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Buying a used horse lorry or trailer is commonplace for new horse owners who are just getting started in equestrian sports. Used vehicles are less expensive, making it easier for the new horse owner to get involved at a cheaper cost. Nevertheless, buyers need to be very aware of what they are purchasing before handing over any money. An entire industry has risen around purchasing, refurbishing, and selling used horse lorries and trailers that may not be up to safety standards.

A rather surprising report from Horse & Hound sheds light on this growing problem. According to an article published in late April (2016), sellers of used horse lorries and trailers are not necessarily offering vehicles that are safe for either horses or owners. The Horse & Hound website highlighted one service technician in particular who began servicing vehicles at the request of some of the clients of his equine physiotherapist wife. The technician has been shocked by some of the things he has seen on several of the vehicles he has worked on.

One example of a very common problem is improper wiring for lighting. The technician explained one case in which 24-volt wiring was used to connect 12-volt fixtures in a used horse lorry. When the new owner of the lorry turned on the lights, the bulbs get so hot that they set fire to the fixtures. Had he turned on the lights and walked away, the entire vehicle could have been engulfed in flames.

Other problems plaguing used horse lorries and trailers include improper gas and electric service in living areas, improperly installed or repaired roofing, poor bodywork repairs, and inadequate flooring. Unfortunately, unsuspecting horse owners who do not know what to look for are more prone to purchasing unsafe vehicles than experienced horse owners.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Animals

The best way to protect yourself and your animals against unsafe horse lorries and trailers is never to make a purchase without having a vehicle inspected by a professional. While it is true that having a professional inspection costs additional time and money, it is well worth it when considering the precious cargo to be carried.

Your horses deserve safe vehicles to travel in. If you are planning to purchase a horse lorry rather than a trailer, you need safe space to use as living quarters while you’re on the road. Neither you nor your animals can afford to be subjected to a used vehicle that has been refurbished without proper attention being paid to safety. Furthermore, there are plenty of very good vehicles out there. There’s no need to compromise your safety with a vehicle that has improper lighting, gas service, or flooring.

After you purchase a horse lorry or trailer, be sure to get the training you need to drive it safely. We offer comprehensive training at more than four dozen HGV Training Centres throughout the UK. Contact us for more information or to sign up for classes.

Sources:

Horse & Hound – http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/news/horsebox-technician-finds-minefield-disasters-lorries-534011

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