NEW AIR SAFE HITCH FOR TRUCKS TOWING BUSHTRACKERS
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:59 am    Post subject: NEW AIR SAFE HITCH FOR TRUCKS TOWING BUSHTRACKERS Reply with quote

We have now had two of them stop by Bushtracker...

At first it was not ADR approved, so I archived the photo. The last one to come in here on an Isuzu 850 4x4 truck, ( a rig bigger than mine to carry his Land Rover toy on the back Shocked ) and it had the Air Safe Hitch on it...

It has an air bag to carry and adjust the ride with air pressure. Enough talk, picture is worth a thousand words and this will absorb the shock of the hard riding truck suspension:



Ride height is adjustable, face bolts on with pintle hook universal mount that Vehicle Components has... Air Safe Hitch is ADR now, Google where to buy it as I do not know...

Kind regards from the Road Ranger..... Half a Horseman... All Bushtracker Man.
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aubs



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Steve,

I want to look after the BT and give her the best care that I can, I will chase down more info and most likely fit one to the truck. It justs takes some un-necessary roughness out of the ride.

Again Thanks
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Air hitch Reply with quote

We have been running these hitches on our work trucks for about 5 years now. This is our second hitch pictured. Work trucks Mitsubishi Canters with trailers from 2.5 - 3.5t travelling rough corrugated roads frequently. The hitch absorbs the tension taking stresses off the A frame to the point that whilst driving you don't feel the trailer behind you. The hitch pictured is over rated for our van. Downward load pressure capacity of 4.5t a smaller type hitch is available and be more than sufficient to tow any BT. We purchased both ours from Boronia towing accessories, Fern Gully, Melbourne. A search under BTA will bring them up. Mind you don' t put them on a Discovery! The air hitch works against the air suspension ( also own a Discovery 3 ). Do your homework first, probably not as effective behind a Landcruiser due to softer suspension. Probably more suited to light commercial or F trucks.
Wouldn't tow without one - highly recommend them!

[b]Quote: Probably more suited to light commercial or F trucks.[/b]
Absolutely, too much weight and totally unnecessary for regular tow vehicles like Landcruiser and Nissan Patrols... Admin..
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ordered a Class 5 [6000kg] Air Safe hitch just over a fortnight ago and received it today by courier.

When ordering, I specified that it needed to be compatible with a DO35, as my enquiries had indicated that the clearances of the standard plate and tongue fitted with the gussets would not be sufficient.

Unfortunately they didn't get it quite right and Tony [the owner] has undertaken to fix the problem asap.

In the mean time, I have mounted the plate up the other way, with the tongue at the top. Although this will mean the van will ride slightly high at the front, having an F250 with dual wheels should mean this is OK in the interim.

Tony is going to get hold of either the engineering drawings for both a DO35 and a DO45, or buy them to ensure all is well in the future.
I will be driving to Kunda Park next week and will report on the performance of the air hitch when I return home in early Nov.

I would suggest that anyone ordering one in the near future emphasise that they are using a DO35/45 and not assume that the standard one will be OK.

BTW, these units are not light - probably 25 kgs

Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew,

There is a universal bolt on piece available from Vehicle Components in Bribane, that bolts onto the vertical series of holes to get the right hitch height. For safety you need to be 50 mm minimum lower in the front of the Bushtracker.

I suggest you get this ball mount adaptor from them..

Kind regards,
Sent from my IPhone, out with the horses late at night,
Good night.....
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve

If possible, they are going to send a replacement to your factory before I leave for home on the 24th.

If not, it will be waiting for me by the time I get back to Adelaide.

It may not be too bad in the interim, as the F250 HR is a fairly low mount and I have not been able to measure it on level ground as yet. And with a little bit less pressure in the airbag, I may be able to get it at least level.

I will also be travelling light, with the van ~2.7T and the F about 4.8T

Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No worries Andrew and Jen,

You will not see the Air Safe on my MAN, but for a very good reasons:



While it may be the biggest personal 4x4 Dual Cab, winch, and Diff Locks, in Australia, but it is only 8 M long.. It is not really as big as it looks.. Laughing Cool Anyway I do not personally use one and it does not need the Air Safe hitch as the rear end is fully floating on four air bags itself... 280 mm travel up and down, full air floating rear suspension... Wink

So it is not that I do not endorse the Air Safe, been watching if for a while, and here is the second one on a Bushtracker Tow Vehicle on this F-350:



I had been shown one on a Bushtracker Tow Vehicle at least a year before this picture, so a couple of years ago... But it was not ADR Approved so I could not direct you Owners to it. Now, all good..

