Been driving the new (to me) Ford Ranger. Runs great, gets between
19-21mpg over 4 tankfuls of fuel.
Factory bumper is rated 2000lb gross trailer, so I think it would be
nice to have a receiver hitch. Bolted to the frame. Never did like
using the bumper on the old truck, but it was built heavier than the
current truck. (94 Rangers are built stouter than the ones after '98
IMHO.....this truck...they took all the stuff that didnt wear out and
made it thinner, lighter or out of plastic)
Is it wise to make up ones own receiver hitch, from a liability
I've built my own on the last four pickups and last three cars. I'm sure
mine are a bit heavier cause I look at what can be purchased and then use
the same design ideas but with stronger steel sections.
I justify all my machine purchases with SWMBO by pointing out how all the
stuff like this has been self fabricated and is better and cheaper.
P.S. I'm sure we'll get somebody that says its way to dangerous to make your
Just an observation: a receiver hitch is more vulnerable in that there
is less structural redundancy than much home made stuff, e.g., a
trailer. So one weld failure is more likely to have serious
consequences. If I were doing it I would look for ways to add
redundancy. E.g., a buttress across a joint.
that's something! what a coincidence. i'm in the process right now of
making a set of tow brackets (goes on the front of the vehicle for towing
behind a RV, but that's not the intended use, planning on using them for a
ladder rack "receiver"). i'm building them strong enough so that someday if
necessary they could be used as tow brackets. went to an on-line
manufacturer and looked at his design, "copying" them. they used what
appears to be 3/8" or maybe even 1/2" plate (but the tech on the phone said
5/16") i'm using 1/4" but welding on reinforcing flanges. thing is i don't
know what alloy of steel they use, i'm using some plain old plate i got from
my local steel dealer. i'm hoping they overbuilt their design by using
5/16" to ward off lawsuits and that 1/4" will be sufficient.
On Sun, 12 Aug 2007 11:13:02 -0700, with neither quill nor qualm,
Gunner Asch quickly quoth:
Ayup, I was just thinking about the welding liability for you.
(You're probably a whole lot better than I am by now.)
I've made several of 'em, no mishaps. The only viable insurance
against liability is liability insurance. Additional liability
insurance above the minimum required is amazingly inexpensive.
I like the design where a 1/4" wall cross tube goes thru square holes
plasma-cut into plates that bolt to the vehicle. Welds hold it in
place, but the strength comes from the materials themselves.
It was a great story, though! Part of being a competent welder
is knowing how to recognize bad welds. I'll bet your welds are
considerably better now than they were then. Any welder who says he
or she has never made a bad weld is either a beginner or a dang liar.
Bad welds, once recognized, get fixed to become good welds.
easy. bad welds are made by me.
Good welds are made by "the kid". Therefore all welding at this place is
done by "the kid"
"the kid" had an intake manifold where somebody tried to remove a broken
pipe plug with an EZ-out and then broke it. I milled the plug and EZ-out in
exchange for welding that SS pipe that leaked. Glad he still needs me.
"Karl Townsend" wrote
You'll put yer eye out, kid! ;-)
I went to buy a trailer for my ATVs. I had to reject several before I found
one that passed welding inspection. Most of the stuff that's for sale out
there from people who should know better is crap. Lousy welds. Missing
I KNOW that I can put together a hitch that is the same type as what can be
bought. Difference is mine is welded by ME, who can pass a welding
certification test any day of the week. The weld will have 70,000 #
strength. It will be a low hydrogen weld, and not FCAW that was done by
some twentysomething monkey with a quota.
As to the homebuilt liability issue, how can it be established who built it?
Besides, if you do it right, it will be stronger than it needs to be, and
anything that will destroy it would be catastrophic in nature, and nothing
that one could be held liable for.
And, if one is not confident in their own welding or talents, they should
NOT be considering doing such a project. If you're an experienced or
certified welder, you know you can burn it in there, and it's going to
stick. You know this because you've done it thousands of times. So, unless
you have that level of ability, confidence and experience, it would be
better to buy. Even though a lot of what's out there for sale is crap.
From the liability standpoint, you do not have much money, so it is
not very important as no one would be very inclined to sue you (unless
they are after your piles of "stuff").
Realistically, though, hitches are not very expensive and you do not
need anything unusual, since your Ranger cannot pull anything too
large. So I would just spend the money and buy one.
I have no doubt that you can make a hitch that would be as good as
commercial, but I doubt that you can realistically make one better in
any respect (given your modest towing capacity).
Some of the factory units are good, but they ain't cheap. Draw-Tite
makes good ones or at least used to. Never know what's made in China
I'd use triangular gusset plates where the receiver tube makes a T
with the cross tube. Rigid-hitch doesn't do that, but I would. It
enables more linear inches of weld at that joint, and it distributes
pull stress, tongue-weight moment and turn moment much better than a
straight butt joint.
I have (very carefully) pulled an 8000 lb load (excavator on a
flatbed) with mine, no problems. That's way too much for my pickup
but I only had to go about 3 miles to and from the rental place.
Here in MN it's good to shoot a healthy dose of LPS-3 into the
receiver when it's mounted. Stops rust for a coupla years. I forgot
to do that on my camper holddowns and had a bit of difficulty getting
one of them extended after 8 years of neglect.
That may not be a good idea in the desert, where sand is more of an
issue than rust.
After a Computer crash and the demise of civilization, it was learned
Gunner Asch wrote on Sun, 12 Aug 2007
11:13:02 -0700 in rec.crafts.metalworking :
Well, aside from an injured ego (but a little humility is good for
the soul), nobody was hurt, so it as all good.
"Quemadmoeum gladuis neminem occidit, occidentis telum est. "
Lucius Annaeus Seneca, circa 45 AD
(A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer's hands.)
Ive no concerns about my welding, or poor engineering. I was just
concerned about having lawyers on my ass (not that one can get blood
from a stone) if someone crashed into me while I was pulling a