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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am new to trailering. Just got the hitch installed. No trailer yet.

Is there a reason to use safety chains, or NOT to use them?

I would think if everything went sideways, I would be better off AWAY from the trailer.

What does the voice of experience say?
 

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Safety chains are required on trailers. They are to be crossed under the trailer tounge to keep the tounge from hitting the road surface in the event the trailer comes loose from the hitch. They also protect the other vehicles etc., on the road.
If your trailer is decent and loaded properly, you don't even know its back there.
 

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So you don't mind killing another guy on a motorcycle with your out of control trailer as long as you don't get hurt?

Sounds about right
I think you are reading more into his comment than there was. I am sure he did not think about the trailer affecting others. If he didn't care he would not have asked.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So you don't mind killing another guy on a motorcycle with your out of control trailer as long as you don't get hurt? Sounds about right
Have another cup of offer there Jed's, I think you need a little more caffeine. :joke:

I wasn't ACTUALLY planning on killing anyone today. I'm just a new trailer puller and wondered about the ACTUAL risk of a trailer dangling and bouncing around at the back of my bike versus the THEORETICAL risk it might, by some off chance, get loose and hit someone else (rather than just run off into the weeds, which seems statistically MUCH more likely).
 

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How can you not know what a trailer would do if it broke lose?
because you simply focus on one scenario. For example, if I ride in the right lane and the road has a crown then the trailer should fall to the right, away from oncoming traffic. Or all of my trailering is done on the superslab where there is a concrete barrier between the oncoming traffic.

Most people cannot think of all scenarios, only the ones we are familiar with, that is why we ask for advice.

I agree we should try to anticipate all scenarios (RISK MANAGEMENT) but we are fallible humans.
 

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Trailer Safety Chains

I felt compelled to write a response to this thread based on what happened to me this past Monday.

I am anal about most things including my bike and the Tailwind trailer I pull behind it which has a lot of safe miles on it. But due to my own ignorance, I forgot to latch and lock the hitch coupler prior to my departure from the camp site. Luckily I had my safety cables attached. Coming back from Myrtle Beach on US 17 N, 50 miles north of my departure point, I went over a RR crossing rise at about 60 mph and suddenly my trailer started fishtailing. I thought I had a blow out on the trailer but no, the coupler came off the ball. Emergency procedures went into action. Dethrottled, no sudden braking, and eased over to the side of the road.

After I inspected the situation and changed my shorts I connected the coupler to the ball, latched and locked it this time. There was no damage to either the trailer or bike or any other vehicle.

Punchline - ALWAYS use use safety chains or cables. ALWAYS check that your coupler is firmly latched to the ball and locked. Pull up on the tow bar to make sure it is solid. Often it may appear connected but the pull up test is always good to do just as a precaution.

Morale of the story - a pair of shorts is a small price to pay for a valuable lesson learned.
 
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Safety Chains

YES, I always use the safety chains. As said before I cross them under the hitch. I also give them a quick look at every gas stop. It works for me. Be safe and enjoy the ride. Larry
 

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I always use chains. Really glad I did after the hitch popped off one day and the chain was the only thing keeping the trailer from going into the other lane and killing someone.
 

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A friend of a friend was killed by a run away trailer, back around 1970. Only one I know of...but I know of drivers who pull mobile homes, who cut their chains, then fill with solder to make it look like a solid chain then pull homes....
 
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