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Wednesday, 13 Feb 2013

National rules short on specifics but South Australian police urge rated shackles for towing safety

2 tonne shackle tight fit on Hayman Reese drawbar and through safety chain.
2 tonne shackle tight fit
on Hayman Reese drawbar
and through safety chain.

It is not an offence to have a non-rated D shackle connecting the safety chains of a caravan, trailer or horse float to the tow vehicle, South Australian police said today.

Nor is there truth in an 'urban myth' that SA Police are targetting those who tow for using unrated shackles, SA police said.

But police strongly urge the public to make the change to a rated D shackle for peace of mind when towing and as part of a positive outlook on road safety, Senior Constable First Class Paul Bryant South Australia Police Road Safety Centre said.

Safety first is already in place in  some industry areas, Northstar Jeep in Kippa-Ring Qld fits weight rated D shackles to genuine Jeep tow bars as a priority, Managing Director Bob Aldons said today.

Bob Aldons says he supports safety first and Northstar Jeep offered to sponsor  this Information Article for the benefit of those who tow across Australia.

GoSee randomly contacted other  industry GoSeeAustralia supporters today and Far & Wide Camper Tailer Hire and Sales  said they only use 2 tonne rated bow shackles on their products. It was they  said a " no-brainer".

Senior Constable First Class Paul Bryant South Australia Police Road Safety Centre said:

“I have received a determination from DPTI (Transport SA) in relation to D Shackles when they are used to attach a trailer safety chain to a motor vehicle as prior to this determination it was suggested by the Vehicle Standards Section of DPTI that, as the actual D shackle forms part of the safety chain when attached, then that D shackle must also comply with Australian Standards", Senior Constable First Class Paul Bryant said.
Seriously endorsed shackle.
Seriously endorsed shackle.

"As you are aware, the safety chains themselves (on trailers manufactured after August 1989) are required to meet the requirements of AS 4177.4 Caravan and light trailer towing components -

Safety chains up to 3500 kg capacity and therefore must be stamped with the rating information, but it seems that the D Shackles are not covered by this standard. They are actually covered by AS 2741 Shackles", he said.

"Those who have read the SAPOL Traffic Information Page Tip 11 would be aware SAPOL have stated that the public should fit rated shackles. DPTI agrees that this is good advice, but it is not law. Unfortunately the rules regarding D shackles are not explicit".

"Neither ADR 62 Mechanical Connection Between Vehicles or rule 158 of the Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Rules 1999 do any more than require shackles to be strong enough to meet the specified loads. DPTI suggests that several websites, including some of the other state transport authorities, call up this standard, although this is advice and not law in all of these jurisdictions".

"A shackle complying with this standard will be stamped with rating information and this is sufficient proof that the shackle complies with the law. However, the lack of such stamping is not proof that the shackle fails to meet the law".
Safety chains on GSA Blue Sky caravan
Safety chains on GSA Blue Sky caravan

"DPTI also state that there are mixed views nationally as to whether karabiners are shackles in this context. They suggest that (a) the various laws and standards refer to either ‘shackles’ or ‘D shackles’ and nowhere mention karabiners or other like devices and (b) they very much doubt that a karabiner that would pass through a properly rated safety chain would have sufficient strength to support the required loads. They would therefore strongly advise against the use of karabiners in place of D shackles".

Editors Note: karabiners are an oblong metal ring which opens and closes via a spring clip or safety closure.

"Where does this leave us?"

"It is the view of SAPOL to strongly urge the public to make the change to a rated D shackle for peace of mind when towing and as part of a positive outlook on road safety".

"As part of the SAPOL Road Safety Section we will continue to promote rated D shackles to the public as a road safety measure.”

"The bottom line is that in SA it is not an offence to have a non-rated D shackle connecting the safety chains to a motor vehicle", Senior Constable First Class Paul Bryant said.

Editors Note:  A1 Caravans in Adelaide has agreed to provide rated towing shackles for the GoSee Shopping Cart.  They will sell on GoSee for $22 per pair including GST and delivery anywhere within Australia. 

The rated  shackles are up on GoSee shopping under category 'Couplings, Locks and Mates'

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory
Acknowledgement - With the help of our generous sponsor Northstar Jeep, in Kippa-Ring, Queensland on the Redcliffe Peninsula GoSeeAustralia has  put together this Information Article. Sponsors cover the cost of staff time researching stories.  

 It is through sponsors like this that GSA and GSNZ and their information library  have remained  free to users for the last nine years. 

Northstar Motor Group is one of South East Queensland's largest Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge dealers. They were awarded the Fiat Chrysler Northern Metro Dealer of the Year for 2012. Northstar traces its history back over 40 years when Alistair Stewart and Mal Wright Chrysler kicked off in Margate, another Redcliffe Suburb. Through owners Bob and Suzi Aldons, Northstar has grown to be one of the largest privately owned companies in the area, but hasn't lost sight of the importance of being a community member.
Northstar Motor Group sells Chrysler Dodge, Isuzu Ute, Volkswagen, Alfa Romeo Fiat, Mahindra, Used Cars and importantly for this story Jeep.


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