Ifor Williams Horse Trailer Hitching Mirror

horse-trailer-mirror-photo-01

The i4eye Horse Trailer Hitching Mirror is ideal for assisting you in reversing your tow vehicle to the correct position to be able to hitch onto your Horse Trailer Coupling.

The mirror fits to the front of your Horse Trailer and from the drivers seat of your vehicle you will be able to see clearly the position of your trailers hitch and the position of your vehicles tow ball thus making reversing and hitching on a simple process.

This mirror will put you in the position to avoid your unnecessary jumping in and out of your vehicle to see when trying to hitch on alone if you are in the correct position.

The mirror comes complete with a single one hole mounting bracket and full easy to follow fitting instructions. The mirror once fitted is sturdy and fully adjustable to provide the correct vision required for most tow vehicles including pick up’s and 4 x 4′s.

The mirror comes with a universal mount allowing you to fit it to Ifor Williams Horse Trailers models 401, 505, 510 & 610 plus the flexibility of mounting to non Ifor Williams Horse Trailers as well.

We do not endorse the fitting of this mirror currently to the Ifor Williams Horse Trailer models 506 or 511 but it is suitable for models 505, 510 and 610 plus other makes of horse trailer.

Our mirror is manufactured to the highest quality and complies to the UK vehicles certification agency (VCA) ISO9001:2000 standard.

A tried and tested product from Horse Trailer Parts Direct now being marketed at a competitive price

Available now from our store  http://horsetrailerpartsdirect.co.uk/horse-trailer-accessories/hitching-mirrors/ifor-williams-horse-trailer-hitch-hitching-on-coupling-mirror

at just £23.75 plus postage

Ifor Williams Horse Trailer Hitching MirrorIfor Williams Horse Trailer Hitching Mirror

 

Ifor Williams 506 and 511 Horse Trailer Cover

Special Offer

Get ready for winter with one of these great Horse Trailer Covers.

Specifically designed for the Ifor Williams 506 and 511 Horse Trailer these covers will afford your trailer that great winter protection you need to look after your valuable trailer.

In addition to protection from the elements they are also a great security product in deterring any thief from picking your trailer to steal.

Read our review below from when we originally tested these covers earlier this year.

Currently we have these covers in stock at a special offer price, so hurry before our offer ends.

 

We tested this cover and fitted them to two trailers for three months.

We fitted each to an Ifor Williams 506 Horse Trailer and an Ifor Williams 505 horse trailer in the beginning of October 2013.

The covers remained on both trailers right through the storms we had at the end December and beginning of January 2014. The trailers were parked in a fairly exposed area which was on the edge of a wood thus they took a battering not only from the extreme wind and rain we have had but also from sap and debris falling from the trees.

We are pleased to report that the covers have stood up exceptionally well and neither became dislodged or suffered any obvious signs of water penetration. We were concerned as to how well they would stand up to the rain as the covers are described a being ‘breathable’ and ‘extremely water resistant’.

The covers in our opinion are very well made and the Velcro and zip fasteners are heavy duty and again well made and durable and easy to use. The covers are clearly marked ‘front’ which makes knowing which way the cover fits easy. The covers also have two zip opening sections at the front to allow access via the grooms door or your front ramp regardless of which side these are fitted. When the cover is fitted the last thing you do is using the quick clip fastenings is tension the cover and adjust accordingly. The cover also comes with a separate hitch over again which fits well and secured by the quick clip system.

The bonus to the package is that the cover also comes with a storage bag which if you wish to take your cover off for the summer months you can store it in the large storage bag until you need it again.

The covers come well boxed and also come with a comprehensive fitting and care instruction leaflet.

Our tip from our test of these covers is that when you come to fit it instead of pulling the cover over your trailer from the rear fit it from the front. The natural rounded edges of the roof on the Ifor Williams horse trailers makes the cover slide more easily over the trailer whereas from the rear it can snag on the more pronounced edges over your rear doors. That said it is purely a matter of what works for you. We also advise that two adults fit the cover and you will need the use of a small stepladder to save you stretching.

We took the covers of six times and re-fitted them and after the first time it became easier each time as we got used to the knack of fitting and pulling the cover on.

On the Ifor Williams Horse Trailer models 506 and 511 the covers fit exceptionally well and in our opinion in comparison to other covers already on the market these offer exceptional value for money. The other covers available cost in the region of over £300 and this cover does the job just as well.

On the Ifor Williams Horse Trailer models 505 and 510 the covers still fit but are a very generous fit, in other words slightly too big and not a fully tailored fit as when fitted to the 506 and 511 trailers. That said the cover did the job just as well on the 505 and 510 and did not move or become dislodged in any way despite the gale force winds and rain we had. So don’t be put off buying one just because of the looks it still does the job well.

As mentioned previously these covers have been set a RRP by the manufacturer of £149 which in comparison to other covers at well over £300 represents great value.

Overall, I would score this product at 9/10 and would fully recommend one to anyone who wants to protect their trailer either all year round or just in the Autumn and Winter months.

