What is a Pintle Hitch? Types & Uses

Last Updated on January 13, 2023 by Will Sabel

Pintle hitch is mainly used for heavy-duty towing, especially on bumpy, off-road terrain. It is a heavy-duty mechanical device connecting wheeled vehicles to make towing easier. The pintle hitch has the advantage of almost unlimited articulation in situations where a hitch would be tethered.

What is Pintle Hitch?

A pintle hitch is a type of tow hitch secured by a hook. A tow ring is required for towing any vehicle. You need to purchase a Pintle Mounting Plate, Pintle Hook, and Pintle Lunette Ring to do any job with it.

Pintle hitches provide more flexibility at the attachment point. They are ideal for towing on rough roads such as off-road terrain because of the range of movement they provide when attached to the lunette ring. Pintle hitches are frequently used for industrial, military, and agricultural purposes.

Pintle hitch comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and capacities. The capacity ranges are from 10,000 to 60,000 Ibs.

Pintle hitch components
Pintle Hitch Components

Pintle hitches are mainly divided into 3 parts:

  • A body part or hook which is starchy.
  • A pivoting latch that allows access to the body.
  • Positive locking pin that keeps the latch closed.

Types of a Pintle Hitch

Different manufacturers offer various types of pintle hitches. Each type may differ in terms of how it is mounted, how it is actuated, the materials used to make it, and a variety of other design elements. Some types of pintle hitches are described below:

Standard rigid pintle

standard pintle hitch

The standard pintle hitch is simple and has only a few parts. Such a pintle includes a rigid top plate with mounting holes for attaching to the tow vehicle or trailer. It is the most basic, widely used pintle hitch.  

Cushioned pintle hitch

cushioned pintle hitch

Cushioned Pintle hitches are ideal for highly heavy-duty applications or over extremely rough terrain.

Combination pintle hitch

combination pintle hook

The combination pintle hitch is a combination of a rigid pintle hitch and a ball hitch. This hitch can tow both a ball coupler and a lunette ring trailer. This hitch is designed so that it can tow various trailers over the road.

Spring-loaded pintle hitch

Spring loaded pintle hitch

Spring-loaded pintle hitches have a spring that helps with shock loading on construction sites and off-roading.

Air compensated pintle hitches

air compensated pintle hitch

Air-compensated pintle hitches use air to compensate for slack in the coupling, resulting in a smoother ride, less wear and tear, and a lower risk of uncoupling.

Uses of Pintle Hitch

Pintle Hitches are very durable, straightforward, and easy to use. This hitch works excellently. When you have a lot of trailers and tow vehicles, you need them to all work together.

A pintle hook and a lunette ring are the two main components of a pintle hitch. The lunette ring is attached to the towed trailer, and the pintle hook is bolted to the tow vehicle. The lunette ring is locked into place by the pintle hook jaws, secured with a safety pin.

Things you need to do to fit the lunette ring into the pintle hook are:

Step 1: Lift the top of the lever or pivoting latch to open up the pintle hitch.

Step 2: Put the lunette ring inside the pintle hitch.

Step 3: Lower the top lever down.

Step 4:Secure it with the safety pin.

Pintle hitches are helpful in a variety of situations:

  • Pintle hitches are used to connect semi-trailers towed in pairs or triples.
  • Pintle hitches are used in the military for a variety of reasons. They have a high strength-to-weight ratio.
  • A pintle hitch can be utilized as a connection point for a winch while removing a vehicle. 
  • When traveling over rough terrain, the slope between the pintle and the loop provides more degrees of articulation.
  • At airports, pintle hitches are used for ground support equipment. 
  • Pintle hitches are also used in the construction sector.


So, it seems that Pintle hitches are especially useful for towing heavier loads on rough roads, rugged terrain, or in other situations where a more excellent range of motion between the hitch and the coupler is required.

Our blog is full of hitch resources. Some of the most popular resources are mentioned below. You might like to check them out:

what is a pintle hitch

Author: Will Sabel

Will Sabel is an avid car enthusiast. When he's not writing for RidersWant, you'll find him cruising the country in a new car. People are always wondering how many cars he has!

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