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Old 10-16-2014, 07:38 PM   #1
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Tow Dolly Safety Chains

I know the Tow Dolly manufacture is going to recommend using the safety chains but is there any real reason to use them? If both tire straps should break I think your pretty much screwed at that point and have a 3 plus ton vehicle held on by loose chains isn't going to be good.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:51 PM   #2
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There are two reasons for using them.

First: If the safety chains are properly used, You will NOT be all that screwed.

Second, heaven forbid the straps do break or come free, and your towed runs amok into another vehicle, and their civil lawyer asks about those safety chains.

You will not only be screwed.. YOU WILL BE S*C*R*E*W*E*D*!*!*!*!
cause nobody can do it as well as a civil law attorney.
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:01 PM   #3
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I wasn't aware you could tow a 3 plus ton vehicle on a tow dolly.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:46 AM   #4
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Geez guess you do not care about others only yourself
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #5
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In short, YOU are legally responsible for any damage done by a vehicle that you are driving or towing. Generally by law, you are required to install and use saftey chains or cables. In the event the trailer (dolly) separates from your coach, or if the "Toad" becomes separated from the dolly, without saftey chains, you have a 2 - 3 ton missle, than can inflict serious damage. In the event of a "separation", you are a little screwed, because either your straps broke, or the dollly came off the ball, or worse. But, if you don't have everything tied together with saftey chains, the broken straps or broken hitch, will be the least of your problems.

I had a trailer jump off the ball once. The chains caught the tongue and kept it from digging in. I could have lost everything back there, but didn't because of the chains.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
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Humm, never saw a safety chain on a 5er or big rig. Just kidding, I pull the chains thru the wheels, using the wrench and hook them outside the tires. Don`t have to crawl under.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:27 PM   #7
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Humm, never saw a safety chain on a 5er or big rig. Just kidding, I pull the chains thru the wheels, using the wrench and hook them outside the tires. Don`t have to crawl under.

That's because of the "fifth wheel" mounting system-not ball mount or receiver hitch. I don't know on a fifth wheel trailer but a semi trailer will snap the airline and lock all the trailer brakes if it comes loose.


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Old 10-17-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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If you look at the outside of the frame just behind the bumper on your car there will be a key hole which you can drop a chain in to then fasten to the dolly, you will find this key hole on right and left frame rails. These holes are what the car carrier uses to lock the car to the trailer for delivery so if it is good enough for them it will work for you. You should be able to reach these holes without laying on the ground once you know where they are. Also with slack in the chains the car isn't going to come off the dolly the chains will tighten before that, plus your car is in park if an automatic.
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:05 PM   #9
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Oh if you flat bed a car you are required to use safety chains.

After I retired from the State Police I spent a couple years telling tow trucks where to go.. One of our drivers got pinched for failure to use BOTH safety chains, He had put on one safety chain but was in a hurry so he skipped the 2nd, and got cited.

Police will do that one.. at least to professionals.

I have had a hitch fail (Long story NOT a defect) when the locking pin came out.. I think I know how, but one can never be sure. Anyway it will not happen again,, Cost me a couple thousand in repairs but there was no damage to anyone else... Just to my towed.. The question I often ask when I look at safety cables or chains is "Will they hold" and the answer in this case was a resounding YES.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:40 PM   #10
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I had tow dolly problems on our last trip and had to unload the toad and drive it the rest of the way home. When I unloaded the toad I was frustrated as heck and forgot to unhook the safety chains from the toad to the tow dolly----the car wouldn't come off. Wife got a good laugh and so did I after figuring out the chains were still on.
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:33 AM   #11
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Humm, never saw a safety chain on a 5er or big rig. Just kidding, I pull the chains thru the wheels, using the wrench and hook them outside the tires. Don`t have to crawl under.
Actually I have seen safety chains of sorts. it is a small, lightweight steel cable that hooks between the tow vehicle and a plastic plug.

you pull that cord tight and the trailer comes to one screeching halt as the brakes come on full power.

The towed car on the dolly, does not have that system.
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:48 AM   #12
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While they are not fun to install or remove in rain, I would never go without them. That is usually when Murphy steps in and wreaks havoc.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by hdzcar View Post
I know the Tow Dolly manufacture is going to recommend using the safety chains but is there any real reason to use them? If both tire straps should break I think your pretty much screwed at that point and have a 3 plus ton vehicle held on by loose chains isn't going to be good.
So...what if the straps don't break, but the dolly becomes unhitched from the receiver? OMG, just put on the safety chains. There are various city, state, and federal laws regarding this too.

I've only seen dollies that can tow up to about 4,900 lbs. If you're going to tow a vehicle weighing over 6,000 lbs., get a trailer for the sake of everyone behind you.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:27 AM   #14
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I made brackets that bolted to the frame of the tv shorten the chains so they just hooked up. I can just reach under neath hook the chains and go. the shorten chains don't allow any movement that could leave the bed of the dolly. no laying down for me. and this is on a mini which is very low.
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