Trailer coupler life question

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Snydermf, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Snydermf

    Snydermf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Hey guys I'm looking for a little advice. I let a friend of mine borrow my landscape trailer today. Its a 2005 16' PJ trailer with a 2" Bulldog coupler. Somehow it popped off the ball and after looking it over it appears that the hitch has worn substantially enough that the pin no longer kept the coupler tight enough to keep it on the ball when he hit a huge bump. My question is what is the expected life for one of these couplers as far as wear and safety are concerned. What do you do when one wears out? replace the hitch, adjust something....... I estimate this trailer has about 20,000 miles on it over the last 2 1/2 years. Thanks for the help guys.
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Well I'd say it may be due for replacement! That's not very OLD, but I suppose that's a good deal of miles for a simple ball hitch. Also, you are 100% sure that the ball it was hooked too was good and the correct size?

    Iv'e had one pop off too, but it was due to the fact that my trailer was rear-ended! But, reguardless, it should NOT have came off the ball! I was glad it did there and not from a bump, because mine was about 7 years old, but probably had about the same miles on it. Only towing in town here.
  3. Snydermf

    Snydermf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Yes the ball was the correct size and everything was attached properly. Can anyone else offer advice as to normal life, replacement options/suggestions? This was originally welded on...... Is there another style hitch that would be a better option or something I should do to increase the life? I'm sure someone else has run into this.
  4. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    i had one that came off the hitch while loading. was able to tighten the nut in the hitch for a much tighter fit. no problems since. otherwise never had one wear out..
    good luck,
  5. PLM-1

    PLM-1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,640

    I've seen them wear through the top of the coupler before but never roundness before. I have probably 60k on my trailer with the same coupler, 2nd set of brakes and 3 sets of tires.

    Try using a 2 5/16 ball, see if maybe that works ... who knows. His ball may be really worn too, i've seen the back side of them really ground down; especially if the trailer he pulls wasn't level.
  6. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    And if its worn now it wont help.....but keep the ball on the truck good and greasy to help cut down on friction

  7. laxative

    laxative LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 147

    Had a little 8' Haulin trailer years ago that came off all the time. On the underside of the coupler was a locknut holding the lever and everything together. 1/4 turn on the nut and the coupler fit so tight I had to use channel locks to bring down or release the lever. Never came off again.
  8. ken gustafson

    ken gustafson Inactive
    Messages: 237

    Have never heard of a problem with either the hitch or ball on a trailer. Except when one is not ball is loose or the lever not put down. On Bulldog hitches the sliding ring that fits over the whole hitch when it is closed has never been worn out to my knowledge. This is the first time I have heard of such a problem and I have sold a lot of locks for trailers. Personally I have gone to a lunette ring and pintle setup in hauling my trailers loaded with mostly firewood. Thousands of loads of problems. Something is not correct would be my guess. Ken
  9. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I see some posts about tightening a nut, etc. We are talking about a Bulldog hutch, which is what Ken desctibed above. There's no adjustments to them. They are either on or off. However I can vouch (in my previous post) that they CAN get worn to the point that they will pop off the ball. It may require higher than "normal" forces to pop it off, but it can happen. As far as I know, for ball type hitches, the Bulldog brand is one of the best on the market, but friction will kill anything over time.
  10. Looking Good Lawn Service

    Looking Good Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    Best option is to make sure to prevent premature wear of your new hitch when you install it, get a new correctly sized ball, and coupler, and maintain both of them cleaned and then greased all the time, repeat as necessary, setup should last a long time, most last 10 years, some never wear out if properly maintained. Good luck

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