This is a new product to the market being manufactured by Maypole, they already have proven track record in producing a variety of covers in connection with the automotive industry.

We have these covers in stock and are currently offering them at a introductory price for a limited period, you can view them and purchase one from our mail order store at this link

http://horsetrailerpartsdirect.co.uk/horse-trailer-accessories/horse-trailer-covers/ifor-williams-horse-trailer-protective-cover

This test and review was written by Mark Unsworth from Horse Trailer Parts Direct on 29th January 2014

New Horse Trailer Parts Range added to stocklist

Door 2

We have just added several new Ifor Williams Horse Trailer Parts to our stocklist.

These include Ifor Williams Horse Trailer Rubber door seals for the 505 and 510 Horse Trailers. These often become detached and worn and without them your rear trailer top doors can rattle which can disturb your horse during transportation.

We have also added many smaller parts as well, including anteluce fasteners for jockey doors. These become worn and go very rusty and fitting new ones is a simple task and really smarten the appearance of your horse trailer. Another new product are the spring loaded ramp securing pins as fitted to the new Ifor Williams Horse Trailer models 506 and 511.

Take a look at our web site and view our extended range of Ifor Williams Horse Trailer parts and spares.

E4 Announce Cast for new TV Equine Drama

Glue

Cast announced for E4′s original new drama series, Glue

E4 has brought together some of Britain’s brightest young talent from film, TV, stage and music to star in its brand new original series Glue – created and written by BAFTA-winning writer Jack Thorne (This is England, Skins, The Fades).

Yasmin Paige, star of critically-acclaimed feature Submarine; Jordan Stephens, one half of ‘Down With the Trumpets’ and ‘Lost Generation’ platinum-selling hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks; Callum Turner who recently starred opposite Helen McCrory in ITV drama Leaving; Charlotte Spencer last seen as Carly Kirk in BBC Two’s Line of Duty; Faye Marsay, who stole Howard’s heart as new housemate Candice in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat; Jessie Cave, best known as Lavender Brown in Harry Potter; ; stage and screen actor Tommy McDonnell, currently in cinemas in acclaimed British prison film Starred Up; Bristol Old Vic graduate Billy Howle, currently on screen in Channel 4’s New Worlds; and Waterloo Road and The Sarah Jane Adventures actor Tommy Lawrence Knight lead the exciting young cast.

Kerry Fox (Bright Star), Jonny Owen (Shameless), Kierston Wareing (Luther), and Steve Oram (Sightseers) join them in the brand new original series.

Overton. A tiny village in the English countryside. Farming is its beating heart. Race-horses are its bread-and-butter. But beyond the rolling hills and behind the stable doors lies a green and not-so-pleasant land…

Bored kids play chicken on top of silo machines that can cut your hand to slices no thicker than the ham in your sandwich. The same kids play at grain-barn-jumping – deadly, if your lungs fill up with the tiny bullets of wheat. Now someone has played murder.

When the body of a local teenage boy is found underneath the wheels of a tractor, the villagers in this remote community – his friends – are forced to open up their world and watch their secrets spill out. Secrets that will change their particular brand of country life forever.

Twisted and wayward, tragic and comic, Glue will take E4 audiences on a wild and thrilling ride as the mystery of his murder unravels.

Sophie Gardiner, Channel 4 Commissioning Editor, says: “The team at Eleven have pulled together an incredible cast for Jack’s thrilling scripts – the line-up reads like a roll-call of some of the brightest up-and-coming talent around. We can’t wait for them to bring our bold new series to life. Brace yourselves for a trip to the countryside…E4-style.”

The 8x 60’ series, commissioned by Head of Drama Piers Wenger, marks Thorne’s return to E4 and is from production company Eleven Film. For Eleven, Joel Wilson produces, Jamie Campbell executive produces.

Shooting has begun this week and will take place around Berkshire. TX is scheduled for Autumn

Corrie Star Helen Worth in mission with Ifor Williams

Simba

Coronation Street star Helen Worth joined forces with a top trailer maker in an international rescue mission to return a mistreated lion from Europe to Africa.

A horsebox supplied by Ifor Williams Trailers was used to transport Simba the lion on the crucial first leg of his epic 5,000 journey to freedom.

Also on hand to help with the delicate operation was Helen Worth, a long-time supporter of the international wildlife charity which made the epic 5,000-mile journey possible.

Simba the lion was just a cub of less than a year old when he was then acquired by an animal trainer in France. He was moved from one trainer to another and subjected to a life of misery and solitude in the confines of a beast wagon.

Simba at French circus

But fate took a hand when the French authorities ordered Simba to be handed over.

Thanks to a concerted effort by Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis, a French non-governmental organisation, temporary shelter was found at the Natuurhulpcentrum (Nature Help Centre) a Belgian wildlife rescue centre.

Simba set out on a journey of 4,900 miles after a new life of freedom was arranged for him at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi by international wildlife charity The Born Free Foundation.

Born Free, which is devoted to compassionate conservation and animal welfare, was founded 30 years ago by actors Virgina McKenna and Bill Travers and named after the classic British film in which they starred as Joy and George Adamson, a couple who raised Elsa, an orphaned lioness, to adulthood before releasing her into the wilderness of Kenya.

