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Safety chain extension permanent solution to meet Australian towing standards

September 03, 2012
 Safety chain extension permanent solution to meet Australian towing standards

Hayman Reese now has a towing product which permanently extends safety chains to meet Australian Standards. GoSee found that installation takes about 10 min in a bolt on process. No welding is required. The safety chain extension suits 550lb and 750lb Hayman Reese kits.

It uses lock-pins to lift the safety chains off the ground and eliminate drag. A tip for GoSeers - use the pictures in the Hayman Reese instructions to assist  in easy set-up.  The picture shows the lock-pin holder lug goes at the bottom to match the offset of the angle-spacer on the tow head.

Do it this way and it is impossible to confuse left and right fittings. Another thought on towing housekeeping - GoSee thinks it is  probably common for people whose towing chains are a bit short to extend with chain which may not be AS standard for the job. This also applies to shackles.

In all states in Australia safety chains are mandatory. For a laden trailer up to 2500 Kg, a chain of at least 10 mm diameter is required. Refer AS 4177 - 4 - 1994.

The chains must attach between the A frame, or draw bar of the trailer to the main towbar framework.

This attachment is by D shackles, which should be at least 12.6 mm thick.

Hayman Reese safety chain extension bracket
Hayman Reese safety chain extension bracket

It is vital that the chains should attach to the main towbar framework and not to the ball mount. Even though all of a heavy duty tow bar should be made to withstand the strain, if there is a failure it is more likely to be in the ball mount than in the towbar body.

If the chains are attached to the ball mount, and it should snap or become detached, the chains are useless. The chains are there for safety, so put them where they can best do their job - on the towbar body.

Part Number 08333 Description, safety chain extension kit for classic series 550lb & 750lb WDH

The tow bar should be rated to tow the load. Tow bars manufactured after July 1, 1988 for passenger vehicles are marked with their load capacity and the vehicle model for which they are intended.

Do not assume that the tow bar fitted to your vehicle is necessarily suitable for the job that you intend it to do - especially if you bought the vehicle second hand. Towballs suitable for up to 3500 kg must be 50 mm in diameter and must meet the Australian Standard AS 4177 - 3. To meet this standard the shank needs to be 22.2 mm in diameter and should have 50 and 3500 or 3.5 tonne stamped on it.

Left-hand chain extension holder fitting.
Left-hand chain extension holder fitting.

Top view  before bolts are tightened
Top view before bolts are tightened