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Imagine driving down the road in your horsebox, minding your own business, when suddenly your vehicle slams into an overpass and gets wedged underneath. Imagine the poor horse travelling in the back. That’s exactly what happened during the late morning hours on August 12 (2013) outside Ely, Cambridgeshire.

The horsebox driver apparently did not see the signs, or ignored them, as he approached the rail bridge with a 9-foot clearance. He and his vehicle never made it out the other side. Police and Network Rail workers were dispatched to help remove the horsebox.

Fortunately, a bypass was available to reroute traffic while the road was closed. It took several hours to free the horsebox, causing traffic delays among curious passers-by who slowed to see what was happening. The good news is that the horse in the rear of the vehicle was not injured.

According to reports, that particular railway bridge is among the most often hit in all of Britain. In 2010 there were 16 accidents involving horseboxes, lorries, caravans and other large vehicles. Authorities blame careless drivers and incorrect sat-nav systems.

Those who live and travel in the area will be pleased to know that the government is aiming to solve the problem within the next 3 to 5 years by building a new bypass. Until then drivers are encouraged to make sure they know the exact height of their vehicles and pay attention to all height restriction signage along roadways.

Horsebox Training Important

We can smile at this story because there were no serious injuries. However, the accident serves as a reminder that having a horsebox licence is no substitute for employing common sense. Before anyone gets behind the wheel of a horsebox or a vehicle towing a horsebox trailer, he or she absolutely must know their height restrictions.

What’s more, it’s not good enough to trust a sat-nav system implicitly. Such systems are notoriously inaccurate when it comes to things like bridge heights. Instead, drivers should pay attention to signage as they go. That signage has likely been there for decades, proceeding even the oldest road maps. Always trust the signage first.

We Offer Horse Box Training

You might be interested to know the HGV Training Centre offers horsebox training for both professional and casual drivers. Keep in mind you need a horsebox license unless you meet certain narrow criteria established by the UK government. Most drivers will not meet those criteria.

When you receive your training from us, we will teach you everything you need to know about manoeuvring a horsebox in tight spaces, driving in a way that protects your precious cargo and general highway safety where other vehicles are concerned. Drivers who commit themselves to our fast-paced and direct training approach can be licensed in just a matter of weeks.

If you are interested in earning your horsebox licence, we encourage you to contact us today. Classes form regularly at our 45+ facilities around the country. We would be happy to get you enrolled.


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