Light trailer safety shackles

When towing a light trailer you must use suitable safety chains and shackles.

Trailers are categorised by their aggregated trailer mass (ATM). This is the combined weight of the trailer and its maximum legal load.

A light trailer is one that has an ATM of less than 3,500kg and can also include caravans and boat trailers.

The ATM will be listed on the trailer's Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). 


You should use a safety shackle with a break load limit of at least 1.5 times that of the trailer's ATM. 

For example a trailer with an ATM of 1,000kg should use a shackle with a break load limit of at least 1,500kg.

Safety chains

Trailers with an ATM of up to 2,500kg only need one chain rated to at least 2,500kg.

Trailers with an ATM of over 2,500kg and up to 3,500kg ATM must use two chains rated to at least 3,500kg.

For more information about shackles and safety chains for towing light trailers go to the Australian Government's Federal Register of Legislation.

Last updated: 13 July 2016