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Stuck Hitch, Please Help!

Ok so I finally got around to torching off the old master lock hitch pin that was on my truck when I bought it. After about an hour of torching the lock off and pounding out the pin sleeve I tried to pull the ball out of the receiver and it was stuck. I soaked it in PB blaster, heated it with a torch and it still wouldn’t come loose. My last stitch effort was to lock the wheels in place, by putting it in 4 low and putting it in gear before shutting it off, and hooked a chain around the ball with the other end hooked to a forklift at work. After dragging the truck twenty feet across the shop floor, without the wheels spinning an inch, I’ve decided to ask for some help. does anyone have any ideas on how to get this thing out without destroying the receiver or the hitch. By the way, there is no way to pound it out from the other side, there’s a plate welded over the tube.

First, don’t put the chain on the ball. Remove the ball and secure the chain through the ball mount hole. Soak with PBB as you have already done but spray over a course of a couple of days. If you have access to an air hammer you could also use a hammer bit and pound on it like it owes you money.

Otherwise a replacement might be in order.
Hope this helps.

Pulling on the hitch with a forklift won’t work. You need to use the vehicle weight to remove the hitch.

First you need a TOWING chain. Not a LIFTING chain Then find the biggest tree you can. Wrap the chain around the tree and around the ball. Pull the vehicle forward so the chain just slightly sags. Then give the vehicle a little gas.

DO NOT HAVE ANYONE STANDING AT THE REAR OF THE VEHICLE WHEN DOING THIS. When that hitch pops out of the receiver there’s no telling where it’s going to fly.


Buy a new hitch. I dont think you will get it out. I have them stuck like this. When I had my shop we tried to pull them out with the frame puller. 20 tons of pull and heat and it did not work. Good luck!! Oh if you try what Tester said put a old heavy tarp over the chain. It will keep it giong very far if it brakes.

Rusted in place is my guess. the pb blaster and torch were both good ideas, too bad they did not work. If it was mine I would use a sledge and dent hammer. I have a few inches to the end of the socket, so I would give it 4 or 5 hits in with a sledge hanner, then 4 or 5 hits out with the dent puller, repeated until free. The brute force method was a fine thought, but as proven not effective.

If it does come out, it’ll shoot out for ten feet so stand back. I’ve had a couple hitches installed at Rigid Hitch, and listened to the guy go through the same spiel ten times waiting for my car. “Take the drawbar out every time or it’ll rust in place and you’ll never get it out. Put some parafin wax on it too to help release the hitch ball . . .” His words still ring in my ear and I take it out every time. I’d be inclined to put a jack on it but if 20 tons didn’t do it, a new hitch is only a couple hundred.

You should do something to protect the tree so the chain / cable does not cut the bark…

But yeah, a new hitch and receiver might be the best solution…The 'Clean & Jerk" method can be very hard on your equipment…

Holy Crap this is a new one for me! Guess this is why there is a hitch pin to remove these things. Good luck trying to get it out, heat penetrating oil and dragging heavy stuff. Rusted steel takes up more space than bare steel so the tow bar got bigger and the receiver got smaller wedging that bad boy in there like a relative taking money from your wallet. Maybe its time to replace the whole thing.

Have you tried hammering it in first. They will usually go in an inch or two past the hitch pin holes so if you drive it in any distance with a BFH, you should be able to pull it out afterwards.

I agree with @oldbodyman. At some point, putting the rest of your truck at risk isn’t worth it. It is or should be bolted on. Remove and replace…next time, paint a little grease on the reliever or remove it when not in use. If it’s rusted in place, it may not be safe to use otherwise. Besides, all this hammering and sudden yanking cannot be good for the mounting hardware.

I bought and installed a used hitch on my old minivan about 15 years ago. I don’t think the drawbar had ever been out of the receiver. After a couple of years of barking my shins on it I tried removing the drawbar without success. What finally got it out after much PB Blaster was hitting the drawbar back and forth sideways with the sledge. After about 15 minutes of that I could slight sideways movement. I then hooked a chain and binder around a tree and kept adjusting the binder while I hit the drawbar sideways to ease it out.

I’m pretty sure this hitch is connected to the frame of your vehicle, which means whatever you do could bend the frame.

Why are you trying to get it out?

I was going to recommend pounding it inward and to the sides with a sledge hammer until I read the other responses, but at this point I think your choices are to replace the hitch or put in a new pin and live with it like it is.

I think if this could be an awesome you tube moment. I vote go for it with the hammer idea and or the tree idea. please video the whole thing as I feel like you will get it off if you wish, just need a little more patience. if you are careful, you won’t hurt anything you would be replacing anyways. (like whitey said, take provision and don’t get carried away and damage your frame)

They already have videos on Youtube showing a rusted hitch being remove from the receiver by wrapping a chain around a tree.


All great ideas so thanks. I’m pretty sure its stuck pretty permanently, it may just have to come out in pieces now or I’ll replace the hitch.

BTW, in Pennsylvania (where I’m from) its illegal to leave the draw bar in your hitch unless you’re using it, you can actually be ticketed for it if the cop feels like being a jerk.

Sometimes corrosion gets the best of anything unfortunately and no amount of heat, banging, or cursing is going to break it loose.

That’s a strange law on the books about removal of the draw bar. If that law existed here and was enforced the cops would be spending 24 hours a day writing tickets.

I got mine out after 10 years, hooked a 6000 lb chain around the base of a telephone pole, put the truck if first gear ( low range granny gear ) and gave it some gas popped the clutch like on a racetrack and took off on a tar driveway …came out easy. Seems the rust welds itself. After that sprayed everything with penetrating oil and went right back in. No damage done that I could see.

Howie, I’m glad it turned out well for you but my imagination got the better of me. Picture the moment before you popped the clutch…How could this go wrong? Pop the clutch, rip the telephone pole from the ground. It falls and all the neighborhood lights go out!

Well as an update.
After much pounding and Blaster, I got the hitch to move. it moved a few inches in further, but I figured if I can get it broke loose at all that I might have a chance of pulling it out. i’m debating on what I will do next to try and pull it free. I’ve got a few heavy things I can hook to at work tonight to try so we’ll see what happens.

BTW, that law in PA isn’t just limited to having the draw bar in, you can’t have anything in your hitch that sticks out, lights and folded steps are ok but if it sticks out its ticketable