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Chain Help, Length And Hooks?


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#1 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 09:35 AM

I wanna get some more chains for trialer hauling. I know of straps and have lots of them. Sometimes I just wanna have a chain, and also for pulling GT up on trailer or truck, say with a winch. I've usually had 5/16" chains for big tractors, but kinda big for smaller ones. SO, thinking of finding 1/4". What you guys think is better choice for length? Seems mine are always way long or too short, never just right. Thinking around 12ft for good size, yet times when 8 is better or even short little 5ft ones? Getting into 20ft with little chain makes no sense to me. Also, what hooks to have? There are grabber hooks to lock back into chain, and the more open slip hook. I have a chain with one of each that seems OK most times, but never exact for every haul. AND, a 1/4" chain surely doesn't have very big hook in first place to get over hold-downs and lugs either. Kinda guessing slip type would be best on small chains.

Maybe there just ISN'T a good all around combination in a a chain and you just need several types and hooks and etc?? What you guys use most?

#2 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 10:16 AM

I'm far from expert, and would generally prefer to use straps. That said, if you want to use chains, I'd say get the kind of hook that goes on a link and stays there, that won't slip. That way, the placement of your hook will help with adjusting the overall length of your chain. I'd probably use something like a "D" ring as a hold down. Then once you've adjusted your chain as tight as you can, get a chain binder and crank it down. If you want to be flexible, get some of the hardware store hooks that have the removable pin, as that would allow you to swap from one style of hook to another as needed.

#3 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 10:33 AM

For adjusting a chains length to winch a tractor onto a trailer I'd use a longer larger chain and get a Stainless steel quick link, the type that is spring loaded. This can be run through the links of the large chain at any point and that will adjust the length. Not sure if that's a clear description but the basic idea is that a large long chain is all you need if you can adjust the length.

#4 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 01:19 PM

I agree with what you were hinting. I have 2 - 1/4" x 12' chains with grab hooks on both ends, a 1/4" x 6' chain with a grab hook on one end and a slip hook on the other. I have 3 - 1/4" binders to work with them. I use the chains for hauling onto the trailer or truck back and to bind down the chasis. I use straps to bind the body and accessories. I have a hand winch on my trailers and sometimes the winch cable and all straps are needed to tow a tractor that is not accessible any other way. Remember that many times more is better. Good Luck

#5 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 01:43 PM

I use a slip hook on one end and a grab hook on the other(that gives me an either or option on where or how to hook). Like Harold said I use the pin on hooks and use a clevis pin(Hair pin type) so I can adjust the length of the chain to suit the application. I had not thought of it, but one of the quick links Brian mentioned could be used to tie back extra chain if your running it shortened. I should have they are what I use to hook the safety chains to my hitch.

Edited by JD DANNELS, October 25, 2012 - 01:45 PM.


#6 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 01:44 PM

If you had two- say 5' chains, you could hook them together to make a longer one.

#7 UncleWillie ONLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 01:50 PM

I prefer a strap because it doesn't scratch up the tractor as bad as the chain does. With the chain 2 8 footers are more useful that one 16 footer. You can always join the chains to make them longer. Also easier to carry around a shorter chain.

#8 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 05:24 PM

Years ago I had a 1/4" "sweet-iron" chain about 7-8 foot long. This was the handiest thing for all kinds of moving, holding, lifting! It had the grab hooks on each end.
I also had a couple of larger 3/8" "sweet-iron" chains....1 was around 12' and the other was 20'. These chains were very heavy, but when I had a tractor/mower stuck in the waste stabilization lagoons, I wanted a strong chain when pulling the tractor out of the muck!
I got the 3/8" chains from a fellow that ran a road grader in the coal mines. The mine workers would use a chain, leave it in the mud and they were done...This guy would grade the chains out of the mud, throw them to the side, pick them up later and bring them to some of us lucky guys in town....Can you say pilfering?

#9 coldone OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 05:57 PM

The only thing I can add is that its much easier to shorten a chain that to make it longer.

#10 Ryan313 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 06:25 PM

I have a milk crate full of all kinds of chain, of all different sizes with all different hook. Some chains work better then others for certain jobs. I normally just take the crate with me when I pick up a tractor. That way, I know I have any chain I could need! The same for doing tree work, I take the whole crate. The only problem is that when the crate has all of the chains in it it is HEAVY!

Like said, I would rather have a few shorter chains then have one big long one.

#11 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 09:21 PM

I have a milk crate full of all kinds of chain, of all different sizes with all different hook. Some chains work better then others for certain jobs. I normally just take the crate with me when I pick up a tractor. That way, I know I have any chain I could need! The same for doing tree work, I take the whole crate. The only problem is that when the crate has all of the chains in it it is HEAVY!

Like said, I would rather have a few shorter chains then have one big long one.


Boy can I relate to that! I bought my Ford 1500, which has 24 inch wheels and the guy gave me a 5 gal bucket with the tire chains in it. I can barely carry it.

#12 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 25, 2012 - 09:41 PM

We buy the prefabbed 25' HF chains, cut them in half, and add new hooks to the cut ends. Pretty rare we fall short.

Making them shorter isn't a big deal with the over center binders. We always used 5/16 or 3/8 chain with the big ones, but changed over to 1/4 for the small ones.

One tip, if you have different length chains, paint the ends a different color. Ours are red for 12' gold for 20, blue for short. That way, when in a bucket, they're easier to find.




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