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Discussion Starter #1
I've been tinkering with this for a while, and today I hit on something that seemed to work very well in terms of how to anchor my machine to my trailer so that it's rock-solid and nothing gets scratched up or damaged by the chains.

I have an Anderson Manufacturing 18' equipment trailer rated for 10k. It has 16' of flat deck plus a 2' beavertail and fold-down ramps. There is one stake pocket behind the wheels and three in front of the wheels on each side. Here's how I tied down today.

Drive onto the trailer, bringing the machine up to a point where the rears are someone over the rear axle or slightly forward. Loader in the raised position with the bucket on. Drop the chain down through the middle stake pocket and pull the grab hook up and latch it on the front bumper bracket - do this on both sides. Once the chain is attached to the front bumper on each side, roll the tractor back to take up the slack in the chain.

Place the bucket in the full "dump" position and lower to the bed. Curl until it rests a few inches in front of the chain crossing the deck then rest on the deck. Drop the 3PH with ballast box into the full down position. Set the parking brake and leave the machine in gear.

Drop a hook through the rear stake pocket, bring it up on the outside and hook on the pocket. Do this on both sides. Lay the chain over the draw bar and catch the 2" ball that is attached there. Ratchet binder used to take up the slack here and make everything tight.

Second ratchet binder along the chain across the deck at the front to make everything very tight there. Heavy duty strap across the tops of the loader arms, using the stake pockets directly in front of the rear tires to anchor to.

Chains do not touch anything that can be scratched and the strap adds an additional layer of security for the loader and the bucket. Here are some pics.

Trailer pulled excellent - smooth, no sway, stopped nicely, no chattering. Machine never moved.
20120915_173400.jpg 20120915_173409.jpg 20120915_173423.jpg 20120915_173432.jpg 20120915_173442.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just wanted to add that I talked with the service folks at my dealer and asked them for input on this method of cinching down the machine and pulling. They said that it's essentially the way they would move it with the one exception being that the bucket wasn't lying flat. As a commercial entity, the DOT requires the bucket be flat to ensure it doesn't bounce around. They quickly added that having the bucket flat on the deck doesn't actually satisfy this need, but use of the heavy strap over the loader arms does.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I believe they also require 4 separate chains-one at each corner and another on the bucket(s). Good thread here: http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/trucks-trailers-towing/4847-lever-chain-binders-vs-ratchet-chain-binders.html
The commercial haulers absolutely have to adhere to DOT standards across the board on all items, including number of tie-downs, points of tie-down, etc. For folks like us, we should conform whenever and wherever we can. I currently have two Grade 70 chains and two ratcheting binders. I am finding that I like having the longer length to tie down the firewood logs that I have been hauling, so I will likely keep the two long chains that I have.

I was planning on having these two chains cut and buying four more grab hooks to facilitate having four chains. At this point, however, I will likely just buy two more [shorter] chains and call it good. I will then be able to use the shorter chains up front with no binders and the longer chains in the back with the binders. Everything will still be tight and I'll be able to tie down at the same point.

Since the only thing I'm securing with the strap is "the loader", I believe I can do that safely and legally with just the one strap up over the arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I thought I would add some more info here...

I stopped off at TSC the other day and bought a 20' Grade 70 chain plus two additional Grade 70 grab hooks (3/8" - same as what comes on the chain). I asked the store to cut the 20' chain in half and will install the two hooks that I bought to yield two new 10' chains.

Grade 70 chain is $5/foot ($100 for 20') and the hooks are something like $13 each. That would be $152 for the chain plus the hooks if I bought everything piecemeal. By buying the pre-made chain for $80 and the two hooks, I spent $106 for the same end result.

My plan going forward will be to load exactly as I showed here except that I will use the 10' chains on each corner of the front of the machine and will use one 16' chain each on the rear. I will use the two ratcheting binders on the rear chains to take up slack after attaching the front chains and rolling the machine back to tension them. If I need the chains shorter on the front, I will twist them to get the length I need.

With the grab hooks, I can also overlap the ends of the 10' chains and create an 18' chain if I need another longer chain for something.

When I load up again, I'll take photos of the new method and post them in here.
 

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I thought I would add some more info here...

I stopped off at TSC the other day and bought a 20' Grade 70 chain plus two additional Grade 70 grab hooks (3/8" - same as what comes on the chain). I asked the store to cut the 20' chain in half and will install the two hooks that I bought to yield two new 10' chains.

Grade 70 chain is $5/foot ($100 for 20') and the hooks are something like $13 each. That would be $152 for the chain plus the hooks if I bought everything piecemeal. By buying the pre-made chain for $80 and the two hooks, I spent $106 for the same end result.

My plan going forward will be to load exactly as I showed here except that I will use the 10' chains on each corner of the front of the machine and will use one 16' chain each on the rear. I will use the two ratcheting binders on the rear chains to take up slack after attaching the front chains and rolling the machine back to tension them. If I need the chains shorter on the front, I will twist them to get the length I need.

With the grab hooks, I can also overlap the ends of the 10' chains and create an 18' chain if I need another longer chain for something.

When I load up again, I'll take photos of the new method and post them in here.

Being they are "home made",why not just redo the chain to the length that works the best.
Twisting isn't really a good habit to get into. Maybe a link or two,but I wouldn't go much more than that. Link chains aren't meant to be twisted.

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Being they are "home made",why not just redo the chain to the length that works the best.
Twisting isn't really a good habit to get into. Maybe a link or two,but I wouldn't go much more than that. Link chains aren't meant to be twisted.

Greg
I wouldn't twist them to take up "feet" of chain, only small amounts... If they turn out to be that much too long, I will add a second set of hooks specifically for the tractor. I want them as long as possible to be as useful as possible for a variety of tasks. I have to actually load it up and see how they fit to determine whether I need an extra set of hooks or not.
 

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Just a note, next time you need to buy chain or hooks check with some local semi trailer dealers and shops, specifically flatbed outfits. You can usually find chain, hooks, binders, and other related hauling stuff cheaper than traditional retail stores like TSC. I'd have to check the receipts, but I think the last grade 70 hooks I bought were about $3.00.
 
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