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Good afternoon from Texas, USA!


I’ve ran flatbeds for 10+ years. And on bigger trucks, F250, box trucks, sprinter vans etc ive always used chains and at the rear crossed chained them in an X. I’ve never had issue. Until, I started this new company and the boss chewed me out for it. Pros and cons? Are we both correct are we both wrong? 

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Theoretically, Your new employer is correct. To try and explain my reasoning for this, lets use a standard Long shank J-hook/ tie-back chain on a solid rear axle housing as an example.

Most all towing/transport rigging is designed to be pulled against in a 90 degree fashion. so our J-hook is most effective when pulled straight back on the throat of the hook. When pulling across the deck in an x fashion, the pull could be angled more to the sides of the throat instead. 

There is also the chance of getting the hook "pinned" against the leaf spring or bump-stop bracket for instance which would then put sideways pressure on the shank of the hook, possibly bending it or allowing it to flex as the vehicle bobbles on the deck travelling down the road.

Mini-J's , T-hooks and R-hooks not pulled on directly back at 90 degrees will try to curl out, thus putting excess pressure away from the throat and more towards the finger of the device.

If the tie-back slots in your deck are not generally lined up with the direction of the pull also can reduce it effectiveness. 

So, what I am getting at, is it is more about how the rigging device is designed to be used as opposed to the chain itself. 

A chain wrap / grab hook around the rear axle housing and back to a lined up slot in the deck I suppose would be technically fine. Right?🤔

Now, with all that being said, I have seen plenty of guys through the years that x their tie backs and never ever had an issue and probably never will. Where this might come into play would be in a god-forbid major wreck where an investigation or law suit would take place. If it is determined that the equipment was improperly used as per design, even if the towed vehicle stayed put and really had nothing to do with the wreck, It could be used as a tool against you and put you on the proverbial Hook for judgements, civil suits, etc... 

Of course this is all just my opinion on the matter. Sadly, these days we have to look at most everything in a "will this get me sued " type of outlook..

Btw, Welcome to the forums Mr. TexasTowman.  



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The only time I have crossed the back tie downs in on an irregular load and I would not use the J hooks, I would be wrapping a chain and using a binder


Along the same lines, do you have the ability to adjust each chain?  A proper 4 point tie down is supposed to have the ability to adjust each of the tie down point.




Stay Safe

A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a great friend will ...

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That video is a real eye opener! I have been using wheel straps for years because I find it is the quickest way to accomplish a 4 point securement and I don't like crawling around under a vehicle looking for attachment points.

Looking at this reminds me of the insanity I see with Uhaul car trailers using basket straps on the front tires and a single chain at the rear that is obviously not strong enough to hold a large dog, with no way to tighten it.

Light duty towing & recovery in Whitehall MT since 1980.

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