I use trailers weekly and can back right up to a trailer if there’s room to line up straight with it. But if it’s at an angle, or in mud or snow, even I can’t get there on the first try. You know the story: You back up, get out of your truck to see how close you are, try it again, then realign, and so on. Each time you back up, you have to judge the distance from the trailer to the truck again, then try to move the truck over the right distance. Clearly, there’s a need for a safe, efficient hitch-alignment method in the trailering community.
An Idea is Born
Good ideas develop out of such necessity. While working as a contractor, Rick Weber worried about the time it took for his workers to hook up his trailers. Weber investigated his workers’ lengthy absences. Much to his surprise, he’d often find one employee standing between the truck and trailer signaling to another employee who was backing up the truck. Visions of hospitalization and worker’s compensation claims convinced Weber that he needed to come up with a better option, both to help keep his workers safe and to expedite this process. Weber’s ingenious hitch-alignment idea involves moving the trailer to the truck, rather than vice versa. And best of all, it only takes one person!
To use Weber’s Sidetracker Trailer Hitching System, just line up the ball and coupler on one side or the other. Then crank the trailer sideways onto the truck’s hitch point. (The Sidetracker comes with a standard hand crank or an optional power track, with electric or hydraulic power.) Imagine your trailer coupler moving sideways. It’s really cool to use your trailer’s jack to move the trailer left or right to match the ball to the coupler. On bumper-pull trailers, Sidetracker offers 11 inches of movement, or 5.5; inches from the jack’s center on each side.
Also on a bumper-pull, the Sidetracker will move your trailer jack back toward the trailer, allowing more room to lower your truck’s tailgate. This jack placement also makes cranking the trailer jack easier, since it’s closer to the trailer axles.
On gooseneck or fifth-wheel trailers, the Sidetracker has an amazing 20 inches of movement, or 10 inches from the jack’s center on each side. When you’re not hauling, this range allows you to better position your trailer where you want it, such as closer to a wall in a storage facility.