NTEA begins project to test heavy-duty custom hitches

For decades, the truck equipment industry has been designing, fabricating and installing heavy-duty custom hitches on commercial straight trucks to meet customers' wide variety of towing needs. Although it is widely believed our industry does a good job of designing, fabricating and installing heavy-duty hitch structures, it is not practicable to validate performance, because there currently is no established industry testing standard. This is compounded by the further impracticability of conducting dynamic testing on the vast number of chassis make, model, frame and hitch combinations called for by customers. Few, if any, truck body and equipment manufacturers and distributors are likely to have the engineering, financial and other resources needed to undertake such a project. The NTEA believes small businesses (NTEA members and nonmembers) can resolve this particular problem through a cooperative project that would involve two aspects: (1) developing a uniform performance standard against which companies could test hitch structures; and (2) developing a "least common denominator" generic hitch structure (i.e., a generic structure containing the minimum components needed to actually test, and representative of a reasonably broad cross-section of hitch structures), that would be tested against the standard, with the test data disseminated to participants. To read the entire public notice and to learn more about this project, visit http://www.ntea.com/TechCenter/techtalk_detail_public.asp?doc_id=87.

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