SAFE TOWING SETUP
Husky Towing Products new Center Line WD hitch makes it easy to manage those heavy equipment and utlity trailers
by Bruce W. Smith
The scene was almost comedic.
The front wheels of the pickup pulling a 24-foot equipment trailer nearly came off the ground as it drove over a raised railroad crossing.
What stopped the upward lurch was the trailer ball on the reversible hitch hitting the ground, sending sparks flying.
Oblivious to what happened, or just unconcerned, the driver motored on down the road with the mini excavator securely strapped to the trailer deck.
Pickups and SUVs towing heavy equipment and utility trailers on the factory hitch, front ends high, rear suspensions sagging under the loads is an all-too-common sight.
Not only is towing in such a manner unsafe because vehicle control is compromised, it’s a serious liability issue for the vehicle’s driver and the company that owns or has contracted the tow vehicle for the task.
A contractor friend of mine fits right into the “my truck can handle anything I need to tow” mentality.
He uses his 2003 Suburban to tow trailers to and from jobsites, including a hydraulic dump trailer used primarily to haul away debris.
And he does it all using the factory Class IV hitch and receiver that came with his truck.
What his setup isn’t is in compliance with the vehicle manufacturer’s towing guideline of being “properly equipped” for the loads.
Back then GM required all vehicles towing trailers weighing more than 5,000 pounds use a weight-distributing hitch, not the standard shank-and-ball setup.
But a recent close call with losing control of his vehicle while towing the dump trailer made my buddy re-evaluate his towing setup.
He decided, after all these years, to install a WD hitch per GM’s directions.
On my recommendation, he chose the new Husky Towing Products’ Center Line WD system. It’s easy to install, competitively priced, and provides the optimum in trailer sway control.
The Center Line WD hitch incorporates a new design to help minimize sway using special trunnions that have built-in springs to apply progressive-compression pressure so the spring bars fight against trailer sway.
This “active sway control” system is smooth and efficient. (More conventional WD hitches use friction at the ends of the sway bars to dampen sway, which is far less efficient.)
- The “Easy Adjust” head alignment systems allow quick and easy installation set-up.
- Compression cylinder creates resistance to sway.
- Cam-style trunnions activate the compression cylinders to control sway.
- Tapered torsion spring bar provides proper weight distribution.
- Streamlined sturdy bracket design instead of chains for easy, no-drill set-up.
Installation takes about an hour.
But after the initial setup is done, it takes less than a minute to hook up the trailer and hit the road.
“I can’t believe how much nicer it is towing that trailer,” my friend Karl said when we hit the road for a test drive with the Big Tex dump trialer filling up the rear glass. “It almost drives like I don’t have the trailer back there. This is something I should have done years ago.”
And they say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…
What Karl still needs to be reminded of is that just because he is utilizing a WD hitch doesn’t mean he can tow any trailer he wants. There’s stilt that little issue of Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings to contend with.
(The photo gallery below highlights our Husky Center Line installation.)