off the ball.



You don't know how many trailers I see around here that don't have their chains criss crossed. Most people don't know why they should be crissed cross. I bet his chains would haved kept the trailer with the truck, if they were crissed crossed. I bet when the trailer poped off the ball, the hitch dug in to the road and broke the chains loose.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:29 PM
The pin was defintly put on because i always hook it up and check then my dad usaully walks around making sure and i no there was a nut and bolt in there. Yes i agree about the safety chains it was a very crappy Design that the company had that made the trailer.

punt66
03-21-2009, 10:30 PM
You don't know how many trailers I see around here that don't have their chains criss crossed. Most people don't know why they should be crissed cross. I bet his chains would haved kept the trailer with the truck, if they were crissed crossed. I bet when the trailer poped off the ball, the hitch dug in to the road and broke the chains loose.

I completely agree. He could have killed somebody. Using a bolt?????? uugghh
crossing the chains is a must. The crossed chains craddle the trailer and keep it from hitting the ground.

DLCS
03-21-2009, 10:31 PM
do none of you guys use a pin to secure your trailertoung to the ball?????? its pretty simple, no pics are needed.


When I bought my first trailer years ago, the owner saw me pulling away without a diaper pin in the coupler. I thought he was going to pop a gasket on me in the parking lot. He told me to never forget that pin and to this day, I haven't.


When I'm on the road, i always look to see if the guy next to me that is towing a trailer, has his trailer hitched properly. I bet 9 out of 10 times they don't, either no chains, chains connected wrong or no diaper pin in the hitch.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 10:31 PM
A picture is worth a thousand words. . . . . . . .

for you simpletons who cant grasp this here is a pic of what he is talking about. he didnt have a pin like shown he had a nut and bolt.
http://www.msprotege.com/members/THEGOLDPRO/Tongue.JPG

punt66
03-21-2009, 10:32 PM
The pin was defintly put on because i always hook it up and check then my dad usaully walks around making sure and i no there was a nut and bolt in there. Yes i agree about the safety chains it was a very crappy Design that the company had that made the trailer.
crossing the chains has nothing to do with the design. Put the right chain on the left side and the left chain on the right side of the truck hitch.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:33 PM
The chains were crossed you guys must not understand what im talking about? The chain had both hooks in the holes on the truck hitch and the part that is connected to the trailer pulled right out so when it happened we went back out and looked and the chains were still hanging fomr the holes on the hitch on the truck. It was the worst design now that we look at it more and more.

punt66
03-21-2009, 10:36 PM
The chains were crossed you guys must not understand what im talking about? The chain had both hooks in the holes on the truck hitch and the part that is connected to the trailer pulled right out so when it happened we went back out and looked and the chains were still hanging fomr the holes on the hitch on the truck. It was the worst design now that we look at it more and more.

That would not have happened to an empty trailer with crossed chains!

DLCS
03-21-2009, 10:38 PM
The chains were crossed you guys must not understand what im talking about? The chain had both hooks in the holes on the truck hitch and the part that is connected to the trailer pulled right out so when it happened we went back out and looked and the chains were still hanging fomr the holes on the hitch on the truck. It was the worst design now that we look at it more and more.



No, I don't think you understand. When you cross the chains, you form a cradle. If the hitch comes off the ball, the hitch coupler cannnot touch the ground, keeping the trailer riding along with the truck. If the hitch drops to the ground at highway speeds, the safety chains are useless because the hitch will dig in to the pavement and bust the chains loose at the trailer.

corey4671
03-21-2009, 10:39 PM
this reminds me about the first job I did this season aboout a month ago. It was 60 miles away. I pulled up at the job and as I walked to the back of the trailer I happened to look at the hitch...I never even latched the bulldog coupler!! Much less put the pin in. WHERE WAS MY BRAIN THAT MORNING!! OMG!! PLease guys...PLEASE...double check EVERYTHING!! I got lucky too on that one!

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:39 PM
Ok trust me it did so the link on the chain had a bolt going through it with a washer and there was so much force that it pulled right through the washer and pulled right off the trailer. You can say as much as you want that it wouldnt happen with chains crossed but it did.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 10:41 PM
this reminds me about the first job I did this season aboout a month ago. It was 60 miles away. I pulled up at the job and as I walked to the back of the trailer I happened to look at the hitch...I never even latched the bulldog coupler!! Much less put the pin in. WHERE WAS MY BRAIN THAT MORNING!! OMG!! PLease guys...PLEASE...double check EVERYTHING!! I got lucky too on that one!

i did that one day, i was tired and just wasnt thinking, or ******ed cant decide, and i was coming to a stop and the trailer jumped off the ball and the tongue launched into my tailgate, i almost crapped my pants, now i double triple check it everytime.

