View Full Version : do i need a hitch to pull a trailer?

01-08-2004, 03:47 PM
got a question maybe you all can answer? i'm getting a trailer in the next month, i was wondering if i need a hitch to pull a trailer, or would the little ball work? i have a 2wd ford ranger with a 4cylinder. thanks for all your answers.

lawn wizards:)

01-08-2004, 03:50 PM
how big of a trailer? what size ball is on the truck? what size ball does your trailer need?

01-08-2004, 03:53 PM
man, those are questions i've never even thought about. i do know the trailer is a 6x13. i don't have a ball yet. i don't know what size it should take. would it be in the owners manual?

01-08-2004, 03:58 PM
it will probally be a 2" but don't take my word for it. Umm are you puting the ball on the back of your bumper in the hole? I don't know if that is a good idea pending upon how much weight is going to be in the trailer. I would just buy this hitch.

Before doing all that, what are you putting in this trailer? Is you 4 cyl. going to be able to pull it? Can you go up hills with the trailer behind the truck?

Old Red
01-08-2004, 04:01 PM
It's not just how big a trailer; it's how much weight are you pulling. I'm assuming when you say, "would the little ball work?", you mean putting a ball on the rear bumper. I don't think that will pull much but I am sure you need to know. If it's not in the manual try asking at a U-Haul place or someplace like that.

01-08-2004, 04:02 PM
well, right now all i have is 3 lawnboys, my echo trimmer and blower and some gas cans. looking to add a walk behind this spring maybe a something like a 42" if they even make them that size. i dont know how much a walk behind weighs.

01-08-2004, 04:04 PM
i meant 2 lawnboys

01-08-2004, 04:11 PM
Most likely a 6' x 13' trailer will have a 2" hitch. Check your rear bumper to be sure it is securely fastened with four bolts to frame of truck. If yes, then you should be OK to put 2" ball on your bumper providing you dont overload your trailer (1500lbs to 2000lbs). After you get the trailer, your tongue may or may not be to high (you want your trailer to be fairly level). Then if the front of trailer sits too high, you may decide to put a hitch on as you can raise or lower ball depending on hitch you use.

01-08-2004, 04:23 PM
right now i have a 2wd 3 cyl ranger and pulling a 5x12 trail. my trailer is not a landscape trailer so its just an open trailer and i really do not have any problems. i know eventually i do want to get a bigger truck but i am just starting off and the ranger has held its own. if you wondering what i pull, look below.

01-08-2004, 04:40 PM
You better take a good look at your bumper and it's capacity. If it is a factory bumper you should be able to find the specs in the owners manual, or consult the manufacturer. Even if the bumper is directly attached to the frame with four 1/4" supports the bumper itself may not be able to handle the weight. I have a ball mounted on my 1/4" steel bumper with four 1/4" mounts, and still had to have it reinforced due to the weight bending the bumper. Thank you for posting your questions and concerns. It's far too often that we forget that being a responsable business owner also includes an obligation to protect the public.

01-08-2004, 05:03 PM
Why take a chance?
You might take a job that requires you to haul more than you usually do (mulch, wet leaves, dead bodys, ect.). Go ahead and upgrade now to a good hitch.
IMHO U-haul and Reese will give you the best bang for the buck.
In fact you can get an unconditional lifetime warranty for the U-haul for five bucks. If you wreck your truck, catch it on fire, whatever, they replace it. All in all not a bad deal.

01-08-2004, 05:07 PM
if i was to get a hitch, what payload should i get? i was looking and they have all these classes, kinda confusing. any help would be appreciated.

01-08-2004, 05:11 PM
Go for the Class III. It will have a 2" reciever on it.
Class II would have a 1 1/4" reciever. Too small for me.
Class IV would be a waste of money for you to buy. It would handle much more than your truck would ever be able to pull.

01-08-2004, 05:24 PM
You can get a Reese hitch at Wal-mart for less than 100 bucks. They have 12 bolts or so and take about 20 mins to bolt on.

01-08-2004, 05:32 PM
The size of the ball you need should be stamped on the tongue of the trailer.

01-08-2004, 05:48 PM
I have a Nissan 4 banger and with 2000# is any of these
16'x6.5' tandem (the nissan will get it rolling but it will not stop!)
12'x6.5' single (pulls ok, but stopping is still an issue)
10x5' pulls great and stops!
I used the bumper at first with a 2" ball and it worked ok for the 5x10 but over a few months the bumper started to bend.
So I picked up the Reese kit from wally and it works great.

I would look into a bigger truck!
Good luck!

01-08-2004, 05:56 PM
I don't think your bumper is going to be as much of a problem as the Ranger itself. That's a pretty light pickup and with the weight of a trailer/equip pushing everytime you come to a stop, you will be eating brakes. Not to mention seriously lengthened stopping distances. Even a small trailer is a bit much for that size pickup on a regular basis. You didn't mention standard or auto trans, but if standard, clutches may need replacement pretty often. If truck is in good shape, and you are determined to keep it, then get a trailer with electric brakes and add a brake controller to truck. I was doing too many brake jobs and clutch replacements with a full size 1/2 ton Chev with a 350 (5.7 for you younger guys)

My 3/4 ton is much more capable of daily towing

hole in one lco
01-08-2004, 06:40 PM
I would never pull a trailer with my bumper hitch . In a year it will look like a wave. So go with a class 2 hitch you wont regret it

hole in one lco
01-08-2004, 06:45 PM
sorry hit enter to soon class 3

01-08-2004, 07:19 PM
I second the class 3 receiver. I put a "Reese" on my Nissan 4 banger over the holidays. It took me about an hour as I had to drill some holes, and it cost about $100 at Wally World. Like you, I am going to be moving up to a bigger truck soon, and this hitch can be re-installed on a new truck!

