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Tips on buying a used horsebox

Tips on buying a used horsebox

These tips on buying a used horsebox can help you get the most of your investment. This includes going with your instincts when you are inspecting the used horsebox. In general look for things that are out of place like touch up paint or areas that looks like a recent repair.

How do I make sure the horsebox is not stolen?

Unlike horse trailers that are not registered with the department of transportation, a horsebox has to be since it is a self propelled vehicle like other trucks. It should also have a V5C log book that contains the registration plate number, vehicle type, chassis number, colour and engine size. You should also check the vehicle’s ID numbers with a service like HPI which will provide you with the history of the vehicle and its value. If all the paperwork is not in order, be skeptical.

Can I legally operate the horsebox?

For the most part anyone who has a driver's license can operate a horsebox that has a maximum gross weight of 3.5 tonnes when fully loaded. If the gross weight is higher than that then a special drivers license might be required.

Be careful when it comes to the weight. Gross weight of a horsebox includes the weight of the vehicle, the horses along with the fuel, supplies and passengers. If the seller is not sure of the unladen weight then during your test drive stop by weighbridge where it can be weighed. You will also receive a ticket of its weight in writing.

The weight of a horse lorry advertised as a 3.5 tonne vehicle should be close to 1200 to 1500 kgs. This makes it possible to load several horses and the supplies. If the unladen weight is close to 3.5 tonnes, then it is in reality a 5.5 tonne horsebox.

What to look for when inspecting the horsebox

When buying a Horsebox there are two distinct areas an inspection should be conducted. One is the drivability of the horsebox with the second the area the horses will be located while being transported.

Unless you are mechanically inclined a mechanic should inspect the horsebox’s engine, drive train, frame, suspension and brakes to make sure they are in proper working order. There should also be a maintenance record that contains the information when the oil was changed and a list of repairs. The amount of rust on the body and frame should be noted along with any fluids that are leaking.

The area where the horses will be located is easier to inspect. The flooring under the mates has to be looked at. Look for rust if it is metal or rotten boards if it is wood. Also look for moisture from the roof downwards including around the windows. Moisture will rot wood and rust most metals. All these will give you an indication how owner maintained the horsebox.

The ramps used to load the horses should also be looked at to make sure they are sound and can handle the weight of a horse.

Make sure all the lights work and the wires are not exposes which could hurt the horses.

In conclusion

Your instincts are your best guide when using tips on buying a used horsebox. The impression when you first see it should be kept in mind when making your decision. The way it drove during the test drive is another area that should weigh heaving on whether you will make the purchase or not. Most important, take your time and do not make a hurried decision.  Check that the horsebox has insurance before taking it for a test drive.

How to Maintain your Horsebox

How to Maintain your Horsebox

The Horsebox upkeep and maintenance is necessary to prevent a breakdown on the road with your horse in tow. Taking proper care of your horsebox will also help to protect your horse from accidentally being injured because of a poor maintenance schedule of your horsebox. In addition to maintenaence take out a good level of horsebox insurance to protect aginst loss or damage.

horse

What should be checked before loading your horse into the box?

A pre-trip inspection of your horsebox will help to ensure you and your horse will make it to the destination without a problem occurring. Things to look at include;

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  • Check the tires for proper inflation and there is enough tread on them so a blowout does not occur. This has to include the spare tire.
  • The condition of the floor boards should be noted. Cracked and broken boards should be replaced before they become so weak the horse would fall through it. If mats are on the floor in the horsebox they should be removed so the floorboards can be properly inspected.
  • Look for any nails or screws in the sides, ceiling and floor that are exposed or not completely in. This could injure the horse and also cause the area to become insecure because it is no longer properly anchored. 
  • Check the lights in and on the horsebox to make sure they are properly functioning.
  • Make sure the chocks are in proper condition so they will not allow the trailer to move when it is unhitched from the tow vehicle.
  • Inspect the hitch for any weakness or cracks in the welds and any unsafe condition that might be apparent.
  • Check the chains for structural integrity so they will preformed properly just in case the hitch fails.
  • On the tow vehicle make sure the tow ball is properly greased so the hitch will not bind while under pressure.

Bi-annual inspection

There are items that do not need to be checked before each time you use the horsebox, but should be added to the list of inspection on a bi-annual basis to make sure of the structural integrity of the box.

  • The frame on which the horsebox is set upon should be checked for structural integrity. This has to include cracks in the welds, cross members that might be bent and that hold-down bolts are secure.
  • Look for rusted or damaged sheet metal and replace it.
  • Check for any loose and frayed wires and damage to the conduits. Repair or replace any that are damaged.
  • Lubricate all hinges, slinging panels, sliding windows, springs and make sure they are in proper working order.
  • Inspect the brakes and all cables associated with the system. During the brake inspection repack the wheel bearings.

What to do after each use of the horsebox

After you return home from a show and unload the horse, the horsebox has to be cleaned. This includes removing all the mats if present from the interior and power washing both the interior and exterior of the trailer along with any mats used on the interior.

After the horsebox has been cleaned, it has to be dried. Wood will rot if left wet and metal will rust. The metal parts can be wiped down with a shammy while the wood can be dried by placing a fan on it.

By performing the proper Horsebox upkeep and maintenance on a regular basis you will always know the condition of it. This makes it more likely you will get to where you are going and back again successfully unless you have an unforeseen blowout. 

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What Insurance is Needed for Towing

Towing is a Skill Learned with Plenty of Practice ( Off Road )

If you have lived on a farm towing trailers is probably second nature to you. However, for those urban dwellers that have never hitched up a trailer it will take some training and practice.  

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The most difficult part is reversing a trailer. To master this skill you need to get used to the fact that when reversing you must steer in the opposite direction that you wish the trailer to go in. In addition slight movements to the steering wheel are magnified in the change of direction of the trailer.

After plenty of off road practice it will become natural just like riding a bike. This new skill brings with it new opportunities, for example  towing a caravan or if you are a horse owner you can transport your own horse or horses to equestrian events.

Take note that when you fit a tow bar to your car or pickup it is classed as a modification and you must inform your insurance broker. 

On the question of what you can legally tow it will depend on a few factors including the vehicle weight, your age and how many years that you have been driving. Start by checking with the manufacturer as they usually indicate in the owner's manual the maximum towing weight and any other impacting factors.

Insurance Requirements for Towing a Horse Trailer

Do not make the often false assumption that your car insurance will also provide you with sufficient cover whilst towing a trailer. Some policies will offer some cover, but it will normally be limited and not comprehensive enough to cover all your expenses in the event of an accident. A if yosk yourself if your trailer was stolen would your car insurance payout?

Trailers of any description can be expensive and horsebox trailers are often built bespoke and fitted out with expensive gear. As such it is best to get a separate insurance policy specfice to your prized trailer and your towing purpose, business or pleasure.  

To find a range of quotes and cover options why not start by comparing horse trailer insurance with HorseinBoxInsurance. How? Click here and complete a simple online form and within minutes you will receive multiple insurance quotes for your horse trailer. 

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