What is a Hitch Shank?

Across the trailer and towing world, the terms “ball mount” and “Hitch” come with a certain level of understanding that is surface level at best. Even when terms are discovered, many suffer from misconceptions and misunderstanding due to the esoteric nature of the information. Case in point, what exactly is a hitch shank? Should you be concerned about it? And what purpose could it possibly serve in saving you from a massive headache?

What does “Hitch” mean in Towing?

A tow hitch, otherwise known as a trailer hitch, is the object on the back-end of a vehicle chassis, used for towing.

The most basic hitch is the simple tow ball, as shown in the photo to the right. However, the word “hitch” can refer to a wide variety of other concepts including a weight distribution hitch and classic vehicle ball mount.

In practical context, when one refers to a hitch, they are generally referring to an enhancement or improvement upon the typical tow ball or other item.

What does “Shank” mean in Towing?

“Shank” typically refers to a hole in the ball mount that the trailer ball will go into. The diameter of the hole is essential to ensuring you purchase a ball mount to match.

A hitch pin is usually inserted into the side of the shank to keep the equipment secure and stop the hitch parts from sliding out of the receiver.

The photo to the right is of a standard Equalizer hitch shank, which slides into the receiver and connects to the Equal-i-zer hitch head. Knowing the drop or rise you may need to level the towing vehicle and trailer is essential to purchasing the best possible shank for your needs.

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Knowing what a hitch and shank are, is essential for beginning your journey into the trailer and towing community. To stay up to date and learn more about hitches and related topics; follow Equalizer Hitch on Facebook Today!

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