Tractor Towing- Chaining to Trailer

Patt Swilling

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Kubota L3901
Mar 11, 2021
24
3
3
Cabot, AR
Bought an 18-foot trailer today. Been watching videos on how to chain a tractor to the trailer. One question I have is how long should the front and rear chain be? 10 foot? 20 foot?
 

Matt Ellerbee

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LX2610 EA grapple, 5' LP cutter and box blade
Jun 27, 2019
260
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43
Canton, Georgia
I like having options, I have 2 20’ chains and 4 10’, all with hooks on ends. The 20’s will go side to side on trailer with room for binder. The 10’s are good for getting the corners.
 

85Hokie

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BX-25D w/ Filled Rears,2" Spacers,PTB. Under Armor, 90'-90'-92'-B7100HST's
Jul 13, 2013
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Bedford - VA
Also for a Kubota Compact L3901 what minimum size ratchet binder do I need? 3900 lb enough?
5/16" binder will bind 1/4" chain and 3/8" chain.
3/8" chain is a beast where as 1/4" may be a little whimpy for locking down a tractor of that size.
 

UpNorthMI

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L3200, L3901, MX5800, SVL75-2, KX040
May 12, 2020
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My opinion is 5/16” minimum. I often only use 1 chain at the rear of the tractor and consider not just the weight of the tractor but also consider the inertia of the tractor. It’s good to have some safety factor in these considerations. Think about going down the freeway and having to brake real hard or even worse getting into an accident, I really want my tractor to stay on the trailer no matter what!

As I trailer my track loader or excavator which are both around 9,700 lbs all my chains are 3/8”, I have both 10’ and 20’ chains. Heavy items are chained with a minimum of 4 chains. Tractors I often only use 1 chain at rear for the L series and 2 chains at the front, I like to back my tractors on the trailer if I can then I have the 2 chains holding the tractor against the direction of travel. I also consider distance and speed of travel. If long freeway travel I will add additional straps or chains.

if the L3901 is the largest thing you will trailer, I would buy a minimum of 5/16” chains, 1 20’ for rear and 2 10’ for front. If you load the tractor facing forward and just use 1 chain on the rear I may consider making that 20’ rear chain 3/8”.
Attachments can be strapped using 3” straps. If you have a backhoe consider an extra chain. It’s good to have a routine for tractor placement on trailer and how you secure your tractor, good luck with it, stay safe.

All comments are assuming grade 70 chain.
 
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TX Chris

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MX5400, BH92, RTV900, ZD326
Dec 14, 2020
106
70
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Rowlett, TX
I just started using chain and binders when I upgraded from an L3901 to an MX5400. I chose to buy 4 - 10' chains so they're half as heavy (I used 3/8" grade 70 chain with the 5/16" binders that handle both sizes). Easier to lug the shorter chains around. I use one at each corner of the tractor and will throw a strap over implements.

You could use a 20 footer front and rear and still make 4 connections, you'd just have to plan it differently than using one chain on each corner.

You'll get plenty of replies telling you that one chain in front and one in rear is plenty for an L3901. You have to make that choice for yourself. For me, I'm not good with that - one comes loose and you've only got one left.
 
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NHSleddog

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B2650
Dec 19, 2019
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In America the DOT will tell you under 10,000lbs two chains needed and they are over the top about safety. Extra for the sake of extra isn't always a good idea. If you two point the front of your tractor and one comes off, the other one actually pulls your tractor the other way making it less safe.

Very rare that a bound chain "comes loose" chains don't stretch much. Straps will come loose for various reasons though.
 

TX Chris

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MX5400, BH92, RTV900, ZD326
Dec 14, 2020
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I prefer the idea of 3 out of 4 as opposed to 1 out of 2 in the event of a failure for whatever reason. And I agree that the odds of losing a chain are slim to none.
 

Lil Foot

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1979 B7100DT Gear
May 19, 2011
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Peoria, AZ
I was stopped once while pulling the tractor on a trailer.
DPS was doing spot checks of semis and waved me over for a "courtesy check".
He checked the trailer lights and tires.
Tractor was heavily chained with (4) chains, with zipties holding the load binder handles, two straps holding the backhoe, two more holding the FEL, and a bungee keeping the seat folded. The officer complemented me on the good job I had done.

He was very focused on the fact that I had the implements on the tractor strapped down, but failed to comment (or notice) that I had the front plow blade, the box blade, and a pair of clamp-on forks in the bed of the pickup, none of which were strapped or chained. Double standard?
 

