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How Are Safety Chains Rated


I have a question about tow safety chains. I thjink I read in several places that I should use saftey chains which are ratedinch at 2x the GTW. On your pages - if I see a chain which says say 5,400 lbs - is that the rated capacity, and thus that would only be enough for a 2,700 lbs trailer, or is that chain already doubled and thus it would be for a 5,400 lbs trailer? If I understand right for a totally flexible class III hook up I should have 7000 lbs rated chains?


Expert Reply:

Safety chains come in a variety of classes: Class I (2,000 pounds gross trailer weight or GTW), Class II (3500 pounds GTW), Class III (5,000 pounds GTW), etc.

It is important that the capacity of the chains exceed your GTW, the weight of the loaded trailer.

I think the 5,400 pounds you are referring to is the chain's Working Load Limit, which is about 1/3 of a chain's break strength. Safety chain requirements state that the breaking strength of each chain should be equal to or exceed the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR of the trailer.

A Class III hitch is rated for a maximum gross trailer weight of 5,000 pounds. So you will want safety chains rated as high or higher than the hitch capacity, such as safety chains # 1483-535-04, which have a working load limit of 5,400 pounds.

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