How the Hensley Hitch Works
Every other sway control device uses friction in one form or another. The problem is that friction works both ways. While it dampens trailer sway, it also hinders the tow vehicle’s ability to turn or regain control of the trailer once sway does occur. Eventually, enough side force (wind, trucks, uneven roads, etc.) will hit the side of your trailer to overcome the friction in your sway control device. At that point, the sway control device becomes a hindrance to regaining control of your trailer.
The secret of the Hensley Arrow® rests in its patented converging linkage design. The Arrow allows movement on the ball in every direction except side-to-side. Side-to-side movement is forced to go through the linkage system which is one directional. From the trailer side, the linkage is solid. Pivoting by the linkage must be initiated through the tow vehicle. The system’s design is inherently stable. Best of all, it functions mechanically, without the use of friction so it exhibits consistent and predictable behavior regardless of changes in weather or road conditions.
The Arrow is constructed with careful attention to detail and is continuously checked to see that the highest quality is maintained throughout the manufacturing process. Made to last as long as you tow, the Hensley features:
- Solid steel construction
- Heavy duty spring bars and jacks
- Tapered roller axle bearings, seated in hardened bearing races, packed with grease, and sealed from moisture
All main components of the Hensley Arrow are protected by a powder paint process. Powder paint is the strongest, most durable paint coating available for equipment exposed to the elements. It’s not the easiest or the cheapest, but it’s a luxury we think is consistent with the excellence of the Hensley’s design, construction, and performance.
The Hensley Arrow® mechanically locks sway out and creates an inherently stable relationship between your trailer and tow vehicle. Uneven road conditions, wind gusts, passing trucks and steep downhill grades can all be handled with confidence. However, common sense and normal safety precautions should always be used.
Using a Roadmap to Improve Towing
Experience has shown that trailer sway and loss of control is one of the single greatest issues facing the trailering community. There are multiple variables (inputs) which can lead to trailer sway (output). While any single variable may not cause the average person concern, the number of variables outside of the persons control requires some consideration. To the degree that these variables are commonly encountered while towing, and as long as towing is susceptible to these variables, there exists the likelihood (a statistical probability) of having to withstand the cumulative effect of several at one time. Focusing on one potential cause is not only unwise, but it serves to enhance a false sense of security.
For example, many people believe safe towing is simply a matter of experience. Yet, if someone tows for 20 years without “having a problem,” first, they’ve been lucky, and second, they have exactly the same amount of experience handling an out of control trailer as a person on their first trip – zero. (Further clarification usually shows that what people really mean by not “having a problem” is that they’ve never wrecked a trailer.) Quantity of experience must not be confused with quality of experience. Twenty years of driving a car is not adequate preparation for the Indy 500 unless the quality of accumulated experience is comparable. Towing can be qualitatively improved only when the majority of variables that cause instability are both understood and simultaneously neutralized or eliminated.
The Hensley Arrow® represents a break-through for the towing community precisely because it is not an attempt to shore up weaknesses in the conventional hitch. The Hensley Arrow shifts from a design which is susceptible to variation and re-defines performance by neutralizing or canceling out many of the factors that cause sway. In this case, changing one critical factor substantially – the hitch design – does more to improve the overall quality of your towing experience than when all other factors are focused on individually.
The Bottom Line
A trailer absolutely cannot sway whether or not the load is balanced, a tire falls off, an axle breaks or a semi passes as the trailer drops off the shoulder of the road. With the Hensley Arrow installed, your trailer cannot bolt out of control. That’s because quality is built into the system from the start and is defined by performance. Quality is not something declared by an inspector just before the product leaves the factory. From the customer’s standpoint, there’s a world of difference between these two definitions of quality. One is user centered, the other is company centered. Company oriented quality control measures are necessary but they are not sufficient to create something which truly meets and exceeds user expectations.
In order to produce an outstanding product, it’s important to remember that towing is still a very human process. As a human process, towing demands equipment which can be used safely within human margins of error by the experienced and novice alike. The Hensley Arrow was designed with this in mind, improving the quality and safety of your towing experience under the multitude of real world conditions you encounter. The fact is, nothing has ever achieved this level of towing performance and safety, not even a fifth wheel.
There’s no magic involved, it’s simply the difference between understanding the “whole” versus understanding the “parts.” So if you’ve been looking for a great towing experience, you just found the missing link.