Crash277

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BX23S
Jan 17, 2021
342
195
43
Canada
I was stopped once while pulling the tractor on a trailer.
DPS was doing spot checks of semis and waved me over for a "courtesy check".
He checked the trailer lights and tires.
Tractor was heavily chained with (4) chains, with zipties holding the load binder handles, two straps holding the backhoe, two more holding the FEL, and a bungee keeping the seat folded. The officer complemented me on the good job I had done.

He was very focused on the fact that I had the implements on the tractor strapped down, but failed to comment (or notice) that I had the front plow blade, the box blade, and a pair of clamp-on forks in the bed of the pickup, none of which were strapped or chained. Double standard?
I think possibly, cause your truck has 4 sides (assuming you don’t have a flat deck) they likely didn’t care Because the only way something is coming out of the back of your truck is if you go upside down. However I know of at least 2 people who were charged after an accident where an ATV came out of the back of their trucks, 1 had no straps, and the other one had 1 strap as he couldn’t close his tailgate. The guy with no straps was out a ton of money as insurance didn’t cover his brand new atv he had just picked up from the dealer. My atv cost me $10,001 tax in. When I picked it up, I strapped it to my trailer with 4 straps and alway use at least 3
 

Patt Swilling

New member

Equipment
Kubota L3901
Mar 11, 2021
24
3
3
Cabot, AR
My new tractor was delivered with 2 ratchet straps. 1 on the front axle. 1 on the rear. Nothing on a brush hog. I find it hard to believe the dealership would break DOT laws.
 

BigG

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l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,433
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West Central,FL
My new tractor was delivered with 2 ratchet straps. 1 on the front axle. 1 on the rear. Nothing on a brush hog. I find it hard to believe the dealership would break DOT laws.
Watch the trucks that run down the road. It does not take but a few trucks to pass before you will spot violations. An easy one to spot is found on rollback wreckers. A J-hook on the rear axle and the wench pulling on the front. You will see it everyday. Using the wench as a tiedown is a violation but it does not get enforced often. Running a truck on the highway with a burned out headlight is another easy violation to spot. During daylight it is still a violation.
 

GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
2,146
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
re: I find it hard to believe the dealership would break DOT laws.
gee, I don't..;)
I 'assume' the driver/loader guy is just lazy OR his boss yells at him, 'get that **&^& delivered NOW'.....

bet they don't do a proper 'walkaround check' either.

Best(worst) example of NOT properly strpping down loads.. Guy was making busstop concrete pads next door( 6x12 ,6" slabs of concrete). Loads 10 (TEN) of them onto a semi flatbed,ONE strap per bundle of 5.
He was going to Ottawa(6-7 hr trip), on a Sunday, using backroads to avoid the 'scales'....

Up here, it's agin the law to tranports oxy/act cyls without caps on....unless you're a 'city' crew..hmmmmmm
 

jimh406

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
185
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Western MT
There are a few good videos on youtube that discuss the general DOT rules with a DOT officer. One of the best is from Tractor Time with Tim. For those of you who don’t know, he also owns a LX now.
 
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Crash277

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Equipment
BX23S
Jan 17, 2021
342
195
43
Canada
re: I find it hard to believe the dealership would break DOT laws.
gee, I don't..;)
I 'assume' the driver/loader guy is just lazy OR his boss yells at him, 'get that **&^& delivered NOW'.....

bet they don't do a proper 'walkaround check' either.

Best(worst) example of NOT properly strpping down loads.. Guy was making busstop concrete pads next door( 6x12 ,6" slabs of concrete). Loads 10 (TEN) of them onto a semi flatbed,ONE strap per bundle of 5.
He was going to Ottawa(6-7 hr trip), on a Sunday, using backroads to avoid the 'scales'....

Up here, it's agin the law to tranports oxy/act cyls without caps on....unless you're a 'city' crew..hmmmmmm

ya its nuts.. I used to deliver and install precast concrete products. Once my boss yelled at me for too many straps. I put 2 straps per bundle of slabs (1 over each 4x4 used to separate them so I could get my forks under the slabs), I did 2 of the bundles like that. He did 3 bundles with 1 strap over each one. I should have drove out of sight and fixed his crap tie down job but I didn't. he was giving me the... I've been doing this since before you were born BS... drive to the job site and sure enough 2 of the slabs were cracked and the strap was now loose on that bundle. I was pissed. Customer was annoyed. So I call the boss to find out when replacements could be delivered and he started yelling at me.. my reply was simple... the broken slabs were ones he tied down and if he wanted he could consider the phone call me quitting and he could come pick his truck up as I would call a friend to get me. His tone changed pretty quick since I was his only employee as the guy who trained me for about 4 weeks had quit. I only worked there for a few more months as I couldn't handle his BS rush rush attitude. My safety and the safety of other people on the road was more important to me than it was to him.