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Gooseneck Trailer Hitches

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Gooseneck Trailer Hitches

Elizabeth Morgan
March 1, 2006

Gooseneck trailer hitches are used to haul irregularly shaped trailers that have frontal protrusions that stick out past the rest of the trailer. Gooseneck trailer hitches are some of the strongest on the market, often able to handle up to 30,000 pounds. These trailer hitches are not installed at the rear of a truck like conventional trailer hitches, but they do often use a similar hitch ball system to secure the trailer to the hitch.

Gooseneck trailer hitches are installed under the middle of the truckbed, not at the rear bumper like conventional trailer hitches. Gooseneck trailer hitches are needed to haul irregularly shaped cargo trailers that stick out in the front. These trailers are rectangular until the front, where the top area sticks out past the rest. A good example of a trailer that would be compatible with a gooseneck trailer hitch is a horse trailer. One reason a trailer may be shaped like this is to have a smaller turning radius. The trailer can make sharper turns since it is attached further into the bed of the truck than trailers connected at the very rear of the truck.

Installing a gooseneck trailer hitch usually involves temporarily removing the truckbed in order to install the necessary frames to hold the hitch ball. People usually have to drill a hole in the middle of the bed for the hitch ball to fit through before reattaching the bed to the truck. The hitch ball must be elevated above the truckbed in order for people to fasten trailers onto it. Some gooseneck hitches have balls that can fold down into the bed of the truck when not in use so that the truckbed is once again a flat surface.

Gooseneck trailer hitches are great for carrying irregularly shaped trailers and providing a tighter turning radius. Gooseneck trailer hitches are slightly complicated to install, but they are extremely secure once they are fastened under the truckbed.

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