December 09, 2011
Why You Should Have a Trailer Hitch, Even If You Don't Have a Boat
By Joe Cermele
The other night while driving home from dinner with a friend, I pulled off the highway and came to the yield sign at the top of the ramp. At this particular spot, you're merging onto a road with heavy traffic, so I was forced to come to a stop and let the oncoming cars pass. As I was waiting for one last car to whiz by...crack! I get hit from behind and the truck jolts forward. I knew exactly what happened; the person waiting to merge behind me was watching the traffic, not the car in front of them (me). My buddy immediately started the "oh, man, that sucks" routine, but I wasn't too worried. "Ten bucks says there's no damage to the truck," I told him. "They, on the other hand, have a shiny chrome trailer ball in their radiator right now."
We pulled over and I broke out my flashlight for inspection. Sure enough, I didn't have a single scratch or dent or chip or bent panel...just a trailer hitch coated in white paint from the Audi that belonged to the nice lady who hit me. As for the Audi, well, it looked like someone put a .50 caliber round through the fender, which its owner was none too pleased about, but that's her problem.
Obviously, if you get hit by someone doing 40mph, a trailer hitch won't make a lick of difference, but this is twice now I've been spared truck damage during little "oopsy" fender benders. Unfortunately the other instance was my fault. I backed into a parked car and took out the person's tail light. I paid for it, but once again, all I had was a mildly scratched hitch.
If your truck already has a receiver, the $50 hitch and ball investment is worth it. Plus, even if you don't have a boat to pull, people will assume you do. It's kind of like those dudes that always have a guitar pick in their pocket even though they don't play guitar. They just think it looks cool when they're digging for change in line at the grocery store.