Several years ago, Bullitt Automotive owner Val Sharp, towed a large caravan behind a tilt tray truck loaded with his prized Cadillac, from Brisbane to Adelaide and back. Due to the heavy/ stiff suspension on the truck, the caravan almost destroyed itself, and the long jerking and bumpy ride for Val and his wife was horrendous. After looking into sprung towbar assemblies for the truck, priced at several thousand dollars, Val and a good friend who’d had a similar experience went looking for an alternative. They contacted ShockerHitch in the USA.
About 13 years ago, in the small North Dakota town of Arthur, Bob Sagen, a former race car driver, chassis builder and custom car trailer manufacturer, who had towed various trailers both loaded and empty over many thousands of miles, designed and engineered an air bag assisted tow hitch which would fit a standard 2” (50mm) towbar receiver. The improvements in ride were so outstanding he decided to manufacture and market ShockerHitch throughout the US.
Following a trip to the North Dakota facility, Bullitt Automotive was appointed sole Australian distributor for ShockerHitch.
As a vehicle towing a trailer passes over bumps, potholes, dips or other road imperfections, the damaging energy is passed from the tow vehicle to the trailer and back again, causing stress on trailer drawbars, towbar connections and trailer or caravan frames. It can result in cracked welds, worn and broken bolts and rivets and damage to equipment and fittings. It also makes for an uncomfortable ride in the tow vehicle and can be extremely stressful for livestock riding in a float.
The air bag assisted ShockerHitch, which slides into a 50 mm (2”) or 64mm (2.5”) standard towbar receiver tube, utilizes the air bag to remove the unforgiving metal to metal connection between the tow vehicle and caravan/trailer/horse float. The geometry of the design centers around a solid pivot pin which allows a rocking motion cushioned by the air bag to smooth out the road produced shocks both up/down and forward/back. The air bag pressure is easily set to the drawbar weight of each piece of towed equipment, and the tow ball height is adjusted to suit, by moving the mount plate up or down through the range, with simple locking pins. Therefore, the ShockerHitch can be easily transferred from vehicle to vehicle and can be used for towing any piece of equipment fitted with a towball or pin type coupling.
The engineering and manufacture of ShockerHitch products is second to none and incorporates a solid steel mounting bar and a greaseable pivot pin. The hitches are rated to 12000 Lbs, which is well over the 4500 kg maximum towball rate in Australia. (3500 kg max. for 50 mm ball, 4500 kg max. for 70mm ball) a 2 ½” shaft option is available as is a conversion for late model US style trucks. Two soft bump bushes form a second line of defense against particularly heavy road bumps. A range of optional ball mounts includes raised and drop mounts for higher or lower applications. Development and improvement of the products is always ongoing.
A standard Impact ShockerHitch without an airbag is also available in Australia, as are gooseneck and fifth wheel models.
ShockerHitch Australia offers a 2 year warranty and stock a full range of rarely sold spare parts in their Brisbane facility.
You can meet the team from ShockerHitch on site OS57 during the 2021 South Queensland Caravan, Camping, Fishing & 4×4 Expo.