Lanyard Breakaway Switch Safety Alert.
Check your caravan and trailer over 2000kg for correct safety switch lanyard installation.
Safety switch lanyards are approximately 120cm long. On the other hand, safety chains are 64cm long.
The manufacturer perfectly matches breakaway lanyards with safety chains.
When the pin is pulled, safety chains are at full stretch.
Further, this test is easily completed by attaching your chains to the tow bar and push your rig backwards.
In extreme circumstances, is possible for the caravan or trailer to become detached from the tow vehicle and NOT engage the electric brakes. The minimum period for electric brake application is 15 minutes.
Couplemate recommends the following inspections by owners and inspection stations.
- Firstly, check the lanyard is shorter than the caravan safety chains.
- Secondly, ensure breakaway switches are affected by water ingress thereby causing failure when the pin is pulled.
- Thirdly, pull the pin on your breakaway before every journey to test current flow to your electric brakes. You should hear your magnets engage.
Electric brake magnets make an audible sound when engaging. As a result of not hearing your magnets engage, take your rig to your service centre for investigation.
Breakaway pins are subject to UV degradation. The breakaway switch must be replaced once the pin brakes due to age.
Install breakaway switches facing forward for the pin to be pulled effectively during detachment.
Inspect the inside of your switch contacts for signs of dirt which causes failure during testing.
A breakaway switch may have to delivery 12.8 Amps to four magnets on a tandem rig. If the contacts are dirty, heat will be generated in the cable.
With your chains connected and jockey wheel on the ground, push your caravan so that your safety chains are at full stretch. If your pin fails top pull, measure the slack lanyard and shorten. If your breakaway switch fails after being pulled, we recommend switch replacement and be sure you include a rubber boot to help prevent future water ingress.
Notably, breakaway switches are designed to engage electric brakes if the trailer or caravan becomes detached. During excessive sway, caravans can become dislodged.
When the pin is dislodged, the brakes are immediately engaged thereby stopped the sway and braking the caravan to a stop.