Kind regards, on the road Ranger
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just looking at the photograph, the length of the safty chains maybe a tad on the short side, as the tow hitch sits what looks about 125mm further from the vehicle maybe even further.

Andrew can you please post the measurement from the end of the reciever to the actual hitch pin? Thanks.

I may need to look at a longer safety chain.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hullo Paul and Sharon

The measurement is 340mm. That may vary a bit depending on the solution the manufacturers come up with to suit the DO35, but I would not expect more than another 10/15mm. It could even be the same.

I have just lengthened the chains today by adding 3 links using a 2T connector. This was based on a physical check with the Air Safe hitch in place. It doesn't have to be much as the van, of course, still pivots at the same place, ie the "radius" stays the same.

Oh, and BTW, it weighs 35kg - I am a tad stronger than I thought, or a worse judge of weights! Smile

Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Andrew,

By chance did you get your hitch through BTA http://www.btatowingequipment.com.au/AirSafeHitches.html#AHCL05Tag

I have seen 4500 airsafe hitches on Ebay but cannot find them anywhere else there is a big jump between 3000 and 6000 and was wondering why there is not a hitch inbetween?

Thank you
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hullo Paul

Yes, from BTA. I raised the same question with him (Tony) as I too thought it would be good if there was a 4500 kg model. I got the impression that they might consider it as I alerted him to the potential market with people with BTs and Fs or similar.

But I suspect that the price might not be that much less, as the 3000kg model is only about $300 less. One of the advantages of the Class 5 is the facility to fit shocker absorbers, if needed. And for me the potential resale value for people with 3.5T or more BTs.

I must say that now Tony is aware of the issue (of the DO35 fitting not working), he is going out of his way to promptly fix it to my satisfaction.

Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I intend to order the unit within the next 2 weeks,

I am also ditching my Honda 2i for the yamaha 2.8i I copped some flak over my porridge in the microwave but I'm sticking to my guns Cool . I hope to order this as well within 2 weeks.

New tyres on the Canter $3k and I will be ready to head back to the gold fields of WA hopefully early March Razz .

I will give Tony a call early next week and see where he is upto regarding the retro of the D035/45

Thank you
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Aubs,
What tyres are you running on the canter ?
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my office at Bushtracker I have a universal bolt on mount, that fits the two vertical rows of bolt holes on the Air Safe hitch. The last truck in here, and 8 ton Isuzu with one, took a loan of it... They have now returned it to me.

The D.O. 35 bolts right onto it with no problem. The row of holes is for height adjustment. I will get a picture of when I return if someone reminds me with an email. It is a little far away right now, Laughing Laughing as I am at Tamworth for the NRHA Reining Horse Nationals. Cool

This is a simple universal bolt on attachment, available from Vehicle Components in Brisbane. It is a flat vertical plate drilled with the row of holes to match, and overlapping on the bottom with a about 20 mm thick steel ball mount and hole. Right now it "was" only rated to 3500 kg some 4-5 months ago, but the People with the Isuzu said Vehicle Components would build a 4500 kg adaptor for the larger hitches and vans...

Not a drama.. On the road with the Ranger in Tamworth

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hullo Paul

Good luck with it all

I had a chat to Vehicle Components and they didn't seem too clued up on the Air Safe.

But more to the point, as they didn't have an adaptor compatible with the Class 5, ie 6000/600 kg, I didn't pursue it, as I didn't want mix the capacities by having a lesser capacity plate that the hitch itself.

While I would know it was 4500kg, what about the next person?

And finally, the price includes the plate/tongue so why pay more for another one + freight?

Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tyres are Michi's 255/100 R16, they are rare as hens teeth as the Military usually take up available stock.

Price ranges from $720 to $850. I also run them with tubes and on split rims, this makes it easier for repairs, I carry 2 spare tubes and patches if needed.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As promised previously, here is a report on my experience with an Air Safe Hitch, Class 5

This hitch is used to mitigate the “kick back” experienced when towing with stiff rear springs in the towing vehicle, for example, Ford F series, Canter, etc and to reduce the stresses in the A frame. It is NOT suitable for use with the soft springing in normal 4WDs.

