Riding Mower Trailer Hitch for $5

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Introduction: Riding Mower Trailer Hitch for $5

It's great to be able to tow things with a garden tractor, but the $50 ones are crazy cash for a simple idea. It is in a perfect position for towing trailers, and leaves the factor pin opening still usable.

Step 1: Parts

So the big deal here is Harbor Freight's ATV winch plate for $4.99.

http://www.harborfreight.com/atvutility-winch-moun...

It turns out, the mounting holes match my JD D140 garden tractor.

Of course I'm assuming you have a ball and two square neck 3/8" bolts with lock washers and nuts.... as every guy that would do this would already have in a coffee can in the garage.

Step 2: Drill

Make a pilot hole in the rear of the plate and then use a stepped bit too get it to the size of your ball stem.

Step 3: Mounting

Align the winch plate to the slots on the rear of the tractor. There is just enough room to slip your hand behind the plate to insert the bolts. I used 4 washers as spacers between the plate and the tractor. Add your lock washers and nuts.

I rock the bolt with pliers to snap it at the point of the nut, then file for the clean look.

Step 4: Lights

My kids love hay rides, so I added a wiring harness to mine with a flasher. When I plug the trailer in, the parking lights go on and the hazards flash. Police approved!

This one is $7 at Menards. https://www.menards.com/main/tools-hardware/automo...

They are wired to the headlight so that they only work when I want them to.

Step 5: Other Bracket

The other bracket is from PAC. http://pactoolmounts.com/product/toolok-1003/

I use it to tow our choo choo wagon. The rubber bracket is mounted upside down so that it to does not interfere with the tow ball or trailer. It is flexible when turning and changing grade so and it does not damage the wagon handle.

Step 6: Successful Use

I didn't think to take a picture doing it, but after getting a hot tub home I didn't want to leave ruts in my grass from the car. SO, I used the garden tractor to tow it the 200' through the grass and EASILY position it next to my patio.

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6 Comments

0
tiddle
tiddle

10 months ago

Great Idea!!! I even have one of the HF plates kicking around, wish I had found this when I was looking for it :) Think I spent like $75 on mine.

Oh well mine does hold lot of weight - 4x8 trailor, 18" sides, full of cedar mulch, for reference:

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Day-Hi-Hitch-Lawnmower-Towing/dp/B003D7MPWS/ref=asc_df_B003D7MPWS/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=167151490548&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2408897744642776099&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9022415&hvtargid=pla-364899374127&psc=1

0
DGW
DGW

1 year ago

I was thinking of also building a hitch for the front of the tractor so I could see where the trailer was going when backing it into a narrow space. Has anyone tried that? Are there any good anchor points on the front of a Craftsman mower?

0
wawilson1
wawilson1

1 year ago on Introduction

Great idea!!! I don't want to spend $70 bucks either! Thanks for the post! Do you think it will be able to pull a 2500 lb boom lift that I am renting to trim some trees in my back yard. I am mounting it to the back of my 54" Poulan Pro lawn mower, similar back to yours. I am worried about it bending. It will be on flat grass yard. If 10% of total weight is a right way to confingure it the tongue weight should be about 250lbs ...I think. Appreciate your idea! Wayne

wilson lawn mower.jpg
0
joeaverager
joeaverager

Reply 1 year ago

I'd watch for bending on this hitch plate. A heavy load will really flex the plate hanging off of two little bolts. I'd add a 45 degree support under that plate. Maybe get a friend with a welding machine make it more solid.

As for pulling with a lawn tractor: just don't get into a situation where you need brakes. I've pulled a car on a tow bar on an sloped asphalt parking lot many years ago. Car only weighed ~1800 lbs. It pushed the tractor hard and if the tractor had been anything but straight ahead it would have rolled the tractor over. These little tractors can pull heavier loads than they can control or stop.

The heavier tractors like the old Cub Cadets are better tow tractors. The lighter lawn tractors like my old Sears (1990s MTD) can be overloaded pretty quick.

I tow a Brenderup 1205S trailer with mine on mostly flat ground but I am careful how much I load the trailer during chores. Not hauling a full load of dirt or mulch. Mostly sticks or leaves or my tools, perhaps three or four wheel barrow loads of dirt or mulch at a time. The trailer itself weighs ~400 lbs.

0
DoctorLar
DoctorLar

Reply 1 year ago

Well, I had 9 drunk parents in my trailer on a paved street and it was pretty sketchy. Garden tractors aren't made for that much hauling torque. I think tounge weight will be the biggest issue for you.

0
wawilson1
wawilson1

Reply 1 year ago

Thanks. Happy instructing!