How often do you guys replace hitch balls...

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by 13Razorbackfan, Mar 18, 2018.

  1. 13Razorbackfan

    13Razorbackfan LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,567

    And do you lube them. My current ball probably has around 20k miles with some times making sharp steep uphill and downhill turns. I carry 3 ZTR mowers on a 18' trailer. Was thinking of smearing some Lucas red tacky all over the ball to make double sure it doesn't pop off? Maybe my logic is backwards?
     
  2. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,338

    Definitely lube it often an make sure it is tight.
     
    13Razorbackfan likes this.
  3. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    never replaced one. the balls usually last forever. it's the pin that holds the arm into the trailer hitch that usually breaks off.

    i don't grease mine directly. i just spray some wd-40 in the latch of the trailer from time to time. it seems to do the trick. some gets on the ball to keep it lubed up some. they all get rusty but i've never seen a ball rust apart or anything. as long as the nut is tight you shouldn't have any problems with it popping off.
     
  4. zraffz

    zraffz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    Unless the ball physically has worn, it is okay.

    I've never seen one wear under normal circumstances. Pintle hitches are allowed something like 15% wear on the horn and are common to wear down after a few years.
     
    13Razorbackfan likes this.
  5. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 698

    I've never had a ball wear out and I've never greases a ball. I've had a pintle ring wear out.
     
    Meghan Murphy-Hansen likes this.
  6. AL's

    AL's LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 992

    What about welded balls? I was actually thinking about this earlier today and what do you know come on lawnsite and heres a thread! :dancing:

    Seriously though with one of the 3 way welded balls is there a risk of the welds wearing or breaking off after so long or nah? Pulling around 3 tons most days and occasionally it goes on a 2500 and pulls 7 tons.
     
  7. zraffz

    zraffz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 350

    I doubt it... Very few hitches are one piece designs. Most are square stock welded to beefy flat stock.

    Good welds don't break. Vibration and pressure will break the metal around the welds but I think a hitch is designed for way more weight than it's rated for.
     
    GrassManKzoo likes this.
  8. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,338

    I have seen the 3 ball type tweak a trailer tongue pretty good,when the trailer was backed up hard against the ball on the side.
     
  9. springfield_pest

    springfield_pest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 380

    I know a guy that had a 2"/2 5/16" combo hitch. he got rear ended with out a trailer. The 2" ball was bent (bent the square tube) but he continued to pull a 12,000lb trailer for at least another 100,000 miles with it. He did replace the pin.
     
    zraffz likes this.
  10. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,362

    i guess it would wear out after 50 years. who knows really? :laugh:
     
    Meghan Murphy-Hansen likes this.

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