TRAILER SAFETY CHAINS

mcmxi

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Lifetime Member

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M6060HDC, MX6000HSTC, MX6000HST (sold), BX25TLB (sold), GL7000
Feb 9, 2021
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NW Montana
"of course you won't because life is all about opinion for you and actually getting off your butt requires effort".

WOW!
You have absolutely no idea of who I am, or what I have accomplished in my life.
You are a prime subject for an anger management intervention!
I too, am done with you!
What you've done or what you've accomplished is irrelevant here. It's not about you or me. It's about FACTS. I could care less if you're "done" with me. You don't add any value to me since I've never learned anything from you since opinion doesn't teach me anything.

I'm probably going to get suspended or banned this time and so be it. I'm tired of the ignorance, the old man BS, the intellectual laziness, the lack of critical thinking ...
 

Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
550
283
63
Knoxville, TN
My Kimber is a stock 1911 Ultra carry. Very robust, high quality build that feels super balanced in my hand.

I did a quick check. The boat trailer has cables instead of chains, and they originate from a single central point under the tongue, crossing will only cradle if it lands on it just right. That set up is not ideal, but it has a triple locking coupler that can't possibly come loose without a catastrophic failure.

Travel trailer has the chains originating from the right and left side of the tongue which is the correct attachment. It does cradle exceptionally well, and I do cross them, but it doesn't really matter since it has a solid bar attaching weight distribution set up.

The tandem flat trailer has chains originating from each side and does cradle nicely as long as I keep the chains the proper length. If I leave the chains full length it gets really close to still touching pavement.

The utility trailer only has one chain. I let someone borrow it and they jackknifed enough to rip one chain off.

The jetski trailer also cradles nicely when the chain length is adjusted properly.

As for the math, not had time to look into specifics. I'm imagining scenario similar to the video you posted. A pickup with a utility trailer, chains uncrossed, tongue lip hitting a lip in the road (think concrete bridge expansion joint where one side of the joint is 1/2" higher and the sliding lip of the tongue makes solid contact) while doing 65mph.

Even if the math doesn't prove to be enough force to snap a chain, I still think it will be enough force to do damage. Compared to the tongue getting a chance to be cradled by crossed chains and not hitting the expansion joint in the first place, I still think it's worth the no extra time or effort to cross them. Since jackknifing was enough force to snap one of my chains, I'm guessing the expansion joint scenario math will pan out.
 

lynnmor

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
557
371
63
Red Lion
My Kimber is a stock 1911 Ultra carry. Very robust, high quality build that feels super balanced in my hand.

I did a quick check. The boat trailer has cables instead of chains, and they originate from a single central point under the tongue, crossing will only cradle if it lands on it just right. That set up is not ideal, but it has a triple locking coupler that can't possibly come loose without a catastrophic failure.

Travel trailer has the chains originating from the right and left side of the tongue which is the correct attachment. It does cradle exceptionally well, and I do cross them, but it doesn't really matter since it has a solid bar attaching weight distribution set up.

The tandem flat trailer has chains originating from each side and does cradle nicely as long as I keep the chains the proper length. If I leave the chains full length it gets really close to still touching pavement.

The utility trailer only has one chain. I let someone borrow it and they jackknifed enough to rip one chain off.

The jetski trailer also cradles nicely when the chain length is adjusted properly.

As for the math, not had time to look into specifics. I'm imagining scenario similar to the video you posted. A pickup with a utility trailer, chains uncrossed, tongue lip hitting a lip in the road (think concrete bridge expansion joint where one side of the joint is 1/2" higher and the sliding lip of the tongue makes solid contact) while doing 65mph.

Even if the math doesn't prove to be enough force to snap a chain, I still think it will be enough force to do damage. Compared to the tongue getting a chance to be cradled by crossed chains and not hitting the expansion joint in the first place, I still think it's worth the no extra time or effort to cross them. Since jackknifing was enough force to snap one of my chains, I'm guessing the expansion joint scenario math will pan out.
When doing your cradle test, be sure to roll the trailer forward so that the trailer coupler is below the ball and see how that cradle is working. Many think that the trailer will be the same distance from the truck after a disconnect and just don't look at the whole picture.
 

Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
550
283
63
Knoxville, TN
When doing your cradle test, be sure to roll the trailer forward so that the trailer coupler is below the ball and see how that cradle is working. Many think that the trailer will be the same distance from the truck after a disconnect and just don't look at the whole picture.
You bring up a good point. If your trailer ever does detach, slamming on your brakes will send the trailer under and into your vehicle. If your trailer tongue is a straight shaft it can move forward enough to make the cradle ineffective. My jetski trailer is this type. My other trailers have an "A" frame tongue which is much better at maintaining the cradled position as long as the chains are the correct length.
 

charger68

New member

Equipment
L3901 HST, WM-8H, RCR1860, SCG1560, GS1572, HD25
May 18, 2021
6
14
3
Milledgeville, GA
I have inadvertently "tested" the crossed chain approach. I have a small 5x9 landscape trailer. I had just hooked it up and was pulling it up my steep inclined gravel driveway when I noticed that the trailer seemed to be making more noise than normal. My first thought was simply because I was running it empty, it was just bouncing up the driveway, but I stopped to check it anyway. When I got to the back of the truck, the trailer was hung up in the safety chains a few inches from the ground, not dragging. My hitch lock had broken and let the trailer free.

I know this is not proof one way or another - simply too many variables - but I will continue to cross chains.

Also, with both of my trailers, I have tested the chain length relative to jack-knifing the trailer to make certain not to damage my truck or trailers.
 
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lynnmor

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Equipment
B2601-1
May 3, 2021
557
371
63
Red Lion
You bring up a good point. If your trailer ever does detach, slamming on your brakes will send the trailer under and into your vehicle. If your trailer tongue is a straight shaft it can move forward enough to make the cradle ineffective. My jetski trailer is this type. My other trailers have an "A" frame tongue which is much better at maintaining the cradled position as long as the chains are the correct length.
I mentioned this in post #8. Slamming on the brakes isn't necessary, any slowing of the truck can cause the same thing. The geometry of each truck trailer combination can vary widely and the results will be different. For example, my van and enclosed trailer require very long chains and the connection points of the chain are of much different heights.
 
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Freeheeler

Well-known member

Equipment
b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
550
283
63
Knoxville, TN
I mentioned this in post #8. Slamming on the brakes isn't necessary, any slowing of the truck can cause the same thing. The geometry of each truck trailer combination can vary widely and the results will be different. For example, my van and enclosed trailer require very long chains and the connection points of the chain are of much different heights.
I agree. My utility trailer chains would not bind hooked up to my truck. My friends vehicle has the chain attachment point set deeper so it made the chains effectively too short and one snapped while backing up at a sharp angle. Even on my own truck I have to adjust chain length differently depending on if I'm using the drop hitch or straight hitch.
 

Biker1mike

Active member

Equipment
B6200, Kubota 2030 Front Blade, King Cutter 60" finishing deck
Jan 11, 2022
168
111
43
Gallatin, NY USA
I just took pictures of crossed and not crossed. Of course vehicles not moving or dropped hard.
The proof is.... wait for it...... I have far too much free time on my hands.
image one is NOT crossed

not_crossed.jpg
crossed.jpg
 

58Ford

Member

Equipment
BX23s + LP cutter
Jan 1, 2022
91
57
18
SW Washington
Anyone that refuses to follow the manufacturers own instructions because they know better is delusional.

Curt’s own requirements are the chains should be crossed. End of conversation. MCMXI stated he owns a curt hitch. Here is their instructions:
BF9A3E09-4704-4E73-9248-A03CE508F73B.jpeg

I should have posted this days ago……
 

fried1765

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
1,159
809
113
Eastham, Ma
Anyone that refuses to follow the manufacturers own instructions because they know better is delusional.

Curt’s own requirements are the chains should be crossed. End of conversation. MCMXI stated he owns a curt hitch. Here is their instructions:
View attachment 79019
I should have posted this days ago……
I very much doubt that your Curt info posting would/will make any difference to mcmxi.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,369
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
Biker1mike

nice pics but... if you have a wee bit more time, take some of them NOT resting on the block. It's hard to tell but it 'looks' like, if allowed to be 'free'( as on the highway..) the tongue of the trailer will roll fwd and down really close to the pavement ?

also... neighbour's friend wants to haul a 17' canoe on a 5by8 trailer, say 2' front overhang..that'd leave 7 FEET of canoe 'out the back'..I think he's 'nuts'....
 
