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Old 06-14-2018, 02:29 PM   #1
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Blue Ox Sway Pro vs. ProPride and others

I read some of the other thread but my question is a bit different.

I've been super-happy with my Blue Ox Sway Pro, it handles really well with my 25'FB International. Yes, the bars are a pain, but nothing too bad (I don't love lifting the hind end of my car with the jack to get the bars on, but nothing terrible).

I went to a dealer in Michigan and the gentleman there /really/ doesn't like BO Sway Pro's and said that they have had customers that have injured themselves with them up to and including a broken arm from the chains. He kinda pushed the ProPride system instead. Now, I don't see how the chain could whip up on my setup since I do release pressure, but I don't doubt this could occur with the Sway Pro or any other system.

I don't want to use a system that would end up being unsafe, but I really don't have any problems with my setup either.

Anyone have thoughts about this? I normally function around the 'if it's not broken and it's working well, don't change' mentality.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:24 PM   #2
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You'll get a lot of opinions on this (see my thread on the Life and Death of a thread - we're trending here now with reply #2 already ).

Your instinct may be right - you like it, you're comfortable with it, it serves you well. You may not need to change it.

People have reported some fairly serious physical damage with setups like that but while I can't think of any with a ProPride, it doesn't mean there isn't some other kind of injury you could sustain with one should something go awry....

Go slow - use a checklist - go slow. Many times that level of caution can protect you.

Don't fear your hitch but do respect what it could do to you if you're not careful.

As for me - I've only used the ProPride - every product has pros and cons. If you're happy with the BOSP - no need to swap it out. If you're in Michigan, I think the ProPride company is headquartered there so you could have a looksee for yourself and decide if the advantages are worth the swap.

Good luck!
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:25 PM   #3
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Oh - and lifting the TT is not problematic at all. It releases tension and reduces the risk of injury. It's not hurting the TT or TV as far as I know.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:33 PM   #4
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I had a hitch with the chain lifters that would try to maim me every time I hitched and unhitched. Got tired of the bruises and back strain...and taking off and on the heavy WD bars was also a total pain... Since I'm no longer young, but still lazy, I needed a better way to do all this.

I went to a ProPride system for that and many other reasons. Being able to just wind up the WD bars to exact tension with a jack operated via a standard ratchet wrench, or my current 'overkill engineered' power-operated WD jack system is a pleasure in comparison to the latches.

That said, look on the ProPride site for some ideas.

There are two possibilities found there:

You could buy a set of the ProPride manually-operated WD jacks, and adapt them to your situation. They are capable of about 9 inches of lift total. His jack setup uses a flat steel bar to connect between the hook on the jack to the WD bar instead of chains. The bar is also available as a spare part. May have to adapt the lift bar to your WD bar end fittings somehow, or extend the chains. (Yes, he sells seriously good chain extender sets as well!) Study the setup photos on his site and around the forums.

Sean also sells a set of ratchet straps that are also easy to adjust and I believe are are good for up to his 1400 pound bars. They might be another answer for your situation.

Through all of this, remember that the ProPride setup normally stays on the trailer A-frame at all times, so if yours works otherwise, you may need to adapt his parts to easily disconnect from the WD bars.

Note that I tend to be of the "If it isn't broken, break it, redesign it, and put it back together so it works even better" school. Rinse and repeat. Around here, I'm getting a reputation as being the head of the Overkill Engineering Department, but hey, that's how I've always been...complicated is MUCH more fun.

Evidence: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f464...ng-172468.html

(And, of course, you could even go to a full ProPride solution, and have all the advantages of the Hensley design. OK, I'll shut up now! )
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:37 AM   #5
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The short tool that Blue Ox provides to raise and lower its weight distribution bars is inadequate and a true arm-breaker if your arm gets in its way, especially during the release of the bars. The answer is to use a longer breaker bar.

I opted for the deluxe, 2 ft breaker bar sold by Harbor Freight:

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-...bar-62729.html

whose list price is around $20 but it often on sale for $15 and occasionally $12. Add to that a LONG, 6-point, 1/2 in drive, 1 inch socket (approx. $10 at O'Reilly's Auto Parts) and you're set:

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b...h+socket&pos=5
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StreamingEagle View Post
I read some of the other thread but my question is a bit different.

I've been super-happy with my Blue Ox Sway Pro, it handles really well with my 25'FB International. Yes, the bars are a pain, but nothing too bad (I don't love lifting the hind end of my car with the jack to get the bars on, but nothing terrible).

I went to a dealer in Michigan and the gentleman there /really/ doesn't like BO Sway Pro's and said that they have had customers that have injured themselves with them up to and including a broken arm from the chains. He kinda pushed the ProPride system instead. Now, I don't see how the chain could whip up on my setup since I do release pressure, but I don't doubt this could occur with the Sway Pro or any other system.

I don't want to use a system that would end up being unsafe, but I really don't have any problems with my setup either.

