Pick-up and 4X4 frustration: Is this the answer?

Getting a tow-bar and trailer lined up can be frustrating, when towing with a 4X4 or pick-up truck. Spaldings claims to have a solution; its ‘Quick Hitch‘ promises to make it much less of a “hit-and-miss affair”.

The so-called Quick Hitch bolts to the back of the vehicle as usual, but has a flared steel back-plate that “guides” the trailer coupling directly over the towing ball.

The vehicle can be reversed up to a trailer until the drawbar is caught by the hitch and nudged into position over the last few centimetres; then it’s just a matter of lowering the drawbar, connecting the lighting cable and the job’s done.

Welsh farmer Ivor Williams designed his ‘Quick Hitch’ – apparently when people he knew kept failing their trailer towing test on the hitching process.

“I made the first hitch, checked with the authorities that it could be used for the test and, once people heard how successful it is, I refined the design and started making them in the farm workshop,” he explained.

Williams now has five models with bolt-on or pin balls of different sizes, and with fixed, slot-in or fold-down guide-plates.

Quick Hitch
There are fixed (right), slot-in and fold-down (left) guide-plates; the fold-down version gives more clearance for a low pick-up tailgate (and provides a ‘grippy’ step)

“The folding version allows you to open van doors or a pick-up tailgate on vehicles where there is little clearance above the hitch,” explained Paul Denton, Spaldings product development manager.

When folded down, the guide-plate also provides a more secure footing for climbing into the vehicle – certainly better than standing on a ball hitch or a slippery plastic step.

All Quick Hitch variants, which cost from around €100 upwards, are designed to avoid having to man-handle the trailer or lever the drawbar into position (using, for example, a fencing post) to get the ball and coupling lined up.

They are also intended to reduce the likelihood of damaging the vehicle’s bodywork against the drawbar. When reversing with the trailer attached, the guide-plates “prevent damage” by stopping the vehicle and trailer drawbar going beyond a 90º (jack-knife) position.

The Quick Hitch tow hitches are available from Spaldings, which sells across Ireland.