Hitch Step Definition:
A hitch step is a type of safety device which extends from the rear bumper of your vehicle to assist in lowering the vehicle onto a flat surface such as a parking space or driveway. A hitch step may be used to lower your car into a spot where it will not damage other vehicles parked nearby.
What Is A Hinge?
The term “hitch” comes from the Old English word hic, meaning “to go.” So a hinge is a mechanism that allows something to move from one place to another. For example, when you open up a door with hinges, the hinges allow the door to swing outward so it can be opened.
Hitch steps are similar but they do not use hinges. Instead, they have two metal brackets attached at each end of the hitch portion of your vehicle’s bodywork. These brackets are secured to the frame of your vehicle by four bolts. When you park your car, these brackets automatically lower the hitch portion of your vehicle into a position where it will not interfere with other cars parked nearby.
Why Use A Hinge?
There are several reasons why you might want to use a hinge instead of using a hitch step. For example, your vehicle may have a very narrow opening between the back of the vehicle and whatever lies beyond such as a wall, a fence, or a hedge. You would not be able to access this opening using a car which has a hitch step.
Also, some cars are equipped with “smart key” technology which means that you can lock your car using only the press of a button on your car key. This makes it impossible for a hitch step to be accidentally left in an extended position.
Also, some manufacturers prefer not to equip their cars with hitch steps so that they do not interfere with other functions such as the closing of your vehicle’s trunk.
How To Use A Hinge?
Although using a hinge may seem more complicated than using a hitch step, it actually is not. There are two different types of hinges: swing-away hinges and folding hinges.
A swing-away hinge allows the driver to fold the hitch step away from the vehicle body so that it can be stored in a garage or other covered space. This type of hinge is not usually visible when the hitch step is in use because it is folded completely against the vehicle’s body.
The folding hinge is the most common type of hitch step. It folds down against the vehicle’s body when you are not using it. This type of hinge usually locks automatically into place to prevent it from being folded accidentally while you are driving. It may be made to fold either to the front or to the back.
The type which folds to the back is easier for loading and unloading cargo. The one that folds to the front makes it easy to board from a side street or driveway and gives you better clearance when boarding from an alley.
Tips For Using A Hinge
Since the hinge does not have any moving parts such as gears or cranks, maintenance is very low. That means that you do not need to grease or oil the hinge very often.
Sources & references used in this article:
The best of both worlds: Combining synchronous and asynchronous telepractice in the treatment of aphasia by LR Cherney, RC Kaye, RS Hitch – Perspectives on Neurophysiology and …, 2011 – ASHA
Stowable steps by DW Knodle, GM Bang – US Patent 6,659,484, 2003 – Google Patents
Receiver hitch step attachment by ER Dick – US Patent 5,803,475, 1998 – Google Patents