The rescue mission for Simba was made carried out by the Land Rover Experience, which provided a six-strong convoy of Land Rover Discovery vehicles for the long trip.

For the critical 120-mile first leg of the journey from Natuurhulpcentrum’s headquarters in Opglabbeek in eastern Belgium to Amsterdam’s Schipol airport in Holland Simba was loaded into a wildlife crate approved by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and carried carefully to her destination aboard a horsebox supplied to Natuurhulpcentruum by Ifor Williams Trailers.

Simba 3

Joining the Land Rover team for the road trip from Belgium to Holland was Coronation Street star Helen Worth, who plays Gail Platt in the ITV soap and has been a strong supporter of the Born Free Foundation for many years.

At Schipol Airport Simba boarded a Kenya Airways 767 aircraft for the flight to Nairobi.

After landing in Kenya the rescue party was met by Virginia McKenna OBE, who joined the team on its drive to Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi marking the final chapter in a heart-breaking story of animal cruelty.

Helen Worth said: “To see the team in action was wonderful. Everyone working together to ensure this beautiful lion would have a safe and comfortable trip to Africa.

Simba 2

“I am so proud to have been party to this story. Simba’s previous life had been so traumatic and without the dedication of Born Free and the Natuurhulpcentrum (Wildlife Rescue Centre) this journey to a new life would not have been possible.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Andrew Reece-Jones, the Design Engineering Manager at Ifor Williams Trailers.

“I am delighted we have been able to play a supporting role in this important project and that Simba is now settling into his new home.

“Transporting a lion was not one of the things we envisaged when designing our horsebox but our trailers are nothing if not flexible!”

Alison Hood, Rescue and Care Director for the Born Free Foundation, explained: “Transporting the rescued lion Simba from the Natuurhulpcentrum in Belgium to his new home at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre was a massive logistical undertaking.

“In order to ensure this move went as smoothly as possible, Born Free Foundation was lucky enough to have the support of an extended team and, importantly, the right equipment for the task.

“This included the Natuurhulpcentrum’s Ifor Williams horse box on to which Simba’s IATA approved crate was loaded.

“The trailer was then towed to Schiphol airport by vehicles provided by Land Rover, Born Free’s Global Conservation Partner.

“It is vital to ensure maximum safety and comfort when transporting wild animals and Born Free is happy to confirm that Simba’s road journey was just that, thanks to the right equipment being available.”

Virginia McKenna said: “This story is about one animal, one individual, but all of them matter and Simba, having initially been taken in by a Belgian rescue centre from an animal trainer in France, has now begun his final journey to Africa, his rightful homeland.

“People are increasingly aware of how wild animals can be exploited and can suffer, and perhaps long to be a part of a caring and positive story.

“At his new home in Malawi I know he will be beautifully cared for, living the rest of his life in a natural bush enclosure – a stark contrast to the circus wagon and barren `exercise’ pen in France. And perhaps, eventually, he will be introduced to beautiful Bella, a one-eyed lioness we brought there five years ago. That would be a happy ending!”

Mark Cameron, Jaguar Land Rover Global Brand Experience Director, said: “During the past decade Land Rover has enjoyed a successful and rewarding partnership with the Born Free Foundation. I am therefore delighted that our Land Rover Experience team has been able to help with the safe relocation of Simba from Belgium to Malawi.”

A spokesman for Natuurhulpcentrum said: “The transport of Simba went by the book. Simba was quiet, and our staff could not wait to arrive in Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

“Simba was placed in a large run next to the residence of Bella, his future girlfriend. We are all naturally very curious whether the blind date between two neglected lions eventually will be a success. Fingers crossed!”

For more information about the Born Free Foundation, visit the website www.bornfree.org.uk

Should I lend my horse trailer out?

Chevrons Front

Owning a Horse Trailer can suddenly propel you to being one of the most popular people at your yard and in the same stroke can cause you a series of dilemmas on how to say no when someone asks to borrow your prized possession.

So, if someone asks to borrow your horse trailer, aside from any personal feelings you may have about the person or aside from any issues of trust with regard to them looking after it, you may ask what the legal situation is.

Although I had a fair idea myself on what the risks are I contacted a number of companies who provide horse trailer insurance and ran it by them.

The insurers fell into two camps, those who won’t cover you at all under these circumstances and those who would cover part of the risks involved dependent upon the individual circumstances at the time and the level of cover provided by your policy.

Insurance companies refer to circumstances as risks and the main risks in loaning your trailer to a third party are as follows:

None of the insurers would cover you if you were to accept any form of payment or reward from the person you loaned your trailer to, whether this is for a few hours or a day.  This is very much classed as “Hire & Reward” for which you need commercial policy cover. Whether you are an individual attempting to make a few pounds by loaning out your trailer or a large commercial company undertaking this practice you need a proper policy that would cover risks for “hire & reward”. Typically this type of policy will also incorporate public liability cover and product liability cover. If you don’t have this cover then be prepared to lose your house or anything else you own if you are sued by another insurance company.