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Biker1mike

Active member

Equipment
B6200, Kubota 2030 Front Blade, King Cutter 60" finishing deck
Jan 11, 2022
168
111
43
Gallatin, NY USA
Biker1mike

nice pics but... if you have a wee bit more time, take some of them NOT resting on the block. It's hard to tell but it 'looks' like, if allowed to be 'free'( as on the highway..) the tongue of the trailer will roll fwd and down really close to the pavement ?
Yeah, I know. I lowered the trailer until it was apparent where the unit was heading. There is no real way to test without a camera on the tailgate and taking the camper onto the highway and hitting a really big pot hole and having it come off the ball.
I agree that at low speed something is going to hit the pavement. On my camper it will be the jack and on my landscape trailer it will be the front of the trailer.
Let's face it at 65 mph it is a crap shoot.
 

GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,369
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
hmm...never thought about the jack base hitting before the tongue.probably send enough sparks to ignite the 'yeah,yeah I know, kinda leaky' propane tank, then travel trailer goes up in a fireball..meanwhile crisscrossed' chain KEEP truck attached , when YOU could have been safe a mile down the road..:oops:
 
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fried1765

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Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
1,159
809
113
Eastham, Ma
hmm...never thought about the jack base hitting before the tongue.probably send enough sparks to ignite the 'yeah,yeah I know, kinda leaky' propane tank, then travel trailer goes up in a fireball..meanwhile crisscrossed' chain KEEP truck attached , when YOU could have been safe a mile down the road..:oops:
That is a WAY far out crazy hypothesis, for attempting to justify not crossing trailer chains!:ROFLMAO:
 

Henro

Well-known member

Equipment
B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
3,425
1,227
113
North of Pittsburgh PA
Here's a challenge. Find a single case where a trailer did something terrible when it decoupled that was directly attributed to the chains NOT being crossed. This should be easy right.
OK, here is a second challenge: Get a life!

How the hell does it make a difference doing what is prescribed by those who likely know more about the big picture than we do?

Of course you are superior, and you know everything. Who can argue with that?

Sorry, but all I think to say is "get a life!" AND just accept that what the authorities are saying just MIGHT have some worth. Perhaps more than what you think...
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
4,369
1,312
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Greensville,Ontario,Canada
I'm wondering why the other 47 states don't change their laws and demand the crisscross of chains. Seems like they're missing out on a whack of free cash. Local LEOS did a 'sting' at dump, lots got fins for not having the ownership to the trailers they were hauling garbage in.LONG line of trailers,roadside, LEOS would NOT allow them INTO the dump until paperwork was in order.

I can't be the only one whose come across a combination of vehicle and trailer where you could NOT cross the chains. I KNOW the farmer's gavity wagons have only ONE chain on them,same as my manure spreader.
 

Biker1mike

Active member

Equipment
B6200, Kubota 2030 Front Blade, King Cutter 60" finishing deck
Jan 11, 2022
168
111
43
Gallatin, NY USA
I'm wondering why the other 47 states don't change their laws and demand the crisscross of chains.
For the same reason seatbelt laws differ and motorcycle helmet laws differ. Unless there is a federal mandate the states can do as they please.
 

dkbswim

New member

Equipment
B2601
Feb 6, 2021
10
8
3
columbus ga
something else to think about... is that NO semi-tractor-trailer HAS safety chains, crossed or not.....
should give you a nice warm feeling when behind a fully loaded 'big rig'.
The dolly's on doubles and triples are chained down. simi trucks pulling a bumper pull have chains. dump trucks with trailers have chains.

I'm sure you meant 5th wheels do not use chains.
 
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dkbswim

New member

Equipment
B2601
Feb 6, 2021
10
8
3
columbus ga
I run crossed chains. however I do not believe it will catch the trailer if it comes uncoupled most chains are longer then hitch is off the ground. crossed chains have advantage in tight turns. crossed chins will help move a trailer that has become detached. lifting the hitch once it is pulled on. safety chains are last resort devices and more effort should be placed on double checking that everything is properly hooked up prior to a trip. I'm also not getting bent out of place if others connect there chains straight.
 
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