Operation Instructions

BADGER CUSTOM HITCH INSTALLATION & OPERATION

Our hitch is designed to fit into a universal slotted rail mounting system. If your vehicle has an under body mount system it will be necessary to purchase an adapter to convert the under body mount to the universal mount system. If you already have a hitch installed in your vehicle remove the 4 mounting pins and remove the old hitch. Your new hitch comes ready to install into the mount. Set the hitch in place and install the 4 pins and keepers and that is all there is to installing your hitch. Your hitch consists of the frame and the coupler. The coupler may or may not be installed in the frame. If it is not installed, remove the two 1/2” pins and set the coupler in the saddle and replace the pins and keepers. That is all there is to installing the coupler to the frame. There is a locking handle and handle extension included with the coupler. If they are not installed on the coupler do so at this time. There will be a 1/2” bolt w/nut on the pivot for the handle and there will be a 3/8” bolt in the locking block. Remove these bolts and install the handle using the bolts and flat washers included. Install the handle extension over the handle and fasten the chain for the locking pin to the end of the handle with the included “s” hook. Bend the end of the hook closed. This completes the total installation of the hitch.

10 O’Clock Locked Open

9 O’Clock Ready to Hook Up

8 O’Clock Locked Position

With the new models of hitches there are 2 locations for the pivot end of the handle to be installed in and also 2 different holes for locking the hitch with a padlock. When the hitch is in the lowest mounting position the handle will be mounted in the hole in the pivot block closest to the coupler frame. All other positions the handle will be mounted in the hole farthermost from the coupler frame. The positions of the handle as explained below will still be relevant except the handle in all 3 positions will be farther forward in the lowest mounting position. The purpose of this is to allow clearance between the handle and the frame of the hitch when towing.

There are some things to be aware of when it comes to using your new hitch to make sure your hookup is always successful. It is impossible to drop your trailer if you follow these simple steps every time you hook up to your trailer. In the above paragraph we talked about installing the locking handle. This handle position is key to a successful hook up. 10 O’clock #1 position 9 O’clock #2 position 8 O’clock #3 position There are 3 positions to the handle regarding the locking and unlocking of the coupler. Position 1 is when the handle is in the 10 o’clock (forward most) position. Position 2 is when the handle is in the 9 o’clock (middle) position. Position 3 is when the handle is in the 8 o’clock (rearward most) position. In position 1 the handle will lock the locking block in the open position. In position 2 the locking block is in the locking position (ready to hook up). In position 3 the locking block is in the locked position. When the handle is in position 3 you will be able to lock the handle there because the hole in handle aligns with the hole in the lock tab that is welded on the side of the coupler. 

NOTE: If your hitch is a model 628 there will not be mounting legs welded to the sides, instead it will be necessary to bolt the hitch to the bed of your tow vehicle using 8ea 1/2” bolts gr 5 or higher.

HOOKING UP TO YOUR TRAILER

Raise the trailer until the king pin plate is just above the top of the coupler. Once you get used to hooking up you will be able to judge what height will work best for you. I suggest using an anti-friction plate on your trailer king pin plate, this eliminates the need to grease the top of your coupler. Make sure the handle is in the 2 position (9 o’clock). Back your truck into the coupler jaws until it stops. The jaws will close around the king pin of the trailer. The locking handle may or may not move to the 3 position (8 o’clock). If the handle has not moved to the 3 position, simply pull the handle rearward until it stops. The holes in the handle and the lock tab will be aligned so you can then put in a padlock if you prefer. At this time your truck and trailer are hooked up and it is impossible for the trailer to come disconnected from the truck. Raise the legs on your trailer, hook up your electrical cord, and attach your emergency brake away cable to the bed of your truck and you are ready to travel, assuming of course everything else is done. Remember, as you raise the legs of your trailer, the hitch will compress, allowing the suspension of the hitch to absorb the bumps of the road.

DISCONNECTING FROM  YOUR TRAILER

Once you get your trailer positioned on your lot it is now ready to disconnect from your truck. Chock your trailer wheels to prevent your trailer from moving when you disconnect. Lower the legs on your trailer until they just make contact with the ground. At this point remove the padlock from the handle if you installed one and move the handle to the 1 position. You will need to pull towards you on the handle extension as you move the handle forward to the 1 position (10 o’clock). Pulling the handle extension will pull the detente pin that is located in front of the locking block. The detente pin is attached to the chain that is attached to the handle extension. Once the locking block is past the detente pin, push the handle extension towards the coupler allowing the detente pin to engage a small hole located in the side of the lock block. This will hold the lock block in the unlocked position. Now you can raise the trailer up. Once the king pin plate breaks the surface of the top of the coupler you are ready to pull away from your trailer. Now The jaws may or may not be open at this time, as long as the handle is in the 1 position and the lock block is locked open the jaws will open as soon as you move your truck just a bit. Pull your truck clear of your trailer. Once you have parked it, I suggest you put the locking handle back in the 2 position making it ready to hook up again. To put the handle in the 2 position move the handle forward just a bit while at the same time pulling the handle extension towards you. This will remove the detente pin from the locking block. Let the handle move rearward to the 2 position and you are ready to hook up again.

ADJUSTING THE HEIGHT OF YOUR HITCH

If it is necessary to change the height of your hitch, I suggest the follow manner. While the trailer is hooked up to the hitch lower the legs on you trailer and raise the hitch up until the cells are clear of the lower cell plate. Now you will be able to remove the bolts from each side of the frame.

With the trailer jacks you can now lower the legs of the trailer and that will rise the sub-frame of the hitch to the proper hole location in the side frames. Re-install the bolts and nuts and the adjustment is complete.

MAINTENANCE

There are nylon bearings in the beam bushings for the vertical movement of the beam and there is no required maintenance. The 3/4” bolt that holds the coupler yoke to the beam also has a nylon bearing. It is not necessary to lubricate these nylon bearings. At least once a year I advise you to remove the 3/4” bolt that holds the coupler rocker to the beam and inspect it. At the same time take notice of all components of the hitch to see if anything is out of the ordinary.