The circumstance which we can all relate to is if a friend asks to “borrow” your trailer for the day to go to a show then one of the following happens:

a) Your trailer is stolen from them at the show or at their yard – under these circumstances some insurers would pay out providing the person borrowing it had used the approved security devices stipulated in your policy, but the majority would not pay out citing that your policy would become void as soon as you loaned your trailer to someone else thus breaching the terms of your policy.

b) Your trailer was damaged by the person borrowing it and they could not afford to pay you for the damage – Most insurers again advised that they would not pay out under these circumstances and only one said they would pay out but it would be for “accidental damage” only. So if another vehicle or horse damaged it whilst in your friend’s control and your friend could not get recompense themselves from that third party then you would be left with a damaged trailer.

c) The person borrowing your trailer alleged that as a result of using your trailer their horse or indeed they had suffered an injury whilst in it and they tried to take legal action against you, would the insurers of your trailer assist you in defending any such claim? – There was a unanimous no from all the insurers to this question. You would then be defending any such case funded from your own pocket which if it were a personal injury claim could run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The other factor you have to take into account even with the more favourable insurers’ responses is that they all will have a reasonable care clause in their policy, which means that if the person borrowing it was deemed to have been reckless under any circumstances which led to a claim then the insurers again could, and probably would, refuse to pay out.

In my opinion insurers of horse trailers are providing a fairly good level of cover for a reasonable price these days given the litigious society we all live in but never take anything thing for granted. Always read the policy documents sent to you and make sure you understand exactly what you are covered for and under what circumstances.

I would advise the owner of any horse trailer to contact their insurers and obtain a written response to what their individual stance or policy terms are before lending your trailer out to a friend. This certainly is a case of being safe rather than sorry, broke and minus a friend!

This article was written by Mark Unsworth a director at Horse Trailer Parts Direct

Towing Horse Trailers Advice Blog

Horse Trailer Parts Direct

Horse Trailer Parts Direct is a family run business with over 30 years’ experience in Horse Care, Horse Riding and Horse Transport including towing horse trailers

We have owned our own Horse Transport and Horse Trailer Hire Company and have now expanded to operating Horse Trailer and Horsebox Parts & Accessories supplies stores in the UK where we put to use the wealth of experience we have gained over the years.

We are also regularly commissioned by horse magazines to write articles and features for them concerning aspects of horse trailer ownership, the loading and travelling of horses and are widely acknowledged as being a leading authority on these subjects. We are always happy to share our knowledge and experience with you and to this end we have uploaded many of our articles onto our Blog. www.horsetrailerpartsdirect.co.uk/blog/

We are horse owners involved in riding and competing so continue to maintain close contact with a good cross section of people involved in all aspects of equestrianism.

We think we have a good idea what today’s horse trailer owner and horse rider wants and using our experience we aim to bring you:

  • Quality Horse Trailer & Horsebox Parts & Spares at reasonable prices
  • Parts & Spares for many makes and models of horse trailers including Ifor Williams, Equitrek, Cheval Liberte plus many universal parts which will fit most makes of horse trailer.
  • Knowledge that the majority of products have been Tried & Tested by us prior to listing
  • Horse trailer parts and spares listed that we know you want – no endless pages of parts you don’t want or could not possibly fit yourself
  • A site that is safe & secure to shop on
  • Approachable friendly staff who just want to help
  • Free advice via email or telephone on any aspect of horse trailer ownership without any obligation to shop with us
  • Free advice via email on any aspect of towing or problems you may be having on transporting your horse

To access our blog see  www.horsetrailerpartsdirect.co.uk/blog/

To view our horse trailer parts store and browse our products see  www.horsetrailerpartsdirect.co.uk

Checking your Horse Trailer after the storms

Hitching on to your Horse Trailer

A quick reminder to everyone of the importance of checking your horse trailer after the recent storms

This will only take a couple of minutes but will pay dividends when coming to make that first journey out in a few weeks time or even sooner!!

We always tell people that if at all possible and if it can be safely done to park your trailer up without the handbrake being in the up or engaged or on position

This recommendation is given providing you can safely chock or secure your trailer so that there is no danger of it moving whatsoever

With all the wet and change in temperatures we have had if your handbrake is on there is every chance that despite the fact you release the handbrake the brakes will remain on

This is because the brake shoes will adhere themselves to the brake drums

We suggest even if you have left the handbrake off that you simply release it and engage to several times just to keep the cables and shoes moving

We also suggest that you do the same with your hitch handle, raise it and lower it several times just to keep the internal mechanisms moving. If you have a key operated lock this is even more important and if possible a couple of squirts of lubricating spray is highly recommended and then lock and unlock the mechanism a few times.

Check the inside of your trailer and ensure the roof vent is closed, we suggest you keep it closed for at least another month till hopefully we have seen the end of the wet weather

If you have forgotten to close this and the trailer is very wet inside it is well worth dropping the ramps, sweep out an surface water and let it air for a couple of hours.

