If you’ve ever trailered horses, you know how stressful it is to be responsible not only for driving safely but also for the animals’ well-being. Any emergency on the road (such as a blowout or a breakdown) is more dramatic when you have horses locked in the trailer and stranded amidst a busy highway with the terrifying traffic passing your trailer at 70 mph. So tyres– the first thing in charge of your safe horse trailering as they assume the whole weight of your heavy rig. So they have to be really strong and competent. There are some tips how to prevent a tyre failure on the hauling vehicle or the horse trailer itself.
Care with discretion
Tyres that haven’t been maintained properly can be a road hazard as you never know what to expect from them. With trailering horses, you want the maximum predictability and control possible. So before hitting the road, inspect your tyres for the signs of irregular tread wear (cuts, bubbles, areas with worn tread). Remember that for the safe and legal trailering across the UK, the tread must be thicker than 1.6 mm. Ensure that the tyres you use are compatible with the load they are going to haul (check the weight load index) and that they are inflated to the psi (pound per square inch) recommended by the manufacturer. Make it a habit to check the tyre pressure with a gauge before you set off and every time you make a stop. Don’t try to make your tyres “smoother” on the road by deflating them a little bit as this trick can be very dangerous with trailers.
No need to remind that your vehicle must be able to pull the trailer and – what is even more important – to stop it. Make sure your vehicle is appropriately sized for the task and its power, torque and weight are sufficient for controlling the trailer in case of, say, a blowout. It’s better to use a bigger vehicle than a smaller one.
Tips how to prevent tyre failure when trailering horses
- Learn the weight of your trailer to select tyres accordingly. You can do it by weighing your truck with a trailer (on a truck stop), then weighing the truck alone and subtracting.
- When choosing tyres, opt for those having best rates for the load you are hauling.
- As you are driving a pretty long rig, preserve more room for your tyres when cornering. This way you prevent the locked tyre from being dragged on the road and its sides from being scraped against the curb.
- Drive in a defensive manner, keep a safe distance to other vehicles and stick to the left lane when possible to be able to pull over easily if needed.
- Make sure you rotate tyres every 5k miles on both the vehicle and the trailer. It’s good to get the trailer equipped with the odometer to keep track the mileage your trailer does.
- Remember that single-axle trailers aren’t good for trailering horses; there must be at least two axles. This helps support the weight of the trailer if one of the tyres fails.
- Bumper-pull trailers are more likely to sway during the ride than gooseneck trailers where the weight is transferred to the hitch and your hauling vehicle’s rear axle. Make sure that the hitch and chains are fastened correctly so that your rig can stay stable when a sudden weight shift (say, due to a blowout) happens.