Hi Norm, Just back from our trip to the W.A. and the Kimberly’s. OzHitch went really well so thought I would let you know. My wife found it novel that she could even use it with ease and by the end of the holiday it became a competition between the wife and young son as to who could unhook the quickest. Congrats on an awesome invention…. Why did you take so long to invent it?
The OzHitch off road hitch was developed to overcome some problems with hitches in general. Off road couplings do not have an aligning tool guiding the halves together into a cradle making them hard to use. They have a pin from the top creating problems with centre mounted spare wheels, overhanging Ute trays and visually have a side on line of sight for connecting rather than from above. They are somewhat fiddly and take a long time to align. Most off road couplings have quite poor or difficult to use safety and locking mechanisms and they can require two hands to operate and in a lot of cases have low operational angles. Be aware that some off road hitches do not have ADR testing and approval. The OzHitch has full ADR compliance exceeding all Australian standards.Hello my name is Norm Hudson. I am the inventor of The OzHitch off road coupling. I got the idea for this new hitch after an exhausting experience that I had while driving through outback Australia…
My problems began when I started travelling through the Finke River Gorge in the blistering Outback Australia heat. It was around midday when I drove onto a stretch of really soft, coarse river bed sand . The sand was so soft that my vehicle got badly bogged!!
It was a unbearable stinking hot day. Yet, there was nothing to hook the winch to… I knew it was a bad situation considering the rigs overall weight, and the fact that river bed sand doesn’t let you out easily . So after letting the tyres down so they were almost flat, putting the lockers in and some cursing, I realised I wasn’t going to get out unless I un-hitched . The day was getting even more unpleasant and by this time I was HOT and P****D Off . As there was only one option I decided to disconnect the off road trailer from my 4WD to reposition it on firmer soil ground. I had to get the 4WD out of the boggy wheel tracks.
After disconnecting the trailer hitch, it was almost impossible to reconnect it. Man, I tried everything… reversing and repositioning the car at least a dozen times. Trying to push the trailer around, just about broke my fingers . Also, wrestling with the pin and the 2 hitch halves is not something I thought I would have to do …. The most frustrating part of this situation was that no matter what I did, it was a real struggle. Even if I could get the two halves of the off road hitch to line up, would they be connected easily . Talk about hitches being frustrating, I was out of my mind.
This damn off road towing hitch just would not line up. So, like any real Aussie bloke, when I got it reasonably close I used a large hammer and a tyre lever and bashed that bugger into place! Worn out and exhausted with the stress of the hitch not easily lining up, I continued on my journey.
A half an hour later I got bogged again in another section of sand, and I knew that I was going to have to cope with the same problems again. So getting bogged and having to unhitch can be quite stressful, but it is nothing in comparison with having to get it hitched back up again . Just recovering from my last ordeal, I was feeling very frustrated and annoyed. Before even getting out of the car, I was very hot, tired, crazy and almost out of my mind. What The HELL…!! This off road coupling definitely would have been a better anchor for my tinny. It was a ridiculous off road tow hitch which was totally impractical. It definitely was not properly designed and tested.
The third time I was coming into a sharp uphill turn out of the riverbed and well… The drama went on for 45 minutes. No joke! I nearly pulled my hair out trying to get the off road hitch realigned. Just imagine trying to reverse a 4WD in sliding and shifting river bed sand on an angles. Having to do this while reversing and then trying to line up hitch halves – with less than half a millimetre of tolerance to put the pin through it. I was getting good with the hammer and the tyre lever and the off road tow hitch was looking bashed. I was buggered. You know that feeling when your hands are kind of buzzing and ringing from the vibration after hanging on to metal that has been hit over and over with a hammer.
This is what got me thinking there has got to be a better way. I have worked in and been a business owner in the camper trailer industry since 1980. Using the experience and knowledge I have, I was determined to reinventing the off road coupling . I thought about the situation I was in that caused me so much grief and all the little issues that caused stress. For example, things like lining up the holes, having to reverse the car to near perfection, the danger of a possible collapsing jockey, being that the front of the trailer was getting shoved about heavily in very soft sand and having my feet under it…!!! Simply put, these things cause plenty of hard work and stress that you just do not want on any holiday.
It took some time to develop, but after some brain crunching, I came up with the ultimate 15 second off road hitch. This easy to operate off road trailer coupling has been designed to guide itself together, loading from above, with far less accuracy needed than the average towing hitches which are currently on the market. The other great thing is that this off road towing hitch self locates because of the alignment tool which simply lines the two halves of the hitch together in the cradle. Presto!