Finally and if you have the energy, raise and lower your side and rear ramp just a couple of times just to keep the springs and hydraulic struts moving.

For the sake of 2 or 3 minutes every month over the winter doing these basics can really prevent any serious problems arising.

 

 

Buying a Horse Trailer on a budget

Trailer_1

Buying a Horse Trailer on a Budget - by Mark Unsworth from Horse Trailer Parts Direct

Owning your own horse trailer can be a rewarding experience says Mark

It will give you the freedom to take your horse to places and events that previously you could only achieve by either relying upon someone else’s goodwill, or by handing over your hard earned cash to a horse transporter. It may also suddenly raise your popularity at your yard, as you become an attractive proposition for giving people lifts or lending them your trailer. This then raises other issues, which can be viewed as the downside of owning a trailer, as few people are aware of what legislation exists to cover such dilemmas. 

Before you even contemplate looking at horse trailers there are several things to consider.

 

  1. Will I use it? – I am sure that you have all seen trailers at yards that never appear to move week in week out. You need to assess realistically how often you will use a trailer as most people use it less than they originally thought they would. In some instances this can be as little as four of five times a year.
  2. Can I tow it? – You need to check your driver’s licence to ascertain if you hold the category that allows you to tow a trailer. Check the DVLA web site, which should confirm that if you passed your test before 1st January 1997 you should be able to tow using your existing licence. You may also have to consider your driving confidence and ability to tow.
  3. Is my vehicle suitable? – This is a major factor to consider. Check your vehicle handbook to locate its towing capacity. Always verge on the side of caution with regard to the towing capacity. It is better to under estimate this.
  4. Where will I keep it? – Keeping your trailer at home is not always an option, so people tend to keep their trailers at their yard. You then have to consider the cost implication and security.
  5. Insurance & Security – Allow at least £120 to insure your trailer and at least £100 for a good quality wheel clamp or hitch lock. Most insurers will stipulate that it needs to be of a certain standard and they may ask for the key number or proof of purchase in the event of a claim.  What trailer do I buy?Your budget and the size and number of horses you want to transport will probably dictate this. Most popular makes of horse trailer fall into two size categories being capable of carrying up to 16.2hh and over 16.2hh. The larger trailers tend to be the most sought after when buying second-hand.

Buying on a budget of £2500: 

There are many makes and models of horse trailers that you can purchase second-hand in the UK and you can buy from a dealer or private individual. The advantages of buying from a dealer is that they will be required by law to offer some form of warranty and they should have carried out all the checks necessary to ensure that the trailer is safe to use. Buying a trailer from a private individual may be a more risky option, but you can always have it examined by an independent body or person prior to purchase. If the seller is reluctant for you to do this then there may be a significant reason as to why they do not want this done.  

Which Trailer? 

There are numerous makes of horse trailers available, so my advice would be stick to the known popular manufacturers. Working to a budget of £2500 then this will eliminate certain makes of trailers.

Despite the current economic climate and the winter months the price of used horse trailers remains buoyant. There has been a noticeable shift recently from horse lorries to horse trailers mainly due to the rising fuel costs. This has resulted in the used value of some makes of horse trailers actually rising by as much as 15% in the past two years.

 

What to look for & ask when buying: 

  • It may appear obvious but look at the seller. Simply speaking to someone on the telephone gives you a good indication of what type of person you will be dealing with. The ideal scenario is if you actually know the person or a friend knows the person selling and this can provide some reassurance. Ask the seller why they are selling the trailer, how long they have owned it, do they have receipts for when they purchased it, do any security devices come with the trailer, and if the trailer has a locking hitch do they have both keys.
  • Always view the trailer in daylight. Looking underneath or inside horse trailers is hard enough when trying to spot tell tale signs of damage, repairs or erosion, but is near impossible in the dark. 

Outside the trailer:

  • Check the overall appearance and condition of the outside of the trailer body panels and roof. Don’t be put off if you notice faint green sap or watermarks on or down the side of the roof panels. This will come off by using the correct product and elbow grease.
  • Check the tyres. Look for a good tread depth that you can get your fingers into and check the walls of the tyres for cracking corrosion or signs of perishing.
  • Check all the ramps. Ensure that all the locking handles work easily and raise and lower each ramp individually. They should move easily without much effort. If you open it and have to bear the full weight of the ramp yourself and there is no resistance when lowering it, this may indicate that the ramp springs or gas struts require replacement. If the trailer has top doors open and close these as well ensuring that they engage in their retainers when fully open.
  • Check the trailer hitch and handle to make sure they operate and if it has a locking hitch fit both keys into the lock and operate it. At the same time examine the rubber ribbed cover on the hitch for signs of perishing or cracking.
  • Check the trailer jockey wheel operation and tyre. If the jockey wheel is hard to wind in either direction this may indicate that it is bent. The jockey wheel tyre is likely to be a one piece rubber one and if this looks frayed and chewed then it has probably come into contact with the road when the trailer has been towed and will require replacing.
  • Check the trailer handbrake operation. This should move freely and engage and release. If the trailer has been stood for some time with the handbrake applied you may find that the trailer brakes have seized on. To check if this is the case release the handbrake and gently move the trailer backwards and forwards. If one or all of the trailer wheels are stuck and don’t move then you may have to seek expert advice.
  • Check the spare tyre. If it has a cover remove it to do this.
  • Check all the trailer lights for damage or signs of water inside the lenses. Check the trailer front plug socket and curly cable for signs of corrosion or exposed wires. Then plug the socket into a tow vehicle and check the operation of all lights.
  • Check the underside of the trailer, this means checking the floor, the chassis and brake cables. For a budget of £2500 the trailers should have either an alloy floor or a thermoplastic floor. With the chassis you are looking for an even colour to the main body of the chassis and outer floor supports. If you see any signs of discolouration, paint applied or localised rust this could indicate that welding or a repair has been done so warrants closer expert examination. If you see areas of consistent rust seek expert advice. Check the underside of the floor for the same signs as the chassis and look for any gaps in the floor, in particular around the edges of the trailer where the sidewalls meet the floor. You should also see the securing fixings for the rubber matting – check these to make sure they are tight. You will see the cables that run to the brakes so check these for signs of breakage. It always good to take a large bright lamp with you when looking at trailers to use when checking underneath the trailer. If the trailer has a wooden or thermoplastic type material floor check this for signs of gaps, holes, repairs, rot or staining. If you locate such areas of staining or rot push them with your fingers and if they are soft or spongy seek expert advice. Finally, take a look at the springs on the trailer, which run behind the wheels and look for any signs of cracking to the metal or fractured springs. 

Inside the trailer

  • Look at the floor inside the trailer and look for standing water. Look at the roof for signs of rust or water ingress. If there is a leak it should be evident. Check the open & closing operation of the roof vent.
  • Examine the rubber matting on the floor. Ensure it has securing points to prevent shifting and look for holes or perishing. If the trailer has an alloy or thermoplastic floor lift the matting back where possible to check the condition of the floor. If the trailer has a wooden floor remove the whole of the rubber matting to examine the floor for signs of rot. Examine very closely the edges of the floor where the sidewalls of the trailer meet, as this is often where the initial signs of rot appear.
  • Check the side kickboards for damage and check their fixings. The kickboards should be flush to the trailer sides and secure and should not move. They may flex but this is normal.
  • Check the partitions and the centre pole. The pole should be securely fixed and the partitions should move freely. Check the front and rear breast/breeching bars and the securing pins. Often the bar securing pins get bent.
  • Check the front, side and rear ramps and matting. Close the ramps and secure them and then stand inside the trailer and look for light around the edges. They should form a good seal and if the doors and ramps do not close flush this may be a tell tale sign of buckling of the chassis. Stand on the ramps and check for signs of flexing, they should be solid like the floor. 

Test drive

  • The next step is to take the trailer for test drive to ensure that it tows well. All trailers have a different tow feel to them but you should be looking for a free wheel tow whereby you experience little resistance from the trailer performing it’s natural action of the wheels turning. You should also be able to feel any unusual tendencies for the trailer pulling left or right on a straight level road, allowing for the camber. Do a break test as well. When you gently apply the brakes of the car the trailer should stop in a natural manner. If the trailer brakes immediately lock on, seek expert advice.
  • Whilst the trailer is hitched on look at it from a distance to ensure that it looks even and level from both the front and rear. If possible also ask someone to watch the trailer by following behind you to ensure that it is travelling in a straight line and is not ‘crabbing’. This occurs when a trailer has a twisted chassis and it will not travel in a straight line. You should also check the trailer when it is stood on flat ground to ensure it sits square and level. 

Stolen Trailer Checks 

On the front of most horse trailers on the A Frame chassis you will find a small metal plate known as the VIN plate. The chassis number and serial number of the trailer will be on this plate. If the trailer has had this plate removed ask the owner to explain why this has been done and seek expert advice. 

Make a note of these numbers and most trailer manufacturers if you call their head office and quote them the numbers they will tell you from their database what model the trailer is, what colour it should be and when it was manufactured.  

If the trailer is fitted with Datatag you can call them and quote the serial or chassis number and they will immediately tell you if the trailer has been reported as stolen. They will also advise you on transfer/update of their records should you buy the trailer.

You can also contact the national plant and equipment register known as TER and do a further check to see if the trailer has been reported as stolen. This can be done via their web site.   

Paying 

Always ask for a receipt when you purchase your trailer and ensure that it contains the seller’s full name, address and trailer serial number. It is also worthwhile asking them to include on the receipt that the trailer is not subject to any finance agreement. If it is then seek expert advice on what action to take. Also, obtain the trailer handbook and a copy of the original sales receipt together with the registration book if it has one that shows the serial and chassis number. If the trailer is datatagged then ask for the paperwork for the datatag transfer. 

The perfect trailer 

Buying a good safe used horse trailer is not rocket science. It is well within the abilities of most horse owners and their partners/friends/relations to locate a suitable trailer and apply the principles in this article to ensure that your purchase is a good one.

