Weigh To Go
Rieco-Titan’s A-frame jack combines power lifting with a unique built-in scale to keep trailer owners apprised of hitch weight
Safety is one of the most popular topics when it comes to trailer towing. Pulling a large, heavy trailer on any road or major highway puts the safety onus on the owner, who needs to make sure the equipment is right for the job and in good shape.
Towing safety is all about knowing key information, like the trailer’s gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) and hitch weight, combined with a suitable weight-distributing hitch, which is reliant upon those numbers for proper setup. Unfortunately, to get these real-world weights, a trip to the public scales or the purchase of some kind of standalone scale is typically necessary. To allow trailer owners to keep tabs on hitch weight due to changes in loading, without going to the scales, Rieco-Titan Products has created a unique A-frame scale, the Weigh Station.
The 4,000-pound-rated Weigh Station is not your typical scale. Hitch weight is displayed in a plastic housing attached to the A-frame jack, and the easy-to-read gradations show weight up to 2,000 pounds. The unit reads out in 200-pound increments, which is not very precise but is still better than not knowing.
Building electric jacks is not new for Rieco-Titan, a company that has been providing power corner jacks to the truck-camper segment of the RV industry for a long time. The Weigh Station is constructed in the same tough manner as Rieco-Titan’s other products and enhanced by a resilient powder-coat finish. Beyond the high-quality look and solid feel, the Weigh Station includes marine-grade switches and LEDs that illuminate both the scale and the coupler area. The electronics and wiring are circuit-breaker and fuse protected, as well as sealed from the elements via a gasket-lined gearbox.
Installation of the Weigh Station is straightforward and should consume little time and effort. To get started, make sure the trailer is safely secured with chocks and the A-frame is supported with a properly rated jack stand. In lieu of a jack stand, the job can be done while hitched to the tow vehicle.
Retract the current jack and remove the three bolts holding it to the A-frame. The Weigh Station can then be bolted in place using the included hardware. This will take only a few minutes, since the holes in the A-frame have a standard pattern and are threaded.
Once the new jack is in place, it’s a simple matter of running positive and negative wires directly to the battery, which is normally on the A-frame. Make sure the wires are out of harm’s way and that the connections to the battery are solid. The circuit breaker and fuse are built into the housing, so there’s no need for additional protection at the battery.
The motor propels the jack leg quickly, and combined with the adjustable drop leg it can move 22½ inches, which allows for a shorter cranking time and the ability to reach a higher lift, if necessary. The switch feels very precise, and there’s a manual crank handle, should the battery become too discharged to power the motor.
Knowing the hitch weight on the spot turned out to be a welcome feature. Since the test trailer has a garage for toys, the balance shifts depending on loading for each trip and the type and quantity of toys stored in the back. It’s important to maintain 10 to 12 percent hitch weight to limit sway, and the scale on the Weigh Station eliminates most of the guessing.
It’s best to weigh the trailer loaded for a typical trip to ascertain total weight. Since it’s not practical to do that before every trip, owners of toy haulers will still have to make some guesstimates on the percentage of hitch weight, based on the reading shown on the scale, if the items carried in the garage change from trip to trip. But that’s still way better than not knowing at all.
Although this may not be the most technically advanced or heaviest lifting jack, it is definitely capable and convenient, and offers a new level of safety and towing preparation. The Weigh Station retails for $299.89.
Rieco-Titan Products | 866-403-9803 | www.riecotitan.com