The Class 5 – rated at 6000/600kg – weighs 35kg and protrudes some 250mm from the face of the HR receiver to the rear plate, plus another 150mm to the hole in the tongue that takes the DO35 assembly. My BT weighs ~3000kg and the HR fitted to the F250 (with dual rear wheels and 350 spring pack) is rated at 4500kg. Because of the added leverage due to the extended hitch, it might be prudent to have the hitch checked if towing a heavier van nearer your HR rated capacity.

Over the last 3 weeks I have used it for some 5000km of travel from Adelaide to the Sunshine Coast and return via Wodonga, including some pretty bad Qld roads such as the Moonee Hwy between St George and Dalby.

There is no doubt that for normal use, it almost eliminates kick back and would considerably lessen stresses in the A-frame. By normal use, I mean the majority of roads which have some bumps and dips. But for roads such as the Moonee Hwy, which has a badly deformed surface stretching over tens of kilometres, it may be necessary to add the shock absorber kit to dampen the oscillations set up under these conditions.

It is necessary to experiment with the pressure in the air bag, matching it to suspension characteristics, down weight, towed mass, road conditions, speed, etc. This is readily done using the standard tyre valve assembly on the top of the unit.

It is also essential to specify the type of hitch on the van so that the necessary clearances can be achieved. Surprisingly, they were not familiar with the DO 35 (nor 45) hitch and despite stressing that they should ensure compatibility, they did not get it right first time around. However, they subsequently went out of their way to provide a replacement at not extra cost, posting it to BT at Kunda Park in time for my arrival.

While not cheap at $1870 + $300 for the shocker kit, I regard it as both good insurance against tow vehicle / van damage and providing improved comfort.

Happy to answer any questions and/or elaborate
Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Andrew,

You say your van is 3000kg is that unloaded or loaded. I am 2800 unloaded and would be hitting the 3500 easliy when all my tanks are full heading bush.

The measurements are longer than what I currently have by about 10mm so that extra length is not a factor that at this time concerns me.

Again thank you for the info.

Now I will consider the shocks
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hullo aubs
3000kg loaded
With the F250 with duals, I load most of the gear in the truck and just a couple of days food plus everyday use stuff in the van - utensils, change of clothing, towels, etc
A tare of 2800 + loading would be easily handled by the Class 5. In fact, I suspect it may perform better with a bit more weight closer to design capacity.
Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you,

You have me thinking about the shocks though, at 3500kg there abouts, I am still 2500 under the rated capacity so I could not see the need for the shocks. If the BT was 5000 or upwards then I would consider them a must have item but at 3500 its still a long way short.

I sent an email to BTA over a week ago and as yet no reply. I may have to call Tony.

Cheers and safe travels
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hullo again

I think with the shock absorbers you could suck it and see, as they are easy to add on later. I am still considering what to do.

A point to take into consideration is that if there is excessive vertical travel, the unit hits the stops (upper and lower) and if this became extreme, damage could result as the shock (dynamic) loading would be worse than if you did not have the unit at all.

As I said, on the majority of roads, I think you could get away without any. Paradoxically, the slower the speed, the more vertical movement and so on the bad roads where you have to slow down, it tends to bang on the stops more.

Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When thinking about that Andrew, I would have thought more air in the air bags to stiffen the bounce out effect, right or wrong?

cheers
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmm..... when inflating the air bag initially, the recommendation is to put enough pressure in the bag to cause the arms to be horizontal. If this is too much, there might be too much rebound and it hits the top stops; otoh, if it is too little, it hits the bottom stops. So air is added or taken out as required for it to neither hit the top or bottom stops.
I have found that a slight slope upwards to the rear is a good starting position from which to adjust as necessary.
Cheers
Andrew
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 3:30 pm    Post subject: Air Safe Hitch & Isuzu FTS 800 4x4 Reply with quote

Very Happy Hello BT Owners who are considering the AirSafe Hitch Towing item.
Brian here compiling my first contribution to the Forum after my wife Margot registered us after ordering our BT in December 2011.

