Solving Problems with Over Centre Latches on Trailers & Ute Trays

Heavy duty over-centre latches are commonly used to secure the drop side trays on utes and trailers. There are however a few problems and safety issues that can occur with this style of over centre latch. These include:

1. Potential Injury from Protruding Latch

When uncoupled the trailer or tray’s latch can protrude outwards that can accidently gouge someone moving around the vehicle. The protruding latch can also be accidently knocked and damaged.Photos showing examples of over centre latches protruding from ute trays

Protruding Over Centre Latches on Trailers and Ute Trays Can Cause Injuries or be Damaged

2. Damaging the Ute

When the over centre latch is uncoupled and the tray dropped, the latch can protrude as pictured below, resulting in the paintwork on the mudguard being damaged.

Photo showing how over centre latches can damage a ute's paintwork
When the Ute’s tray is dropped the protruding over centre latch can damage the mudguard’s paintwork

3. Latch Accidently Disengaging From The Catch / Hook

For Over Centre latches to work they must be secured into the Over Centre position. There can often be a few millimetres between being properly secured and insecure, where the latch can unintentionally decouple from the catch / hook.

A latch that hasn’t been secured properly on a trailer or ute tray can result in the ute’s contents being spilled during transport, with obvious safety hazards.

A Better Solution for Trailer & Ute Tray Latches

Uniseg Product’s patented Snap-Flat over center latch prevents injuries and damage to your vehicle through its unique self-closing ‘SNAP-FLAT’ feature.

Side View photo of the Snap-Flat latch for Trailer & Ute Tray applications
Snap-Flat latch (model SFM8-304) for Trailer & Ute Tray applications

The Snap-FlatTM  Over Centre Latch includes 2 springs that ensure that when the latch is de-coupled from the catch / hook, that the latch and handle ‘Snap’ back into a secure FLAT POSITION. This prevents the latch from flapping around and protruding from the ute’s tray.

Snap-Flat latch installed on a ute tray
Snap-Flat latch (8mm) installed on a ute tray. Latch SNAPS-BACK and is secured in the flat position when decoupled.

The Snap-Flat over centre latch also delivers an important benefit for trailer and tray applications through its ‘FAIL-SAFE’ feature. The ‘FAIL-SAFE’ feature is where the latch will not accidently de-couple from the catch / hook, when the latch has not been secured into the over centre position. That means that if the operator hasn’t properly secured the latch, the Snap-Flat latch will still stay engaged and protect the contents of your trailer or ute tray.

The Snap-Flat latch’s design and use of 304 stainless steel ensures strength, long-term durability and prevents corrosion of the latch in harsh Australian environments. The latch has a rated breaking strain in excess of 1 tonne, so is suitable for most heavy-duty applications.

The brochure below contains further details concerning the Snap-Flat latch (model SFM8 304), including detailed measurements.

Purchasing the Snap-Flat Latch

You can purchase the Snap-Flat latch online, here:

or you can buy from our resellers.

If you have any additional queries please feel free to call us on 0414 646 321 or email your queries here.

Other Snap-Flat Latch Applications

For other Snap-Flat latch applications see the following:

Pop Top Caravan Roof Clamps / Pop Top Latches

Camper Trailers & Pop Up Campers