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 > Damaged 5er hitch by backing too hard

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RoyF

Fayetteville Arkansas

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Posted: 11/23/21 07:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've been hitching up for many years with no problem until this summer.
The hitch head is supposed to be a little higher than the kingpin. But this time, it must have been several inches higher. As I slowly backed into the kingpin the truck was stopped by the pin box, which did not rise up to engage.

I pressed the gas pedal a little with no result. Now the big mistake: I pressed the gas pedal a little bit more. This time, the 2021 F350 (with 1,000 foot-pounds of torque) lurched back and made a very hard impact with the trailer.

The upshot was that both my front jacks and my (brand new) hitch head were damaged. The jacks would operate, but only slowly (the motor was really struggling). The hitch release arm could be pulled out only by rigging up a hydraulic jack. Total cost: more than $1,000.

Don't do what I did. If your pin box does not lift up to engage easily as you are slowly backing then get out and raise the pin box.

cummins2014

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Posted: 11/23/21 07:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RoyF wrote:

I've been hitching up for many years with no problem until this summer.
The hitch head is supposed to be a little higher than the kingpin. But this time, it must have been several inches higher. As I slowly backed into the kingpin the truck was stopped by the pin box, which did not rise up to engage.

I pressed the gas pedal a little with no result. Now the big mistake: I pressed the gas pedal a little bit more. This time, the 2021 F350 (with 1,000 foot-pounds of torque) lurched back and made a very hard impact with the trailer.

The upshot was that both my front jacks and my (brand new) hitch head were damaged. The jacks would operate, but only slowly (the motor was really struggling). The hitch release arm could be pulled out only by rigging up a hydraulic jack. Total cost: more than $1,000.

Don't do what I did. If your pin box does not lift up to engage easily as you are slowly backing then get out and raise the pin box.



I have always been concerned with putting too much pressure on the hitch, and front landing gear when backing in . Usually I would back to just where to the two meet ,and then adjust accordingly , putting very little pressure on that hitch if any. I think the idea of pushing down on the hitch forcing the truck down a bit was to prevent high hitching . I never cared for that idea. I can certainly see if I had high hitched .

Now with the Andersen ,no worries with damaging a hitch or landing gear .

MFL

Midwest

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Posted: 11/23/21 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I never liked the idea of letting the pinbox ride up/push down on the hitch either. I can see my hitch, and pinbox, when backing, so it's easy to have it adjusted for hookup.

I've never had any problem high hitching, with any hitch, and always visually inspect, before getting into truck.

Thanks for the PSA though, it will help others to be more aware!

Jerry





Cummins12V98

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Posted: 11/23/21 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry for your loss.

ZERO reason to do the BIG ramp up scenario. I back close and me or my wife makes the final height adjustment and then I simply back up covering the brake pedal and latch with no pedal pressure.

Not a fan of placing unneeded pressure on the landing gear. These are NOT Semi Trucks.


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larry barnhart

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Posted: 11/23/21 08:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

99 percent of hook ups our fifth doesn't move any. How ever stuff happens to all of us. chevman


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JRscooby

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Posted: 11/23/21 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Back decades ago, my Dad had clip mounted to a magnet and a beaded chain like we used to turn on lights.
Unhook, pull the truck out. Before adjust to level hang the chain so end is just above ground with magnet in same spot. Ready to hook up, put magnet back in place, work the jack until chain just touch ground. Unless 5th wheel is way down in front, no issues with lifting trailer, mash truck down less than half inch if at all.
I don't know about pickups with air bags, but with trucks we sometimes have issues pulling out from under a trailer w/o dumping suspension. Unloading, the frame comes up faster than leveling valve can adjust. Top of bed could get ugly.

Lwiddis

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Posted: 11/23/21 09:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry to hear this but after so many times we all could have an issue.


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noteven

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Posted: 11/23/21 09:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I set the trailer height so there is a slight teeny bit of ramp up to avoid high hitching. I never lift an RV trailer ramping it with the truck. I take my time in and out of the cab as needed. They are too flimsy.

RoyF ‘s experience is good advice. Due to bad manners on the inter web most people would not share a story of a boo boo that caused damage.

Thanks RoyF

hornet28

Muskegon Mi.

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Posted: 11/23/21 10:08am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use two screw/stick on levels. One is movable and I set it
at zero for the unhook height so when time to hook up I just raise to zero. The other is to level the trailer front to back





Cummins12V98

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Posted: 11/23/21 10:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JRscooby wrote:

Back decades ago, my Dad had clip mounted to a magnet and a beaded chain like we used to turn on lights.
Unhook, pull the truck out. Before adjust to level hang the chain so end is just above ground with magnet in same spot. Ready to hook up, put magnet back in place, work the jack until chain just touch ground. Unless 5th wheel is way down in front, no issues with lifting trailer, mash truck down less than half inch if at all.
I don't know about pickups with air bags, but with trucks we sometimes have issues pulling out from under a trailer w/o dumping suspension. Unloading, the frame comes up faster than leveling valve can adjust. Top of bed could get ugly.


That's a great method! If only after all these years I would remember to set that system up.

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