DLCS
03-21-2009, 10:41 PM
this reminds me about the first job I did this season aboout a month ago. It was 60 miles away. I pulled up at the job and as I walked to the back of the trailer I happened to look at the hitch...I never even latched the bulldog coupler!! Much less put the pin in. WHERE WAS MY BRAIN THAT MORNING!! OMG!! PLease guys...PLEASE...double check EVERYTHING!! I got lucky too on that one!


See you wouldn't have got that lucky here in Illinois. Reason why is the first 10 feet on to the highway, your hitch would have jumped right off the ball, due to the enormous pot holes every 10 feet. :laugh:

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:43 PM
I agree with you all that safety chains would and shoulda held the trailer on and it woulda craddled on the chains but the chains ripped right off!!!

Jason Rose
03-21-2009, 10:45 PM
Now, about "crossing the chains"

Both of my trailers, the chains both originate from the same place under the hitch, side by side. There's no space between them. So no matter if they are "crossed" or not, it has no effect on how they hang or the function they serve. Trust me, I've fiddled with them and found it to be true. I can cross them several times, and all it does is twist them together right where they are welded to the underside of the trailer tounge.

I'm sure I'll get called a liar and told that I'm wrong, but it's dark out now and I'm not going to go out and try to take a picture of my trailer tounge to prove my point. Not ALL trailers can use the "crossed chain" method on the saftey chains.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:48 PM
Oh i see, i can cross mine and it makes an x for the trailer to rest on when the trailer falls off unless you just lose the chains!!!

DLCS
03-21-2009, 10:51 PM
Now, about "crossing the chains"

Both of my trailers, the chains both originate from the same place under the hitch, side by side. There's no space between them. So no matter if they are "crossed" or not, it has no effect on how they hang or the function they serve. Trust me, I've fiddled with them and found it to be true. I can cross them several times, and all it does is twist them together right where they are welded to the underside of the trailer tounge.

I'm sure I'll get called a liar and told that I'm wrong, but it's dark out now and I'm not going to go out and try to take a picture of my trailer tounge to prove my point. Not ALL trailers can use the "crossed chain" method on the saftey chains.



I'm not doubting you but what brand of trailer. I always thought that it was illegal if the chains didn't form a cradle under the hitch. Maybe I'm wrong but this is what I have been told. I woiuld relocate them so they form the cradle might save you arse one day.

punt66
03-21-2009, 10:52 PM
I'm not doubting you but what brand of trailer. I always thought that it was illegal if the chains didn't form a cradle under the hitch. Maybe I'm wrong but this is what I have been told. I woiuld relocate them so the form the cradle might save you arse one day.

Yup it is illegal.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:53 PM
im not sure what brand but im not going to relocate them im just going to weld them on and put a bolt through it so it will hold.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:54 PM
they did form a craddle and i have never heard of such a thing at least in ohio

DLCS
03-21-2009, 10:55 PM
im not sure what brand but im not going to relocate them im just going to weld them on and put a bolt through it so it will hold.


Don't weld the chain, you will weeken it.

punt66
03-21-2009, 10:56 PM
they did form a craddle and i have never heard of such a thing at least in ohio
never heard of what?

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:56 PM
Ok my other option is to just weave it through the frame which i think might be the strongest and best way.

Jason Rose
03-21-2009, 10:57 PM
I'm not doubting you but what brand of trailer. I always thought that it was illegal if the chains didn't form a cradle under the hitch. Maybe I'm wrong but this is what I have been told. I woiuld relocate them so the form the cradle might save you arse one day.

My 20' trailer is an ARC city trailer, they were a somewhat local trailer builder around this area for years, and the other is a PJ trailer, and it's only about a year and a half old. Both have the chains mounted under the coupler area. If it was a "law" that they were supposed to be crossable, then surely the PJ trailer would be built to accomidate this, they are a large manufacturer of trailers.

Other than on this site, I've NEVER heard of anyone crossing the saftey chains. My step-dad is an authority on anything 'saftey' related, and usually goes above and beyond what most people do for saftey measures, and he dosn't cross chains on his trailers, that I know of anyway.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:57 PM
That it is illegal if the chains dont form a craddle

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 10:59 PM
yes i agree with you jason rose never heard of anythign like that

Green Machine Mowing
03-21-2009, 11:02 PM
on out camper there some 3/8 or so roundbar that forms a loop where the chains orginate, so they come from the same place, i dont think its a requirement to have them seperated

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:02 PM
THAT IS SAFETY 101!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a federal law. If your chains were crossed you wouldnt have lost your trailer.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:04 PM
punt 66 say whatever lol but i still dont think you no what im getting at!!