As Steve referred to in the initial item about this tow hitch, we are the owners of the ISUZU FTS 800 4x4 as our tow vehicle of choice.
And - Yes we do carry our Land Rover Defender 130 Duel Cab (GVM 3500kgm – GCM 7000kgm) on the tray of “The Tug” (as Margot has nick named it).




The Isuzu sales rep knew our intended use of the truck and informed us of the availability of the AirSafe Hitch (ASH), and referred us to BTA Towing Equipment in Victoria for the purchase and delivery of the item. To our dismay, we did not specify that the 4500kgm tow plate unit was to be suitable for use with the DO-45 hitch. http://www.btatowingequipment.com.au/AirSafeHitches.html

The truck tow bar was engineered and constructed by Ross Allen Trucks and Trailers (RAT&T) to suit the towing capacity of the truck and the “A-Frame” height of the BT draw bar as specified by BT. The tray and other fitments were engineered by this company. http://www.rossallentrucks.com.au/


Our van design had the following specific elements:
• Tow Vehicle – Isuzu FTS 800 4x4;
• Van ATM – 3500kgm with option to upgrade to 4000kgm;
• Van Draw Bar – 300 mm extension super heavy duty A frame;
• Van Tow Hitch – DO-45 Hitchmaster;
• Safety Chains – Bartlett Chain System;

Some comments and my perceptions about the Air Safe Hitches:
• Made and imported from the USA.
• Tow Plates most likely made in AUS by BTA to suit client needs.
• The Tow Plate bolt pattern matches the 4 bolt pattern of the original Pintle Hook tow unit that is widely used across agriculture, heavy industry and the military.
• The BTA ASH range covers a spread of load demands.
• That range would satisfy the considered supply and demand market within AUS along with the required engineering compliance.
• The Class 5 weighs 35kgm’s - PLUS - A suitable tow plate with the DO-45 hitch pin would increase this - - Twin Shocker kit would be extra weight – The full kit most likely above 40kgm.

Idea NOTE – The ASH Tow Bar shaft has larger radii corners on the solid beam RHS that enters the vehicle tow bar. Standard Haymen Reese tow shafts have very small radii corners on their RHS shafts. So should you get a purpose built tow bar to suit the ASH shaft, then your other general purpose tow shafts will not insert into your specific ASH tow bar.
• I believe that the Class 5 (6000kgm) unit is suitable for towing BT’s with 3500kgm and above Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) especially if you are NOT running the Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) accessory.
• The BTA supplied tow plates have the safety chain fixing points included on the outside edges of this plate. My personal preference would be for the safety chains to be attached to the tow bar. Our set up was specified with Bartlett Chains which hook to the tow bar.
• I believe that the Class 5 unit is most suitable for tow vehicles that have higher than 4500kgm GVM and especially with a “truck” with heavier suspension capacity due to their GVM / GCM.
• The “Air Bag” is a single balloon that has a steel control ring at the half height point.
• The Air Bag, with its variable pressure, is designed to carry weight depending on what down load is applied to it.
• It is my perception that the Air Bag, and the mounting structure, does not have any capacity to suppress the “up and down” harmonic movement that would occur from the usual movement between the tow and towed vehicular units over undulating pavements. Consequently the unit has the facility to fit twin shock absorbers to the outside of the frame to provide control of this harmonic movement.
• It is my perception that these twin shocks would be engineered to principally control / suppress the rebound movement of the unit, hence limiting the possibility of the rebound “topping out” on the limiting buffers.
• It is my perception that the physical expansion of the Air Bag under load and the consequent downward travel / compression, controls and restricts the possibility of “bottoming out” on the lower buffers, hence the twin shocks would apply less suppression of travel in the downward stroke compared to the upward stroke – only very technical details from the supplier would confirm these performance expectations.
• With the BT hooked up and the ASH pressure adjusted, there is about 30mm of travel in both the up and down direction.
• I also agree that it is possibly better to start each days travel with the quad control arms in a very slightly upward tilt towards the van, and then monitor their attitude as the day progresses to evidence any change of that position from operational influences, i.e. increase in ambient temperature.

The handover induction of our van on the 14 & 15 August went superbly except for the fit up of the ASH to the Sad DO-45. This was totally impossible on the BTA supplied tow plate due to the inadequate offset clearance for the DO hitch. (Yes we started the problem awareness).

