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Excavator Trailer: Make sure your safety chains are up to the task

Trailer safety chains, getting it right.

All pig trailers with rigid drawbars (with or without breakaway brakes) and any other trailer without breakaway brakes must be fitted with safety chains that are marked in accordance with the relevant Australian Standard. It must comply with the following:

– trailers that do not exceed 2500kg ATM must have at least one safety chain complying with Australian Standard AS 4177.4-1994

– Australian Standard AS 4177.4-2004 ‘Caravan and light trailer towing components Part 4: Safety chains up to 3500kg capacity’, or be a safety cable with a certified load capacity of the same;

trailers over 2.5 tonnes and not exceeding 3.5 tonnes ATM must have two safety chains of designation of 3500 kg complying with Australian Standard AS 4177.4-1994 or Australian Standard AS 4177.42004;

Over 3500kg trailers ATM must have two safety chains made from steel of a minimum 800 MPa breaking stress that conforms to the mechanical properties of Grade T chain as specified in Australian Standard AS 2321-1979 ‘Short Link Chain for Lifting Purposes (non calibrated)’

– Australian Standard AS 2321-2006 ‘Short Link Chain for Lifting Purposes.’

Each chain must be sized such that the minimum breaking load exceeds the ATM.

The length of the safety chain/s must prevent the trailer’s drawbar hitting the ground.  If the trailer is detached from the towing vehicle.

The safety chains must be properly connected to the tow bar with attachments. And be capable of withstanding the specified breaking load of each chain.

Do not use padlocks.

Safety chain connections (shackles, pins or bolts) a suitable shackle is where:

– the shackle is rated and complies with Australian Standard AS 2741-2002 “Shackles” or other equivalent recognised standard; and

– the break load limit of the shackle is rated at least 1.5 times greater than the ATM of the trailer.

When you are choosing your next excavator trailer or skid steer trailer make sure you are getting the correct safety chain set up. So you can focus on the road ahead.



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