Trailer Safety Chain Quick Facts!

May 29, 2016

It’s boating season! Time to review some Trailer Safety facts! Here are ten quick facts to review before attaching a trailer to a vehicle:

1. Trailer Chains 10,000lbs and lighter conform to the SAE J-684 industry standard.

2. Trailer Safety chains are classified in a “Class” determined by the GVWR, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, in lbs.

Class 1 3000# GVWR

Class 2 3500# GVWR

Class 3 5000# GVWR

Class 4 7600# GVWR

3. Definition of GVWR, Gross Vehicle Rating:

Is the maximum load of the total trailer weight, this includes everything on the trailer itself. This weight can be found on the factory installed placard on the trailer.

4. If using hooks with a lower rating than the chain in an assembly, you must decrease the GVWR of the assembly to the rating of the lowest component.

5. Trailer chain assemblies should be measured from inside the bottom of the end link to inside the top of the hook at the opposite end (bearing point to bearing point.)

6. NEVER twist trailer safety chains. Zip ties are a safe and effective way to shorten a trailer chain by gathering the excess links.

7. It is NEVER ok to spread the link of a chain to accept an oversized bolt.

8. When attaching chains to a vehicle, always cross the chains. Crossing the trailer chains aids in turning the trailer by reducing the probability of stress. It also acts as a cradle in the event of separation from the tow vehicle.

9. Clear and or Yellow Zinc are the most common finishes for trailer safety chains.

10. NEVER use a trailer chain assembly for an overhead lifting application.


If you or your customer have any questions about trailer chain applications or which type of chain is best for your uses, give our Laclede sales team a call. We are happy to help!