Hensley Hitch Keeping the Rescuers Safe!
We’ve sold a lot of hitches over the years to folks outside of the RV market. But nothing surprised us more when we got a phone call from the largest oil company in the western hemisphere. It’s likely that few of you have ever thought much about who is responsible for getting to the scene of drilling rigs or waterways when a tragic accident occurs. Well, lately I met them.
They’re called the Exxon-Mobil Emergency Response Team. And they are the unsung heroes of the oil industry. When I asked their U.S. team leader what their job was, his response was, “Anytime. Anyplace.” There are five teams spread across the country. I visited two. The team at the main facility near Houston, Texas, and the team in Billings, Montana. Like most teams of this nature who must be prepared to contain spills, fires, and other potential hazards, they carry a lot of equipment. And naturally, they carry it in trailers. 30′ v-nosed cargo trailers, to be exact. Towed by 1 ton dually pick-up trucks. The men enjoy what they do and believe that their job is important. They’re trained as well as any fireman and respond with the same urgency. Like any job, however, there are problems.
Their biggest complaint over the last few years? Trailer sway.
Trailer Sway – the real threat
Yes, these men who are prepared to be roused out of their warm beds at 3am and drive into what could be anything from a small spill to a raging inferno find their stomachs doing flips when the trailer behind them starts to take control of those big dually trucks.
When I got the phone call from Tommy, the team leader, the conversation started a bit like this: “Ron, I’ve got twenty-two trailers all over the country with men and women whose safety is my primary concern. I’ve looked at every hitch out there and, from what I’ve read, yours is the only one that can fix the problem.”
The Ultimate Hensley Hitch Test
Tommy invited me down to Houston to take a look at his rigs. I went one step better and shipped a hitch down with a few options. Within a few hours on a warm October day, we got the first hitch installed. Because of the unusual trailer design and the desire to keep hook-up quick and with few loose parts, I opted for the chain up version of the Hensley Arrow. After hitching up a few times and towing it all afternoon along some windy Texas highways and across a bridge or two, his men were sold. “It’s like that big trailer isn’t even back there,” one of them commented. I was told that the “sample” hitch was not coming off the trailer. So I left it with them and worked quickly to get 21 more hitches shipped out to their five locations.
In November of this year I went out to Billings, Montana, after that group requested some “hitch training.” Upon arrival I discovered that they’d left off some crucial components! Within thirty minutes I had them hooking up like pros and, once again, a couple of test tows and even their most skeptical team member was a Hensley believer.
We’ve always taken great pride in knowing that we were selling a product that provided a level of safety unparallelled in the RV industry. We keep families safe. It’s as simple as that. But now we have another feather in our cap. We’re keeping safe a team of men and women whose job it is to keep you safe from a disaster far worse than a trailer accident.
So the next time you see a Mobil or Exxon gas station, think about the folks behind the scenes who are there to protect you from the unthinkable. And then be proud of yourself for owning the same same Hensley Hitch that they rely on to get them to the scene.