Torklift International debuts the SuperHitch Hero, an all-new hitch designed specifically for half-ton trucks. They also tease the Lock and Load, and upper hitch accessories.
Something important is happening in the world of half-ton trucks. In recent years, the payload and towing capacities of half-ton trucks has increased to the point where half-ton trucks can be seen as viable candidates for a growing number of truck camper rigs. The truck camper manufacturers have responded by building lighter models designed specifically for the increased payload of these half-ton trucks.
But, just as any one-ton won’t necessarily payload match every full-size camper, every half-ton won’t necessarily payload match the new lighter weight campers. You always need to carefully calculate camper wet, and loaded weight and match that weight against the actual truck payload capacity, no matter what the truck or camper. That said, the fact that new half-ton trucks offer more payload and towing capacity opens up the possibilities.
Torklift International has also been keeping an eye on the new half-ton trucks. For years they have completely focused their Torklift International SuperHitch product line on three-quarter and one-ton heavy duty trucks. With the increasing popularity and capacities of the new half-tons, they are announcing a new SuperHitch product, the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero.
To learn more about the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero, we talked to Jack Kay, Principal of Torklift International, Jay Taylor, Torklift’s General Manager, and Candice Boutilier, Torklift’s Marketing Director.
TCM: What led Torklift International to develop the SuperHitch Hero?
Jay: Torklift International customers have requested a SuperHitch for half-ton trucks for many years. Jack decided the time was right to look into this market at the end of last year. With our many years of hitch manufacturing experience, and our new facility, we certainly have the capability and capacity to do it.
Jack: The Torklift International SuperHitch Hero is much more than just a trailer hitch, starting with its dual receivers. The dual receivers make the SuperHitch Hero more substantial than a regular half-ton hitch. It is all about safety and being overbuilt. It’s basically bullet proof.
The Torklift International SuperHitch Hero is also more versatile offering more possibilities than just towing. Have you ever seen the Pixar movie The Incredibles? I own the film, and enjoy watching it with my grandkids. I admit it. Well, the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero, like the “Supers” in The Incredibles, is multi-talented. For example, we will be rolling out a series of accessories for the Torklfit International SuperHitch Hero that will be able to use the upper receiver.
Instead of just hooking up the ball mount for towing, you will be able to use the upper receiver for things like a winch mount, bike rack, barbecue, generator tray, and a cargo tray. There’s a long list here of upper receiver accessories that we plan to announce.
Jay: For truck campers with an overhang, you can also use our Torklift International SuperTruss extensions with the SuperHitch Hero. We have various extension lengths that can be used when you bring along your bikes, motorcycles, and ATVs. And when you’re not using your truck camper, you can still tow behind your truck and use the accessories for the upper receiver.
Another accessory that we will be debuting in the near future for the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero is the Lock and Load. The Lock and Load holds a generator or tool boxes in a tray that mounts on the upper receiver. Once there, no one can get to the Lock and Load unless they have a key. While it was originally designed for the SuperHitch Hero, it will work with any hitch, on any vehicle type along with the SuperHitch Towing Series.
TCM: Will the Lock and Load fit a Honda EU2000i portable generator?
Above (click to enlarge): Computer controlled high definition plasma cuts with the SuperHitch Hero
TCM: That could be very useful. Was the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero designed in SolidWorks, or was it developed on the bench?
Jay: We use SolidWorks for just about everything. SolidWorks is directly connected to our CNC plasma cutters allowing us a level of quality and precision that sets Torklift International products apart. If you own just about any Torklift International product, you can see the quality that SolidWorks and our CNC plasma cutters allow us to achieve.
Above: Computer controlled auto-feed saw cutting the SuperHitch Hero cross tubes
Above (click to enlarge): Welding and bending the side plates at their location in Sumner, Washington
There is also an extensive amount of research, development, and testing before we launch a product. First, we conduct finite analysis using SolidWorks simulations. Then we conduct extensive field testing with all of our products. We learn a lot from both the simulations and the field experience. Before a product is introduced, it’s gone through four or five generations between SolidWorks modeling and physical prototypes. Finally, we put every Torklift product through thousands of miles of testing.
