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Old 04 April 2005, 18:04   #21
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Just about every US state (at least every one I know about) requires the use of safety chains; no requirement for these in the UK?

Safety chains are a short length of chain bolted to the trailer tongue, which are crossed under the tongue and fastened (usually by a "J" hook, ut the quick link screw things work OK as well) to the vehicles' trailer hitch. Typically, the chains hang down by 6" or so to allow enough slack for turning. Theory is that if the trailer should come off the hitch, the chains will support the tongue, keeping it from digging in to the asphalt (think pole-vaulting boat), while at the same time not allowing a runaway trailer.

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Old 04 April 2005, 18:40   #22
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Nope; no law about having to use chains here. I think these probably work more effective than the loops of wire we have, especially if they are properly fastened to the car (unlike a loop which is just looped around).
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Old 04 April 2005, 18:58   #23
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As far as I know the driver is being prosecuted for an insecure load which is easy to prove. The trailer has been impounded for Construction and
Use checks which is what you are all talking about. I will keep you posted on the findings. There is another thread going on here at the moment which includes transportation of fuel. I am the first to agree that some health and safety checks are OTT but when you see the consequences of what can happen there is no argument?
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Old 06 April 2005, 14:55   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim M
Nope; no law about having to use chains here.

Thanks Tim; Learn something new every day.

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Old 06 April 2005, 16:50   #25
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I have a Hallmark four wheel trailer which carries my Pacific 22.Apart from the normal hitch there is also a loop of chain which was fitted retrospectively by a previous owner.I fitted a Witter ballhitch to my Landcruiser which has a removable pin.I take the pin out,pass in the loop of chain,pin back in and connect up the trailer in the normal way.If the trailer becomes detached then I have 2.7 tonnes of plastic and metal joining me in the back seat-good eh!
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Old 06 April 2005, 18:12   #26
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I know the question was asked at the scene "did you you have a safety rope/chain attached?" but I agree with the past few threads there does not seem to be a requirement for a safety system for an unbraked trailer? Mind you, if you had a safety rope/chain attached it would be hard to prove that you had an "insecure load". Another point worthy of mention is, although the driver was insured to tow, this was only on a third party basis- he has lost everything.
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Old 07 April 2005, 02:55   #27
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..there does not seem to be a requirement for a safety system for an unbraked trailer? .....Martyn
Eh? I thought we had covered the requirements for "secondary couplings" earlier?
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Old 07 April 2005, 08:52   #28
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http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/group...ds_506866.hcsp

It seems rather stupid to me that unbraked trailers must have a secondary coupling but braked trailers must have a cable to apply the brakes.

For an unbraked trailer the secondary coupling must keep the nose of the trailer off the ground and still attached to the vehicle - fair enough!!! What seems truly bizarre is that a braked trailer must be allowed to detach itself and apply the brakes!!!

It would seem to me far more sensible to use a secondary coupling on ANY trailer - in fact I always do so but I wonder if I were to do so on a braked trailer and had an accident if I would be punished as that is not what the law requires?

Also didn't realise there was no legal requirement for the weight of the vehicle/trailer to be matched.
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Old 07 April 2005, 10:52   #29
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Doesnt the vehicle weight and trailer weight get covered on the GTW figure on your VIN plate i.e. Gross Train Weight = 6000kg implying that say your car weighs 2500kgs then the max trailer size is 3500kgs.

But as you said Codprawn vehicle and trailer arent matched, though you would expect the manufacturer to have figured that in when they produced the plate.
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Old 07 April 2005, 14:54   #30
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There was a discussion about trailer breakaway cables here:

Trailer break away cable

But I think the upshot was that if you had a large heavy trailer attached to the back of your tow vehicle only by a cable or chain, then, at speed this could be unstable and cause you to lose control of the towing vehicle.
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