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Do You Have the Right D-Shackle?

June 08, 2022
Do You Have the Right D-Shackle?

D-Shackles are the final connection between your caravan’s safety chains and the vehicle. There is often a lot of confusion around the requirements for D-Shackles in terms of whether it needs to be rated and if it needs to be a specific colour, namely yellow. Let's look at these crucial concerns by looking at the current Australian Standards.


Australian Shackle Specifications

According to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia (‘CIAA’), the current standard for Shackles is AS 2741-2002 as per the Standards Australia Committee. The purpose of this Standard is to promote the safety of Shackles. However, this standard covers Shackles for lifting purposes and not Shackles used explicitly in applications such as attaching a trailer or tow bar. As a result, there are currently no regulations requiring Shackles used on trailer safety chains to comply with the Australian Standard.

However, the CIAA recommends for purposes of safety, you should meet the requirements of the AS 2741-2002 in the Australian Standards. This standard should be used to secure rated safety chains up to 3500kg capacity. Suitable shackles specifications include the following:

  • The Shackle grade is “S” or “6”
  • The working load limit is 1000kg
  • The Shackle diameter is 10mm
  • Either a Bow or D-Shackle may be used


Shackle Colour Requirements

Following the same principle as above, there are no special Shackle colour requirements. As there are no legal standards to follow and nor is it mentioned in AS 2741-2002 of the Australian Standards, it is safe to assume that your caravan Shackles do not have to be yellow, green, blue, orange or rainbow. The manufacturer of the Shackle generally determines the pin colour. Sometimes the colour yellow is used by manufacturers to identify that they meet the requirements of a rated Shackle (i.e. AS 2741-2002).


Therefore, you are not legally required to adhere to any specific Shackle guidelines at this stage. However, it is highly recommended you use rated shackles that follow AS 2741-2002 specifications.


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