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Pintle Hooks and Certified Testing

by | Aug 17, 2014 | ADRs & Regulations | 0 comments

Pintle Hooks and Testing Certificates

Pintle hooks and all towing couplings over 3500kg must be Dynamic Cyclic tested over 2,000,000 cycles, be certified to ADR62 and comply with Australian Design Rules for use on Australian roads.

pintle hook safety chain and pinThe fire truck image made us all look twice. It important drivers and installers understand how to pick the right pintle hook for installation and more importantly, check the pintle for damage before driving off.

The obvious installation error in the photo is easy to pick. Did you pick the missing safety chain and pin?

Purchase replacement safety chain and pins by clicking the image.

Towing equipment over 3.5t that is not approved can incur a fine and/or put your vehicle off the road.

Stainless tags on all Couplemate pintle products clearly identify these legal requirements.

  • with weight,
  • Company name
  • Rating
  • and others identified as prescribed by legislation.

Are pintle hooks legal in Australia?

Imported and locally pintle hooks are all legal to be used in Australia, however, the following rules apply:

  • SAE (Standard American Equipment) sold by international companies can be used on private road or properties only.
  • Australian approved product with a CRN can be used on public roads and highways.

Trucks and trailers will pintle hook and towing equipment installed before 2009 are exempt.

  • 2.3.1. 1 January 2009 on all new model vehicles.
  • 2.3.2. 1 July 2009 on all vehicles.

Ref: ADR 62/02


D-Value plays a critical role in selecting the correct towing attachment.  Select your D-Value from the chart below.

D-Value does not apply to connection devices mounted to the front of a motor vehicle or devices not intended for towing trailers.

The D-Value applies to all vehicles or trailers built after July 2009. VSB1 and DOT bulletins are additional requirements for ADR62/2.

pintle hook d-value chart

Picking the right pintle attachment is critical. The table above identifies the correct towing attachment for your truck and trailer combination.

Firstly, you need the weight of your tow rig and the weight of your trailer. Then it is a simple matter of looking at the chart above and selecting the right D-Value for your pintle hook.

Therefore,  to select the right equipment your pintle attachment must have a D-Value. If the equipment you have purchased as no D-Value, ring your supplier.

Beware of Suppliers Claims

When you are paying for certified equipment, make sure your equipment is certified.

If your supplier is claiming ADR approval, ask him for the CRN.

Some suppliers claim an SAE rating. SAE means Standard American Equipment. SAE tests are not an acceptable Australian Standard and are not compliant.

For your protection get a CRN number on your invoice or return the goods.

Couplemate is a major supplier of Pintle Hooks, Couplings and associated towing equipment over 3.5t.

If you require a 50mm combination pintle hook, the best low wear version is located here.

For weighbridge information.

ADR62/2 Applies to all towing equipment over 3.5t. Australia Standards had its origins in Germany and tested to rigorous EU standards.

SAE is the Standard American Equivalent and is less rigorous than the Australian Design Rules.

For example, the test for a pintle hook in the American market cost $300 for a static load test. This test lasts less than a few minutes.

Australian testing to Australian Design rules for pintle hooks and pintle coupling or tow eye testing is expensive.

To give you some idea costs up to $20,000 per a 2 million cyclic test as required by Australian Design Rules for some components.

When shopping for Pintle Hitches and other towing equipment, some cheap product has no testing, may explain why it is cheap. SAE is not an accepted standard of testing by DOT Canberra and will likely be rejected by vehicle inspectors.

Note: Some tow bar equipment does not need to be certified as they are not covered by ADR62

Furthermore, a label or engraved piece must identify the following as minimum requirements:

  • Company Name
  • Rating
  • Part #

Finally, if you are unsure about Pintle equipment and Testing, call us on 07 33483822 for an explanation.

© Steve Wotherspoon 17th August 2014


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