Testing an Offroad hitch in general
Testing a new trailer hitch in Australia is quite a deal. You can do it in a couple of ways, which I will explain in a minute. Firstly the test is done by a recognised accredited test facility and has a fairly hefty price tag. All tests are documented and photographed so we can see the item being tested at its different stages of stress.
All towing devices including a trailer hitch need to comply with a government ADR mechanical towing devices compliance standard 62/02.This standard is a standard set Australia wide so all towing devices are tested to the same standards and so therefore comply in all states.Prior to having the test done, you need to get an engineer to apply for a manufacturer’s certificate under which the coupling will be produced. So this means you need to nominate someone to manufacture the product, and they are the only permitted manufacturer unless you apply for a second and so on.
Once the test on the tow hitch has been completed and passed, the engineer then sends away the application to DOTARS for the final compliance and manufacturers compliance number you will see stamped on the hitch.
Our hitch testing story
We wanted a 3.5 ton rating so the test facility required that it is tested to 1.5 times the max load we are aiming to achieve, or 2 million repetitions on a hydraulic machine. So in this case it was 3.5 ton – so we test for 5.25 ton. They test the hitch to 5.25 ton in a pull or stretch, and then the same 5.25 ton in a compression. Have a look at the pics and you will see how its set up in a large hydraulic machine.
We tested it longitudinally to 9 Ton, and it still held up without even a crack. If you look at the dead weight on the tow ball, usually around 10% of overall trailer weight, so a 2 ton trailer only has a 200kg draw-bar weight – but in this case has a 3.5 tonne ton allowable towing weight and a huge safety margin. That’s quite high.Needless to say the OzHitch tow hitch passed with flying colours the first time around in all areas. I then instructed the test facility to push to destruction, so they pushed it and got to 9 tonne, and still no breakage. At this point I suggested no real need to go on as that sort of safety margin was huge and I was very happy with the results.