Trailer hitches are generally available in four weight limits:
The weight of a trailer and the trailer's tongue weight should never exceed the weight limits set by the trailer hitch manufacturer. Contact the hitch manufacturer for weight limits.
Safety chains are required between the hitches of towing vehicles and the tongues or tow bars of towed vehicles. This also applies between the first and second towed vehicles. If two chains are used, the chains should be crossed under the tongue or tow bar to prevent the tongue or tow bar from dropping to the road if the hitch accidentally disconnects. Chains should be long enough to permit full turning of the towed vehicle but short enough not to drag on the road.
Chain with a breaking strength equal to the weight of the towed vehicle(s) will comply with Ontario's requirements. If two chains are used, the breaking strength of each chain would need to equal the weight of the towed vehicle(s). A guide to chain break strengths is provided at the Farm Guide: Chain Strengths website.
The breaking strength of chain hooks, attaching devices and the point of chain attachment to the vehicle should be equal to or greater than the breaking strength of the chain.
Note: safety devices such as cable and metal links may be used in lieu of a chain.
Many North American trailer manufacturers install "S" type chain hooks on light duty trailers. These hooks are specifically designed to remain attached to the towing vehicle when the hooks, chains and vehicles are used properly. The hooks in Figures 1 and 2, without retainers, comply with Ontario requirements. Figures 3 and 4 show hooks with retainers. Many Ontario motorists now prefer the hook with a retainer. Chain hooks, other than "S" hooks, that are not specifically designed for light duty trailer application may require a retainer to ensure the hook remains attached under normal vehicle use.
Fifth wheel trailers do not require safety chains or cables provided the fifth wheels have operating safety latches. Goose neck type trailers that utilize ball and socket type hitch connections, are required to have a safety chain.
Vehicles mounted on dollies are required to be secured to the dolly.