Above: Research and Development vehicle lift at Torklift International
The SolidWorks modeling, finite analysis, and extensive real-world product testing is another important part of what sets Torklift International apart from its competitors.
TCM: Does the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero share design elements and materials with the Original SuperHitch and SuperHitch Magnum?
Jack: The SuperHitch Hero design elements are the same design elements as the Original SuperHitch. We use the same Grade 8 fasteners, the same structural design, and the same materials. The main difference is that the Original SuperHitch is rated at 17,000 pounds and the SuperHitch Hero is rated at 15,000 pounds. I want to point out that each of our hitches has a bright orange label that clearly states that the limiting factor of any hitch is your truck’s towing capacity, not the hitch.
Jay: There’s been a drastic increase in towing capacity of half-ton trucks over the past two to three years. With new half-ton trucks offering increased hauling capacity and performance, the SuperHitch Hero is a reliable and strong solution.
TCM: Will the SuperHitch Hero fit trucks other than half-ton trucks?
Jack: No, the SuperHitch Hero is made specifically for half-ton trucks. It will not work with a three-quarter or one-ton truck because they are built vehicle specific so you don’t have to drill.
Above: Hardened reinforced hitch pin locations
TCM: The hitch pin locations have been reinforced on the SuperHitch Hero to prevent what’s described as, “egging”. What is “egging?”
Jack: Take a look at a well used hitch from a competitor and you will often see what we call, “egging.” Specifically, look at the hole where the hitch pin holds the ball mount in place. From use, the hole will have elongated, opening horizontally looking more like an egg-shape than a proper circle. This, “egging” allows the pin to impact the front and back of the hole like a hammer during stop-and-go acceleration and braking.
The sound of the impact is not only annoying, but it also stresses the receiver and the ball mount. This could eventually lead to hitch damage. We have reinforced the hitch pin locations on the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero to prevent, “egging” from happening.
Above (click to enlarge): Installation of the SuperHitch Hero
TCM: Is the Torklift SuperHitch Hero a no drill application?
Jay: Ninety-five percent of all Torklift International SuperHitches made have been no drill installations. Almost every truck made since about 2007 should be a no drill application.
Jack: The hitch line will become available June 1, 2013 beginning with Ford F-150 applications.
TCM: Is the Torklift SuperHitch Hero 100% made in the USA?
Jay: Absolutely. If I skip over to where they’re made, I’d be there in twenty paces.
TCM: Don’t hurt yourself now Jay. Does the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero come with Torklift International’s lifetime warranty?
Jay: Absolutely. Our lifetime warranty is legendary. All Torklift International products come with a lifetime warranty and we’re very proud of that. We stand behind our products.
Jack: If our customers have an issue with a Torklift International product, they are going to get the red carpet treatment like they have never experienced from any company before. When you call us toll-free at 1-800-246-8132, a real human being here at Torklift International in Sumner, Washington will answer the phone. on the first or second. From that moment, we always go above and beyond with customer service and warranty claims. That’s what makes the Torklift International lifetime warranty legendary.
TCM: When will the SuperHitch Heroes be available?
Jay: The SuperHitch Hero hitches will be available in June. On July 4th we will start a marketing campaign to promote the Torklift International Hero Project worldwide. We are also promoting it through Truck Camper Magazine and the truck camper rallies all across the country this year. SuperHitch Heroes will be given away as prizes.
Mike Tassinari of the NorthEast Truck Camping Jamboree has a rally in New Hampshire just after the Fourth of July. He’s going to do a whole program on the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero and the Hero Project at the rally.
TCM: Is there anything else about the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero or the Torklift SuperHitch Hero Project that you would like to add?
Jay: We realize that you all have choices between products you buy. I truly believe in the Torklift International SuperHitch Hero and the Torklift International Hero Project. It is very nice to know the Hero Project will spark talk around the campfires this summer honoring the heroes in our lives.
For more information on Torklift and their hitches visit their website at www.torklift.com.