The Department of Transport and Main Roads has recently issued new requirements with relation to the safety chain connections to tow bars. Please read the below insert from the Safe Towing Guide which can be viewed here.
Safety chain(s) must be suitably and appropriately connected to a tow bar. The use of a shackle is permitted, provided the shackle used is fit for the purpose and compatible with the safety chain in terms of strength and size. It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner/operator to ensure that a shackle, if used to attach the safety chain to the tow bar, is fit for the purpose and compatible with the safety chain. This can be demonstrated in a couple of ways:
1. Use of a shackle that is compatible with the safety chain AND complies with AS 2741-2002 “Shackles”. In this case the shackle will have appropriate markings.
2. Alternatively, the use of a shackle that is compatible with the safety chain AND is of a reputable brand. In this case, the shackle will have appropriate markings to show the brand and/or part identification sufficient to trace its brand.
Oz Wide trailers now offer marked and rated D-Shackles that meet the new legal standards for just $5. You can view and purchase this product here.
Please Note: It is the responsibility of the vehicle owner/operator to satisfactorily address inquiries raised during any roadside audit by an enforcement officer and a shackle that does not have any markings makes it difficult to establish its strength or compatibility with the safety chain.