Submitted: Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 07:45
ThreadID: 138239 Views:1614 Replies:4 FollowUps:14
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hi going to put a off road hitch on my of road trailer. I have 3 I am looking at the 1st is ark xo the alko ball coupling and last is highland does anybody got any of these or no something about them any imput would be great thanks
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 08:47

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 08:47
I have the Ark XO. I have other trailers so having all ball couplings is a blessing. Greasable ball hitches aren't as clean as say a DO35, but you aren't changing hitches all the time either so everything is a trade off. I am happy with mine. I had an old Hyland years ago which required regular floggings to work, however I am assured that is not the norm.
AnswerID: 625220

Follow Up By: john m85 - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:07

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:07
thank you the info i am thinking about ark xo so I do wont to keep the ball coupling
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:22

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:22
You don't say what tow vehicle you have, but the NS/NT Pajero models require a low profile hitch if you still want to get the back door open. We have a McHitch off-road quick couple hitch and are very happy with it, and we are meeting more and more people who are using this style.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:49

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:49
I have looked at McHitch, but I’m not sure if needle rollers will like the sideways hammering in a trailer coupling.
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:53

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 09:53
Plenty of them fail from exactly that. Those unis aren’t built for those loads.
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:08

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:08
Well, I've done heaps of research on the net and can't find one instance of McHitch failure - just lots of happy owners. I have no affiliation with McHitch, just another happy owner.
I did come across this though:-
This was written by the inventor "Some question the strength of the universal, whether it can handle the weight it's required to pull, if it can handle the 'push/pull' momentum etc.To those who doubt, I ask them-how often do you change the universal on your Cruiser? Your Patrol? Pajero? How often do you grease them? For those not in the know it's hard to explain fully the tremendous amount of punishment a typical universal joint goes through on the driveshaft of a 4wd in an offroad, low range setting or a universal fitted to a dragcar.The universal fitted to the McHitch has an easy life compared to the stresses of those fitted to V8 supercars for example, which actually have smaller universals fitted. Others may then question the fact the uni 'pulls' the load on the McHitch while a typical universal 'spins' or undergoes cyclic stress.These stresses are one and the same, whether pushing/pulling/rotating the universal joint has a breaking strain of over 50 tonne, far exceeding any stress even the largest trailer may put it through. The comment about PTO joints flogging out fifty years ago is a red herring- how many PTO joints do you see today on modern machinery installed ,maintained and operated in the conditions which were common at that time, sort of comparing a FJ to a VE (Most uni joints at that time were as small as your little finger an did not even incorporate roller bearings)."

and this is from their website "McHitch's range of Uniglide trailer couplings, including both the 3.5 tonne unit and the 6 tonne unit, have all had ADR testing completed at the Civil Engineering Labs at the University of Sydney. The static loading test is around ten times the load which could be expected for on road towing and around five times the loading expected in an off road situation. The cyclic load testing is then carried out for 2 million cycles to check for any component failures due to stress loadings which would begin to show as this is a very prolonged and demanding procedure."
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:34

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 10:34

I don't care what you or they say. They punch the end caps out because the forces aren't rotating laterally through the needles like any normal uni, they are going through the carriers and ends. It is poor design. I've seen half a dozen like that. I tried to discuss it with them but they weren't too keen at all.
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Follow Up By: Brian Thompson T - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 11:37

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 11:37
Looking at the photo it seems to me that the bottom of the uni housing has bent allowing the cross part of the uni to pop out. I wonder if there was too much pressure applied by the WDH bars, if they were fitted.
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Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:18

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:18
Thanks Gbc. A very interesting photo. It doesn't look like a WDH was being used in this instance, and when I expanded the picture, it appears that the bottom end cap is still in place (yes/no?). If so, Brian Thompson T could be right in suggesting the bottom yoke has bent allowing the cross to pop out.
Do you have any further information on what happened here???
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Follow Up By: Gbc.. - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:47

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 15:47
No further info. Just one of a number of failures reported on an owners forum. Yes it looks like the yoke failed and bent on that one. Others I’ve seen have popped the cap.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 16:39

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 16:39
I do not understand how that can happen, but with that photo obviously have to accept that it DID happen. On mine the lower cap is in a blind recess. It is impossible to pop out downwards.

The only way would be if the top one popped or came undone, allowing the trunnion to bounce out. Or if the lower half of the yoke bent, but it would have to bend a hell of a lot to get the required clearance. You'd need a lot of force to do that, which I suspect would have bent the tongue and maybe done other damage as well, but that doesn't appear to be evident in the pic.

More questions than answers from me, I'm afraid.

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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 00:11

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 00:11
Hi Guys, I have a 3.5 T McHitch Auto Coupler that I am very happy with on my 2.5 T Off Road van. I have heard of failures similar to that shown in the photo, and all that I have heard about, occurred as a result of the yoke bending. Also, interestingly they all had WDH.


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FollowupID: 898882

Reply By: Member - Racey - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 18:03

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 18:03
Have a look at the Hitch-Ezy. It's brilliant; not cheap but brilliant.Hitch-Ezy site Just changed from a McHitch.
AnswerID: 625239

Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 21:03

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 21:03
Racey, what did you see as the advantages of the Hitch Ezy over the McHitch?
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Follow Up By: john m85 - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:51

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:51
thank you I will look at the HitchEzy
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Follow Up By: Member - Racey - Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:56

Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019 at 08:56
Keith, the McHitch is temperalmental in un hooking. when on not straight on.
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Reply By: nickb - Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 22:20

Monday, Apr 29, 2019 at 22:20
I have the older style Alko off-road ball coupling (the one with the red plastic parts). It works fine, easy to hitch up but the one issue is that to release the hitch you need to lift the front red lever. This places your fingers between the hitch and the back of the towbar tongue. On flat ground there is no issue, on non-level surface the trailer can move an inch when It is unhitched and possibly squish your fingers. I’ve come close a couple times, I now use a hook if I am parked on a sloped surface facing downhill.
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Reply By: RMD - Thursday, May 02, 2019 at 08:18

Thursday, May 02, 2019 at 08:18
Any testing in a uni lab and glowing results can easily be degraded by the run of the mill units not having the same strength as the tested ones. Because they are mass produced yokes there will be differences in bend strength of the yoke arms, you can’t test them all to destruction to check. The width of the yoke arm gives strength for rotary applied torque but the yoke arm is a great deal thinner in section in the direction the McHitch has to take load forces.
While a uni is strong for rotary use it isn’t for sideways forces.
Unless the yokes are captured from spreading then there is a weakness there.
Comparing uni use with race car forces is not a great comparison as a race car is rotating it’s unis quickly and power is a product of rotation speed and torque. Far less forces in a race car driveline than normal use as a hitch when towing. Drag cars use decent size unis and they are under rotary torque not sideways end cap forces. Although tested for something by a university, no one seems to know what the testing actually encompassed.
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