[Equihunter] We check on our horses every day, but the next time you are at the yard, why not also spare a thought about the condition of your horsebox as well.
This is the time of year when we are all coming out of our winter hibernation and starting to think about getting out and about again regularly to the shows, competitions and to training.
Whatever vehicle you drive it’s also the time of year that your horsebox deserves that much needed care and attention in terms of an annual inspection and some routine maintenance.
Whether you are just planning a day out or even going for a short stay away, it’s important to note that by following a few simple basic steps you can help to save yourself from the awful experience of breaking down on the road and have the worry, stress and dangers that this event can bring.
It goes without saying that an annual maintenance check is a must. You may even have an MOT or Plating test coming up, in which case you will be assured that your horsebox repair and maintenance specialist will be covering the essentials, but if this usually happens during the summer months, please don’t take it for granted that all is OK after what may have been months of relative inactivity with your vehicle over the winter.
REMEMBER: ALWAYS GET PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IF YOU ARE AT ALL UNSURE WHAT TO DO.
- Here are some helpful tips of things you possibly can manage yourself…..
- Check you are road legal, note the expiry dates on your insurance, test certificate and road tax.
- Make sure that you have adequate and in date breakdown and recovery insurance, don’t just rely on luck, it’s just not worth it.
- Before you set off, make sure you have written access to important emergency numbers, like your vet, your emergency breakdown company and have your insurance details to hand.
- Please ensure that you have a working mobile phone on board with a full charge before you set off. If you can take your phone charger with you that can be plugged into t a working power outlet in the cab.
- Make sure the obvious things work like headlight, brake lights and indicators all work properly, have someone help you while you operate the controls
- Check the condition of your vehicle’s tyres, especially if you haven’t used your horsebox over the winter. look out for reduced air pressure and visible signs of wear such as cracks in the side walls.
- In the engine area perform a few simple checks like making sure your windscreen washer level is full, check your engine oil level as well and ensure your radiator coolant is at the correctly indicated level.
- If your vehicle has wooden floors, always check regularly for signs of rot and weakness
If you are unsure of how do perform any of these checks please, please seek advice from a professional mechanical engineer, preferably with a specialty in dealing with equestrian transport vehicles or seek help from competent and experienced person that knows what they are looking out for.
Finally why not visit the ‘Local Rider‘ magazine website and take a look at their great check sheet they have produced that lists the 10 most common reasons horseboxes fail an MOT test. The Local Rider website has some really great advice here…..
Another source of helpful information comes from VOSA in the form of a 26 page guide, compiled with the help of BE, BD, BHS, BEF, H&H and PRP Rescue Service
The VOSA Guide for Horsebox and Trailer Owners here…..
21st Feb, 2014