About us

70 Years Strong – We Know Towing

The humble tow bar is an everyday item that many Australians fit onto their cars. As part of our active lifestyles, we use them almost daily for both work and pleasure. Behind that shiny tow ball, is a multimillion-dollar industry with one brand, in particular, standing out as a market leader.

Hayman Reese Towbar Origins

In the late 1940's a friend asked Eric Hayman to build him a tow bar to tow his newly acquired caravan. Eric however built two, one for his friend and another which he quickly sold at a country agricultural show. He could not have dreamed that it would be the first step towards building an Australian icon.

Eric Hayman was not new to manufacturing, he had been making bicycle spokes in a small South Melbourne factory for some time. The tow bar business quickly became the focus of his attention and he set about making them in earnest.

In 1972 a major milestone was reached. A large American towing products company, by the name of Reese, was on the lookout for global partners and started working closely with Eric Hayman’s business. Seven years later a new entity was formed and Eric Hayman was appointed as the first Managing Director of Hayman Reese.

As part of this partnership, Hayman Reese introduced several key pieces of technology to the Australian market - weight distribution systems and compatible towbars. The latter being the 50mm ‘square-hole' Hitch Receiver tow bar. Until that time, most tow bars had been fabricated with fixed mounting points and were not easily detachable. The 50mm square tow bar hitch was a game-changer and remains the Australian industry standard today.

1972 also saw the company leave South Melbourne and move to a larger facility in Dandenong. The Hayman Reese business is now located in state-of-art engineering, manufacturing, and warehouse facility in Keysborough. With over two hundred staff on-site, they design, test, and manufacture a wide range of products under one roof in Australia's largest facility of its type.

Now part of the locally owned AutoPacific Group, the Hayman Reese DNA remains at the core of the organisation.

AutoPacific Group Chief Executive Officer, Jason Kieseker notes, “Hayman Reese has been a keen participant in the Australian automotive aftermarket since the FX Holden went on sale. Our products have been helping Australians on worksites and weekends since the 1950’s - it’s a great achievement and something we are extremely proud of.”

Towing Solutions for Every Vehicle

With such a long history it’s still possible for Hayman Reese to build towbars that have not been offered for decades.

The company’s Keysborough manufacturing facility still houses the original drawings and tooling to produce towbars for every current towing vehicle as well as cars now seen as irreplaceable classics.

Proud Local Manufacturer

With the loss of the local automotive manufacturing industry, Hayman Reese remains one of a few local manufacturers of automotive components.

“It’s a challenge we have successfully overcome through a culture of consistent improvement, having a local manufacturing capability is central to our business, ‘Kieseker adds. “It’s important both to our customers and us.”

Hayman Reese Services

Hayman Reese designs, manufactures, tests, and distributes vehicle towing systems including towbars, weight distributing hitches, sway controllers, cargo barriers, and a wide range of accessories.

Accessories include brake controllers, power harnesses, tow balls, trailer ball mounts, pintle hooks & mounts, hitch pins, battery monitors and wiring looms.

Hayman Reese is also leading the way in vehicle-to-trailer wiring applications. Their SmartClick™ connecting wiring add-on's.

The Company’s Quality Management System has been certified in 1994 to ISO 9001 and proceeded to become QS9000 accredited in 1999. Their testing facility has been certified as a NATA accredited laboratory to AS ISO/IEC 17025 (1995). The Company’s Environmental Management System has been certified to ISO 14001 (2001).

Our Milestones:

  • 1951: its founder, Mr. Eric Hayman, started manufacturing towbars, as Eric Hayman Pty. Ltd., and was located in South Melbourne.
  • 1971: the company became known as Hayman Reese Pty Ltd, as part of USA-based Company – Reese Products included standard towbars, hitch receivers, weight distribution hitches, protection bars, and other products for the caravan industry.
  • 1972: the Company moved to new premises in Dandenong, and Reese Products progressively increased its equity in Hayman Reese Pty Ltd to 100%.
  • 1989: Hayman Reese acquired the Thetford toilet product range for distribution in Australia and New Zealand.
  • 1994: Hayman Reese moved to Dandenong South, before becoming a division of TriMas Corporation Pty Ltd in 1996.
  • 2012: Hayman Reese moved to a new state of art premises in Keysborough.
  • 2018: Launch of X-Bar rear recovery tow bar
  • 2019: Hayman Reese becomes part of AutoPacific Group.