2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4, Page #31[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
New Trailer Weight Distribution System
WD is vital to safe towing. Too much weight on the rear axle of a towing vehicle with a bumper-towed trailer can cause problems with steering and braking. Weight distribution restores front axle load. Too little tongue weight can induce swaying.
A WD system is needed if a trailerís gross tow weight is more than 50 percent of the vehicle weight, if the tow vehicle sags when hooked to the trailer, and if itís difficult to steer or stop.
Standard components for a WD system include a trailer receiver hitch attached to the frame of the towing vehicle, a special WD shank, a WD head assembly, spring bars, and frame brackets.
The WD shank slides into the receiver hitch and provides an attachment point for the head assembly. The WD head assembly attaches to the WD shank and provides a place to mount the hitch ball and a point for the spring bars to attach. Friction sway control bar mounts or integrated sway control points may also be included in the head assembly. The frame brackets mount to the frame of the trailer.
Spring bars do the work of WD. Theyíre mounted between the frame brackets and the head assembly. They apply leverage to either side of the hitch setup to transfer weight.
The Continuum WD system includes all needed components, including the hydraulic system, except for the vehicle-mounted receiver hitch. Estimated installation time is 30 min. or less using a single 9/16-in. wrench.
Once installed, Continuum WD features driver-side setup and adjustable weight loading. A hydraulic cylinder pins to the spring bar assembly. Itís activated with a hand pump attached to the frame brackets. Pumping it loads the spring bars as needed to transfer weight. Load is released by twisting a needle valve. A pressure release valve (max. 2,500 lbs.) prevents overloading the hydraulic systemís 3,000-lb. capacity.
Traditional weight distribution spring bars are steel. Continuum spring bars are Hendrickson Liteflex composite bars. Theyíre five times more flexible than steel, with the same strength and less weight.
B&W Continuum WD hitches are priced from $1,299 to $1,339. In addition to the standard components, they come with a pressure gauge to ensure a repeatable setup. The company provides excellent how-to videos on installation, proper setup, and load adjustment.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, B&W Trailer Hitches, P.O. Box 186, Humboldt, Kan. 66748 (ph 800-810-4918; www.bwtrailerhitches.com).
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