DLCS
03-21-2009, 11:05 PM
yes i agree with you jason rose never heard of anythign like that


Here is the NTSB's website, things you should know about towing a trailer safely. http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/CARS/PROBLEMS/Equipment/towing/connecting.htm

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:05 PM
punt 66 say whatever lol but i still dont think you no what im getting at!!

i know exactly what happened. Stay off the roads!





Safety Systems

Two saftey chains are required to keep the trailer connected to the tow vehicle if the coupler should separate from the hitch ball. The chains are permanently attached to the trailer tongue and are connected the receiver hitch usually using large hooks. The safety chains should cross under the trailer tongue. They should be short enough to keep clear of the road but long enough to allow the trailer to turn without becoming taut.

All trailers should have an electrical connection for running and brake lights. The lights are powered and controlled by the tow vehicle using a multi connection plug. Trailer and tow vehicle connectors vary and may have from four up to seven circuits. If the trailer and the vehicle plugs do not match an adapter is required. These are carried by trailer dealers and some auto parts stores.

When the trailer is connected and wiring connected to the tow vehicle check all electrical systems whether using an adaptor or not.


Electric brake control Heavy trailers are usually fitted with electric brakes. These are connected to the tow vehicle through the same multi connection plug as lights.
The tow vehicle will be fitted with a sending unit that is adjustable by tow vehicle driver.

The tow vehicle's standard mirrors may be inadequate for vision to the rear if the trailer is large. Temporary strap on mirrors may be required for extended vision. If the vehicle is used regularly for towing, permanent mirrors should be fitted

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:06 PM
lol killing this guy

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:07 PM
Trailer Safety Chains
A trailer safety chain is defined as an assembly which provides a secondary means of connection between the rear of the towing vehicle and the front of the trailer or towed vehicle. The purpose of a safety chain is to retain a connection between the towing vehicle and trailer in the event of separation of the trailer coupling from the hitch ball or the trailer ball mount from the hitch.



Installation Instructions
Connect the safety chain to the trailer.
Cross the two ends of the chain under the coupler and connect to the chain brackets on the hitch.
Loop the chains through the hitch brackets as shown and connect the ends of the chains using the quick links provided in the kit.
Tighten the hex nut on the quick links.
Allow enough slack to permit turning of the tow vehicle and trailer.
Note: DO NOT CONNECT THE QUICK LINKS DIRECTLY TO THE HITCH CHAIN BRACKET. Loop them as shown above.

Safety Chain, Class III GWR up to 5,000 lbs. (1) 72" chain, (2) Quick Links.

Kit Part Number: 63035 $15.90 each. Order online

Jason Rose
03-21-2009, 11:08 PM
THAT IS SAFETY 101!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a federal law. If your chains were crossed you wouldnt have lost your trailer.

Dude, it's not "federal law". It varies from state to state.

Look at this PDF. Kansas, for example, has NO safety chain regulations at all.

http://www.expediter.com/natm%20pdf%20folder/B%20folder/B3%206-State%20Safety%20Chain%20Laws-Table.pdf

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:08 PM
no you dont trust me lol i agree with that safety thing 100% but before the trailer could even lay in the craddle of the chains the chains ripped off and the trailer just roled on the 2 wheels on the axle and the tire on the jack.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:11 PM
lets just drop this and use it as a learning experiance.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:12 PM
SAFETY CHAINS CAN PREVENT RUNAWAY
TRAILER in case hitch/coupler fails.
1. Always use safety chains when towing.
2. Cross safety chains under coupling to prevent tongue from
dropping to ground.
3. Allow only enough slack for tight turns.
4. Do not let safety chains drag on ground.
5. Twist safety chains equally from hook ends to take up slack.
6. Use safety chains rated equal to or greater than twice the
maximum gross trailer weight rating.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:12 PM
yes good idea gold pro this is supposed to be a learning and informatoin sight not arguing

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:13 PM
SAFETY CHAINS CAN PREVENT RUNAWAY
TRAILER in case hitch/coupler fails.
1. Always use safety chains when towing.
2. Cross safety chains under coupling to prevent tongue from
dropping to ground.
3. Allow only enough slack for tight turns.
4. Do not let safety chains drag on ground.
5. Twist safety chains equally from hook ends to take up slack.
6. Use safety chains rated equal to or greater than twice the
maximum gross trailer weight rating.

WE SAID DROP IT!!! we dont care anymore your boring us to death here.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:14 PM
punt66 you guys keep telling me all this stuff that i already no and you could do all of it but in my situatoin it wouldnt have dont shi$ trust me even my father that has been towing campers and trailers all his life said there is nothing different we coulda done with the chains except connect them a different to the accualy trailer

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:15 PM
drop it allready lol

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:16 PM
Oh well i hope everyone learns from this and remebers to always check there trailer twice before getting on the road

DLCS
03-21-2009, 11:16 PM
Look at this PDF. Kansas, for example, has NO safety chain regulations at all.

