If you’re planning on transporting your horse this summer, then it will soon be time to check out your trailer. Before you go on any trip, make sure that you perform these six important safety checks to make sure that your trailer is ready to go.
Lift up the trailer’s mats and inspect the floorboards every time before you load your horse. Floorboards can rot and weaken, and can potentially give way when your horse stands on them. This can create devastating injuries, so always take the time to inspect your floorboards, especially when your trailer has been stored for a length of time.
Hitch up your truck and trailer, and then do a safety check to make sure that all of the lights (and your truck) are working properly. Check your truck’s headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. Then, check your trailer’s brake lights and turn signals. Always drive with your headlights on to improve the visibility of your truck and trailer.
Evaluate the Tires
Check the tires on both your trailer and your truck. Use a tire pressure gauge to make sure that all of the tires are properly inflated, and test the lug nuts to make sure that they are all tight.
While you’re checking out the tires, don’t forget to check the spare tire, too. You don’t want to be stranded without a spare when you need it.
Test Your Brakes
With your trailer hitched up, check to make sure that your brakes are fully working. If braking feels funny, do not load up your horse – instead, take your truck and trailer to a reputable mechanic to have them checked out.
Check Your Emergency Kits
Your truck and trailer should hold two emergency kits – an equine first-aid kit, and a roadside emergency kit. Before you take a trip, take the time to check both of these kits to make sure that they are complete. If you use an item out of either emergency kit, replace it immediately so that you’re sure to have it on hand if you need it again.
Double-Check the Hitch
Before you load up, double-check the hitch. Make sure that the hitch is connected properly and securely, and that the safety chains are also properly attached, but that they won’t drag on the ground.
It only takes 15 minutes or so to do these 6 safety checks, but doing these checks before every trip could potentially save your or your horse’s life. It’s well worth the time.