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He Built His Own Pickup "Shock Hitch"
The cost of a commercial pickup shock hitch prompted Marshall Litchfield, Macomb, Ill., to design and build one himself for his Chevy 3/4-ton pickup.
  "I used mostly scrap metal which kept my total cost to under $100. Commercial shock hitches sell for up to $500," says Litchfield.
  He used 2- and 3-in. sq. tubing and 3-in. channel iron to build the main frame. A leaf spring off a pickup mounts on edge at the back of the frame. The back end of a commercial 2-in. receiver hitch bolts to the center of the leaf spring. It cushions the forward and backward movement of the hitch. To adjust the amount of cushion the spring provides, Litchfield designed a bracket connected to two steel rods that he can move to change the mechanical advantage of the spring.
  A pair of latches can be released, allowing the receiver hitch to slide out and back and forth for hooking up.
  "I built it last winter after I bought a pickup that was equipped with a utility body but not with a hitch," says Litchfield. "I used it last year to pull my anhydrous wagons and seed-hauling trailers, as well as a 20-ft. tandem axle utility trailer. It'll support a lot of weight. My pickup isn't very high so I cut a hole in the bumper and mounted the cushion hitch inside it, instead of mounting it below the bumper.
  "Most commercial pickup shock hitches use a coil spring. The leaf spring makes the hitch more compact. The way I adjust the amount of cushion by changing the mechanical advantage of a spring - is unique. On commercial models you adjust the amount of cushion by tightening or loosening the coil spring, which isn't an easy job."
  Litchfield also rigged up a large rear view mirror that makes it easier to hook up implements to the hitch. The mirror is bolted to a pair of strap irons that are clamped to the pickup's tailgate.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marshall Litchfield, 15340 N 700 Rd., Macomb, Ill. 61455 (ph 301 254-3481).

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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #2