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Tractor Talk Discussion Forum

O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck??

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Author  [Modern View]

11-04-2010 08:42:55

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I bought a used truck. It had a P&S?? bumper - the one with the lever release for the hitch. Someone had torched off the loops for safety chain hookup. The mechanism was all froze up, and while I have it off of the truck for repair, I want to replace the loops. I plan to weld on some large cable clamps (without the clamp) in the same manner as the old loops were attached, but I wondered why people don't use a 3/8 chain grab hook for chain hookup. Is there a reason that I'm missing for not using chain hooks? They could be welded as solidly as the loops, in fact the loops were only welded on one side.


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11-04-2010 14:26:09

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to PJH, 11-04-2010 08:42:55  
Thanks for all of your thoughts on this idea. I'm well known for hairbrained ideas - that's why I asked for other opinions.

I've used open hooks for years. They are clevis type hooks attached to the loops on my reveiver hitch. Never had a problem with them coming loose, but maybe I'm lucky.

I will follow your advice on this "new" truck and forget the welded hooks. And I'll also get new snap type hooks for my trailer chains.


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Traditional Farmer

11-05-2010 04:45:43

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to PJH, 11-04-2010 14:26:09  
Definitely use the safety type hooks.I had the POS
Tractor Supply locking pin set up come apart and my small trailer was turned loose at 65MPH when the hitch receiver slide out of the hitch wasn't pretty but the safety chains held and was able to get it stopped without much damage Luckily it was the small trailer and it was empty made me look at safety chains in a whole different light.

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11-04-2010 11:19:30

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to PJH, 11-04-2010 08:42:55  
You mean OPEN 3/8" grab hooks?

The chain could jump out of the hook on a rough road.

The hooks on safety chains are supposed to have some sort of clasp to keep them from jumping out of a safety chain loop.

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11-04-2010 11:11:06

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to PJH, 11-04-2010 08:42:55  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

How are you going to attach the safety chain to a grab hook, and prevent it from just bouncing out?

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11-04-2010 10:39:45

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to PJH, 11-04-2010 08:42:55  
After a 10 year old girl was killed about 15 miles from here a couple of weeks ago by a horse trailer becoming detached from the tow pickup and hitting the car she was in head on, I completely redid the chains on my 18' flatbet.

My pickup has a Cat 3 receiver bolted to the frame with the receiver directly under the bumper. The bumper is rated at 10,000 pounds, and there are 1" holes existing in the bumper but too far in to hook a chain hook into.

What I did was get a couple of clevises, each rated at 6500 pounds, put them through the holes in the bumper and bolted the chains to the trailer tongue with grade 8 bolts. The chains are cut the right length to cross over, and hook to the clevises with latched hooks. Every part of each chain is rated at at least 5,000 pounds.

With the trailer licensed for 5 ton, and the trailer itself weighing 1 ton empty, I doubt I'll haul anything on it that exceeds the capacity of the safety chains.

If anything good could come from the little girl's death, I'd venture a guess that virtually 100% of the trailer safety chains in the news coverage area were given the eagle eye and probably half of them redone. It was a wake up call for anyone who tows a trailer.

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11-04-2010 14:56:04

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to Goose, 11-04-2010 10:39:45  
Yep Goose.. was that in Nebraska... If not we had the same thing happen here couple weeks back..Im good friends with a 30 plus year vet in over the road trucking. Said best advise he could ever give drivers was to get the heck out from behind any over the road and esp anyone pullin a trailer. There are alot of folk that would rather the chains come loose and hurt, kill or whatever someone else rather than staying on their vehicle and causing them pain or damage. Just in my short 45 year life I have seen trucks go left and trailer keeps going right, or over the XX tracks and up, off and gone. Also knew of a couple that would hacsaw their chains down to 1/2 or less and fill with puddy.. YIKES!!! never know

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11-04-2010 16:31:06

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to mss3020, 11-04-2010 14:56:04  
It was in Nebraska.

I should have mentioned also, my receiver has loops on it to hook safety chains. They certainly don't look capable of holding anywhere near the load that could potentially be carried by a Cat 3 receiver. I'd sure never use them, but I'm sure there are those who think because they came with the receiver that they're sufficient. Don't know the brand of the receiver, it was on the pickup when I bought it.

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11-04-2010 09:05:19

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to PJH, 11-04-2010 08:42:55  
not sure if its a new federal reg or just Tx but we cant weld anything pertaining to safety chains anymore...all have to be bolted...some pencil pusher with nothing to do obviously came up with this idea.
problem i see with hooks is if you hit a good enuff bump in the road the chain could pop out unless you could find hooks with a safety hasp like on some comealongs.

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11-04-2010 12:35:49

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to BCnT, 11-04-2010 09:05:19  
I've seen some pretty dodgey looking welds on trailers. At least with a bolt you know that it is there. A bad weld can be hard for a non expert to inspect for.

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Brad Buchanan

11-05-2010 07:51:09

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 Re: O.T.: Trailer safety chain hookup on truck?? in reply to Spook, 11-04-2010 12:35:49  
I respectfully think some here are confusing the purpose of trailer safety chains. Properly mounted and deployed the chains form an x underneath the tounge and if the hitch fails the tounge drops into the x and remains controllable until the vehicle can be stopped.

Safety chains are not designed to support anywhere near the weight of the trailer and have no need to.

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