Auto/Vehicle

How to Weight Distribution Hitches Work and Which One to Choose

You may have experienced a scare or two when pulling large loads on a trailer. Hence, you need the proper weight distribution hitch to enjoy trouble-free towing. However, not all weight distribution hitches are appropriate for all vehicles.

Hence, you must learn more about the various weight distribution hitches, such as the Blue Ox SwayPro, to fully understand when and why they are essential when towing.

What Is a Weight Distribution Hitch?

You require proper weight distribution when driving at higher speeds, on uneven roads, in bad weather, or while dragging loads. Otherwise, the vehicle can sway, swerve off the road, lose control, or topple over based on the conditions.

Your weight distribution system diverts the weight to the axles of your trailer and the tow vehicle. In simple terms, the hitch you use reduces the burden on the tow vehicle’s rear axle. By distributing the weight as needed, it ensures the stability of the vehicle.

How Does the Weight Distribution System Work?

Your vehicle has two types of weights:

  1. Gross Trailer Weight (GTW): The total weight of the loads, fuel, and anything else in the trailer.
  2. Tongue Weight: The load in the front part of the trailer and behind the trailer’s rear axle that presses down your hitch.

If the tongue weight varies too much compared to the GTW, the vehicle can swing or lift off the ground. Proper weight distribution hitches prevent such complications by improving the vehicle’s maneuverability. Ideally, the tongue weight will be 10-15% of the gross vehicle weight.

Choosing the Right Weight Distribution Hitch

If the hitch you choose is too light, it won’t be effective. In contrast, if it is too heavy, you will be in for a bumpy ride.

To choose the correct weight distribution hitch, follow these steps:

Calculate the Total Tongue Weight

Typically, you don’t need a weight distribution component for class 1 and class 2 trailers. Heavier trailers and those with a GTW of more than half of the gross vehicle weight require a hitch. It will help prevent swaying, braking problems, etc.

You can get the weights by measuring them at a truck stop using a commercial scale. First, find out the gross vehicle weight by driving the tow vehicle with the trailer hooked up. Subtract the tow truck weight you get after loosening the trailer, to find out the exact weight.

Pick a WDH with the Right Capacity

Weight distribution systems have two types of ratings. They represent the maximum trailer weight to haul and tongue weight to distribute. You should choose a hitch with a higher rating than the load you want to tow, but not too much.

For instance, the distribution can get unpredictable if you choose a 1000-lb tongue weight rating for a 300-lb cargo. On the other hand, you should not try to haul 1,500-lb cargo with a 1000-lb rated weight distribution hitch.

Products like Blue Ox SwayPro use a clear rating system that helps drivers find the best match.

Some truckers opt for additional features like hitches with sway control systems. You can also choose from round or trunnion styles, depending on the spring bars you require.

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