Safety Chains

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Do you use safety chains

No, I don't use safety chains
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No votes
I have them, but don't use them
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No votes
Yes, I use them
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Total votes : 48

Safety Chains

Postby SteveH » Thu Apr 07, 2005 12:58 pm

Do you use them? Are they required by law where you live? What are your thoughts?
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Postby emiller » Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:06 pm

8) I use them law or not it's just plain crazy not too. I have had a ball come loose on me before and and a car hauler came off my hitch just recently, my fault for not double checking U-Hauls employee that hooked it up.
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Postby Gage » Thu Apr 07, 2005 1:53 pm

Safty chains are good. Be sure they are strong and won't snap. Trust me, you don't want to happen to you that happened to me one time (and only one time) A simple thing of not having the coupler over the ball and not checking. I got lucky. :?
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Postby Nitetimes » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:29 pm

Can't get a trailer registered in PA without them and you don't want to get caught without them crossed and hooked up. That's a pretty sizeable fine too, they will even fine you for just not having them crossed. Of course on a small trailer with a straight tongue, there's not much they can say about the crossed part.
I always use mine anyway, don't like towing without them. Had trailers come off on several occasions for different reasons (some my fault some not) and in every case they have saved a lot of money and damages.
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Postby Rob » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:42 pm

I thought they were required everywhere. I wouldn't be caught dead without 'em. I had a boat try to break free when the ball snapped - a real ball-buster! :lol: The safety chains kept the boat from passing me on the highway. It just kind of crawled under the bumper and stopped when I did.
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Postby madjack » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:45 pm

Rob wrote:I thought they were required everywhere. I wouldn't be caught dead without 'em. I had a boat try to break free when the ball snapped - a real ball-buster! :lol: The safety chains kept the boat from passing me on the highway. It just kind of crawled under the bumper and stopped when I did.
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Postby SteveH » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:51 pm

The reason I asked is I don't know if they are required or not in Texas. I've used them most of the time (my utility has never had them), and fortunately I've never needed them.

I see contractors around here all the time with no chains, no license, and no lights. They must be getting by with it, or they'd get legal.
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Postby mikeschn » Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:57 pm

Here in Michigan they are a legal requirement. And quite frankly, I'd want them even if they weren't. They cost almost nothing, and they can probably save your teardrop from total destruction!!!

BTW, I don't know how the law works, but what happens when a Texas tear without chains comes to Michigan? Is he bound by Michigan laws? Like, when in Rome do as the romans do?

I think my safety chains cost $6. Why are we even discussing this? :?

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Postby SteveH » Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:22 pm

I found it. The ARE required in Texas. There are lots of illegally operated contractor trailers around here. :x

§ 545.410. TOWING SAFETY CHAINS. (a) An operator of a
passenger car or light truck may not draw a trailer, semitrailer,
house trailer, or another motor vehicle unless safety chains of a
type approved by the department are attached in a manner approved by
the department from the trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or
drawn motor vehicle to the drawing vehicle. This subsection does
not apply to the drawing of a trailer or semitrailer used for
agricultural purposes.
(b) The department shall adopt rules prescribing the type of
safety chains required to be used according to the weight of the
trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or motor vehicle being drawn.
The rules shall:
(1) require safety chains to be strong enough to
maintain the connection between the trailer, semitrailer, house
trailer, or drawn motor vehicle and the drawing vehicle; and
(2) show the proper method to attach safety chains
between the trailer, semitrailer, house trailer, or drawn motor
vehicle and the drawing vehicle.
(c) Subsection (b) does not apply to trailers,
semitrailers, or house trailers that are equipped with safety
chains installed by the original manufacturer before the effective
date of the rules.
(d) This section does not apply to a trailer, semitrailer,
house trailer, or drawn motor vehicle that is operated in
compliance with the federal motor carrier safety regulations.
(e) In this section, "safety chains" means flexible tension
members connected from the front of a drawn vehicle to the rear of
the drawing vehicle to maintain connection between the vehicles if
the primary connecting system fails.
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Postby JunkMan » Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:05 pm

mikeschn wrote:BTW, I don't know how the law works, but what happens when a Texas tear without chains comes to Michigan? Is he bound by Michigan laws? Like, when in Rome do as the romans do?


Most states recognize the law of the state that the trailer or vehicle is from as far as licensing requirements.

According to a 2001 road atlas I have, the states that did not require chains were: Az, De, Id, Ky, Me, Mt, Nb, NJ, NC, WV, Wi, &Wy.
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Postby mikeschn » Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:18 pm

Wow, 12 states with no safety chain requirements. Makes you wonder why?

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Postby An Ol Timer » Thu Apr 07, 2005 6:24 pm

The only hauling that I've ever did without chains was when I puuled our trailer behind the GoldWing. I valued my life more than a trailer. I know a lot of cyclist who hauled their trailers and some used plastic chains which looked just like metal chains, but broke very easy. In Canada I once saw a couple with a midsized camper behind a small car and it had broke loose. There was probably as much damage to the car and camper as there would have been if the camper alone was totaled.
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Postby An Ol Timer » Thu Apr 07, 2005 7:36 pm

This might be of interest to New York Staters only.

On the site www.nysdmv.com there is a form (mv529c.pdf) which is titled "Equiptment Required For Trailers". It list all the things including safety chains, ect. One thing that is of interest is in the lighting section. With some teardrops being 5' (60") in width and with larger tires they may be in non-conformance with the law. Below is a small portion of the lighting section of the form and concerns vehicles over 80" in width. A 60' wide unit with tires and fenders of 10" or greater would exceed the 80" limit.


Identification Lamp (3 lamp cluster) for vehicles 80” or more in width (including wheels)
1 - on the Rear-As close as practicable to the top of vehicle at vertical centerline.
Lamp centers should be spaced not less than 6” or more than 12” apart.

Red Clearance Lamps for vehicles 80” or more in width (including wheels)
2 - on the Rear-As near to top and as far apart as practicable.

Amber Clearance Lamps for vehicles 80” or more in width (including wheels)
2 - on the Front-As near to top and as far apart as practicable.
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Postby TomS » Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:24 pm

An Ol Timer wrote:The only hauling that I've ever did without chains was when I puuled our trailer behind the GoldWing. I valued my life more than a trailer. I know a lot of cyclist who hauled their trailers and some used plastic chains which looked just like metal chains, but broke very easy. In Canada I once saw a couple with a midsized camper behind a small car and it had broke loose. There was probably as much damage to the car and camper as there would have been if the camper alone was totaled.


I don't think the law is in place to prevent damage to the trailer or tow vehicle. A runaway trailer hurtling across a road into oncomming traffic at 65 mph is a very, very, frightening thing. I can understand why mototcyclists wouldn't want to use them. As for everyone else.... well, there really isn't any excuse.
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Postby Jimbo » Thu Apr 07, 2005 8:26 pm

JunkMan wrote:
mikeschn wrote:BTW, I don't know how the law works, but what happens when a Texas tear without chains comes to Michigan? Is he bound by Michigan laws? Like, when in Rome do as the romans do?


Most states recognize the law of the state that the trailer or vehicle is from as far as licensing requirements.

According to a 2001 road atlas I have, the states that did not require chains were: Az, De, Id, Ky, Me, Mt, Nb, NJ, NC, WV, Wi, &Wy.


Darn, and I could have saved all that money on chains. (I'm in KY) Of course, I am just kidding!!!
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