The demands of a towbar seem to be pretty simple, that it looks good, fits neat and most important of all is strong enough to cope with the varying rigours of everyday towing. Due to its safety critical requirements, it is therefore of vital importance that the design phase of a towbar is given utmost care and attention. This is where Tow-Trust excels as we have a strong reputation amongst the towing industry for designing and manufacturing towbars that are neat, unobtrusive in appearance and heavy duty in performance, something that not all alternative manufacturers achieve.

A newly designed Tow-Trust towbar begins its life as a set of data, which is collated from vehicle manufacturers and includes information such as the vehicle manufacturers specified mounting points & maximum towing capacities. After meticulous design work, Tow-Trust's experienced team use the very latest in computer aided design systems to produce a 3-D model of the towbar, which is carefully analysed and refined to ensure it surpasses Tow-Trusts high expectations regarding safety and aesthetics. Points that must be considered and therefore affect the design of a towbar include;

  • The position of the number plate on the vehicle
  • Whether or not there is a low rear fog light or reflector
  • Bumper variances and differing vehicle specs between models of the same vehicle (e.g. the AMG sports bumper on a Mercedes C class may require more clearance than the standard bumper)
  • The location of the exhaust (Sports models again need to be considered)
  • Vehicle manufacturers specified mounting point locations
  • Is there access to the rear of the vehicle via a tail gate or rear door? (this may affect ball height and whether you require a detachable towbar)
  • The spare wheel location
  • The towbar must be in accordance with REG55 for height which is described as being a vehicle which is laden between 350mm '“ 420mm (Unless the vehicle manufacturer specifies otherwise)

Once designed the next step is to manufacture a prototype for an in house fit check. Our excellent reputation and relationship with vehicle dealerships in the local area means we liaise closely with them to obtain new vehicles upon their release for our test fittings. Once on site the prototype is fitted to ensure the towbar conforms to our standards for ease of fit, safety and appearance. At this point the initial design is scrutinised and only when Tow-Trust are happy will it be passed off for the next phase of development.

Following design and fit check, Tow-Trust then forward the new towbar for its REG55 type approval test. This is performed using our in house testing facility and requires the towbar to be put through a rigorous two million cycle fatigue test that places the towbar under stress that is designed to replicate the potential loads the towbar may endure throughout its towing lifetime. As of November 2012, all Tow-Trust towbars are further tested to comply with Regulation 55.01 (REG55), which adds a separate secondary coupling attachment test. In addition to this the vehicle axle weight data needs to be added to the amended Type Approval documents. Please see our Approval tab should you wish to find out more regarding the approval process.

All of our in house testing procedures are independently overseen by the VCA (Vehicle Certification Agency). Once a towbar has completed its 2 million cycle fatigue test the VCA inspect the towbar and after being passed off, the relevant certification is processed and the towbar is immediately placed into production ready for sale. To ensure this part of the procedure maintains our high standard, Tow-Trust have in place quality management systems at every point of the production process to ensuring all components are correctly manufactured and packaged. Prior to warehousing in our stores, all towbars are weighed and checked off to ensure all components are present in the box. Furthermore, our product packaging is of the highest grade cardboard, protecting the product during delivery on our 24 hour service (subject to delivery area).

This brief overview demonstrates all aspects involved during the design, testing and manufacturing phases a towbar goes through prior to being available for sale. Due to our unrivalled commitment to providing premium quality products, every point of this process is carefully monitored to ensure consistent excellence. This attention to detail has resulted in Tow-Trust Towbars Ltd supplying products throughout the UK and into Europe and will hopefully lead to you putting your trust into our products.
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