30 Sep 2009
Safety Chains - Regulation
The following is an extract from the specifications from Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 62/00 – Mechanical Connections Between Vehicles) 2006
Section 8 relating to safety chains (not complete but includes areas pertinate to caravans and 5th wheelers under 3.5 tonnes)
8. SAFETY CHAIN(S)
8.1. There must be affixed to a substantial portion on every trailer which is not fitted with an ’Emergency Brake System’ in accordance with the Australian Design Rule 38/... “Trailer Brake Systems”, and on every rigid ‘Drawbar’ ‘Pig Trailer’ except a ‘Converter Dolly’, a safety chain(s) which will hold in tow the trailer in the event of failure or accidental detachment of the ‘Coupling’.
8.2. A rigid ‘Drawbar’ ‘Pig Trailer’ which has a ‘Aggregate Trailer Mass’ of 2.5 tonnes or more must be fitted with 2 safety chains for connection to the towing vehicle.
8.3. Safety chains must be permanently attached to the trailer. Shackles are not permitted. The point(s) of attachment to the trailer must be as near as practicable to the ‘Coupling’ and where 2 points are required they must be mounted one on either side of the ‘Drawbar’.
8.4. The specification for the safety chain:
8.4.1. for a trailer of less than 2.5 tonnes ‘Aggregate Trailer Mass’ must comply with clause 8.4.4 or 8.4.5.
8.4.2. for a trailer of 2.5 tonnes or more but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes ‘Aggregate Trailer Mass’ must comply with clause 8.4.5 or 8.4.6.
8.4.3. for a trailer of more than 3.5 tonnes ‘Aggregate Trailer Mass’ must comply with clause 8.4.6.
8.4.4. the provisions of Australian Standard 1872-1976 “Safety Chains for Trailers and Caravans” . Where attachment is by welding, the weld must extend around 50% of the circumference of the link and the adjoining link must have free movement.
8.4.5. the provisions of Australian Standard AS 4177.4 1994 “Safety Chains up to 3500 kg capacity”.
8.4.6. be made from 800 MPa breaking stress and conform to the mechanical properties of Grade T chain as specified in Australian Standard 2321-1979 “Short Link Chain for Lifting Purposes (non calibrated)”; and must be of a size corresponding with the ‘Aggregate Trailer Mass’ of the trailer shown in Table 1. Attachment must not involve welding or deformation.
Editors Note: There are variations and differences between Australia and New Zealand in towing requirements and loading safety in New Zealand please check the NZTA website for full details.
In New Zealand the NZ Transport Agency www.nzta.govt.nz provides the Glovebox Guide to safe loading and towing for light vehicles. Land Transport NZ is now part of the NZ Transport Agency
The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is a Crown entity established on 1 August 2008, under the amended Land Transport Management Act 2003, bringing together the functions of Land Transport New Zealand and Transit New Zealand to provide an integrated approach to transport planning, funding and delivery.
The NZ Transport Agency contributes to an integrated, safe, responsive and sustainable land transport system, in support of the updated New Zealand Transport Strategy.
NZTA works in partnership with regional and local authorities, the transport industry and communities to achieve this.
The NZ Transport Agency is focused on delivering four key outcomes: integration, safety, sustainability, value for money.