Buying a tractor or riding mower attachment is a big decision. Dump carts, lawn sweepers, aerators, dethatchers — these are big purchases that can set you back hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars. It’s a good idea to ensure you get the best one to get the job done.
What you may think less about, though, is how that equipment attaches to your mower or tractor. Most folks just buy a cotter pin or hairpin and call it a day. But what you may not realize is that there are other, more robust options out there.
At HY-C, we manufacture two hitch pins for tractor and riding mower attachments under our Good Vibrations brand:
- The King Pin Quick-Connect Hitch Pin
- The Auto-Lock Magnetic Hitch Pin
In this guide, we’re going to take an in-depth look at each hitch pin. We’ll consider how they’re used, how much they cost, and what they can (and can’t) be used with, especially in comparison to more traditional cotter pins.
By the time you’re finished here, you’ll know the ins and outs of each pin, and you’ll be ready to decide whether or not you want to get one for your lawn equipment.
King Pin & Magnetic Hitch Pin: Ease of Use
Cotter pins are an inexpensive way to connect your tractor or mower attachments. They aren’t without their issues, though — we’ve found that customers run into a few problems with cotter pins and hairpins:
- They’re delicate, so they’re susceptible to breaking
- They’re made of thin metal, so they’re tough to handle
- They’re small, so they’re easy to lose
The King Pin and Magnetic Hitch Pin are both ½” hitch pins, so they won’t break under the pressure of the attachment point. They both come with full-sized handles, so they’re easy to grab and use. Their substantial size also means you won’t misplace them as easily as a cotter pin.
Their attachment and detachment methods also require much less dexterity than a traditional pin. The King Pin comes with a spring-loaded, butterfly-style opening that holds the pin in place. Unlocking it is as simple as squeezing the handle, meaning you can unlock and remove it all in one motion.
The Magnetic Hitch Pin is even easier to use. It features a neodymium magnet in the base of the handle with 25 pounds of locking force. It’s strong enough to hold your lawn attachment in place during use, but not so strong that you can’t remove it with a good tug.
King Pin & Magnetic Hitch Pin: Price
So, how much do the King Pin and the Magnetic Hitch Pin cost in comparison to a traditional cotter pin or hairpin?
You can buy an assortment of cotter pins for anywhere from $5 to $15. These assortments will contain 30 to 150 pieces in six or seven pin sizes.
A single Good Vibrations King Pin costs around $15 at retail, while the Magnetic Hitch Pin costs closer to $20 (all depending on where you buy yours).
Why the discrepancy?
Buying hairpins or cotter pins is like buying a set of flat washers — they’re a dime a dozen, and there’s really not much to them. They’re mass-produced, and you generally know what you’re getting.
Our Good Vibrations pins, on the other hand, are made with much more intentional designs and features. Between the sturdy, nickel-plated metal, the ergonomic handles, and the magnetic and spring-loaded attachment styles, they’re made with durability and ease of use in mind. Their price is reflective of those features.
King Pin & Magnetic Hitch Pin: Applicable Attachments
Good Vibrations hitch pins are designed for towing, but not all kinds of towing. They’re rated for offroad use only, and should not be used for towing on roads or highways.
This limits the kinds of attachments the King Pin and the Magnetic Hitch Pin can be used with. Some of the most common attachments these pins can be used to tow include:
- Dump carts
- Lawn mower vacuums
- Lawn sweepers
- Pull-behind aerators
- Pull-behind dethatchers
Since they’re not designed to be used on cars or trucks, there’s also a list of attachments that Good Vibrations hitch pins should not be used with. Some of these attachments include:
- Trailer hitches
- Recreational vehicles (RVs)
- Other vehicles (cars, trucks, etc.)
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Anything else that’s meant primarily for cars, trucks, or boats should not be towed with a Good Vibrations hitch pin.
Should You Get a Good Vibrations Hitch Pin?
Before now, you may not have thought too much about what goes into attaching equipment to your tractor or lawn mower. At this point, though, you should understand that there’s a lot more to the process than a simple cotter pin or hairpin.
So — should you get a Good Vibrations hitch pin?
That depends, really.
If you’re the type of person that doesn’t tow equipment very often with your tractor or mower, you may be able to get by with an old-school cotter pin. After all, they’re tried-and-true, they’re inexpensive, and they’re pretty straightforward to use.
But if you have a dump cart that you use frequently, a snowblower that you tow weekly throughout the winter, or you’re just looking for a more robust, purpose-driven hitch pin that’s intuitively designed and easy to use, you can’t go wrong with a King Pin or Magnetic Hitch Pin.
They allow you to attach easily and get right to work, and they’ll stand up to hard, demanding work season after season.