Don't underestimate these 4 bangers! Defiantly not for heavy hauling, but with electric brakes and shifting at the correct RPM's they can get the job done.

01-08-2004, 07:21 PM
I would never pull that big of a trailer with that 4 banger you will kill the engine ina season or less

01-08-2004, 09:28 PM
My first truck was a 2wd 4cyl great little truck to drive around in but not made to carry any heavy loads. Yes the truck will pull the trailer and a walkbehind but you will be going thru Brakes and Cluthes if its a manual or the Transmision if it is an automatic like crazy. I pulled a trailer with mine and used the bumper but I probally only pulled a trailer with it once a month. Your bumper will work as long as you do not exceed the tongue weight which I believe is 500 lbs but you may have a problem with the tongue ticking to high in the air. This will cause your trailer to sway at higher speeds. If you don't have the option of going with a larger truck. You may want to look at going with a 5x8 trailer instead if you can get that in alumium even better. It should have enough room for one walkbehind and your lawnboys. Use the truck bed for the rest but does not leave room for any more equipment but then again I don't think the truck could handle that.

Gilla Gorilla
01-08-2004, 09:50 PM
A 500 pound tongue weight on the bumper would mean that
the truck could tow a 5000 pound trailer which is way to high
for a 4 banger ranger. It is more than likely a 200 pound
rated bumper to tow 2000 pounds by the bumper. I would
definately invest the couple of bucks into the class III hitch.
It will save you in the long run if that bumper has any weak spots
in it.
Just remember that the $150.00 for the hitch is a lot less than
the ticket and repair or replacement cost if that trailer were to
break away from that bumper.

But this is just my opinion.

Good luck!!!

01-08-2004, 09:54 PM
i agree with you all about the hitch. i was thinking of buying another truck. a 91 s-10 4x4 with a 4.6 liter engine. would that be sufficiant for now to haul a trailer?

01-08-2004, 10:07 PM
check the trailer to see what size ball you need. go buy it for 10 bucks, screw it on, and go. i been pulling a trailer with a 32, 36, 48, and 21 mowers on it in this manner with a 6 cylinder dodge for years, no problem. yrs ago, i pulled a big boat with a 4 cylinder, no problem.

Gilla Gorilla
01-08-2004, 10:07 PM
It will tow a lot better than the 2.3L four cylinder. It is actually
a 4.3 liter V-6 in the S-10. I think that the rotors will be a little
bit bigger since it is the 4x4 model as compared to if it were a
4x2 which will help the brakes last longer than if it were a 4x2.


01-08-2004, 10:09 PM
You better take a good look at your bumper and it's capacity. If it is a factory bumper you should be able to find the specs in the owners manual, or consult the manufacturer.

Nuff said. If it is over, better plan on installing a hitch. :cool:

01-08-2004, 10:10 PM
That size of a trailer........... i bet it's 1inch 16th ............ That sounds about right. Just my 2 cents

01-08-2004, 10:11 PM
it's not gonna be over. 2 pushmowers and a couple gas cans?

01-08-2004, 10:13 PM
Originally posted by paponte
Nuff said. If it is over, better plan on installing a hitch. :cool:

opppp's sorry, i met inch and 7/8th:rolleyes:

01-08-2004, 10:13 PM
Who sense's a future landscape legend here>? Look back in a few years at this post and the guy will lose track of how many trucks he has......or maybe not!

01-08-2004, 10:38 PM
it sounds like you will be ok if youve just got the lawnboys and other junk on their. you may run into problems once you add a walkbehind. if you are in question about the saftey-stop by your dealer and have them check it out.

01-09-2004, 01:14 AM
The S10 with the 4.6 would pull better than the Ranger even though I don't care for chevys.

01-09-2004, 04:58 AM
I used to pull a 6 by 10 with 1 walkbehind on it with my Ranger, with a hitch bumper. Never had a problem. Did it for a year, then I moved up to a bigger truck. Little slow, and had to leave enough room to stop, but it worked fine. However, my advice is to have a class 3 put on and use that. Never hurts to be safe rather than sorry.


01-09-2004, 02:13 PM
thanks everyone for all of your responses. i think i may try just the bumper at first then get a hitch when i get my walk behind. like bobby gedd said, all i have is a 2 lawnboys and some gas cans, so i don't think the weight would be that great.

01-09-2004, 03:31 PM
lizard, like said, been using the bumper for years. i carry mucho weight, drive fast, recklessly, and have never had a problem

01-12-2004, 03:34 AM
Congrats Bobby! Looks like you've been able to chalk up another one. lol

01-12-2004, 10:37 AM
You will need a hitch, sounds like you will need a 2" ball