So, which type of horsebox is best? This will depend on your priorities. A fully-equipped living area including a bunk above the driver’s cab is one possibility however, if you only travel to local events and you just need somewhere to change and store your tack, then possibly a “day living” cab, that does not have a “crawl-through” opening at the back may suit you.
- What size or weight of horsebox will you be needing?
One of the key points to consider is the minimum and maximum amount of ponies/horses you will be looking to transport. For two or more horses you will typically need a 7.5t horsebox which most often comes with three stalls and living area of varying specs and size. A very critical factor when it comes to choosing which horsebox to buy is the payload the horsebox has. This is basically is the amount of weight that you are legally allowed to put into the horsebox.
- Horsebox prices
Quite often, people tend to look at the age of the chassis (chassis is both the cab and drive train) and place value that way. This is not really correct, as the biggest majority of the value of a horsebox is found in the body.
There are two different types of horsebox body, They are coach-builds and conversions. A conversion is when a lorry has its body stripped out from the inside and then it’s refitted with windows, partitions, dividing walls, and sometimes even some living accommodations, thus turning it into a horsebox. This is no-doubt the cheaper way of creating a horsebox and if done properly there is not a thing at all wrong with a conversion. The other type of body is coach built. This is of course when the body is purpose-built onto the chassis. These can be better for a few reasons. Among these are that they can be lighter, stronger, and most often are built using more ideally suited materials, keeping horse transport in mind.
- Can you yourself drive this horsebox?
Another thing to consider is what you are legally entitled to drive a horsebox or tow a horse trailer. The best way to look at this is if you passed your driving test before January 1997 then you can jump right into anything that weighs up to 7.5t. If on the other hand passed your driving test after January 1997, a 3.5t horsebox is the biggest you will legally be allowed drive. A 3.5t horsebox is usually stalled for two horses and it tends to be mainly rear facing and has a side ramp.
- Checking over a horsebox for sale
When you are physically looking over a horsebox with the intention to purchase, there are a few important and easy things to look for. The flooring in the horse area is definitely a good place to start. Almost without exception, most horseboxes have a floor that is made out of exterior/marine plywood and has rubber matting on top of that. Some of the more expensive horseboxes will have floors that are made from aluminium planking. This is generally stronger and lighter. However, a plywood floor that is in good condition is more than adequate to take the weight of several ponies/horses. When you stop transporting horses you can modify your horsebox to serve gin and tonic.