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Why am I not surprised. Anyway, I think most would agree that safety chains should be used and crissed crossed for safety.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:16 PM
punt66 you guys keep telling me all this stuff that i already no and you could do all of it but in my situatoin it wouldnt have dont shi$ trust me even my father that has been towing campers and trailers all his life said there is nothing different we coulda done with the chains except connect them a different to the accualy trailer


You already told us you never heard of crossing the chains.



How Hitch Safety Chains Work
by Patrick E. George

Browse the article How Hitch Safety Chains Work Introduction to How Hitch Safety Chains Work


Tony Page/Getty Images
This truck driver could learn the hard way that a simple pothole can cost him his cargo - and that a hitch safety chain could have saved it. You're cruising along the highway at 60 mph, towing your boat on a trailer behind you. Suddenly, you hit a huge bump in the road, and your trailer becomes unhitched from your ball mount. Just like that, 12,000 pounds of metal is flying freely down the highway, ready to slam into oncoming traffic.

When trailer hitches aren't secured properly, they can cause serious accidents. That's why you need a second line of defense when towing a trailer. This is where hitch safety chains come in.

Up Next
How Tow Hooks Work
How Towing Locks Work
How Winches Work

Safety chains are used to keep the towing vehicle and the trailer connected in case they become disconnected along some part of the towing equipment. Not only is it just a good idea to have these on your hitch whenever you're towing, it's the law to have them installed. Federal laws, as well as laws in many cities and states, require you to have safety chains equipped while towing.In this article, we'll discuss why you need a hitch safety chain, as well as how to properly install these hitch accessories on your towing vehicle so you don't cause any accidents.

Purpose of Hitch Safety Chains


Blaine Franger/UpperCut Images/Getty Images
An uninstalled -- or improperly installed -- hitch safety chain can be dangerous, if not downright deadly. In May 2007, a small trailer became unhitched from the Lincoln Navigator towing it on Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The trailer flew backwards, causing a seven-vehicle crash that killed three people. The Navigator had hitch safety chains, but investigators said they weren't installed properly and that the trailer didn't have a safety pin [source: McCaffrey].

This is an example of the kind of damage a trailer can do when it's not properly secured with hitch safety chains. If the trailer coupling separates from the ball mount, or the ball disconnects from the hitch, the chains will keep the trailer from drifting down the road during towing. They are designed to keep your vehicle and trailer attached long enough for you to safely come to a stop and properly reattach them. They're usually metal links between 18 inches and three feet in length. Some drivers opt to use vinyl-coated safety cables to minimize noise.

Whether you're towing short distances or going cross-country, it's important to always use safety chains. At the same time, remember that safety chains aren't meant to tie something down or to tow another vehicle out of the mud, like hitch hooks and anchors. Hitch safety chains are used more as an insurance policy against

In this next section, we'll discuss how to properly install this piece of towing equipment on your vehicle.

Installing Hitch Safety Chains


Ryan McVay/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Make sure your hitch safety chains are strong enough to safely haul whatever you're towing.Installing hitch safety chains takes a few extra minutes when you're preparing for a road trip with your trailer, but they'll be well worth it to keep your towing equipment safe. Whether you decide to use cables or chains, make sure they can support whatever you're towing. On many Web sites that sell towing accessories, you will see listings for "Class II" or "Class IV" chains. This refers to the weight of your trailer [source: Trailer Hitches]. In short, don't get hitch safety chains too weak to hold whatever you're towing. The sizes of the chains you get also depend on your towing vehicle. Most light duty trucks will use 5/16-inch thick chains. Most medium-duty trucks use half-inch chains, and heavy-duty vehicles handle 5/8-inch chains [source: AW Direct].

Here's how to install them:

Have two chains crisscrossing under the trailer tongue connecting the trailer to the bumper or the receiver on your towing vehicle. Attachment devices (like trailer hooks) at the end of the chains should be sturdy and solidly in place [source: Lamm]. If the chains are too long, they can be twisted until they're short enough. Also, wires should be used at the hook points to keep the chains from accidentally falling off. Make sure you then attach the chains to the towing vehicle itself and not to another part of the trailer hitch. This ensures that the two units will be kept together if the coupler separates from your receiver unit. Crossing the chains under the tongue will allow them to form a net that catches the trailer's tongue in case it breaks loose and falls to the roadway.

The chains must be small enough to keep the trailer from drifting but with enough slack to allow the towing vehicle to turn with ease. They also shouldn't be allowed to drag on the ground.

For more information on hitch safety chains and proper towing techniques, please see the links on the following page.

Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:17 PM
haha its over lol

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:19 PM
please just shut up punt66 we get it, you win your the safety king ALL HAIL THE SAFETY KING we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.

snapper
03-21-2009, 11:20 PM
If you think about it, if the trailer pops off and the chains cant catch it, there is proably no chain on earth that is going to hold. My trailer and all the ones this particular builder makes attaches the chain to the bottom of the coupler by welding one link. There is no way to cross them. Makes me want to go buy some new chain and attach a length to each side of the a tongue, and make them long enough to cross..

Later!! chris

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:20 PM
Jason Rose i just showed you its a federal law. As a class A lic holder and former heavy eqipment ownwer/operator with years of experience towing i will tell you this. Stay the hell off the roads if you dont know what you are doing.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:21 PM
please just shut up punt66 we get it, you win your the safety king ALL HAIL THE SAFETY KING we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.we get it, repeate we get it repeate we get it.
This is a public forum, you have a choice to go away.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:21 PM
thanks Gold Pro they wont listen to me since im only 15 even though i no my stuff they just want to make it known that they are the best of the best or so they think :]

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:22 PM
Jason Rose i just showed you its a federal law. As a class A lic holder and former heavy eqipment ownwer/operator with years of experience towing i will tell you this. Stay the hell off the roads if you dont know what you are doing.

wow now hes throwing out fancy titles, and showing off his licenses, we get it your the tow king, now stfu allready.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:23 PM
haha yeah really dude i love how you are just taking my thread over

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:23 PM
This is a public forum, you have a choice to go away.

as do you, go the fcuk away you annoying prick.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:24 PM
thanks Gold Pro they wont listen to me since im only 15 even though i no my stuff they just want to make it known that they are the best of the best or so they think :]


I dont care how old you are. You said you never heard of crossing the chains, then you say you crossed the chains, then you say it wouldnt matter. Untill you understand, which is what i am trying to help you with, stay the hell of the road.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:25 PM
as do you, go the fcuk away you annoying prick.

Another grown up on lawnsite!

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:26 PM
I dont care how old you are. You said you never heard of crossing the chains, then you say you crossed the chains, then you say it wouldnt matter. Untill you understand, which is what i am trying to help you with, stay the hell of the road.

are you done???? seriously???? are you. stfu allready lol jesus.

DLAWNS
03-21-2009, 11:26 PM
punt66 you guys keep telling me all this stuff that i already no and you could do all of it but in my situatoin it wouldnt have dont shi$ trust me even my father that has been towing campers and trailers all his life said there is nothing different we coulda done with the chains except connect them a different to the accualy trailer

Glad to hear that everything was okay and on a side note....I understand exactly what you're saying.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:26 PM
Dude i said i never heard of crossing the chains as illegal , i agree crossing the chains is a good idea, and it woulndt have mattered . THIS IS OVER YA'LL

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:27 PM
thank you DLawn i appreciate the caringness that everything is ok and that you understand.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:27 PM
Another grown up on lawnsite!

i dont need to impress random people on an internet forum. just like you dont need to be a hero on here, we get it your the king. all hail.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:28 PM
are you done???? seriously???? are you. stfu allready lol jesus.

can you cuss some more? Is that all you know?

Duane T.
03-21-2009, 11:28 PM
In Idaho, we are required to have a "Break-away" switch. This will activate the trailer brakes immediately. Might not be a bad idea to have one if you don't already.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:29 PM
i dont need to impress random people on an internet forum. just like you dont need to be a hero on here, we get it your the king. all hail.

People die from such 101 nonsense. It has to be hammered in.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:30 PM
People die from such 101 nonsense. It has to be hammered in.

trust me hero you hammered it in, the nail was sank a longggggggggggggg time ago now take a hike you troll.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Duane T the break away system is a great idea we have one on our 30 foot 5th wheel camper.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:31 PM
In Idaho, we are required to have a "Break-away" switch. This will activate the trailer brakes immediately. Might not be a bad idea to have one if you don't already.

In most states a trailer that has a gvwr over 3000lbs needs electric breaks and a break away box. but those are state laws that vary throughout the country.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:31 PM
Gold Pro thanks for the help, everyone settle down you are acting like 5 year olds

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:32 PM
trust me hero you hammered it in, the nail was sank a longggggggggggggg time ago now take a hike you troll.
more name calling. Wow its like 5th grade all over again.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:33 PM
In Idaho, we are required to have a "Break-away" switch. This will activate the trailer brakes immediately. Might not be a bad idea to have one if you don't already.good thing to have if the trailer has brakes. i have a single axle 14footer with no brakes anything under a certain weight doesnt requier it.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:34 PM
more name calling. Wow its like 5th grade all over again.

bringing back the bad memories of all the kids making fun of you in 5th grade???? lol oohhhh poor baby, one day you will grow up and be a hero on an internet forum dont you worry. you'll show them all.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:35 PM
Same in ohio it has to be over a certain weight to need electric brakes. But i have them on my trailer jsut to be safe but not break away box

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:36 PM
bringing back the bad memories of all the kids making fun of you in 5th grade???? lol oohhhh poor baby, one day you will grow up and be a hero on an internet forum dont you worry. you'll show them all.
Still getting personal ha? Who is name calling on the internet here? hahaha Feel important?

