David Gunner Co-ordinator Vehicle Standards Department Planning, Transport & Infrastructure, South Australia says there are still no specifications or set standards for shackles used in conjunction with Australian Standards (AS) rated safety chains on caravans and trailers.
The Australian Design Rules that apply to trailers and the Australian Standards call up the requirements for strength and marking of safety chains that connect the trailer to the towing vehicle, but they do not specify the requirements for the shackles that connect the chains to the tow vehicle, he says.
So there are no specifications or set standards for shackles, but it is recommended they have a rating equal or higher to that of the chain they are fitted to, he said.
The requirements for trailers can be downloaded here.
Reliable WDH AS safety chains Rated 2 tonne shackles.
If two safety chains are fitted, each must have a rated capacity equal or greater than the trailers ATM, he said.
Under the Australian Road Rules the driver of a vehicle is responsible to
Control the movement of the trailer and;
Ensure that it is safe to tow the trailer
If the trailer was fitted with shackles that were not suitable for the mass of the trailer then it could be argued that these requirements were not met. Currently a fine of $121 is applicable, David Gunner said.
INFORMATION circulated via social media recently claimed changes to Queensland law now required safety chain shackles used when towing a trailer to be rated under Australian standards. The information also claimed police were enforcing this requirement in the Gympie area. Queensland Police has issued a statement debunking the claim as a myth.
Vehicle Standards can advise that under the current legislation, while the safety chains that are used to connect a trailer to a towing vehicle are required to comply with Australian Standard AS 4177.4 Caravan and light trailer towing components, there is no legal requirement for shackles to comply with a particular Australian Standard, said the statement.
However, in the interest of road safety, the Department of Transport and Main Roads strongly recommends that vehicle operators use shackles that are either certified to AS 2741-2002 Shackles or are identifiable as having a suitable design for the trailer and towing vehicle combination.
The Police statement said these requirements are not new and have been consistent across most States and Territories for many years.
Also See -
Safety chains on GSA Blue Sky caravan.
D Shackle Furphy.