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Recovery Shackle Guides

How to Replace Your Trailer's Recovery Shackle

A trailer's recovery shackle—also known as D-ring tie downs or lashing rings—is a D-shaped look that's reminiscent of the belt buckle. It moves inside a steel hasp that's screwed or bolted into a robust, rugged, and secure substrate. These cargo-bearing D-rings or recovery shackles come in variety of capacities, sizes, and safe working load ratings that you should familiarize yourself with prior to installing them to your trailer.

Difficulty Level: Moderate

What You'll Need

  • Trailer D-ring(s) or recovery shackles
  • Electric drill (optional)
  • Socket set (optional)
  • Pilot bit (optional)
  • Screwdriver

Step 1: Before installing your D-ring recovery shackles, you should know the number of D-rings required for keeping your cargo in place as well as their best locations when being placed unto your trailer. Sometimes, the trailer has designated areas for recovery shackle placement and sometimes you need to make mounts for them instead.

Step 2: D-ring recovery shackles should be placed so that any cargo they're securing is completely supported by them in all directions. Otherwise, making shackle anchor too close or too far from the cargo could result in them sliding and toppling as you drive along with them. This is especially important for fragile cargo.

Step 3: The trailer bed's hasp should be correctly positioned so that the recovery shackles fall toward wherever the load will be placed. Incidentally, a hasp is a type of fastener used commonly on lids and doors consisting of a hinged metal strap that is secured by padlock and fits over a staple.

Step 4: You can use washer, bolt, or nut assemblies as well as screws and coach bolts in order to fasten your recovery shackles into place. The tools you have to use for each respective fastener for your D-rings will naturally vary as well.

Step 5: For example, before coach bolt installation with your socket set, use an electric drill with a pilot bit for them. For screws, just use a screwdriver. You also need to drill holes entirely through the trailer bed that's big enough to accept bolt shanks if you're using assemblies of the washer, bolt, or nut variety.

Step 6: As for D-ring recessed trailer recovery shackles, they usually come with a backing plate of sorts. This recessed recovery shackle variant can also be installed anywhere on the trailer although this time it's designed to be recessed (sunken) unto wooden surfaces.

Step 7: The steel backing plate, meanwhile, serves as a stronger tie-down point compared to other D-rings with no such plates. To ensure D-ring recession, you need to first drill a 3¼-inch hole in the wood.

Step 8: Using the backing plate as a template, also drill four holes within the big hole reserved for mounting bolts. Put the plate over the 3¼-inch hole then line up the mounting holes up so that you can attach them with nuts and bolts.

Step 9: Make sure to place your trailer floor tie downs properly so you won't end up drilling into the steel frame when making those huge 3¼-inch holes for your tie-down recovery shackles to sit in.

Recovery shackles are usually installed at several areas around the trailer's perimeter so that chains or straps can be attached between them and the cargo they're carrying. They're then tightened or stressed to hold the cargo in place. How you go about anchoring your D-rings to your trailer will depend on the type of shackle (recessed with backing plate or non-recessed).

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