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:37 PM
for you simpletons who cant grasp this here is a pic of what he is talking about. he didnt have a pin like shown he had a nut and bolt.


I'm being called simple, because someone described their as having a bolt. How many bolts are on the trailer??? I rebuilt my trailer, and know what he's talking about. I just like to see it in a pic, which BTW your pic STILL did NOT show the bolt.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:39 PM
I'm being called simple, because someone described their as having a bolt. How many bolts are on the trailer??? I rebuilt my trailer, and know what he's talking about. I just like to see it in a pic, which BTW your pic STILL did NOT show the bolt.


haha he used a bolt and nut instead of a pin or coupler lock to keep the trailer from being disconnected from the ball. The nut as he said was hand tight and vibrated off.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:39 PM
no it does not show the bolt i will try to get pictures tommorrow

LBLC_LCO
03-21-2009, 11:40 PM
I slap a padlock on mine....definitely won't come off.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:40 PM
I'm being called simple, because someone described their as having a bolt. How many bolts are on the trailer??? I rebuilt my trailer, and know what he's talking about. I just like to see it in a pic, which BTW your pic STILL did NOT show the bolt.

are you ******ed????? of course my pic doesnt show the bolt he used, the pic i posted is of the correct way to secure it with the correct pin. just pretend the pin thats pictured in my pic is a nut and bolt instead, then imagine the nut coming off the bolt. can you do that for me?????

DLCS
03-21-2009, 11:42 PM
no it does not show the bolt i will try to get pictures tommorrow



I thought you said this is over yaww.
Now we are getting pics tomorrow???

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:42 PM
thanks Gold Pro they wont listen to me since im only 15 even though i no my stuff they just want to make it known that they are the best of the best or so they think :]

Just an observation, and "no" offence intended. I just wanted to let you "know" that you are using the wrong spelling for know.

DLCS
03-21-2009, 11:43 PM
are you ******ed????? of course my pic doesnt show the bolt he used, the pic i posted is of the correct way to secure it with the correct pin. just pretend the pin thats pictured in my pic is a nut and bolt instead, then imagine the nut coming off the bolt. can you do that for me?????




Why do you have to always call people names simplton, ******ed, etc. etc. talk about showing your age.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:43 PM
not for you and punt 66 but for the other nice people that would like to no more about it and not try to tell me im wrong. Plus we said the arguement was over not the forum

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:44 PM
are you ******ed????? of course my pic doesnt show the bolt he used, the pic i posted is of the correct way to secure it with the correct pin. just pretend the pin thats pictured in my pic is a nut and bolt instead, then imagine the nut coming off the bolt. can you do that for me?????

Thanks for descibing it. Now I have it. My trailer is just like the one in your pic.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:45 PM
Why do you have to always call people names simplton, ******ed, etc. etc. talk about showing your age.

because its like talking to ******ed people, so i guess i have to resort to name calling.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:45 PM
You see GoldPro, you do NOT have to be ugly.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:46 PM
yeah im sorry i am horrible with spelling espically when im on the computer

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:46 PM
because its like talking to ******ed people, so i guess i have to resort to name calling.

I can assure that I am not ******ed. What did you score on the ACT. That is if you took it.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:47 PM
yeah im sorry i am horrible with spelling espically when im on the computer

NP. Just pointing it out.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:48 PM
I can assure that I am not ******ed. What did you score on the ACT. That is if you took it.

no idea what that is when i was in school we did sat's

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:49 PM
btw
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gifhttp://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gifhttp://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif

DLCS
03-21-2009, 11:49 PM
not for you and punt 66 but for the other nice people that would like to no more about it and not try to tell me im wrong. Plus we said the arguement was over not the forum



The only thing that I was trying to do is help, towing a trailer can be dangerous. Had that trailer injured or killed somebody, you would be in serious trouble.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:50 PM
not for you and punt 66 but for the other nice people that would like to no more about it and not try to tell me im wrong. Plus we said the arguement was over not the forum

Oh gold calling people names and insulting retarted people are nice? hahahahah Were trying to help you and keep you safe and were not nice. Not once did i get personal and i am not nice. Your showing your age.