Anyone have thoughts about this? I normally function around the 'if it's not broken and it's working well, don't change' mentality.
,

This sounds like another setup to push the high priced overcomplicated hitches.
Sales must be slow this spring.
You can be injured using any hitch out there if you are careless and don't pay attention.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:00 AM   #7
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I’ve used the Blue Ox system for 4 years now and love it. Seems super stable when towing and it is easy to take on and off. The secret is lifting the jack high enough to take most if not all of the tension off the bars. I got tired of the slow OEM jack and installed a 5000 pound jack so lifting is easy and quick. Even in serious cross wind in Arizona my rig felt very stable.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:08 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rgentum View Post
The short tool that Blue Ox provides to raise and lower its weight distribution bars is inadequate and a true arm-breaker if your arm gets in its way, especially during the release of the bars. The answer is to use a longer breaker bar.

I opted for the deluxe, 2 ft breaker bar sold by Harbor Freight:

https://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-...bar-62729.html

whose list price is around $20 but it often on sale for $15 and occasionally $12. Add to that a LONG, 6-point, 1/2 in drive, 1 inch socket (approx. $10 at O'Reilly's Auto Parts) and you're set:

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b...h+socket&pos=5
******************
We do the same with our Blue Ox, replacing the short BO tool with the bar and socket, and it works much better, less worries but I remain focused and ready for any big surprises. I think we have about a 6" thick plank combo to put under the trailer tongue jack. With that we show 2 and a half links showing up from the bars. All seems well.
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
I had a hitch with the chain lifters that would try to maim me every time I hitched and unhitched. Got tired of the bruises and back strain...and taking off and on the heavy WD bars was also a total pain... Since I'm no longer young, but still lazy, I needed a better way to do all this.
Same situation and as a result replaced an Ez Lift WDH to a Blue Ox two years ago and VERY happy with it. Love the light weight bars as I can actually carry both of them at the same time, while it took a lot of strength just to carry one bar for the old Ez lift system I had. The weight of the head/receiver putting it on and off is still an issue but thats the case with pretty well all the WDH systems. Leaving the head attached to trailer all the time is not good option for me as trailer is stored off site and close to the ocean with lots of salt air.

Agree with others comments that the bar that Blue Ox supplies for doing up and undoing the chains could be improved & one needs to make very sure they have actually released all the pressure off the bars & keep their head and hands out of the way while releasing the chains.

But as others suggest if you are not careful you can do serious damage to yourself hooking up pretty well ALL WDH systems. There was a high potential of damage to myself using the EZ Lift system as well.

I fully get why people like the Pro Pride but if your current WDH set up is doing its job well for you I am not sure i would spend the extra funds on upgrading to the Pro Pride unless you feel you have money burning a whole in your pocket that needs to be spent
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Old 06-15-2018, 11:41 AM   #10
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Why wait for an accident to make the move. I hated the Blue Ox for the same reason as everyone else and went to the Hensley Hitch with no regrets. 100% happy with the decision.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:16 PM   #11
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Be careful switching to a pro pride/Hensley. From what I read (no experience with these hitches) you will have problems hooking up if the trailer and truck are not level.


Dave
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:09 PM   #12
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I purchased the ProPride because of safety. I watched many crashes caused by sway and I felt PP was the best solution. It is also very easy to hook up - once you get the hang of it. You just back the stinger up into the receiver, put on the locks and chains and you are on your way.

It is certainly the most expensive hitch I've seen on the market, but I figured I have well over 150k into the AS and TV, so a couple more thousand seemed reasonable.

Besides, my wife feels better about it and that means all the difference.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:14 PM   #13
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Be careful switching to a pro pride/Hensley. From what I read (no experience with these hitches) you will have problems hooking up if the trailer and truck are not level.


Dave

Don't believe everything you read on these forums.
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Old 06-15-2018, 02:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NoResults View Post
Be careful switching to a pro pride/Hensley. From what I read (no experience with these hitches) you will have problems hooking up if the trailer and truck are not level.


Dave
Nonsense. I had a Blue Ox. Way more difficult to hitch up than a Propride. I can hitch up with the Propride in about 5 to 10 minutes. Disconnecting is even quicker. It seems like the Blue Ox was a PITA with the chains. Plus unless the ball was just in the right place I couldn't get it to connect. With the Propride I can slide the stinger really fast. Way more forgiving. Plus if you need to adjust the weight distribution you can do it while it's all attached and not have to change anything other than crank down the jacks.

Plus I got nailed in the face with the chains one time.

People that say the Propride is hard to hook up do so out of pure ignorance. I have also connected the Propride on a steep incline without a problem.

And the driving with the Propride is way better than the Blue Ox.

If someone chooses the Blue Ox that's fine. But don't ever say it is the same as a Propride while driving. Or that the Propride is harder to hook up. It ain't so.

2 negatives:
1. The Propride is more expensive and elaborate to put on. No question.
2. There is more maintenance. You need to make sure things are greased well and to keep it out of the elements as much as possible. I make sure there is a thin coat of silicone over the outside to prevent rust. And I grease the thing a couple times a year.
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