Are you in the market for a horse trailer? Many people prefer to buy horse trailers used, since you can save a substantial amount of money over the cost of a brand new trailer. However, it’s very important that you make sure that any used trailer is safe for your horse. Look for these six things when you’re buying a used horse trailer.
Check for Rust
Start your evaluation of the trailer by looking for rusted areas. Surface rust isn’t necessarily a concern, and can often be brought under control by some sanding and paint. However, more serious areas of rust could compromise the trailer’s structural integrity. If the trailer is newly painted, it could be concealing rusted areas. Look carefully for rust and don’t forget to check underneath the mats if the trailer has a metal floor.
Inspect the Tires
Take a look at the tires to determine how much life they have left. Do all of the tires have good tread? Do you see areas of rot? If there is rot present, or the tires look unsafe, they will need to be replaced. You could potentially use this factor to bargain with the seller.
Look at the Hitch
Carefully inspect the trailer’s hitch. The hitch should be sound, strong, and without damage. There also shouldn’t be prevalent rust present.
Check Out the Floorboards
Lift up the trailer mats and check out the condition of the floorboards. Jump up and down on the floorboards and walk around, feeling for soft or weak areas. If you spot rotting sections of floorboards, then the floorboards will need to be replaced before you use the trailer. Don’t forget to also inspect the trailer ramp for soundness, too.
Look at the Dividers and Bars
Check the condition of the trailer’s dividers and bars. Does the divider swing freely and securely lock into place? Can you easily lock and unlock the bars?
Test the Lighting
Finally, hook up the trailer to a truck – either yours or the seller’s – and check the trailer’s lighting to make sure that everything is working. It can be expensive to fix a damaged electrical system, so make sure that you carefully check all of the lights before agreeing to the sale.
It’s also a great idea to have a mechanic inspect any used trailer before you buy it. Ask the seller if they’re willing to let you have the trailer inspected. If they’re not, then it’s best to walk away from the sale – you don’t want to jeopardize your own or your horse’s safety by buying a trailer which isn’t in great condition.