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General Forestry => Urban and Community Forestry => Topic started by: Stevenjohn21 on July 11, 2022, 04:21:27 PM

Title: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Stevenjohn21 on July 11, 2022, 04:21:27 PM
Just purchased a trailer and will begin attaching an arch to it soon for hauling logs home. The rep said I would need a 2 5/16 ball.  After looking at different brands I see that they vary in prices from $50 to $600+ but I don’t know why. 
Please educate me on this and if you have any recommendations then that would be greatly appreciated. 

Thanks! 
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Den-Den on July 11, 2022, 06:45:17 PM
I don't understand your question.  "Rep said I would need a 2 5/16 ball" makes me think the trailer (bumper pull?) has a 2-5/16" hitch.  If that was the case, you need that ball to bring the trailer home.  I can not imagine spending anywhere near $600 for a hitch ball although having a ball installed for a goose-neck involves a lot more than buying a ball.
Is this a bumper pull trailer?
Is the ball for moving the trailer or part of the arch?
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: btulloh on July 11, 2022, 07:38:40 PM
Do you have a 2” receiver on your truck that the hitch slides into?  Probably do.  A decent ball and hitch combo shouldn’t run you more than a hundred bucks. Any ball/hitch combo for 2 5/16 will be rated or they couldn’t sell it.  Make sure the hitch drop/rise is correct for the trailer tongue height. The trailer with proper tongue weight load should ride pretty close to level. 

Some of those more expensive hitches are adjustable drop and have reversible balls so you can use either a 2” or 2 5/16, depending on how the trailer is equipped (a function of weight capacity determines the size required.)  A $600 version would pe gold or silver and sold by a guy with brass ones.  (Of course it could be load-leveling hitch, which would usually run in the 600 to 1k range, but that’s way beyond a basic hitc/ball. 
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: doc henderson on July 11, 2022, 07:47:47 PM
some hitches are solid forged and heavy, others are square tubing.  what tow vehicle and what is the weight limit of the trailer.  many 18-foot car trailers are 7k gross, and weigh 1600 pounds so you can haul 5,400 #.  tractor supply has a good selection and reasonable quality if you have one nearby.
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: btulloh on July 11, 2022, 08:36:09 PM
I use this because I have multiple trailers with different tongue heights and a mix of 2” and 2 5/6 couplers. This one was one of the better ones at my desler and it was a bit less than 200$ (even with snazzy gold balls).  If you’re only dealing with one trailer you don’t need all the options and don’t need to spend a lot of money.  

The other side of that is that trailers multiply, like chainsaws. Most of us end up with a whole pile of hitches and balls and such after a while. Sorta like chainsaws.  lol
(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/39962/CDB3BC15-3C2C-490F-88DF-8933089D424E.jpeg?easyrotate_cache=1657586236)
 
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Old Greenhorn on July 11, 2022, 09:01:10 PM
Just make sure that the ball and the hitch that goes into your receiver are rated for at least the trailer rating. If you have a 7,000 pound trailer rating your hitch should be rated at the or higher. When you buy the components, the rating should be on them, if it's not, buy something else. 2-5/16" balls are usually used on larger trailers like 7,000 pounds and up. Watch the rating, not the price. Still, the ball adaptor should run from $50-80. and the ball should be in the $40-65 range. Unless you need a drop or lift, or a flip type, then they get pricey. If you want gold balls, well...
 I am too old for gold balls. :D
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Big_eddy on July 11, 2022, 09:08:42 PM
As old greenhorn said, every piece will have a rating. Make sure the hitch insert and ball are both rated for the trailer GVW rating (or higher). If your truck is not already equipped with one, you will also need a brake controller.  

Depending on your truck, you may also want to check the rating on the hitch itself. Some factory installed truck hitches are only rated for 5K lbs, even though the owners manual says the truck can tow 10K+.
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Stevenjohn21 on July 12, 2022, 11:16:58 AM
Thank you for those that responded. 
The hitch on my truck right now is 2” so obviously that won’t fit the trailer which is why I’m looking for a new one. 
The trailer axles are rated for 10k, sorry for not giving enough details. 
I didn’t even think about if my trucks factory fitted receiver will be strong enough. I just thought they were all standard 🤦‍♂️
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: doc henderson on July 12, 2022, 12:27:28 PM
axles plural, so each axle @ 10K for 20K total?  (Doubt it).  Or 10 K total.  The hitch may have a label on it if you can read it.  Many of the receivers are 2-inch square and can have a hitch with several sized balls attached.  Making sure you are not confusing receiver size and ball size.  you can get a 2 & 5/16th inch ball and install it on a hitch that fits into a 2-inch receiver.  What is the weight rating of the trailer?  all axles total.  My car trailer has 2 axles at 3500# for a total of 7K.  My truck is a one ton dually and can pull my goose neck rated at 24K.  Chevy 3500 HD 2007.  What make, model and year of truck do you have?
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Big_eddy on July 12, 2022, 01:04:35 PM
The factory installed receiver hitches on many (most?) 1/2 ton trucks are rated for 5000lbs (500lbs tongue weight) when used with a non-weight distributing trailer. The same hitch is rated for towing 9900 lbs (990 lbs tongue weight) when used with weight-distributing trailers.

The bumpers on most 1/2 tons are also rated for 5000lb/500lb towing.

