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Picking the Right Trailer

The Right Trailer
Picking the Right Trailer

If you have decided to invest in purchasing a trailer you will probably be overwhelmed by the immense range of trailer available on the market.  There are many things to consider when selecting a trailer.  Here are some of the things you should consider before purchasing a trailer.

•    Steel or Aluminum: Both steel and aluminum trailers can be found in all shapes and sizes.  Steel trailers are heavier, so if you are looking at a larger trailer you might want to veer away from steel.  Aluminum has the additional advantage that it does not rust, so requires less repairs in the long run.  Most used trailers will be made of steel, so be careful to look over the trailer very carefully to make sure there are no dangerously rusted areas.  With a lower price tag steel trailers are the most common trailers on the road.

•    Bumper Pull or Gooseneck:  Bumper pull trailers can be towed by a wide range of vehicles.  Heavy SUVs and vans can capably pull a 2 horse trailer with a bumper pull hitch.  Goosenecks must be pulled with a pick-up truck.  While gooseneck hitches can be removed, they take up a fair bit of space in the back of your truck bed and can make it difficult to ship other things in the back.  On the other hand, goosenecks are safer and easier to pull once you get used to them.

•    Slant Load, Straight Load or Stock:  There are many interior designs for trailers.  Slant loads have dividers that sandwich horses at a 45 degree angle.  This is said to give the horses a better sense of stability than straight loads.  Straight loads are usually forward facing trailers where the horses stand side by side.  Some straight loads allow horses to be shipped facing rearward as well as frontward.  Stock trailers are open concept, usually divided into two sections.  Horses can stand in any way they are comfortable and can be shipped loose for long hauls.  The right style of interior depends a great deal on your horses.  Most trailers are straight loads, and most horses are comfortable with that.  Slant loads can be great alternatives for horses who have troubles balancing in the trailer.  Stock trailers are best for large horses or if you are shipping young or untrained animals.

•    Step Up or Ramp Load:  There are people who swear by each of these types of trailers, each of which have their own range of benefits.  Ramp loads are generally good for horses with some loading experience and offer a safe way to get horses on and off the trailer.  They also allow for loading on surfaces that would otherwise raise the floor too far above the ground level making a step quite large.  Ramps can be very heavy and are not great for bad loaders.  Step ups do not require the lifting of a heavy ramp.  Horses generally step on without too much difficulty and since you can close the door behind them without delay they are great for horses who are bad shippers.  Unloading off step ups can be scary for some horses.  They may try to jump off and slip in the process.

•    Tack Room:  Some trailers have a built-in tack room.  If you show a lot this can come in very handy, both to store your tack and to change into your show clothes.  Others have smaller tack storage lockers.
 

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