Innovative tow bar damper smoothes trailer travel

Andrew Burt’s tow-bar damper took second place in the simple category of the Farmers Weekly Inventions Competitions.

Fed up with the bumpy ride when towing trailers behind his double-cab pickup, Mr Burt went in search of a solution.

Andrew Burt's tow-bar damper

Andrew Burt’s tow-bar damper

He experimented with different truck and trailer combinations, but came to the conclusion the problem is down to the fact a pickup’s hitch is positioned a long way from the rear axle.

This creates a lot of suspension movement, which is exacerbated when there is no weight on board.

See also: 10 tips to keep your Ifor Williams trailer road legal

To solve the problem, he came up with the idea of a damped hitch that isolates the movement of the drawbar from the towing vehicle.

His creation uses a short parallel linkage, which allows the hitch to move up and down, without pushing it too far from the back of the truck.  It also has rubber dampers incorporated into the pivot points to cushion the ride and take out the jolting and jarring.

These cylindrical dampers work in a similar way to those on cultivator disc carriers.

Although the concept is relatively simple, Mr Burt says a huge amount of time went into sorting the geometry and finding a rubber compound that gave the ideal level of damping.

It was built in his farm workshop and took about four months to complete.

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