Jack: The double reinforced pin is exclusive to the Everest and is often referred to as the hook-up clip. It’s the part of the system that sits in the trailer tongue on both the driver and passenger sides and receives the chain on the ends of the bars. For the Everest, we went with a hard pin that has double reinforcement at critical stress points.
TCM: Tell us about the marine grade chains?
Jack: During our testing, we went through several different types of chains to discover a chain that would handle the 2,000 pound capacity of the Everest. We finally found a marine grade chain that’s up to the task. The marine grade chain can handle the weight of the trailer when turning and going around corners and results in little to no wear. The fact that the chain is marine grade also allows it to weather the corrosive environments of the road.
TCM: The Everest was designed to compliment the Torklift Magnum SuperHitch. Does it also work with the Torklift SuperHitch, or is that not an appropriate combination?
Jack: The Everest will work on either the SuperHitch or SuperHitch Magnum, but it’s matched in capacity with the Magnum. With the original SuperHitch, you would be limited by the capacity of the SuperHitch. The maximum is 17,000 pounds of capacity on the original SuperHitch.
TCM: Tell us about the hydraulic assist on the Everest.
Jack: Whenever you hook up a trailer, you back up your truck to your trailer. Then you lower the jack and lock the coupler. That’s fairly straight forward and simple.
When hooking up a weight distribution system, you have to take the tongue jack and lift the whole system up eight to ten inches above level. The reason why you have to jack the trailer up is to get the tongue weight onto the spring bar.
When we started working with the Everest, we knew some customers would have 2,000 pound tongue weight trailers. That’s a lot of tongue weight. On a conventional system you are dealing with 800 pounds of tongue weight. That’s eighty to a hundred pounds to lift, which a normal person can do. But, if you’re carrying the kind of weight the Everest is capable of carrying, you would need Popeye arms to lift the two hundred pounds eight to ten inches above level.
To solve this problem, we developed a special hydraulic assist utilizing a specially engineered mechanism that makes it so you don’t have to jack up the trailer. It lifts the load and the bars at the same time. Without this feature, the Everest would not be possible. It was a real breakthrough for us.
TCM: In your press release for the Everest, you mention that the Everest has the greatest capacity of any weight distribution system made today. Why does someone need 20,000 pounds of capacity and 2,000 pounds of tongue weight in a weight distribution system?
Jack: Believe it or not, I’ve had customers send in pictures and stop by the factory with trailers dragging on the ground. I have seen horse trailers with 2,000 pounds or more of tongue weight. When we ask the owners if they weighed their trailer, they answer that they guess estimated. Most of the time, these guess estimations are wrong, and well under the real weight. For these customers, the Everest will be a real help.
Every year, the truck manufacturers increase the capacities of their trucks. In 2011, all one ton dually trucks have towing capacities at or greater than 20,000 pounds. No trailer hitch or weight distribution system available, other than the Everest, will enable the customer to use the full capacity of these trucks.
TCM: Tell us about the design and testing of the Everest.
Jack: All of our products start with a three dimensional design in SolidWorks with our engineers. Through SolidWorks, our engineers can stress that design and see where its weak points will be. They then make any necessary adjustments before we actually build a mule. A mule is what we call a prototype.
Once a mule is built, it will go through physical stress tests with hydraulic machinery to make sure that what SolidWorks told us lines up with reality. As the tests are completed, adjustments are made and new mules are developed. When the hydraulic machine testing is completed, it’s time for field testing with actual trucks, actual trailers, and actual tongue weight. We always test at or past the capacity rating of the product. Our trucks have been running with the Everest system for many months now.
TCM: Have you needed to make further adjustments during this process?
Jack: Yes, we’ve made some minor tweaks. Keep in mind that we’ve been working on the Everest for about four years now. You really have to be patient when developing something like this. You can’t rush the design, development, or testing. There’s a lot of weight riding on this product. And it has to carry our name and lifetime warranty. We don’t take these things lightly.
TCM: What is the MSRP for the Torklift Everest?