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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

best way to chain down a tractor ?

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780 prairieboy

11-26-2008 20:09:09

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would like to know the safest way to chain down a tractor to a trailer, criss cross the front of the tractor to the front or rear of the load and the same for chaining the rear part of the load? thanks

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John B.

11-28-2008 18:03:20

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
You need to tie down a tractor to keep it from moving in any direction even upward. Crossing the chains from side to side don't give the best support for upward motion. I usually pull the one chain forward and the other backward and keep them as short as possible. After you read my listing below you will understand.
I met a car hauler who bought an old plow from me. When he arrived and we loaded the plow he got out his chains and all of them were only 6ft long with a hook at only one end. His binders had a hook on one end and 2ft of chain on the other end with a hook. I thought how stupid this is and asked him why. He said it's the best thing I ever done all chains have a binder on them. Since meeting him I've done it and love it. Don't have to drag a 16 or 20 foot chain thru the drawbar or loader. Just hook it into the tiedowns and tighten it up. The threaded chain binders are better than the over the center binders in my personal opinion. Sounds nuts I know but if you have a scrap chain cut it up and try it! Let me know what you think. Wrecker drivers use short chains also!!!!!

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11-27-2008 20:17:53

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
I laid my 2606 backhoe over on it side. Used 5 chains and boomers and it didn't budge with the trailer laying on its side. Just pulled the trailer back over on its wheels.

Used a chain on the front bucket with wraps around the loader frame. One somewhere around the front bolster with a wrap. One over the gear box. And 2 holding the backhoe with one over the bucket and one over the pin and probably had a wrap in them.

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11-27-2008 08:58:04

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
To the drawbar/drawbar frame. It"s the strongest part of the tractor. Wrapping a chain around a front axle will not hold very much in a crash. It does keep the jiggle down and is required.

[Log in to Reply]  [No Email] Az.

11-27-2008 08:57:56

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
I have read most of the responses to your inquiry and have regards to all the Chain versus Strap responses but no where is mentioned the blocking of wheels.In the 1960's I worked for International Harvester and all the Tractors both Wheeled and Tracked and most of the Equipment that arrived at our Facility by Common Carrier were blocked both front and rear of each Wheel with Wedge shaped Wooden Blocks nailed to the Bed of the Truck or Trailer.Is this practice no longer accepted? I notice the popularity of fully floored Truck and Trailer Beds of Steel and Aluminum material.Would the shift from Wood to these products have a cause to change the Blocking procedure?

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MF Poor

11-27-2008 06:14:37

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
For what it's worth, MY opinion, nor YOUR opinion, NO ONES opinion really matters EXCEPT for the opinion of the officer who has you pulled over along the highway. After him/her, the JUDGE has a say.

In Kentucky, the written law is vague in some regads. As I read it, any rolling load where the cargo is over 10,000 lbs requires grade 70 chains. According to a Kentucky Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer I know, REGARDLESS of the weight of the cargo, if it's on truck/trailer combo with a gross weight rating over 10,000, chains are required.

You MIGHT be able to fight a ticket in court. Pay a lawyer, tae a day off work, bone up on all the applicable laws, and try to fight it....


Talk with the "locals" and get THEIR interpretation of the law and THEIR take on how they planon enforcing said laws, and comply with that.

Which would you see as the least complicated?

Doubtful a printout of this thread will be admissable in court. Opinions expressed here are just that....opinions. Personally, I'd rather hear the opinion of the man with the badge.

Call State police or who ever the local commercial vehicle regulators are in your area. Evn if you aren't a commercial vehicle, they'll have the "skinny" on the subject as it pertains to your immediate area.

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11-27-2008 04:06:49

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
Chains should not be cris-crossed. Sudden side loading like as in a jackknifing situation could cause the tractor to roll over. Crossed chains could loosen in this situation allowing the load to come loose. Chain ahead or back to the closest direct point of connection from the load to the trailer. I was always taught that you should think about your trailer and load turning upside down. The load should stay with the trailer (or the trailer with the load as many loads outweight your trailer)In any posistion. On its side in any direction and upside down. It is good advise.

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11-27-2008 00:11:15

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
My method is a bit unconventional, but I use 4" wide ratchet straps with chain leads on each end. The straps are rated at 5500# each, and I think they are easier on the tractor since they cushion things a little. I use 2 on the rear, from the drawbar forward to the trailer rails outside the front wheels, and 2 from the front axle to the rails outside the rear wheels, crossing on each side. That allows me to haul 2 tractors without having the straps from one tractor interfere with the other. The cost of the straps is a little higher than chains and binders, but they are much easier to use.

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Gene Bender

11-27-2008 01:52:50

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to toolz, 11-27-2008 00:11:15  
If it has rubber tires straps are not legal. Chains chains chains

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11-27-2008 10:48:13

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to Gene Bender, 11-27-2008 01:52:50  
Thats what I always thought as well, been noticing all the new cars on the car carriers lately have web straps mounted over the rubber tires like the tow trucks use, no chains involved. I guess I should call the state patrol and see what they say.

Rocky in MO

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john in la

11-27-2008 05:58:50

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to Gene Bender, 11-27-2008 01:52:50  
Can you tell me chapter and verse of the law you are refuring to that says straps can not be used on equiptment wheel rubber tires.
Before you go looking for it let me remind you they use strap webbing that mounts around the tires to hold many cars down.