As fate would have it, the mount holes for the 3500 and 4500kgm DO van hitches are identical and Very Happy Steve (that knight on a white – grey – bay horse – who has a propensity to hoard unused – but useful - things somewhere in his office) came to the rescue with a certified 3500kgm tow plate that would bolt to the Air Safe Hitch face plate.

This unit which was manufactured in Brisbane by Vehicular Components had the necessary offset clearance to fit the DO_35 Tow Pin. The BT Team then produced a workshop 3500kgm tow hitch for the van, which would allow us to tow the van around to the local Big 4 Van Park for the couple of days that it would take us to upload our gear and settle into the van. Peter Thomson at BT phoned Vehicular Components, as well as at least one other towing component supplier around Brisbane, about the supply of a 4500kgm unit, and they advised that they did not manufacture a unit of that rating.

Our challenge was to source an engineered 4500kgm face plate that would fit the Air Safe Hitch. My phone call to Tony and John at BTA raised some totally unknown hitch details by the BTA Team. Their knowledge of the DO Hitchmaster hitches was very limited, and even though Tony indicated that the company would be able to supply a suitably sized and rated tow plate, manufacture would be at a minimum of 10 days (plus delivery) due to design detail specifications. We didn’t have 10 days prior to our departure for North Queensland and we didn’t want to tow the van with an “under rated” tow mechanism due to insurance liability and risk. Yes we had registered the van with an ATM of 4000kgm.

A quick phone call and situation explanation to Ross at the truck body builder RAT&T, who are engineering certified and compliance accredited to design and construct such items, proved very successful. A quick visit and exchange of existing parts for design examples produced a very heavy duty tow plate within 48 hours. We returned to BT on Friday 17th August and had every thing transferred over to the 4500kgm units, and returned the loaned parts to Steve and the Team. Very Happy A big THANK YOU to Steve and all at BT. Very Happy Very Happy

So how has it performed and travelled.

In short – GREAT Smile . It is interesting to watch the van in relation to the tray of the truck as you travel along the road. The van undulates up and down behind the tray, and there is only the occasional impact transmitted through the truck. It is bad approaches to concrete causeways and grids that provide the greatest incidence of bumps, and the correct speed of travel across these can be as low as 1st gear idle. A pavement hole in one wheel track produces a vehicle suspension bump, which in most cases is not an ASH bump, and this is hard to differentiate between, but we are leaning to recognise the difference.

The availability of the shock absorber kit only came online in about October, and we are yet to purchase the item, but we will because I am certain that they will enhance the performance of the ASH even more. And that will in turn look after the van even more, which is our ultimate aim.

What would be the best outcome for supply of these units suitable for fitment with the DO 35 & 45 hitches?

The tow plate as manufactured by RAT&T is great and provides 110mm offset from the ASH vertical face to the centre of the DO hitch pin hole. We did not experience any binding of the hitch and tow plate during our travel home to north Qld, and that included a couple of crossed up gully crossings whilst on full lock. So it all works.

However, it would be simpler and more efficient for BTA to skill up and engineer their own tow plates to suite this application. I note in your comments that they have started to progress towards that end. I will certainly talk with Tony about that when I order the shockie kit in the near future.

Idea Comment to NOTE: - Every BT owner needs to understand – and work out - that there are multiple factors that influence what is – or will be - the eventual “tow height” of their tow vehicle when they go to attach their van to the hitch. The Air Safe Hitch does have some flexibility to accommodate this variance in that it has a 4 x 2 (8hole) stud pattern in the face plate, which enables at least a 3 position mount height for your tow plate – IF – you are only intending to use 4 of the bolt holes. IF your tow plate is recommended (required) that you use 6 bolt holes then you only have a 2 position mount height variance. Hence it becomes even more important that you “work out” you vehicle’s loaded tow height.

And Steve, the MAN looks very interesting, and only time and travel will confirm its suitability. It would be interesting to know how you get those alternate 6 tyres off the tray.

