I thought it would be a good time to remind existing trailer owners and for the new horse trailer owners, go over a few Horse Trailer safety checklist items.
Check the following items before hauling.
1. Clean your horse trailer out after every use. Even with rubber mats, the urine and manure will take their toll on the floor if they are left to sit.
2. Regularly washing the exterior of the trailer will make the trailer generally last longer as well as give you the opportunity to inspect the entire trailer for broken or missing items as well as any damage that may have occurred.
3. Check all hinges, springs and latches to make sure they are secure and in good working order.
4. The trailer hitch itself should be kept well lubricated and should be checked for missing or damaged parts. Make sure the safety chains are in good condition.
5. Inspect the jack to make sure it is working properly (manual/electric/or hydraulic).
6. The brakes should be checked every time the trailer is hitched to make sure they are working
7. Check the tire pressure and condition of all the tires (don’t forget the spare).
Before you hitch up – Make sure your tow vehicle is rated to tow the weight. Check the hitch. Check the balance of the trailer. Make sure the trailer is level and all of the lights and brakes are working.
Before you load up – Check the trailer for bees or wasps. Remove any molding hay or feed. Check to make sure that all dividers and latches work properly.
Before you leave – Walk all the way around the rig. Make sure that all doors are closed and secured. The hitch is correctly attached and latched.
•Checks Tires and Wheels
• Check the tire pressures and the tread are correct
• Check the condition of the tires. Include the rear tires of the towing vehicle in your inspection. Make sure that you are carrying a spare tire and that it is roadworthy.
• Make sure lug nuts are tight on all wheels.
• Lift the rubber mats after use and sweep or hose out the floor. Make sure the floor is completely dry and sprinkle baking soda on the floor before reinstalling the rubber mats.
Inside the Trailer
• Check carefully for any loose or protruding screws bolts inside the trailer.
• Check for bees or wasps.
• Check the partitions and all locks and bolts.
Outside the Trailer
• Safety Chains: Make sure they are secure and have no damage.
• Hitch: Look for loose bolts, hairline cracks, and other signs of wear. Check for proper hookup. (In conventional trailers, the socket should be seated on the ball and locked in place.)
• Check that all lights are in full working order including the marker, tail, brake, indicator and interior lights.
• Check that jacks and safety triangles or reflectors are in good working order in case of a breakdown.
Annual Maintenance Checks:
• Check the brake pads for wear and adjust or replace as necessary.
• Inspect the frame of the trailer for any damage
• Inspect all wires for loose connections or frayed coverings.
• Wheels should be pulled and bearings checked and if necessary repacked.
• Check the floor for any rotting or major weakness, which may need repairing and if it is an aluminum floor, check for any corrosion.
• Check all the internal and external lights.
Hopefully these few tips will help you have a safe trailer experience.
Until next time, safe travels and Merry Christmas!