8 Towing connections
8-1 Light trailer drawbar and kingpin
Reasons for rejection
1. A trailer with a laden weight (Note 2) of 2000kg or less without a compliant breakaway brake, except for the following trailers, does not have a safety chain or cable:
- a trailer designed for armament purposes by the New Zealand Defence Force.
- a trailer pump for fire fighting purposes.
2. A trailer with a laden weight (Note 2) between 2001kg and 2500kg (where the vehicle inspector is able to determine the laden weight) that does not have a compliant breakaway brake:
a) is not fitted with two safety chains that cross each other when connected, or
b) has chain links with a material cross-section less than 7.1mm, or there is no evidence that each chain has a breaking strength of at least twice the laden weight of the trailer (Note 3).
3. The drawbar or drawbar mounting (or kingpin or kingpin mounting):
a) is not securely attached, or
b) has a bolt, nut; or pin that is missing or significantly corroded; or damaged, or
c) has corrosion damage (Note 1) within 150mm of a mounting point, or
d) is cracked or distorted.
4. The drawbar coupling (or kingpin):
a) is not securely attached, or
b) is not mounted in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications, or
c) is worn beyond the manufacturer’s specifications, or
d) is significantly corroded, distorted or cracked, or
e) has a nut or locking pin that is missing or significantly corroded.
5. A safety chain or cable (including any welded joint, securing bolt or shackle):
a) is not securely attached to the drawbar, or
b) is welded to the drawbar, and
i. there is no clear evidence of weld penetration, or
ii. the weld metal has not been applied in accordance with good trade practice, or
iii. there is no evidence that the chain can be welded without reducing its strength, or
iv. the weld is significantly corroded, has deteriorated or is cracked.
c) is significantly corroded, distorted or cracked, or
d) has a bolt or shackle that is missing, significantly corroded, distorted or cracked, or
e) appears to be too weak to withstand a load of about twice the likely maximum laden weight (as far as can be reasonably estimated by the inspector) (Note 3).
6. The trailer is an unrepaired Trailpro 8x4 Tradesman (model number TP5) or a Trailpro 8x5 Tandem (model number TP8), with a bolt-through drawbar attachment (these trailers are subject to safety recall) (Note 4). See Figure 8-1-2 for advice on identifying these trailers. See Figure 8-1-3 and Figure 8-1-4 for advice on identifying repaired Trailpro trailers.
7. The trailer is a Trailpro Handyman (model number TP1) (Note 4).
Corrosion damage is where the metal has been eaten away, which is evident by pitting. The outward signs of such corrosion damage is typically displayed by the lifting or bubbling of paint. In extreme cases, the area affected by the corrosion damage will fall out and leave a hole.
Laden weight means the weight of the trailer and its load, if any, for the time being carried. A vehicle inspector may be presented with a trailer (usually unladen, such as a boat, car or horse trailer) that has a laden weight below 2000kg, but that is likely to have a laden weight exceeding 2000kg when it carries its normal load. In such a case, the vehicle inspector should make the vehicle operator aware, for example by putting a note on the checksheet, that the trailer may not comply with safety chain or shackle requirements when the trailer carries its normal load.
A safety chain or shackle may be marked as complying with a standard and with a chain designation size that equals the maximum laden weight of the trailer, for example, with 25 or 2500 which denotes 2500kg. This means the chain and shackle are suitable for a trailer with a laden weight of up to 2500kg as the standard has already taken into account the required breaking strength.
There is a safety risk with the Trailpro brand of light trailers which were sold through Bunnings NZ between 1 January 2006 and 12 October 2018. Bunnings is now recalling all Trailpro trailers, other than Trailpro 8x4 Tradesman (TP5) or 8x5 Tandem (TP8) models that have undergone Bunnings-approved repairs as part of an earlier recall. These can be identified by the serial number on the identification plate ending with an “R” (see Figure 3-1-6). A TP5 or TP8 trailer with a serial number ending with an “R” may be issued a WoF if it passes all other checks. More information can be found in the safety recall notice on the Transport Agency website.
Figure 8-1-1. Tow coupling components
Figure 8-1-2. Identifying a Trailpro TP5 and TP8
Bunnings is currently working on a repair process and we will update this once that is in place.
Affected trailers are fitted with an identification plate which is located on the outside of the trailer drawbar near the tow coupling.
Location of the trailer identification plate
Identification plate similar showing model number
The identification tag may be missing, faded, damaged or obscured. All Trailpro models have drawbars that are bolted rather than welded to the trailer. The TP5 has a single axle and a tray size of 8'x4' (2.4m x 1.2m). The TP8 is a tandem axle model with a tray size of 8'x5' (2.4m x 1.5m).
Bolted through drawbar attachment to trailer
Broken drawbar (sitting on trailer)
Figure 8-1-3. Trailpro plate showing repaired status
Figure 8-1-4. New front mount of the repaired Trailpro 8x4 and 8x5 trailers
Summary of legislation
1. A trailer must be fitted with a tow coupling that is fit for purpose and in sound condition.
2. A trailer with a laden weight (Note 2) of 2000kg or less without a compliant breakaway brake must have a securely attached safety chain or cable, unless the trailer is one of the following:
a) a trailer designed for armament purposes by the New Zealand Defence Force.
b) a trailer pump for fire fighting purposes.
3. A trailer with a laden weight (Note 2) between 2001kg and 2500kg that does not have a compliant breakaway brake must:
a) be fitted with two safety chains that comply with standard ADR 62 (determination 2, 1995) and that cross each other when connected, and
b) have a coupling system that has a manufacturer's load rating commensurate with the laden weight of the trailer.
4. A trailer must be be fitted with a tow coupling that is fit for purpose and in sound condition.
5. A safety chain or cable must be of sufficient strength to hold the trailer secure under all conditions of road use.
Page amended 12 March 2020 (see amendment details).
- General vehicles
- Heavy vehicles
- Light PSVs
- Heavy PSVs
- General trailers
- Heavy trailers
- Unclassified vehicles
- Technical bulletins (general)
- Technical bulletins (CoF)
- Interim amendments