Proper weight distribution is really important in trailer hauling. It’s what makes the difference between a safe and smooth ride and a rough one. Being able to distribute weight evenly will keep you, your vehicle, and your cargo safe.
In most cases, the center of mass in your trailer setup is located at the center of the hitch. However, this isn’t ideal for every situation. Sometimes you need to shift the weight around a little. This is where weight distribution hitches come in. You can use them to shift the center of mass forwards or backwards. This allows you to tweak your setup to suit your cargo. Let’s look at all the advantages of having a weight distribution hitch.
The Pros of a Weight Distribution Hitch
Ensures Even Distribution
Even weight distribution is really important, especially if you’re dealing with heavy cargo. Uneven weight can lead to your drive being really rough. And in extreme cases, your cargo and trailer can become damaged as well.
A simple weight distribution hitch gives you greater control over weight distribution. You can make adjustments and ensure that your ride is smooth and safe.
Increase Your Towing Capacity
Being able to evenly distribute your weight lets you increase your towing capacity as well. A cargo load with optimized weight distribution will cause lesser swaying and shifting. This lets you load more stuff onto your trailer without worrying about losing control.
Feeling your cargo sway and shift during your drive can be nerve wracking. It makes your ride stressful and mentally tiring. Having a weight distribution hitch will decrease the amount of stress in your drive. You won’t have to check on your cargo as much. You can focus on enjoying your ride. Plus, you won’t have to make regular stops to adjust your cargo.
By increasing stability in your cargo, a weight distribution kit increases safety. Not only for you, but for everyone around you as well. There’s a smaller chance of your cargo falling on a busy road. You don’t have to worry about your vehicle’s control being compromised either due to any swaying and shifting.
Lesser Wear & Tear
Constant swaying and shifting will expose your cargo and your vehicle to all kinds of unwanted forces. These can increase the overall wear and tear that your vehicle has to put up with. A weight distribution hitch keeps everything in place. And by doing so, it keeps your cargo from getting damaged or from inflicting damage onto your vehicle.
How Do Weight Distribution Hitches Work?
Weight distribution hitches are surprisingly simple devices. They usually consist of spring bars that can be adjusted in order to distribute weight. Their installation is really easy and once they’re in place, using them is simple as well.
Trunnion Bar Hitches
These kinds of hitches use flat spring bars that are connected to a ball mount. Their installation is really easy, you can have them ready for use in no time at all. Trunnion bar hitches are ideal for setups that tow heavy cargo.
Round Bar Hitches
If you tow lighter cargo then round bar hitches will be great for you. These are designed for dealing with lighter loads. Their design also takes up less space, letting you connect your vehicle and trailer with more space. The downside of round bar hitches is that it can be hard to install.
How to Further Increase Stability?
Weight distributions hitches can increase stability by a wide margin. They keep your cargo balanced and more manageable. However, they aren’t able to do a lot when it comes to dealing with swaying. Large and small cargo loads tend to cause swaying that can have a negative impact on your drive. Your trailer can sway for a number of reasons. It could happen because of the wind, the road being uneven, or because your cargo is simply too heavy.
Sway control devices are great at completely eliminating swaying. These devices can be added to your setup to greatly increase the smoothness of your drive. Sway control devices work by either preventing swaying before it happens on reducing it after it happens.
Independent Sway Control Devices
This type of sway device makes use of friction in order to prevent swaying. It consists of friction pads that are connected to both sides of your trailer. The pads prevent swaying by stopping the trailer’s sideways motion. When used with a weight distribution hitch, the sway control system uses the additional tension to keep the trailer in check.
This sway control device does come with a few limitations. It cannot be used with hydraulic brakes. It also prevents you from backing your vehicle without damaging it. An independent sway control device will place some restrictions on your vehicle movement.
Dependent Sway Control Devices
Dependent sway control devices rely on resistance in order to keep the trailer in place. The constant resistance being produced by this device prevents any swaying from taking place. When compared to independent devices, these ones are a lot more reliable. This is because they don’t prevent you from backing your vehicle. You can also use them with hydraulic brakes without any trouble.
There are two kinds of dependent sway control systems out there:
- Dual-cam sway control systems use cams in order to prevent swaying. Their use of cams makes them exceptionally robust. This device connects one end to your trailer’s frame and the other to the lift bracket. The spring bars are supported by these cams, limiting their movement.
- Four-point sway control systems rely on spring bars to produce resistance and limit sway. These spring bars get connected to the trailer’s frame at four different points. They are set in place very tightly to produce resistance. This resistance prevents your trailer from swaying.
What’s The Difference Between Weight Distribution & Weight Carrying?
A lot of people get confused about weight distribution and weight carrying. In order to take proper care of your trailer, you need to know what is what.
Weight distribution systems use spring bars in order to increase the stability of your trailer. Increased stability means that your cargo’s weight gets spread out more evenly. This ensures that no part of your trailer has to deal with more weight than it can handle.
Weight carrying is something that happens in regular hitches. Basically, all of your cargo’s weight gets shifted to the rear of your trailer. What this does is place too much pressure on your rear axle. This can decrease the lifespan of your trailer and also decrease stability.
Overall, weight distribution is what you want to work on. Investing in a reliable distribution hitch will really be worth it. Not only will it make your cargo more manageable, but it will also increase the lifespan of your equipment.
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