How Does The Blue Ox System Work?
Let’s review some of the components of the Blue Ox weight distribution hitch.
The Blue Ox system is rated for 13,000 lbs gross trailer weight (GTW) and 1,300 lbs tongue weight. If you need more weight, check out the SwayPro trailer hitch, rated for 20k lbs. The TrackPro was developed and released in the spring of 2020, so it’s been on the market for a couple of years. Blue Ox had relied on its 2-point and SwayPro systems but finally decided to offer a new weight distribution hitch to offer more options.
The hitch is made of steel alloy and employs an adjustable hitch head and tapered sway bars to connect to the trailer tongue frame. (The Blue Ox SwayPro uses chains). The system has a black powder coat finish to resist corrosion and long-term weather exposure. The unit weighs 80 - 90 lbs, which is lighter than other systems that push 110 - 120. (If you are towing close to the gross vehicle weight rating of your truck - the weight of the hitch can be an issue)
As with most weight-distributing hitches, the Blue Ox uses a reinforced adjustable head unit that fits a standard 2” shank (2 ½ is available). The hitch ball mount is adjustable, with a six-inch drop/rise and has a 7-hole bracket (there are also 9 and 11 hole brackets available). The mount comes with a 2 5/16” hitch ball.
The first thing you’ll notice about the hitch unit is that it is one of the lighter bars on the market (most weigh more like the Curt or Equalizer hitch), which means that it is easier to install into the receiver tube. (While other hitches felt more solid and substantial, Blue Ox has worked on engineering the excess metal from the hitch head). Even though other tow ball assemblies might feel heftier, this doesn’t always translate into better performance).
The hitch head contains a caster designed to keep the trailer centered, with moveable receiver tubes to help adjust to the suspensions of the trailer and tow vehicle.
Receiver Tubes for Spring Arm
As I mentioned, the Blue Ox system uses spring arms that extend from receiver tubes located below and to the sides of the hitch head. These receiver tubes are circular, into which one end of the spring arm is inserted. A locking pin slides in side-to-side, and an attached cotter pin loops over the spring arm to hold it in place.
(Both the TrackPro and SwayPro have side lynchpins to attach the bases to the head. (The Blue Ox 2-point has rounded spring arms that have to be lifted and locked into a downward-ponting receiver tube. The TrackPro arms are easier to insert and lock. However, there have been complaints about the bars being harder to remove or sticking at times).
It should be noted that both receiver tubes for the spring arms have grease portals built in so that the owner can grease the hitch. It doesn’t take much, but this is part of the maintenance process for keeping the hitch functioning over the long haul).
The spring arms are tapered flat and extend to rigid L-shaped mounting brackets attached to the tongue frame. The arms lay on the L-bracket and are held there by square L-shaped locking pins. The brackets and arms can be adjusted along the trailer tongue to provide more or less friction control.
One advantage of the mounting brackets is that they are larger than other braces used for weight distribution hitches. The mounting brace (the one that connects directly to the tongue) is composed of two thick wide, thick pieces of steel that brace on either side of the tongue frame. The dimensions of the brace are more significant than the competitors’ hitches, and the thickness of the brace provides better support for the L-shaped saddle mount on which the tapered spring arm mounts.
The improved thickness of the braces extends to the L-shaped brackets, which are meatier and more substantial than other hitches (even the L-shaped locking pin is bigger). This size translates to more surface-to-surface contact, helping keep the spring arm in place.
The Blue Ox WD hitch has capacities ranging from 600 lbs to 13,000 lbs of gross weight. If you plan on towing more than 7k lbs, we suggest opting for the 2 5/16” tow ball for better performance).
The Blue Ox system is relatively easy to install, and since the whole hitch weighs 80 - 90 lbs, it is easy to hook up. The spring bars are universal, so you can use either one on either side. All lynchpins move in quickly and lock without much issue. While not as easy as the Andersen weight distribution system that uses chains, the Blue Ox has no problems either installing or breaking down for storage. Some RV owners may have to make adjustments for propane tanks or other cargo carried on the trailer tongue.
How Well Does the Blue Ox Control Trailer Sway?
According to the Blue Ox website, you see their hitches everywhere, which may be true. Most reviews concerning the product have been extremely positive and have recommended using the system. For a good review of the Blue Ox system, see this YouTube video by etrailer.
The Blue Ox weight distribution system has a 4.5 rating on Amazon and is often listed in several best WD hitch reviews. It is an Amazon choice award winner. Reviewers indicated that the Blu Ox system was superior to many other competitors, and while it did not prevent trailer sway, it did help control it. In addition, you do not need to remove the Blue Ox before making any reverse maneuvers with your truck and trailer.
However, two overwhelming issues concerning the Blue Ox TrackPro system have been mentioned. The first issue is some noise emanating from the hitch. Because the spring bars are tapered, there tend to be some scraping or creaking noises coming from the movement of the bars (especially during turns due to the spring bars sliding through the bracket bolts). While it may not be unusual to hear noises from time to time with most weight distribution systems, we prefer a quieter and more cushioned ride.
The second complaint registered is the potential for the bars to snap, which can be dangerous. (In my opinion, the tapered spring arm contributed to this hazard since the arms are not as strong on the bracketed ends - less metal).
Where is Blue Ox Made?
Blue Ox Towing is located in northeast Nebraska in Pender. The manufacturer has existed since 1925 and has a rich history in everything trailer related. They offer various hitches for all kinds of applications (ball mounts, fifth-wheel, and towbars for RVs. (Many RV owners have used their excellent towbar to pull their vehicle behind their recreational motorhome). The company offers a limited lifetime warranty and is known for great customer service.
What Does a Blue Ox TrackPro Cost?
The Blue Ox hitch is moderately priced (not the cheapest and not the most expensive), costing $675 - $900 (depending on the weight). The tow ball is included with the hitch kit.