The Seattle area has had tough winter weather the last few weeks. We've had power outages, snow, ice and high winds and there have been a lot of utility trucks around including some from other states helping out. After the recent snow thawed out I found a strange trailer hitch thingy lying by the roadside on the outer edge of a bend in the road. It's very heavily built, and looks sort of like a super-heavy adjust-a-hitch where you can move the ball up or down as needed. Only thing is it has these two massive castings with 1" square openings, and these are pinned and free to rotate. Well, see for yourself:
What is this thing?
Is there any hope of locating the truck it fell off of?
With a bit of modification to make it fit you could use it as a damn sturdy truck hitch! Otherwise how about bolting it to the shop wall and adding two 1" square tubular arms which carry work lights so you can swing them out into position?
I'm now guessing it's part of a hitch-mounted sand spreading device. I'm going to check with the city guys tomorrow, see if they know what it is. My preference would be to return it to the owner. Those utility trucks have been pulling some real long overtime, and I'm a taxpayer - why make the city buy another one?
I have to go with *OLD* weight equalizing hitch, too - that's all cast steel and doesn't appear cheap. The hitch ball goes in the middle hole, and the equalizing torsion bars would go into the two square holes of the two pivot arms - No locking pins needed, just put a notch in the torsion bar at hits the edge of the pivot arms, the spring tension will keep them firmly in place.
The T-slot adjustment makes it fit various hitch heights, and the whole thing is reversible depending on how much overall rise or drop is needed.
The hollow tubing into the receiver would likely restrict it to
5,000 or 6,500 pound trailers when compared to modern units - New ones use solid bar for 10,000 pounds and up. Then again, the modern units also have liability lawyers signing off on the design work...
Hell, it couldn't hurt to try finding the rightful owner - because if the trailer that they use that hitch for still exists, someone's going to be really desperate to get that back when they go to get it out of the back of their truck and it ain't there...
Just listen for the screams... ;-)
I'll guess $1,000 bare minimum to replace it with something new, because they'll need new torsion bars, and probably the bar tensioners, the whole nine yards - that's either a 'find a new one. bend over, and pay what they want' or 'bend over and get a replacement custom fabricated' time. Neither option will be cheap.
Just keep track of the costs making and putting up a batch of "Found" posters in the vicinity of where it was lost, putting the ad in the paper, and that's the reward.
Call all the hitch and welding shops in the region and get them a copy of the poster. Might take a few months for the owner to realize it's missing, but sooner or later one of them will get a desperate call from a trailer owner needing a new hitch...
If you have a reporter doing a "Community Happenings" column in the local paper, that would be a good story for them to run - the kind that people tend to read. Even big papers do the community interest column - Dennis McCarthy in the Los Angeles Daily News, four days a week, Page Three.
Scrap metal - toss it on the pile, but it isn't worth bothering with till you have a few tons.
Pull the bent nail "Cotter Pins" and take out the torsion bar holders, get a big hitch pin for the center hole and a locking cotter to keep it there, and you can use it for pintle hitches in low-speed situations. It'll bang around too much to use often, especially on the highway.
My guess it is for those large heavy duty Electric Utility trucks so they can drag various trailers from Mil ring to Ball to (wonder - two piston idlers on a trailer to stabilize it on backing and in winds/curves...
I bet the truck is white. Might be worth something to them - maybe a swap or scrap pile free fetch for it!
Good luck, Martin
Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net TSRA, Life; NRA LOH & Endowment Member, Golden Eagle, Patriot"s Medal. NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member.
Grant Erw> The Seattle area has had tough winter weather the last few weeks. We've