If you have any doubts over your abilities or lack the confidence to do this then enlist the help of a mechanic from your local garage who will know what to look for if you go armed with this article. 

You will have to look hard with a budget of £2500 to find the perfect trailer, but what you will be able to find is a safe and serviceable trailer that will still give you many years of trouble free towing.

 If you have any questions in the future on buying or selling horse trailers then please feel free to make contact – we are here to help!!

 

 

A Comprensive Guide to Towing Horse Trailers

Towing Horse Trailers

Safely Towing you horse trailer is paramount when taking to the road and there are some basic principles to follow

Having your own vehicle and trailer is probably the most cost-effective way of transporting your horse, but are you travelling safely?

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Safety First

Having safe equipment is the first step to successful towing, so ensure…

  • … your trailer (and vehicle) are both road-worthy. Trailers need servicing annually, but check the floor is safe regularly. Mark Unsworth from Horse Trailer Parts Direct recommends trailers with alloy floors not wooden ones. “Wooden floors can rot from the elements and horses’ urine does not help” he says.

Tyres must have enough tread (at least 1.6mm) and check the electrics work… your tow vehicles maximum towing weight (you’ll find this in the vehicle’s handbook or by contacting a dealer) isn’t lower than the weight you are going to be towing.

  • … the trailer’s weight (with the heaviest load you’ll be towing) does not exceed 85 per cent of the car’s un-laden weight (you can get this information from the vehicle’s handbook or manufacturer). To work out your towing load, weigh your horses with a weigh tape and add it to the weight of the trailer, which you’ll find on the chassis. “By law trailers must be marked with their maximum gross weight in kg, and the police have the right to make you take your trailer to a weighbridge at any time,” says Mark.
  • … you are legal to tow a trailer – you must hold a full driving licence, and if you passed your test after 1 January 1997, you’ll have to take a separate towing test. And make sure you do because you won’t get let off lightly if you get caught.
  • … you have adequate insurance. Your car insurance may cover the trailer third party when towing, but this won’t include theft or damage. Always check with your insurers, do not take any chances.
  • … the trailer has a partition, if you are towing more than one horse, has a breast bar set at the correct height for the horses, and a floor and ramp with good grip. If you’re only towing one horse, travel it on the right to allow for the camber of the road. If you are travelling two horses always load the heaviest horse to the offside stall.

Getting Hitched

If you’re happy that you’re road-worthy, then you’re ready to go. Hitching up takes a bit of practice, but there are ways you can make it easier for yourself. It sounds obvious, but never load a horse into your trailer before you hitch up.

1) Make sure that the trailer’s handbrake is on, and the tow bar is higher than the tow ball. Line your vehicle up so you can go back in a straight line towards the trailer, and then reverse slowly. You will find it easier to judge your distance if you have a helper.

Top tip: You may find it easier to look through the rear window of your car rather than using the wing/rear view mirrors or looking out of the driver’s window. If so, Position your head so you look through the centre of the rear window in line with the tow hitch.

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2) Once you have the tow ball lined up under the tow hitch, start to lower the hitch onto the ball by turning the jockey wheel (in the right direction). Some tow hitches will automatically hitch up, but most need the handle to be held up You’ll hear it click into place as the two become connected. You can purchase a i4eye Hitching Mirror to assist with this procedure follow our link.

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3) Undo the jockey wheel by turning the lever at the side, and raise it up as high as it will go. Then tighten it securely so there is no chance of it coming down when you’re driving.

4) You’ll see your trailer has a piece of wire with a hook on the end. This is the breakaway cable, and it must be attached to an eye or looped through a main brace of the tow bar, not over the tow ball. The idea of the breakaway cable is that, if the trailer and vehicle become separated, the wire actually takes up the tension and applies the trailer’s handbrake.

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5) To connect the electrics, line up the gap of the car’s electrical socket with the gap in the tow hitch socket.

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6) Release the trailer handbrake and check everything is working (lights, indicators and brakes). For the brake lights, ask someone to stand behind and check for you. Do a last check to ensure everything is safe before you load your horse, and never travel with the hitch lock on, because if the trailer should flip over, it is likely to turn the car over, too!

Top tip: Help prevent electrical cables becoming faulty by spraying them with WD40 (to prevent rain getting in) and pull them out before you drive your vehicle away from the trailer after unhitching (to prevent them being stretched). Keep tow balls well greased, too
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Unhitching

  • Park your trailer on as flat a surface as possible and then apply the car’s and the trailer’s handbrake.
  • Disconnect the electrical and breakaway cables.
  • Undo the jockey wheel until it is touching the ground, and tighten it.
  • Hold up the tow hitch handle and wind the jockey wheel higher until the vehicle and trailer disconnect.
  • Lock your trailer so it’s secure. To avoid the brake shoes sticking to the drums, leave your trailer parked with the handbrake off, but wedge the wheels to prevent it rolling.

