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Hitch Pin Weight Capacity and Sheer Strength

Question:

So Ive read some articles and Ive also viewed with some of you guys have posted two individuals in an answer and they were highly vague and confusing as to what the information being requested versus being provided are. With that being stated I need someone that has some sort of vast knowledge to answer and everyone else to remain quiet. You can go to Harbor Freight or you can go to a heavy equipment trailer supplier like I do for a 20,000 lb bumper pull dump trailer and the funny thing is no matter if its a 2in receiver or a 2 and 1/2 you get the same hitch pin that goes through there in a bucket there and theyre 699 there is no Shear strength rating there is no difference in any of them I asked they told me they get back with me nobody knew. I then inquired online and I see a lot of answers that are vastly incorrect the metal itself the Metallurgy there has a Shear strength rating whether its in it inch and a half inch and 7/8 to in 2 and 1/2 makes no difference if the pin to hitch pin is the exact same size. So does anyone really know what the shear strength is because if I have a two and a half inch receiver I use the same pin for my 2-inch receiver that that class 4 hitch is only designed to pull 12000 pounds and my class 5 hitch is designed to pull 20000 lb there is a lot more Shear Force being applied to the hitch pin stop and go driving jerking and tugging going uphill or rough Terrain So I would like to pay more for a higher grade pin that yet no one seems to offer or no one knows the specs how can this be. The Locking pins that have a reduced shank on the shoulder to allow the locking mechanism to slide on and have a a Groove where the detent can fall to lock it on is great but that in itself seems like it might actually weaken the overall structure. Now one of the answers stated on here said something about 3,000 6000 + 10,000 it doesnt matter what the hitch itself it is rated at or the receiver itself is rated at its that pin that slips through and magically holds everyone together has a very specific metallurgy and they have their own Shear strength so if I buy one for Harbor Freight for a dollar 99 with a coupon or I order one from the most expensive trailer supply place around I buy the one thats 19 bucks and its got a black anodized coating is it any stronger is it any safer. For someone like me that is pulling a $12,000 trailer and a $50,000 tractor in that trailer and you know looking at around 16,000 pounds total weight the last thing I want to do is lose something because of a hitch pin that you know it came with my trailer at a cost of $6 its pretty new and shiny it doesnt make it any stronger than the old rusty one thats in my toolbox now Heres my conclusion in Hope: #1 did this will be posted all over the Internet to make people stop and think about their towing capacities and limitations based on a single component whether theyre pulling a lot of weight and only have D rated tires when they should have e rated tires people bring pretty good amount of light to those things if you have a class 3 or class 4 you cant exceed the tongue capacity or the overall gross trailer weight everybody has discuss this obviously the ball itself needs to be rated proportionately to every other component within the system. #2 you need to have upgraded metallurgy hitch pin that correspond with the Raider trailer I understand as you go from class 1 and 2 up to class 3 and 4 they they change but class 3, 4 and 5 all take the exact same hitch pin and a class 3 will get you about 6,000 pounds of best and a class 5 can go as high as 24000 pounds So for All You trailer manufacturers out there component manufacturers it would be wise for you to push a superior product to go along with people that are already buying the best products just for the general safety and peace of mind of the public and those who are too stupid just stop and think and also as a manufacturer and supplier it relieves you of liability because theres a lot of accidents that happened because people do not understand the system and how they work together of all of these components for safe Towing and easy drivability and maneuverability Thank you for your time and consideration. My background is industrial Refrigeration mechanical engineering 17 years experience

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Expert Reply:

We aren't manufacturers of those parts, and we don't have the testing ability in house, so I reached out to a couple of our manufacturers to see what information they could provide to try and help.

I reached out to my contact at Curt regarding the pin and clip # C21500 and he said they haven't ever needed to test the sheer strength of a pin because the hitches and ball mounts will fail before the pin does every single time. They are rated for 6 figures easily. He gave an example of a Ford F-350 with ball mount in the receiver with a 5/8 inch pin that was rear ended by a semi truck with milk trailer. He said the ball mount and hitch pin were still intact when the receiver hit and cracked the rear axle case. He was able to pull the pin to remove the ball mount. Granted you shouldn't reuse those parts, they held up to an incredible force and weight without sheering.

For reference you can look at a grade 8 bolt that is 5/8 inch diameter and the tensile strength is 150,000 lbs per square inch. The ultimate sheer strength is typically about 60% of the tension strength, putting that sheer strength at about 90,000 lbs.

I also reached out to my tech contact at Brophy because they are very into the engineering side of things and they also stated that whatever you have in the hitch or ball mount will fail far before that, so they don't have a definitive answer either.

You referenced the hitch locks and the lock portion on the pins are beyond the hitch receiver so the towing weight at that point of the pin won't greatly impact it's function, so a locking pin like # e98880 would work as well as a non-locking pin at the location that matters for the towing and sheer strength and you wouldn't have any issue.

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