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:51 PM
yes i no you are trying to help but maybe you should come off a little more like imt rying to help instead of proving people wrong and trying to be the best and number 1

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:51 PM
Oh gold calling people names and insulting retarted people are nice? hahahahah Were trying to help you and keep you safe and were not nice. Not once did i get personal and i am not nice. Your showing your age.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:52 PM
Why do you have to always call people names simplton, ******ed, etc. etc. talk about showing your age.

Thanks.:):):)

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:52 PM
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif
Do it again!

DLAWNS
03-21-2009, 11:52 PM
Punt--maybe he is acting slightly immature but you're acting worse than he is. Let it go dude!

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:53 PM
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:53 PM
Oh gold calling people names and insulting retarted people are nice? hahahahah

I know who he voted for.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:54 PM
Punt--maybe he is acting slightly immature but you're acting worse than he is. Let it go dude!

Well said.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:55 PM
yes i no you are trying to help but maybe you should come off a little more like imt rying to help instead of proving people wrong and trying to be the best and number 1

be the best? I have years of experience towing up to 80,000 lb trailers. I know alot. I know the laws. People who give bad advice i prove wrong to protect people like you who may take that bad advice. Your looking at things all wrong. Listen to a veteran or listen to kid its up to you.

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:56 PM
be the best? I have years of experience towing up to 80,000 lb trailers. I know alot. I know the laws. People who give bad advice i prove wrong to protect people like you who may take that bad advice. Your looking at things all wrong. Listen to a veteran or listen to kid its up to you.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gifhttp://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif

DRBLawnBuster
03-21-2009, 11:57 PM
I understand all that but really everything you were saying would have not helped me at all. Im just listeening to my father as well since he has good exprience as well.

punt66
03-21-2009, 11:57 PM
Punt--maybe he is acting slightly immature but you're acting worse than he is. Let it go dude!

I am? I havent gotten personal once. Nor called anybody names. Just pounding in safety 101

THEGOLDPRO
03-21-2009, 11:58 PM
I am? I havent gotten personal once. Nor called anybody names. Just pounding in safety 101

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gifhttp://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif and pounding a dead horse.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-21-2009, 11:59 PM
Is everybody friends now??? Gold are you still my friend???

THEGOLDPRO
03-22-2009, 12:00 AM
Is everybody friends now??? Gold are you still my friend???

lol i was never your enemy. punt maybe because hes thick headed but your ok :)

LouisianaLawnboy
03-22-2009, 12:02 AM
lol i was never your enemy. punt maybe because hes thick headed but your ok :)

Thanks, and try to forgive punt. He has good intentions.

Punt, just let it go.

punt66
03-22-2009, 12:03 AM
The name calling again. hahahah Later, this is one of those threads when i question why i waste my time trying to help you all. Be safe.

DLAWNS
03-22-2009, 12:03 AM
I am? I havent gotten personal once. Nor called anybody names. Just pounding in safety 101

I didn't say that you did. You gave good advice, but once you do, let it go. Saying it over and over isn't teaching anyone anything. It's just making this thread ridiculous!

THEGOLDPRO
03-22-2009, 12:03 AM
The name calling again. hahahah Later, this is one of those threads when i question why i waste my time trying to help you all. Be safe.thats right beat that horse beat him good. he deserves it. in the future dont try so hard, try that on for size.

http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f159/RaulMonkey/Animated/beating-a-dead-horse.gif

Classified
03-22-2009, 12:09 AM
I only read the first 40 posts,but it looks to be getting redundant already but firstly, glad no one was hurt.

But this is similar to what happened to me a couple years ago, except mine was far worse.

I rented a medium duty 5 yeard dump truck along with a skid and the trailer.

I had to disconnect the trailer at one point that day to dump. At the end of the day, we hooked the trailer up to load the skid on the trailer. The way this setup was designed, the trailer has to be hooked to the truck when loading, it puts A LOT of force on the hitch. So anyway I had an employee hook the trailer up. It was a pintle. So then im driving home and im driving down the highway going 55mph in the right lane during rush hour on a 6 lane (Each Way) highway. I check my mirrors constantly and thank goodness beacause SUDDENLY I see the trailer i WAS towing with the skid on it trying to pass me up in the right shoulder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing I could think of is to get in front of the trailer and STOP it before it decides to go left into traffic. So I did my best to match speeds and then BAM! The trailer hit the dump and then I MASSHED the brakes. The I beam tounge bent up and jammed up between the top of the right tires and bottom of the dump bed. I was so freaking thankfull it did not go into traffic.

The lesson learned is to ALWAY ALWAYS ALWAYS hook up your own trailer and check it 2-3 times. I have diverted possible disasters by doing this after this situation. What happened is the pintle was jammed and it didnt lock fully. The employee forgot to tell me this was the case and I didnt double check. He didnt hook up the chains because he intended to make me aware of the pintle issue but forgot.