Back It Up

Reversing a trailer well will impress anyone who’s watching, whereas doing it badly will attract attention for the wrong reasons! Don’t forget that plenty of practice makes perfect, so find a nice big area and do just that. The first thing to remember is to take it very slowly – you’ll have a lot more chance of getting it right than if you try to do things in a hurry.

Before reversing, you need to find out what your trailer’s jack-knife point is. The jack-knife point is the point at which the trailer reaches a certain angle and you are no longer able to get your vehicle out of this angle by reversing. Do this by driving your vehicle forwards in a tight circle on full lock – that’s your jack-knife point!

1) First, make sure there is nothing behind you, and preferably have a helper to see you back. Where you start from will have a big influence on where you end up, so if you want to reverse around a corner, start straight and about a vehicle’s length from the area you are reversing into.

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2) The main thing to remember when reversing is that whichever way you turn the steering wheel will send your trailer will go in the opposite direction. So, if you steer the wheel left, your trailer will go right. To straighten the trailer up, simply turn the wheel back the other way. Often if you get the angle wrong, you are better to go forwards again rather than trying to correct it.

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Straight Line Reversing

The easiest way to do this is to use your wing mirrors. If you can see more of your trailer in one mirror than the other, then you need to straighten up. If things start to go wrong, pull forwards and correct your line.

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Driving Around A Corner

It goes without saying that you should take corners slowly when towing a horse, so give yourself plenty of time to slow down. Your trailer will follow a tighter corner than your vehicle, so swing out wider on turns to allow for this. When using a roundabout, the same applies, and be aware that vehicles pulling onto the roundabout may not judge how long your vehicle is, so don’t take any chances!

Breakdown Cover

Breakdown cover for your vehicle probably will not cover your trailer, so you will need additional cover for this. Again, do not compromise on this. Just imagine leaving a show and a mile up the road you suffering a major breakdown and you are stranded with car, trailer and two horses, that’s when things become expensive

To Buy or Not To Buy

If you don’t transport your horse very often, then hiring a trailer might be a better option than buying. There are lots of companies which offer this service at a good price. Ensure who you hire from are an established company with liability insurance for undertaking their business as if something goes wrong and it is not your fault but say a result of a major defect on the trailer you will be looking for recourse at the company. A reputable established company will know this and will keep their trailers in tip top condition ensuring they are regularly inspected and they will hold records to show this.

If you’d rather buy one, then buying in winter can be cheaper than in summer. “Ifor Williams trailers that normally retail around £3,300 can be bought for as little as £2,950 in winter,” says Mark Unsworth, “so it’s worth considering.” He also has the following advice: “Make sure you can get your trailer to a dealership easily for repairs and servicing, and if you buy second-hand, be really careful. I can recount many horror stories about dangerous trailers, so don’t take the risk. Always test tow a trailer before buying and if you have any doubts, forget it,” he adds.

Problem Solving

Would you know what to do if something goes wrong when you’re towing? We offer some solutions to common towing problems

Q What should I do if my trailer starts snaking on the road?

A trailer will ‘snake’ for many reasons, such as the towing weight being too heavy for your car, big vehicles overtaking you, wind, poor roads and uneven tyre pressure. If it happens, ease your foot off the accelerator and keep the steering steady. Do not try to accelerate out of it – it doesn’t work! Drive straight home and try to find out what the cause was so you can eliminate it.

Q What should I do if I break down with my horses on board?

Try to avoid getting the horses out of the trailer, especially on busy roads. If you are a member of a breakdown service, call them immediately (the OHTO offers a full breakdown service for £72 a year). Switch off the engine and if you have one (we advise you do), place a hazard warning triangle 50 metres behind your trailer. Alternatively, put your hazard warning lights on.
On a motorway, get passengers out onto the verge, and note the number of your nearest roadside marker to tell the breakdown service. Non-members will still get help, but they’ll pay more.

Q What if my trailer gets a puncture?

Mark recommends unloading the horses if it is safe to. “You can change a tyre with horses on board and a sturdy jack, but horses are quick to sense something is wrong and may get distressed,” he says. If you do change the tyre with horses on board, be careful that the horse’s movement doesn’t knock the tyre off the jack, and check the tightness after 30 miles or so.

Speed Limits for Towing Trailers

Urban: 30 mph

Single carriageway: 50 mph

Dual carriageway and motorways: 60 mph

Remember that trailers are largely governed by the rules which apply to HGV vehicles, and one of these rules states that you only have access to the inside and middle lanes.

If you have any questions on towing or any aspect of horse trailer ownership or purchase then Mark Unsworth from Horse Trailer Parts Directs who maintains this blog is happy to assist you.

 
Horse Trailer Parts Direct

Horse Trailer Parts Direct provide a comprehensive range of horse trailer parts online in the UK. Our horse trailer spares are all oraganised in to categories to help you find exactly what you want. Simply move your mouse cursor over the category links at the top of this page to see a drop down menu of our categories. We provide parts for Ifor Williams horse trailers in addition to other popular brands and setups. So, if you're looking for parts for trailers or any kind of trailer accessories please take a look at our website to find what you need. If you any questions please call us on 01305 269393 and we'd be delighted to help you.

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