September '18

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SEPTEMBER 2018 THE SHOP 19 our products an easy decision. We recently made the decision to expand our trailer hitch manufacturing capacity at our Eau Claire, Wisconsin location, allowing us to manufacture a greater number of hitches and towing accessories each day." Later notes that towing prep kits are having a big impact on after- market hitch manufacturers. "For in-bed towing (gooseneck or fifth wheel), the truck manu- facturers are providing factory-installed frame bases," he explains. "Until recently, all of the under-bed bracketry was provided through the aftermarket. This is similar to what happened over a decade ago with the Class III receiver market. Hitch manufacturers are having to design new hitches that will install on the OE mounting systems, and all of the brands have different footprints." COMMON MISTAKES The suppliers share common mistakes shops often make selling or installing towing and hauling products. "One of the most common mistakes we see is when a user's trailer size (weight) exceeds the towing capacity of the hitch, accessories and/or vehicle towing capacity," says Horizon Global's Brickley. "The capacities are there for a reason and ignoring them can be dangerous for the person towing as well as other drivers on the road. In fact, exceeding weight capacities is a leading cause of accidents on the road today." Another common issue, he adds, is not taking the time to talk to customers about maintenance, which can include checking fas- teners for proper torque, cleaning and lubricating components, and The Tekonsha ZCI (Zero Contact Interface) is an electrical converter module that converts the vehicle wire signals to trailer signals. (Photo courtesy Horizon Global) The design of the REESE M5 fifth wheel hitch focuses on hitching/ unhitching, ride and safety. (Photo courtesy Horizon Global) BATTERY DOCTOR ® TRA ILER PRODUCTS Please visit to see all available products 7491 Cahill Rd, Minneapolis, MN 55439 1-800-959-0879 • Prevents bugs, dirt, and water from damaging trailer plug • Attaches to trailer plug for convenience and ease of use • Snaps to cord when plug is in use 7-Way Trailer Plug Cover #20081

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