TRAILER SAFETY CHAINS

fried1765

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so.. if 2 chains are better than 1, 4 is more better ??
you could make the same statement about securing a tractor to the trailer. 2 is probably the legal minimum, 4 'sounds' better, 6 might be perfect,oh yeah, here we need one for each bucket too.

In 5 decades of pulling all sorts of trailers with things on board using everything from caddy to jeeps to pickups over highways to real offroad 'roads', I've yet to lose a trailer. Not to say it doesn't happen but has to be very very rare, and I live next to the busiest highway system in Canada and the news never reports that. Did have an idiot drive a bigrig dump trailer INTO the Burlington Skyway Bridge few years back. Drunk as a skunk, OPP didn't test(open bottle in cab) , and word is he's driving again....
1st paragraph above is categorically stupid!!
 
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fried1765

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Lol would love to see how that works out if you come unhitched!
Ah.... but you missed his point!
His trailer has never become unhitched, and he probably does not know of anyone else who had a trailer come unhitched.
Therefore,....... because it has never happened to him,...... it will not ever happen to anyone!:D
 
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Freeheeler

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This is what happens when folks fall asleep in physics and geometry classes ;)
I cross my chains, until someone can prove that it is less safe than not crossing, I'll continue to do so. It takes no extra time, physics proves it affords some extra safety, no brainer.
 
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Lil Foot

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When I had my boat (16ft MirrorCraft, 55hp Evinrude) the insurance co said I could get a discount for completing an 8hr Coast Guard Safety course.
About 2hrs was spent on trailering.
They said the number one reason for crossed safety chains was to keep the trailer attached if it became unhitched.
The number two reason was the crossed chains formed a "cradle" that kept the tongue from digging in and "pole vaulting" the boat & trailer.
Then they showed a 10 minute film of trailers doing just that.
Some were staged by DOT, some were actual traffic cam footage.
Pretty amazing, some pretty big trailers pretty high in the air.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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re: They said the number one reason for crossed safety chains was to keep the trailer attached if it became unhitched.

So...'they' are saying... 'uncrossed' chains will allow the trailer to detach if unhitched ?
I'd love someone to explain the physics behind that.

Really whether the 2 chains are 'straight' connected or 'crossed', please explain why ONLY 'crossed' chains will keep the trailer connected.
 

Lil Foot

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Keeping it attached has nothing to do with crossed chains. Straight chains will do that.
Crossed chains keep it from "pole vaulting" if it digs in.
Seems like a pretty simple concept.
Why would you not want to cross the chains?
That simple technique (crossed chains) should cover both incidents.
I guess I don't understand why you would not want to cross the chains and gain a little more peace of mind.
 
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fried1765

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re: They said the number one reason for crossed safety chains was to keep the trailer attached if it became unhitched.

So...'they' are saying... 'uncrossed' chains will allow the trailer to detach if unhitched ?
I'd love someone to explain the physics behind that.

Really whether the 2 chains are 'straight' connected or 'crossed', please explain why ONLY 'crossed' chains will keep the trailer connected.
You are playing with semantics,........ and ignoring facts!
 
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fried1765

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Keeping it attached has nothing to do with crossed chains. Straight chains will do that.
Crossed chains keep it from "pole vaulting" if it digs in.
Seems like a pretty simple concept.
Why would you not want to cross the chains?
That simple technique (crossed chains) should cover both incidents.
I guess I don't understand why you would not want to cross the chains and gain a little more peace of mind.
Of course it is ..... "a pretty simple concept".
Does not work for everyone though!
Some people here have VERY thick skulls!
 
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Crash277

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in summary... hook your crap up safely.

IMO when hauling equipment that cost a lot of money (regardless of weight); 5 min of my time is worth the investment. 2 chains NOT dragging on the ground crossed and tight enough to catch the tongue, i have never ran out of turn on a set of chains. I use a heavy duty 2 5/16 ball and always lock the coupler with a pin. I also take the time to make sure the trailer is nice and level behind my truck. My break-a-way cable is about 1-2" shorter than my chains. Dual axles, brakes on both axles. 4 chains and ratchet binders on the tractor and straps on everything else. I have about $35-40,000 invested in my equipment. I have kids, i would like to get home to them every time I go somewhere with a trailer. Also, every year i pull the drums, inspect the brakes and repack my bearings. Why? because crap bearings cause excess heat, excess heat transfers to the tires. i dont like getting flats. i also dont trust those grease caps. 4 seals and a tube of grease each year is peace of mind.
 
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fried1765

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in summary... hook your crap up safely.

