Licensing BT in WA - tow hitch

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:00
ThreadID: 120693 Views:3155 Replies:11 FollowUps:0
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We are in limbo land with the licensing - WA licensing authority wants to know the capacity of our tow hitch, and are querying the safety chains. They say the chains need to be minimum 12 mm high tensile, but our chains are 13 mm non high tensile. It is on a 1998 18' BT, which with 2 previous owners has probably been round Oz at least twice. Does the picture i attached show? Any technical knowledge out there that can help us? Thanks
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:02

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:02
I can't see the picture so will try again with it smaller
AnswerID: 562837

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:03

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:03
3rd time lucky? My feathers are getting ruffled trying
AnswerID: 562838

Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:04

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:04
Try putting your photo in the album instead of an attachment.
It is too small to see any detail.

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AnswerID: 562839

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:05

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:05
G'day Motherhen, The states and territories have their own legislation and sometimes what is black in one state is white in another. One example was the reduced speed limit in NSW when towing which has since been rescinded. The states got together and The Australian Road Rules was the result but some states still opt to imply their own regulations above and beyond the ARR which is their right and you have to comply. Firstly you have to find what is required by the state, to be registered in that state. This might need some leg work on your part to source a copy of the rules or at least talk to a friendly inspector to clarify what is needed. If they do require 12mm hi-tensile (and lord knows what that means ..do they want certified weight load alloy or 12mm chain with hi-tensile stamped on box) it is not very hard or expensive to purchase and attach it to draw bar. If you have one of the very old BT hitches that was not rated you might be wise to upgrade to an AT35 hitch which is rated at 3.5 tonne and stamped on it. That should appease the rego authority. I also take it by hitch you really mean coupling ? The hitch receiver is the 2 inch hole bit and includes the whole towbar ...the hitch is the piece that slides into it ...and the coupling is the piece that bolts to the hitch and the BT a -frame plate thus coupling the van when the pin is engaged. If you do mean hitch ..that is not usually marked so you would need conformation from the manufacturer. If you mean hitch receiver (towbar) a plate is usually spot welded on with the rating of the bar. If yours is older and does not have this you have to go to the manufacturer once again. Its a pretty good inspector to be able to look at chain painted silver or galvanised and recognise if it is hi-tensile or not ? He might be looking at the line where the link joins and deciding whether it is forged links or electro-joined chain ? Who knows hey !!?? [smile] Regards Anthony Explore this Great Land ...Do it Easy ... Tow a Bushtracker
AnswerID: 562840

Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:06

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:06
Motherhen
Here is an extract from the National Code Of Practice "Building Small Trailers" (includes caravans.)
All States are supposed to be in agreement with this code.
The chain quality is covered by another standard, AS 4177.4 –1994
So you need to read that standard to be sure.
Unfortunately I do not have a copy but another member may be able to help.

Extract follows;

12.3 Drawbars Safety Chains
All pig trailers with rigid drawbars and any other trailer without breakaway brakes, must be fitted with safety chains complying with the following:

• trailers of ATM up to 2.5 tonnes must have at least one safety chain complying with AS 4177.4 –1994, or as amended from time to time;

• trailers of ATM over 2.5 tonnes and up to 3.5 tonnes must have two safety chains of designation of 3500 kg complying with AS 4177.4-1994;

• trailers of ATM over 3.5 tonnes and up to 4.3 tonnes must have a chain size of at least 7.1 mm, a minimum chain breaking load of 6.4 tonnes, be made from steel of a minimum 800 Mpa breaking stress and conforming to the mechanical properties of Grade T chain as specified in AS 2321-1979 ‘Short Link Chain for Lifting Purposes (non calibrated).

trailers of ATM over 4.3 tonnes and up to 4.5 tonnes must have a chain size of 9.5 mm, a minimum chain breaking load 11.6 tonnes, be made from steel of a minimum 800 Mpa breaking stress and conforming to the mechanical properties of Grade T chain as specified in AS 23211979 ‘Short Link Chain for Lifting Purposes (non calibrated) or as amended from time to time (Effective from July 1998)
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AnswerID: 562841

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:07

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:07
Thanks for your replies - i'm not much good at techno-speak! Our bar (? a frame) has the comliance plate for the caravan on it, so must be original - gives the tare of caravan etc, but not the load capacity that our guys are looking for - Anthony seems to sum it up saying some of the older ones were not rated. Our inspector went off with the Bushtracker phone number - don't know if that will help.
AnswerID: 562842

Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:08

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:08
Hooray - common sense has prevailed! They have accepted the towbar and have licensed our BT. All i need now is a good Lotto win so i can get to see the other side of Australia.
AnswerID: 562843

Reply By: Luvntravln - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:09

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:09
hi Does anyone know whether the chain provided by BTi complies with the 3500 to 4300 category? Even before my ATM was increased from 3500 to 4000, my BT plate indicated that the suspension was rated 4000. tgintl/jay We are currently exploring the vastness of Australia. Details of our adventure are posted at www.geocities.com/luvntravln.
AnswerID: 562844

Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:10

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:10
Jay, why not ask the factory?

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Reply By: Luvntravln - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:11

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:11
Hi Change size is interesting; however according to Rob Buchanan at Vehicle Components chain size for a BT is not relevant and not required because all BTs are equipped with an electronic breakaway system and therefore not required to use safety chain. There you go - tgintl/jay Rob will be at Copeton so everyone can ask about this issue.
AnswerID: 562846

Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:12

Thursday, Aug 05, 2004 at 23:12
Jay have a read of the trailer standards in the documents section.
it seems to say that only trailers without breakaway brakes need chains.
However individual State Authorities may still have their own requirements that overide the national Code Of Practice.
Need to check with the authority in the State of Registration.

12.3 Drawbars Safety Chains
All pig trailers with rigid drawbars and any other trailer without breakaway brakes, must be fitted with safety chains complying with the following:
• trailers of ATM up to 2.5 tonnes must have at least one safety chain complying with AS 4177.4 –1994, or as amended from time to time;
• trailers of ATM over 2.5 tonnes and up to 3.5 tonnes must have two safety chains of designation of 3500 kg complying with AS 4177.4-1994;

Regards
Turist
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AnswerID: 562847

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