Depending on your tow vehicle and what you expect to carry on this trailer, you may want to consider a weight distributing set-up

Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Stevenjohn21 on July 12, 2022, 05:15:01 PM
axles plural, so each axle @ 10K for 20K total?  (Doubt it).  Or 10 K total.  The hitch may have a label on it if you can read it.  Many of the receivers are 2-inch square and can have a hitch with several sized balls attached.  Making sure you are not confusing receiver size and ball size.  you can get a 2 & 5/16th inch ball and install it on a hitch that fits into a 2-inch receiver.  What is the weight rating of the trailer?  all axles total.  My car trailer has 2 axles at 3500# for a total of 7K.  My truck is a one ton dually and can pull my goose neck rated at 24K.  Chevy 3500 HD 2007.  What make, model and year of truck do you have?

the axels are rated at 10k total (2x5k)
my receiver on the truck (2017 Chevy Silverado 1500) is 2” square.
I axels are rated at 5k so 10k total.
The receiver is 2” square on the truck but I have no clue the rating on that. The truck I’ll be using is a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: doc henderson on July 13, 2022, 04:11:00 PM
google says about 9,800 2wd reg. cab. 12,500 double or king.  a little less for 4 wd.
remember to check the trailer weight, and subtract that from the total for the net load capacity.
the hitch should have a tag, or stamp in the metal.  will have to take a rag, and cleaner and find it laying on your driveway!  :D.  if you have the window sticker and it looks factory, it should be on there.  prob. rated for the tow cap. of the truck.
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: firefighter ontheside on July 16, 2022, 09:11:06 AM
I think you are probably figuring out that just because you are getting a trailer rated for 10,000 doesnt' mean you'll be able to haul that much with a half ton truck.  The tongue weight with a fully loaded trailer would probably overload the receiver.  Still, I would get a solid steel forged pin with that is rated for at least 10,000 and a 2 5/16 ball that is also rated for at least 10,000.  Your trucks receiver will be the weakest point and you will need to take that into account when loading the trailer.  My dad has used my 10,000 trailer with his F150, but doesn't load it nearly to max.  I have a B&W Tow and Stow rated for 14,000 on my truck and I really like it.  It has 2" and 2 5/16 balls, is adjustable in height and when not in use turns around so that you do not break your shins on it.  I live in MO, but travel to IL often to visit inlaws.  They actually have a law in IL that when not in use your trailer ball has to be out of the way.  I guess some state rep banged his shins too many times on trailer balls.
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: doc henderson on July 16, 2022, 09:32:08 AM
I also agree with going the extra limits.  My hitch with a 2 & 5/16th inch ball is forges and rated much higher than I will ever tow on the receiver hitch.  gooseneck I think can go 24K, and that matches my PJ trailer.
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: rusticretreater on July 16, 2022, 10:21:50 AM
After you check your owners manual and things, you will know about the hauling capacity of the truck/trailer.  I have a Dodge Dakota rated at 6500 lbs towing capacity and a 17 foot car hauler trailer w/ arch rated at 7,000lbs.  The trailer weights 1,000 pounds in itself.  I max myself out at 4000-4500 pounds.  If you want your truck to last, stay well within the tow range.

Another thing you will need to do is select a hitch height that works when you are loaded and not empty.  For my Dakota, I had to add a riser to the hitch for the car hauler whereas I would use a two inch drop for the landscaping trailer.  Without the riser the trailer bottomed out on places and the tongue jack would scrape the road.

The next thing is to take the log weights chart with you and get good at estimating the weights of logs.  As noted above, I try to stay well within the load capacities of the truck/trailer.  If you have a factory tow package it should be wired for a brake controller.  I use a Techonsha brand controller that is rated highly. 
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: btulloh on July 16, 2022, 10:56:26 AM
The easiest way to determine your towing capacity is to do a vin lookup. Just google “vin lookup” for free websites. Carfax, And various other services offer that capability as well as does the manufacturer’s website.  I’ve found that using the owner’s manual is imprecise unless you know every option and spec - tire size, rear end ratio, installed towing options, etc.  

A lot of good tips in the replies above. Especially the one about staying well under the actual rating. A lot of us push the limits, but not a good idea except for a really short backroads trip.
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Al_Smith on July 17, 2022, 11:15:35 AM
I've been guilty of hauling heavier loads than the hitch is rated for .For example my machinery trailer has two axles rated for 8-9000 pounds each with a 2-5/16" ball .The actual  ball is not that expensive .They come in that size usually with the option of either 3/4" or 1-1/4" I think bolts .Obviously the larger bolt is rated higher . I've pulled that thing behind an F-250 ford with a 14,600 pound D4 Caterpillar but it was short trips at 30 MPH .
Now those axles are some off brand no longer made 3 inch tubes and gigantic brakes with huge coils .They are not Dexters .It took me a couple of days searching the net to even find a new set of brake shoes that came from some place around Chicago .If I ever need another set I saved the old ones and will need to reline them .I also think I have two good coils left .
Title: Re: Ball hitch for log arch trailer
Post by: Al_Smith on July 17, 2022, 11:20:38 AM
Now then hauling a log .Odds are you won't be going fast or long distances .Very unlikely over three states traveling the interstate highways going 70 MPH .As such I would not get real concerned about it .