IMO when hauling equipment that cost a lot of money (regardless of weight); 5 min of my time is worth the investment. 2 chains NOT dragging on the ground crossed and tight enough to catch the tongue, i have never ran out of turn on a set of chains. I use a heavy duty 2 5/16 ball and always lock the coupler with a pin. I also take the time to make sure the trailer is nice and level behind my truck. My break-a-way cable is about 1-2" shorter than my chains. Dual axles, brakes on both axles. 4 chains and ratchet binders on the tractor and straps on everything else. I have about $35-40,000 invested in my equipment. I have kids, i would like to get home to them every time I go somewhere with a trailer. Also, every year i pull the drums, inspect the brakes and repack my bearings. Why? because crap bearings cause excess heat, excess heat transfers to the tires. i dont like getting flats. i also dont trust those grease caps. 4 seals and a tube of grease each year is peace of mind.
Perhaps the most neglected items on highway use vehicles are private owner trailer wheel bearings.
 

mcmxi

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Keeping it attached has nothing to do with crossed chains. Straight chains will do that.
Crossed chains keep it from "pole vaulting" if it digs in.
Seems like a pretty simple concept.
Why would you not want to cross the chains?
That simple technique (crossed chains) should cover both incidents.
I guess I don't understand why you would not want to cross the chains and gain a little more peace of mind.
I think too many here have watched too many Hollywood movies. This is another myth. You seriously think the trailer tongue is going to dig in and "pole vault" the trailer? Mythbusters disproved this urban legend with trucks dropping driveshafts due to universal joint failure at the transmission output.

You could argue that the tongue dragging on the ground would act to brake the trailer due to resistance.
 
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mcmxi

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Of course it is ..... "a pretty simple concept".
Does not work for everyone though!
Some people here have VERY thick skulls!
Count me in the "thick" skulls group then, but I continue to have a good career getting well paid to think for myself. I will never pull a trailer without chains attached, but I sure won't cross them based on unproven dogma passed down through countless generations of sheep.
 
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Crash277

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Perhaps the most neglected items on highway use vehicles are private owner trailer wheel bearings.

Absolutely agree. some of the hubs ive pulled off would scare you. any used trailer I purchase gets a full inspection. especially boat trailers,
 

Freeheeler

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Count me in the "thick" skulls group then, but I continue to have a good career getting well paid to think for myself. I will never pull a trailer without chains attached, but I sure won't cross them based on unproven dogma passed down through countless generations of sheep.
Don't cross them, that's OK with me, as long as it doesn't involve me in your accident that hopefully will never happen.
Will crossing them form a cradle that catches a failed coupling every time in every situation? Probable not. Will crossing them catch the tongue in some situations and prevent it from hitting the ground? There are lots of pics and videos that demonstrate it can. This is not urban myth, it is fact. You are welcome to come over and I'll demonstrate with several trailer types.
Fact, crossing can offer some added safety.
Fact, crossing takes no extra time or effort.
Fact, not crossing has no advantages over crossing.
I do cross my chains and I can assure you I am no sheep.
 
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mcmxi

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Don't cross them, that's OK with me, as long as it doesn't involve me in your accident that hopefully will never happen.
Will crossing them form a cradle that catches a failed coupling every time in every situation? Probable not. Will crossing them catch the tongue in some situations and prevent it from hitting the ground? There are lots of pics and videos that demonstrate it can. This is not urban myth, it is fact. You are welcome to come over and I'll demonstrate with several trailer types.
Fact, crossing can offer some added safety.
Fact, crossing takes no extra time or effort.
Fact, not crossing has no advantages over crossing.
I do cross my chains and I can assure you I am no sheep.
A picture paints a thousand words.

Maybe I should ask these folks. I wonder if the chains were crossed.

 
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mcmxi

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So how many here have actually tested their trailers to confirm that crossed chains that won't bind up the truck/trailer while turning will actually support the tongue of the trailer if it were to decouple from the ball while underway? Honestly, how many here have done that?

I have a Curt weight distribution hitch that I use when pulling either the tractor or the Jeep on the equipment trailer. The bars are connected via chains to the trailer and pinned in place. Should I still cross the chains?
 

Crash277

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So how many here have actually tested their trailers to confirm that crossed chains that won't bind up the truck/trailer while turning will actually support the tongue of the trailer if it were to decouple from the ball while underway? Honestly, how many here have done that?

I have a Curt weight distribution hitch that I use when pulling either the tractor or the Jeep on the equipment trailer. The bars are connected via chains to the trailer and pinned in place. Should I still cross the chains?

What style distro bars? mine were the chain style, so if you disconnect the ball. They are just going to flop around. If its the bar lock style, im guessing/assuming they would pop out of the brackets?
 

Biker1mike

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A picture paints a thousand words.

Maybe I should ask these folks. I wonder if the chains were crossed.
She says the chains broke. The trailer hitch was 'worn' out. Total lack of maintenance.
100 % operator error.
 

Freeheeler

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Like she said, "stuff happens". If they were crossed and the cradle caught the tongue before hitting the ground, would the chains have still broke? Most likely not, but the tongue hitting ground and getting caught on an irregularity in the surface is most likely the jolting force that broke the chains.
I agree with you that pole vaulting trailers are not abundant, but the tongue catching with enough force to brake chains is a mathematical likelihood. The weight of the tongue being caught by the crossed chains cradling it being enough force to break the chains is only possible if the chains are already damaged or they were inappropriate chains to begin with.
I've still not seen anything or heard any argument as to why uncrossed chains are an advantage.