Safety Chains, Hammerlocks and Dee Shackles
When towing caravans and trailers, safety chains, hammerlocks and dee shackles are mandatory components in Australia.
Trailers under 3.5t require rated safety chains and dee shackles.
Dee shackles must be stamped with a maximum rated capacity to prove compatibility with the safety chain. An Unstamped chain is unacceptable unless the trailer is older than 2009 and is not being re-registered for highway use.
Trailers, caravans and other towing vehicles used on a public road must comply with Safety Chain regulations.
Many trailer parts suppliers prefer to carry rated dee shackles rather than sell the older galvanised dee shackle.
Safety chain hooks are not permissible without a locking mechanism.
Trailer Safety Chain Attachment
The trailer safety chain attachment point on a trailer is called a chain holder. Hamerlocks for towing are used to attach a safety chain to the trailer via the holder. The hammerlock shackle is graded to G80 and is high tensile.
Stamped Galvanised Chain
Every four links of the chain up to 3.5t must is stamped.
Older trailers pre-2009 need not comply with this requirement as long as they are not being re-registered.
Trailers and caravans being re-registered must be upgraded to the current legislation.
Chain not stamped
There is no requirement to stamp the Herc Alloy chain. Only chains under 3.5t must be stamped every 4 links for road use.
The chain must not be welded vertically to the trailer chassis in a manner in which the chain will hit the ground when dropped.
Joining Multiple Dee Shackles
Dee shackles are not permitted to be joined together to lengthen the chain, nor are multiple Dee Shackles allowed per chain.
However, cutting the first link near the weld and joining the two loops with a hammerlock fitting is permissible.
Trailers over 3.5t use high tensile pins to hold the Herc Alloy safety chain.
Fit safety chain holders to the drawbar and tow bar via an approved safety chain holder.
A Dee Shackle as a safety chain connection method for trailers over 3.5t is not permitted.
Furthermore, hammerlocks may be used to join the Herc Alloy chain to safety chain holders, provided the safety chain holder contains a high tensile pin.