Tow Balls

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 10:44
ThreadID: 21538 Views:2710 Replies:13 FollowUps:8
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Hi,
I have been advised that I should replace my tow ball every 12 to 18 months if it is used on a contininuas basis. Any one heard of this?
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Reply By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 11:16

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 11:16
No i haven't but they are only $10 if it make you feel better about it... at least the chrome will be better on the new one!!
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Follow Up By: Member - Mozza (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 12:39

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 12:39
urban myth i think!~
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Reply By: GOB & denny vic member - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 15:08

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 15:08
ray if thats right i am in trouble mines been on for about 8 yrs
steve
AnswerID: 103951

Follow Up By: Diamond (Vic) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 15:45

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 15:45
thats no problem.
just go bye 8 new ones and swap them around.
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 16:17

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 16:17
Ray, I wonder what other bolts in the chassis are more stressed than the tow ball? It would depend on what stress - load sizes and the like you apply of course. Perhaps you should replace all the stressed bolts. I am kidding of course, but where would it end? If it was properly done up I would have thought it would be ok, as the sheer strength would be across the base of the ball, not the bolt alone. Some don't seem to worry about doing them up tight and that would be a worry
Cheers,
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John

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Reply By: Member - Jiarna (SA) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 16:48

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 16:48
Hi Ray

My brother uses tow balls on the farm on his work ute - often towing 2 trailers at a time full of sheep (on private land only, of course). He's never broken one, but says that you MUST make sure they are tight.

I personally use a Treg hitch.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: motherhen - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 17:04

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 17:04
My son had one on the ute - it must have been there for years, because we couldn't undo it yesterday to take it off for him to pick up a farm implement he'd purchased. Took the angle grinder to it to get it off. Well that one will need replacing now.
AnswerID: 103958

Reply By: V8Diesel - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:01

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:01
Is tow balls anything like tennis elbow?
AnswerID: 103962

Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:25

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:25
Do you mean Tennis Balls and Tow Elbow.? Balls tend to get a bit towey every now and then...lol
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:34

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:34
You will have to ask Master Bates
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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:22

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:22
Busted a towball once. Luckily I was on the verge of stopping for a cuppa and the towball snapped off at about 10km/h. The 27ft, 3.5ton Viscount rearranged the rear door of my old FJ 55. I had been told off by a Scaly some months before as the towball was only rated at 1500kgs. I took scant notice and the inevitable happened. Lesson learned. Can't hurt to change the towball every now and then.
AnswerID: 103963

Reply By: Davoe - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:28

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:28
no mate he got it wrong it should be change the vehicle every 12-18 months , towball should be fine
AnswerID: 103964

Reply By: motherhen - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:37

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 18:37
Towballs can break - we had a farmer coming with a trailer load of mohair a few years back, and when his wife got out to open our front gate, she pointed out that the trailer was not there. Well he called her a liar, looked, and said a few choice words i can't print here. With our towball fitted, they went back and found the trailer lodged firmly between two trees. Luckily it hadn't taken to any cars when it went on it's little ride.
AnswerID: 103967

Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 19:14

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 19:14
Sounds like it was a very 'Hairy' situation!!!
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Follow Up By: Pezza - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 23:32

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 23:32
"Mohair"?

Is that what you end up with when you shave a 'Mohawk'?

Avagoodn
Pezza
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Follow Up By: Allan Mac (VIC) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:42

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:42
That story reminds me of the time when as a youngster concreting with the ol man. We were towning a concrete mixer through the CBD of sydney and all of a sudden a concrete mixer passed us. I said to the ol man " that looks like our" and sure enough it was. Must have been in a hurry to get to the pub too. unfortunately chose a jewellers window to go through.
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Reply By: ev700 - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 21:02

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 21:02
I think lack of lubrication, loose coupler (incl mounting bolts), incorrect size/rated ball or loose ball can cause problems. Enemies are friction and vibration. Any movement of the tow ball would certainly cause metal fatigue in its shaft or (more likely) in the surrounding tongue.

Many do not regularly inspect or maintain their balls ;-) or the coupling and tow bar. Also many safety links and shackles are absolute *bleep* so if there is a failure the catastrophe is likely to be major.

Slightly off-thread: I remember a warning some years ago that bike carriers could weaken tow bars through vibration. Just tried to track it down but couldn't.

The other safety issue that some may not be aware of is not to use the tow ball as a hitching point for recovery - snatch straps in particular.

EV700
AnswerID: 103972

Follow Up By: Pezza - Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 23:51

Sunday, Mar 27, 2005 at 23:51
"lack of lubrication"? I think the chemist has stuff for that.

"loose balls"? Haven't had that problem for years.

"friction and vibration"? See "lack of lubrication"

"surrounding toungue"? I'm not even gonna go there.

Oh, and I get my better half to regularly inspect my.....whoa, this is gettin way outa hand!!

Avagoodn
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Reply By: Wazza - (Vic) - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:25

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:25
I reckon that a 10 year old towball (made in Australia) would be ten times as good as a 10 day old $10 one from Supercheap.
AnswerID: 104003

Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:39

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 09:39
I reckon a loose coupling that allowed slap on acceleration and braking would accelerate metal fatigue as much as a loose tow ball nut. That's why I like the Treg. The only slap is in the Hayman Reece hitch.
AnswerID: 104004

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 17:38

Monday, Mar 28, 2005 at 17:38
I replace my towball every year as they do wear snd at under 15 bucks it's cheap insurance.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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