Unfortunately the ISUZU is manual (the auto didn’t have the tow capacity) and the Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) is not available in this 4x4 model. And the suspension is elliptical springs all round. We were informed from within the transport industry that computer controlled air suspension on a single axle HR unit gets “very confused” when subjected to extended period of rough and corrugated roads. So my disappointment at not having airbag suspension on the ISUZU was subdued, but in the end of it all, this is what “The Boss” requested. And the twin ISRI air seats are certainly a boost to travel comfort. Only time and travel will tell.

Well folks, I hope these comments are informative and will be of benefit to you in your considerations about the suitability of this Air Safe Hitch to your requirements.

Cheers for now
Brian. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Placing our order for the airsafe hitch tomorrow,

Question I was asked the shank size of the DO35, I dont have callipers so does anyone know the length and diameter of the shank please.

Thanks
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Peter Thomson



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Paul,

The DO35 pin shaft is 22.3mm or 7/8" diameter and is 65mm long.

Regards,

Pete
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Roachie



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just reviving this old thread......about to travel to Qld to collect our pre-loved BT and wanting to look after it to the best of my ability.

Can anybody provide anymore up-to-date info or insights on these hitches please?

At around $2,000- + + + I'm a bit hesitant, but then I think of the $$$ consequences of a cracked A frame (or worse?).

Are there any BT owners who tow with a large yanky truck (Dodge, Ford or Chev) who don't have an Air-Safe Hitch and who DON'T have any issues with the BT?

Looking forward to being further "edumacated" on this important topic.

Cheers,

Roachie
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Loki of Condor



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's less than 1% of your overall investment Roachie.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, quite right Stephen....when you put it like that I guess it's a no-brainer.

Thanks mate,

Bill
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RobandFlip



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Roachie,
We tow our 21ft BT with a Dodge Ram 2500. The hitch is a DO45 and we use a WDH for general towing. Not any problems to date.
Cheers,
Robyn
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day Roachie.
As you know we tow with a 2500HD Silverado, ours is a 21 foot with 4000KG ATM. Use a DO45 and HR WDH. I feel it tows well, don't think our suspension is really truck like enough to warrant the ASH; plenty of other things I can do with 2K.
Cheers Peter.
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Roachie



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks blokes for your input....might leave it for a while and see how we go.

Sadly, we won't be doing any of the more "outback" type tracks for a year or so (at this stage), so 99% of the time I'll be a bitumen jockey Crying or Very sad

Cheers,

Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roachie wrote:
Just reviving this old thread......about to travel to Qld to collect our pre-loved BT and wanting to look after it to the best of my ability.

Can anybody provide anymore up-to-date info or insights on these hitches please?

At around $2,000- + + + I'm a bit hesitant, but then I think of the $$$ consequences of a cracked A frame (or worse?).

Are there any BT owners who tow with a large yanky truck (Dodge, Ford or Chev) who don't have an Air-Safe Hitch and who DON'T have any issues with the BT?

Looking forward to being further "edumacated" on this important topic.

Cheers,

Roachie


Hi Bill, we tow with a 2012 Dodge Ram and the standard A frame strengthening was for the Landcruiser we towed with previously. I actually had the suspension of the Dodge softened in impact and the shock we used to feel right through the vehicle to the cab has almost totally disappeared. With the mass I believe you have with the canopy, I expect the softening has already been applied. I think the rear is best loaded up. The overload leaves were replaced and are very impressive, but now on a pallet rack. Three leaves and better shocks for impressive handling

On another hand, our son has an 18" BT that has spent a bit of time around Australia, and the strengthening bar bent and broke. The bends showed there had been some stretching of the bar and I believe it has only ever been on Nissans.Shocked Shocked The draw bar of the BT is a short A frame. He has since replaced the strengthening bar with rectangular solid to BT specs which would add to the mass somewhat

Congratulations on your purchase mate. I am sure you will enjoy it

Cheers, John R
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roachie,

It is not an issue with the 2500's. Only the 3500's and up, with Dual Rear Wheels "DRW" is it a case for the AirSafe hitch...

It is only a consideration for them and more heavy duty trucks of the DRW class. Your 2500 will soften up when loaded up, and it is just not necessary. I am not giving an opinion, this real empirical R&D as I have towed with a Mitsubishi, Mack 4x4, and my MAN 4x4. In R&D I have had three DRW Fords, F-350 and 2 1/2 years with an F-450. I have also had a Chev Silverado 3500 and a Dodge Cummins Diesel 3500 both with DRW..

