Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Carhauler Parts: Carhauler Chain Warning

Seems like we've been hearing more and more about chains breaking. I used to think this was primarily a problem of cluster chains in the lower position that had been dragged, but I was talking with someone the other day who said he's seen plenty pop right in the middle of the chain. In his words, "There must have been a bad link or something."

He said he's seen plenty of chains on the top positions do this, so it is clearly not a wear or misuse situation.

The link is for a notice put out by Cottrell Trailers about their switch to 5/16" chain and their adoption of the longer winch bar.

I know some guys aren't into the heavier chains for their trailers, but since I occasionally drive down the highway behind auto haulers, I wanted to do my part to get the information out there!

Boydstun offers a new winch bar that tells you how much torque you're putting on your ratchet box. They have detailed information on their website regarding the proper use of their chain ratchets. Of course, whether you've got a JM Trailer, Wally Mo, Take 3, Kaufman, whatever, the basic principles remain the same. If you are new to hauling cars, find out what the proper technique is for chaining cars down. (Or using car hauler wheel straps.)

I guess maybe if gas keep going up, eventually the weight of these cars is going to go down, and then maybe there won't be all these quarter inch cluster chains popping.

Inspect those chains and straps. Get your brakes fixed before they cam over on the expressway. Carry a spill kit. Don't push too hard. Know how much your vehicles weigh and keep track. If you're traveling empty, don't leave your flippers out. (big fines in some states!)

Talk to some of the old-timers in the business who are actually making money. If you find one willing to talk, find out how he's filling empty positions, where he's finding loads, what made him successful. And also ask him about tie down chains and straps.

Remember: Safety is no accident.