My method for hooking up a trailer from now on is to line up, attach the chains, the saftey brake, the electrical and then finally the hitch. That way if you forget to hook something up, youll know before you leave the yard. I also stand on the chains and check everything 2-3 times. I also use a disc lock on the hitch lock and check it thoughout the day.

That was the scaried situation I have ever been into an I am thankfull for my quick thinking and guardian angel with me that day!!!!

LouisianaLawnboy
03-22-2009, 12:12 AM
I only read the first 40 posts, looks to be getting redundant already but firstly, glad no one was hurt.

But this is similar to what happened to me a couple years, except mine was far worse.

I rented a medium duty 5 yeard dump truck along with a skid and the trailer.

I had to disconnect the trailer at one point that day to dump. At the end of the day, we hooked the trailer up to load the skid on the trailer. The way this setup was designed, the trailer has to be hooked to the truck and when loading, it puts A LOT of force on the hitch. So anyway I had an employee hooke the trailer up. It was a pintle. so then im driving home and im driving down the highway going 55mph in the right lane during rush hour on a 6 lane highway. I check my mirrors constantly and thank goodness beacause SUDDENLY I see the trailer i WAS towing with the skid on it trying to pass me up in the right shoulder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The only thing I could think of is to get in front of the trailer and STOP it before it decides to go left into traffic. So I did my best to match speeds and and then BAM! the trailer hit the dump and then I MASSHED the brakes. The I beam tounge bent up and jammed up between the top of the right tires and bottom of the dump bed. I was so freaking thankfull it did not go into traffic.

The lesson learned is to ALWAY ALWAYS ALWAYS hook up your own trailer and check it 2-3 times. I have diverted possible disasters by doing this after this situation. What happened is the pintle was jammed and it didnt lock fully. The employee forgot to tell me this was the case and I didnt double check. He didnt hook up the chains because he intended to make me aware of the pintle issue but forgot.

My method for hooking up a trailer from now on is to line up, attach the chains, the saftey brake, the electrical and then finally the hitch. That way if you forget to hook something up, youll know before you leave the yard. I also stand on the chains and check everything 2-3 times.

That was the scaried situation I have ever been into an I am thankfull for my quick thinking and guardian angel with me that day!!!!

I'd hate to have been that employee riding with you in the truck:D

jsf343
03-22-2009, 12:29 AM
do none of you guys use a pin to secure your trailertoung to the ball?????? its pretty simple, no pics are needed.


why use a pin? Use a freakin lock, the biggest one that will fit. It will slow down the thieves and keep your trailer from breaking away.

LouisianaLawnboy
03-22-2009, 12:30 AM
why use a pin? Use a freakin lock, the biggest one that will fit. It will slow down the thieves and keep your trailer from breaking away.

I'm not answering:D:D:D:D:D

jsf343
03-22-2009, 12:31 AM
Dang you were lucky. I have a weird feling in my stomic just reading that (might be gas) Glad you and your pappy were ok... oh and your trailer!

Classified
03-22-2009, 12:48 AM
I'd hate to have been that employee riding with you in the truck:D


He was very lucky he was not with me and he was in another truck. Id probably be in jail right now if he was with me!!! Im over it know but I will never forget! LOL

ALC-GregH
03-22-2009, 09:43 AM
Doug, you did the right thing by getting in front of it and blocking the trailer from going any farther.

I had this happen on a U-Haul once but the chains held it from taking off on it's own.

Use a pad lock in place of a pin. My chains are welded on each side of the tongue and get crossed whenever hooked up. Allowing only enough slack to not bind up. The key is to have the same distance where the chains hook on the hitch to the drawbar and on the trailer the chains where they mount to the tongue out to the coupler. If the distance is the same, the chains can have much less slack. Not sure if anyone understands that or not. In other words, the ball is the pivot point, if the chains are the same distance where they mount on the trailer and where they hook on the hitch, then it can be minimum slack and not bind. Having them set up this way yields a much better chance of saving what could be death waiting to happen. My point, ALWAYS have the chains as tight as possible without any binding when the trailer is jacked left or right.

Punt66, I think you pounded it into their heads enough. :D

I ALWAYS drop the coupler on the ball and slap the latch down, then slip the lock on. Then I hook the chains, then the lights. I feel doing it in any other order is asking for trouble. Always hook EVERYthing up regardless if someone calls you or interrupts you, just keep hooking it up so you don't forget something. I've towed trailers for years and only had the U-haul come off that one time. I worked at a U-Haul dealer for 13 years and it was the U-Haul trailer that was the problem. When we got the trailer back to the shop, we installed a new latch assembly and it was good to go.