The reason most people get in trouble using straps is because it is hard to follow the rules on pinch point protection and straight line ratchet.

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Gene Bender

11-27-2008 13:07:58

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to john in la, 11-27-2008 05:58:50  
Like they say without a doubt depends on the guy stopping. The strap thing waw told to my friend who moves his seeding eq around said the DOT told him rubber tires chains also have heard that some different things apply on Interstate as they are federal. Just like the other post said new car carriers are using straps and they go all over so just who do you believe. A post on this site sometime ago was fined because he had straps on his tractor said it cost him 800 bucks. Many say if it looks good with good equipment chances are you wont get stopped. This whole mess sure seems mixed up.

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11-26-2008 21:09:09

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
it may vary by state but when i haul one of the companies dozers [ 98 to 100,000lbs] they require at least 4 seperate chaines and 4 separate binders,[ ratchet style] for the tractor we use 6, now these chains we use are much larger than you would use on a farm tractor, as mentioned there grade 70 transport chaines, lately they also require mounted impliments be chained down with a seperate chain also, in our case even thought we know the 12.5 foot wide, 6 foot tall blade on a cat d-8-r cannot move with the cat shut down, we are still required to chain it and the rippers, [they cant move either]

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Paul in MN

11-26-2008 21:00:16

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
There are a lot of new DOT rules related to chaining down your load. Chains and binders have to be identified with strength labels. Generally, chains must be Transport grade 70 and binders have to be rated the same. There can be no damaged links in the chain, no nichs from previously hooking back on itself. Then there is a bunch of calculations as to how much force is needed to restrict forward motion, sideways motion, and rearward motion. The weight of the tractor must be known before any of the calculations can be done.

Now to get practical, most farm tractors we haul can be safely hauled by using 3/8" T70 chain and binders. You should use 4 chains, 2 at front and 2 rear. I buy 20 ft T70 chain and split it into a 12 ft and 8 ft length and buy T70 hooks. The shorter chains are usually easier to work with. Modern equipment has chain tie down holes or rings already made into its frame. With our older tractors we have to get creative and find places to hook to that are not going to break loose in a crash. Some guys make up substancial "D" rings on the tractor frame so the tie down chains are not messing up a nice paint job by chaining on the front axle.

The geometry of how the chains are rigged is also part of the DOT formulas. But again it is probably sufficient to think of attaching a chain to a right front ring on the tractor and pulling the chain to a stake pocket forward of the tractor on the left side of the trailer. And likewise on the back of the tractor, except the rear chains go even further back on the trailer. By the DOT regs, the greatest strength needs to keep the tractor from coming forward in an accident.

A few years ago, a big drop center semi tractor trailer was hauling a big hydro hoe excavator on our county road when some idiot with cell phone in her ear pulled out right in front of the truck. He dynamited the brakes, saved her life and skidded dead center with his Peterbuilt into a 3 ft diam tree. The excavator stayed on the trailer because it was properly chained down, saving the truck driver's life. The truck was totalled. As I chain down my tractors/bobcat, I think about that accident, fully believing that I could be saving my own life by doing it right.

Paul in MN

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john in la

11-26-2008 20:55:37

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
We really need to know the size of your tractor (lbs) to give the legal way but without that info I will give it my best shot.

Under 10,000 lbs tractor weight.
You need at least 1 tie down on the front and 1 on the rear. With chains this means 4 hookup points on the trailer; 2 chains; and 2 binders because you have to prevent shift in any direction.

Over 10,000 lbs tractor weight requires 4 hookup points; 4 chains; and 4 binders.

No matter what size tractor you have each attachment (front loader; rear box blade; brush cutter) needs to also be tied down with its own chain and binder.

You will use chains that are rated to hold 1/2 of the load they are tying down.

Now that makes you legal per federal law. Some states have tougher laws and require 4 point tie down no matter what the size is.

From a personal point of view I would like to see you use a 4 point tie down. To cross the chains or not to cross the chains has more to due with where you can hook to the tractor at. You need and want a straight line for your chain. In other words you would not want to run a chain in a way that it would hit and have to go around a tire or some other part.
The load should be secured in such a way that it is held in every direction especially from moving forward in a sudden stop situation.

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Davis SC

11-26-2008 22:47:51

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to john in la, 11-26-2008 20:55:37  
John, you are always the voice of reason on matters like this.. A question I want to ask.. My skidsteer has one eye to attach to on the rear, right in the center.. I run 2 short chains from that eye to the rails on my trailer. Is it legal to use one ratchet binder between those 2 chains to tension them, or do I need a binder for each chain? TIA

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john in la

11-27-2008 07:29:38

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to Davis SC, 11-26-2008 22:47:51  
The "voice of reason" well if you say so. I think it is more the biggest mouth that has seen enough white sheets on the side of the road that I would rather tell you something now than have you find out the hard way later.

You should be using a binder on each chain so you can pull in a straight line from the skidsteer to the trailer rail.

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11-26-2008 20:30:26

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 Re: best way to chain down a tractor ? in reply to 780 prairieboy, 11-26-2008 20:09:09  
I'd think not crossing a chain would be a good idea. If you notice all the heavy haulers they chain direct. Tightest would be 4 point, 4 chains, 4 binders. If its under 10,000 pounds 2 chains or straps and two binders will keep you legal for CFR (specific states may vary).

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