Roadmaster has introduced a larger Quiet Hitch product, designed to fit the 2 1/2-inch hitch receivers which now come standard with many GMC, Chevrolet and Ford trucks, as well as other full-size, long wheel-base trucks, vans and SUVs.
According to a press release, Quiet Hitch eliminates the irritating rattle that vibrates through the frame when driving over a pot hole, speed bump or railroad tracks. It also curbs sway and wander by eliminating any free play between the ball mount and whatever is inserted for a solid, seamless connection.
In addition, consistent pressure keeps the towing combination tracking straight through crosswinds, curves and sudden maneuvers — all with considerably less effort for the driver. Quiet Hitch also helps reduce tire wear, as well as wear and tear on the hitch and the receiver, by limiting free play.
Roadmaster said that the Quiet Hitch bolts on in seconds and is especially effective on towing combinations with multiple hitch extensions.
TriMas Corp. today (July 20) announced that its Cequent Performance Products manufacturing plant in Goshen, Ind., has passed the one millionth-hour mark without having an injury that resulted in a lost work day.
This accomplishment represents validation of a program that was started five years ago to improve process flow and linkage in manufacturing operations, while focusing on safety, according to a news release. In addition to reducing lost-time accidents, it has also increased the company’s productivity and decreased costs.
Cequent’s Goshen facility produces and markets a wide array of trailer products and accessories for the original equipment manufacturer, wholesaler-distributor and retail markets. In particular, the plant fabricates trailer hitches, a process that entails a great deal of metalworking operations using saws, presses, drills, along with cut-off and welding equipment.
Five years ago, the plant increased its focus on improving the facility’s workflow and opted to place employees in a cell manufacturing environment, instead of having all the processes spread out around the plant floor. Machine and assembly operations were organized into linked cell centers, where material travel distances were greatly reduced and visibility was increased. These changes resulted in improvements in safety and ergonomics, reduced material handling and waste, and decreased cycle times for faster customer shipments.
“This accomplishment is primarily the result of the combined efforts of all of the employees at the Goshen facility,” said Steve Helser, Cequent Performance Products’ director of manufacturing. “The employees’ commitment to continual improvement in safety and productivity is a key element to our success. While we are pleased with this accomplishment, you can never rest. As soon as you think you have done the best you can, you find there are always more improvements to be made. Our goal is to be the fastest, leanest, broadest product line producer for our customers.”
Valley Towing Products’ management team has purchased the company from former parent company Thule, a Swedish company primarily known for making bike racks and carriers. The purchasing entity is named GRLC LLC and will continue its marketing efforts under the name Valley Towing Products, according to a news release.
Valley has a manufacturing and distribution center in Lodi, Calif., and operates additional distribution centers in Grove City, Ohio, Dallas, Texas, and Tifton, Ga.
The company has been producing a complete line of professional quality trailer hitches and towing equipment for over 59 years. Valley carries over 400 different receiver style hitches along with fifth-wheel and gooseneck hitches, luggage racks, cargo carriers, bike racks and a full assortment of towing accessories including trailer balls, ball mounts, hitch pins and locks.
The primary investors include George Caplea, CEO and president; Richard Marsden, CFO; Larry Fisher, vice president of sales and marketing; Chris Fudala, vice president of engineering; and Brian Rishell, vice president of global sourcing and purchasing. A purchase price was not disclosed.
The acquisition provides a platform for the company to move forward in its quest to increase share in the towing aftermarket, according to Valley’s management team.
“Having ‘trailer hitch people’ owning a trailer hitch business is a very good thing,” said Fisher, adding “At Valley, the ownership and management team is now comprised of people with vast experience in the towing aftermarket doing what they have been trained best to do: building and selling trailer hitches and towing accessories.”
According to Valley’s management team, the company’s growth plans revolve around joining forces with the best possible customer partners. “Valley has no desire to act as a distributor or compete with customers as other manufacturers have done,” the company said in a statement.