Most people who have hauled a trailer have experienced that heart-pounding moment when the trailer begins swaying back and forth, that is, unless they use a weight distribution hitch. These devices are a must when it comes to towing a trailer. So, how does a weight distribution hitch work?
Weight Distribution Hitch Basics
When a trailer is connected to a tow vehicle, there is an increase in the weight at the vehicle’s rear. This added force can change how the vehicle handles due to an imbalance of weight between the front and back of the vehicle. When this imbalance isn’t addressed, it can result in trailer sway as the vehicle and trailer are in motion. Trailer sway is dangerous and can cause an accident, damaging your trailer, your vehicle, or even yourself or other drivers on the road.
How Does A Weight Distribution Hitch Work?
To answer the question, “how does a weight distribution hitch work” it should be said that a weight distribution hitch works, in a sense, by distributing the weight more evenly to the tow vehicle. So what does that mean exactly? A weight distribution hitch alters the point where the load from the trailer is transferred to the vehicle. Rather than the weight being centered on the point where the trailer and vehicle connect, the weight distribution hitch distributes the weight across the axels of the vehicle and trailer. Having too much tongue weight based on the gross trailer weight can the trailer hitch and the tow vehicle’s rear axels to dive. This can be visibly seen as the front of the trailer goes toward the ground and the front of the tow vehicle raises up. If this is too extreme, your vehicle can lose the ability to get traction and brake properly, which is very dangerous.
The Components of a Weight Distribution Hitch
There are 3 main components that make up the actual weight distribution hitch.
- Ball Mount: This is part of the tow vehicle that looks like a round ball.
- Hitch Receiver: This is a type of trailer hitch that bolts onto the underside of the tow vehicle.
- Spring Bars: The spring bars are a vital part of the weight distribution hitch. They are what helps force the trailer to stay in line with the towing vehicle.
How A Weight Distribution Hitch Prevents Trailer Sway
Preventing trailer sway might be one of the most important reasons to use a weight distribution hitch. Trailer sway can be caused by a number of factors such as uneven weight distribution, sudden gusts of wind, passing a large truck on the highway, or bad weather conditions. When traveling at high speeds, like on a highway, if the trailer begins to sway, it can rapidly gain momentum and regaining control can be quite the challenge. With a weight distribution hitch installed, the spring bars are continually working to keep the trailer in line with the tow vehicle by adding pressure on one side of the other.
Get a Weight Distribution Hitch Today
Before you take your next trip out with a trailer in tow, install a weight distribution hitch to ensure you make it to your destination safely. SwayPro and TrackPro by Blue Ox are both excellent options for preventing trailer sway before it starts. They are easy to install and do not require you to disconnect before backing up. They each offer an easy to use design that makes hookup and disconnecting a breeze. Visit our website to learn more or to order yours today.