In summary: It is marginal with a 3500 SRW, a consideration for a DRW 3500, NECESSARY for heavier trucks than them, and definitely not necessary with a 2500.

Kind regards from the Director, Bushtracker, Stg
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Roachie



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your kind advice Steve; much appreciated.

However, always wanting to err on the side of caution and bearing in mind the overall suspension set-up of my 2500 Silverado (see pic....it is sitting on a 6" suspension lift and tips the scales very close to its GVM), I have elected to buy a 2nd hand Air Safe Hitch (5) I found for sale on the internet.

I also looked at a cheaper option in the Shocker Hitch: http://shockerhitch.com/ . A local mechanic is the SA Agent for these and I was tempted by the < $1,000- price tag, but was put off by the way the bag portion hung down underneath the hitch receiver; thus affecting the departure angle of my truck and also leaving the bag exposed to rock strikes.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is fine for you Roachie....
You seem to like all the toys... So be it, me too...

However, I give advice to the thousands, and by no means do I want people to think that it is in any way necessary on this size of truck... You do it, because you like the toys, and heh, look at my truck as I am a bit the same way. However, it is unnecessary weight and cost in this size of truck.. Air Safe is really for Duallies, harder riding suspensions.

On another note:
You might be the only person to have a more outrageous Bull Bar on an American truck, than mine, heh he Laughing



Matthew convinced me to get it painted white to match the truck (mistake, shows all the bugs, Laughing) Anyway, painted white to match, so it did not put off our other Clients... Until they have hit something in the Outback, they would just be put off by these extremes.. Anyway, mine is a bit over the top, your is way over the top. But you would sure get respect in the round-a-bouts in town.. Laughing

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, Director
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G'day Steve,

We just returned home after a 4 day delivery run from the Gold Coast with our "new" BT in tow.

A big thanks to Kylie and Chrissie (aka "Uptowngirls") from whom we purchased the BT.

We did have a couple of issues relating to the truck.....nothing too important; just that the towbar broke away from the chassis!!!! Had it fixed in Temora, NSW (where the breakage occured).

Also, I think the rigid suspension issue was probably the cause of the fire extinguisher breaking off the wall inside the door of the BT. The 2 small metal tabs that hold the screws (that attach it to the wall) both fractured.

Early next week my Air Safe Hitch should arrive by freight from Victoria (I bought a used one via Gumtree) and that will be fitted with a McHitch Auto coupling (6 tonne rated) which I picked up from Lithgow on the way home.

Cheers,

Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill, congratulations on picking up your Bushtracker. You can now change your sign off as you are no longer waiting!

Regards ...
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reminder......and the congrats......

Profile now updated...

Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good one Roachie; you'll love it and the Chev will just eat towing it with your set up. Cheers Peter.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update on this topic......

I love the Air-Safe hitch!!

My truck apparently has the heavier 3500 suspension package. As the 2500 and 3500 Chev trucks use common chassis, axles, brakes, wheels etc it is only the rear leaf suspension that differs.

So, I'm in the process of going through an Adelaide engineering mob in order to have the GVM up-rated to around 5,170kg.

This will give me the necessary leeway to haul the BT and stay legal.

Of course the trade off is that it will be registered as a truck (ie: more expensive).....but that's a small price to pay to be legal.

Roachie
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Friends,

Now I am dredging up a 5 year old Thread here, but this is an alternative to the Air-Safe hitch.. First of all, this is ridiculous except for DRW (Dual Rear Wheel) trucks. There is enough give in SRW suspensions that this is totally not necessary.

But for those with DRW in American or Japanese trucks, this is an alternative to the Air-Safe for less than half the price. It operates on the rubber torsion bar system, goes either way up or down for the right height, and then the slide in mount has four bays for four positions in height of the ball mount or our WDH adjustable head unit mount.

Other features:
It is also a 750 kg ball weight unit, and has a ball weight measure on the side for give in the rubber torsion bar system.
There is a also a model for the WDH, (the Weight Distributing Hitch) on their Website.
This just take the shock out of a DRW truck suspension and is easier on the Bushtracker.

They have named it the Gen-Y Hitch, and is about $1350, less than half the price of the Air Safe. I just thought you should know..

