When trailing a boat in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, safety is imperative. Countless preventable accidents have been caused by the failure to properly secure boat trailers to tow vehicles. One of the most crucial elements of trailering safety is the use of chains. Here is what you need to know about trailer safety chains. 

What Is The Function Of A Trailer Safety Chain

The purpose of chains mounted near the tongue of the trailer is straightforward. Chains prevent the trailer from breaking free of the tow vehicle should the coupler not be appropriately attached to the ball. 

Chains extending from the trailer connect to the base of the vehicle’s tow hitch. The tow hit is bolted to the bottom side of the truck, van, or car. 

If the coupling disconnects from the ball, the chains prevent the trailer from running wildly in motion away from the tow vehicle. Chains are in place to allow the driver to slow the car and reattach the trailer. 

Drivers who have failed to utilize safety chains have caused accidents resulting in death. Always remember to connect the chains. 

How Do You Attach A Safety Chain To A Trailer

Chains are bolted on the left and right sides of the trailer’s coupling. The chains must be capable of extending from the tongue to the hitch of the tow vehicle with a slight sag to accommodate turns. 

Extend the chains from the tongue and connect the left side chain to the right side hitch clip and the right side chain to the left side hitch clip. 

Before walking away, verify that the chains, coupling, light, and break wiring are securely connected. Use these tips for properly securing a trailer to the tow vehicle. 

How Long Should A Trailer Safety Chain Be

While the chains must not be taut, they should not drag on the ground. Consider the implications of a taut chain when turning. The chains would be placed under tremendous stress and prevent the trailer from turning with ease. 

When determining the proper chain length, turn the tow vehicle hard over to the left or right. Measure the most significant distance between the tongue and the hitch. The measurement is the minimal length of chain required for proper maneuverability. Lastly, add in an additional inch for safety.

Does A Trailer Need 2 Safety Chains

Yes, two chains are required to maximize strength in the event of trailer separation. Additionally, should one chain fail, a second is in place to perform the function of preventing a runaway trailer. 

Why Do You Cross The Safety Chains On A Trailer

While not directly associated with safety, two chains perform an additional function. The crossing of chains forms a stout platform. Should the trail come free, the coupling lands on the crossed chains rather than the ground. 

Should separation of the trailer occur at high speeds, the tongue would become severely damaged, striking and dragging on the ground. In essence, the chains keep the front of the trailer elevated in a natural position allowing the driver to stop the vehicle while maintaining control. 

Now You Understand The Importance Of Trailer Safety Chains

When it comes to trailering safety, chains are essential. Ordering and installing new chains is a simple task because the chain bolts directly to the trailer. We recommend etrailer.com when it comes to online shopping for tailer supplies. Remember, a crossing pattern keeps the tongue elevated in the event of separation. Lastly, perform regular inspections on the tongue to ensure the chain bolts are snug and the chains are in good condition to avoid breaking.