Genyhitch.com.au




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Rosiebear



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 12, 2017 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry link just takes you back to the US with a very garish web page and very limited useful information, the Australian nominated distributor on the US site, is some off shore racing boat mob on the Gold Coast with nothing relevant on their site, just an email contact and I am sure they would be happy to import one, but then again you can do that yourself.

Interesting simple concept though, there are some on Ebay for a reasonable cost, about 685 USD plus freight for a standard 2" receiver with 700 kg ball weight and 7 T tow rating.

Don't know how they would go for Aust DOT compliance though?? Probably over engineered for our weights, so might not be an issue if you can get an engineer to sign off on it, mainly for Insurance purposes though.


Hmmm just spent the last hour looking at the Ozglide. Its an impressive looking bit of kit, and locally designed and made, not cheap though.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rosiebears,

Despite your speculative negativity, yes it is in stock, yes it is approved, yes it is here in mass. And the approval you are talking about is ADRs and yes it is ADR approved and we have it in stock.

Further, Owners: If you are interested it is in stock here at Bushtracker. You can have one for $1350. As long ago for you Old Timers who remember my Mack Dual Cab 4x4, we built a rubber torsion bar hitch that worked about the same way. It was no where near as good as this, did not have the parallel platform movement and dual torsion bars that worked both directions, but the bounce of it is negated by the torsion bar resistance on the rebound. I had it years ago when towing a Bushtracker with the Mack horse truck...



What was this, some 14 years ago, my first big Interstate Horse Rig, competing as far away as Werribee in Victoria. This torsion bar system just took the shock out of the van as the rigid truck suspension it ruts and rocks..



Last edited by Bushtracker on Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Steve for clarifying that. Good that you have it in stock yourself, its not mentioned in your first post that's why I speculated on availability and DOT approval status and also on the link.

Once again, like a horse blanket, you're all over it. Yee har
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Bushtrek



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve,
We saw your old Mack week before last. It was parked up at Lake Wallace (Wallerang NSW) being lived in by a fella by the name of Peter. Had a good yarn as he had been there a few weeks, and we were just stopping for the night. Seems it has done a few kms over the last few years, as Peter is in the Wool game, classing and the like.

He reckons it has been round the country "more than once or twice" . Still looks good and the reining horse decals are still on it.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Graeme and Chris...

I loved the way it looked and the hydraulic winch set up I built.. I have often wondered about it... I would have not sold it, but towing a Bushtracker was a bit tedious on the grades as it just did not have enough gears...

It was only a six speed, so you would get a run on the hill, but when you ran out of steam it was a long way to the next gear.. You would dog down on one gear, downshift and not over rev the lower gear, so you had to just stay in the power range of a lower gear and go slow... It was just slow, needed a 9 or 12 speed gearbox.. Anyway, loved that truck, often wondered what had happened to it.

My current big rig is not much more horsepower, but the MAN 4x4 has a 12 speed auto/manual you can run either way, so it is always in a power band and takes the grades and little hills better.

Thanks for the report!! Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DO35 - Manufactured by Vehicle Components, Geebung, Brisbane.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep Grumpy, got a new one of those as part of the set-up, came with two new pins. Now to sell my old DO35 that I took off complete with a new pin, and spanner.

The Oz glide comes standard as one of two models, one with the DO35 already fitted in the housing, or the Alko funny ball hitch thing.
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone, recently joined and first post.

Has anyone had a chance to try a geny hitch? Until I can afford a ram I am towing my recently acquired 2nd hand 20foot BT with an Isuzu NPR 65-190 6.5t gvm.... very rough. Rough without a van on. In order to look after my back and the van, and be useful when a ram pops into my garage will this new hitch be comparable with an air safe hitch. I have read good things about air safe but tried neither.

What about the 40kg tongue wait plus ball weight on a 3.5t rated Isuzu tow bar. Anyone steer me in the right direction? The van is currently a little high, but was going to wait to get one of these hitches to save throwing more coin at other tongues. I have a do45 and the nut won't go on my two adjustable hitches due to the gussets under the ball receiver....using a weapon hitch that won't lower far enough but takes the do45 pin. Can get it right for height on a mchitch tongue but won't fix the ride only the height for now.

Ram of choice will be a 3500 due to the nice payload it will afford.

Rob
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