Top Tips To Get Your Horsebox Or Trailer In Perfect Condition For The SpringThefirstfewweeksofanewshowingseasonarealwaystheworst. Therearejustsomanythingstocheckover.Wethoughtwemightgiveyouahandwiththe transport side to avoid that dreaded early season breakdown.Here is the OHTO check-list to ensure your horsebox or your car and trailer is totally road-worthy to start the new season.HorseboxEngine•Check oil levels •Check power steering level •Never use start gas as a starting aid e.g. Easy Start •Never race a cold engine •Avoid labouring and high engine speeds on cold engine •Fuel Filter - Drained of water •Drive belts check tension and conditionCooling System •With a cold engine the coolant level should be between minimum and maximum •Check for leaks on hoses and engine Brakes •Check fluid levels •Check brake lines for corrosion •Drain condensation water from air tanks •Take unloaded horsebox for a test run to make sure brakes are working correctly Lighting And Electrics•Check battery and connections •Check lights •Check reflectors, indicators, wipers and washers •Check warning lamps are working correctly Wheels and Tyres •Check tyre pressure •Check tyres for side wall damage •Check wheel nuts •Check spare wheel •Check there are no stones jammed between rear twin wheels Horse Area •Check Floor •Check partitions for security •Check door hinges and locks •Check ramp for security •Check ramp hinges •Check horse ties •Check vent windows •Check fresh water system ( lines, tanks and pumps) •Check chassis and body lubrication Living Area •Check for gas leaks •Check for bolts on living doors •Ensure there are adequate seat belts for children when traveling TrailerThe average trailer may stand unused for months on end, winter is the usual drop-out time. We often get asked for advice on trailer maintenance and storage, so we thought a check-list on that would be a good place to start.•Ifithasnotbeenusedforanylengthoftimethetrailershouldhavebeenleftcleananddryinside.Inordertoavoidrottingofthefloortherubbermats should have been lifted up so that any damp dried out. •Thetrailershouldhavebeensupportedonaxlestandsneverbricksorjackswhichcanspliteasilyandwithoutwarning..Thewheelsshouldnothave touchedtheground.Tyresremainingondampgroundforlongperiodsoftimearelikelytoperishandthebearingscanseizeup.Thejockeywheel should have been dropped to provide extra stability. Hinges and wiring should have been greased and sprayed with WD40. Now to get us back on the road: •Wheelbearingsneedre-greasingabouteverytwoyearsotherwisetheywearoutandmayoverheatorseize.Whilethetrailerisstillonstands,nowisa good time to get the bearings and brakes checked and freed off. •Test the whole floor area for rotting using a screwdriver. Do not forget the ramp. These areas are perhaps the most important part of all! •Thesocketconnectingyourcarandtrailer'slightsarepronetocorrosionduetomucksprayedupfromtheroadanditisalsoahidingplaceforinsects. Clean out the dirt and spray the sockets and plugs with WD40 which helps to prevent corrosion and give a better contact •Grease all hinges and moving parts like the balance springs and tow hitch.TheBLUECROSShaveproducedasmallbookletin AdobepdfformatonTrailersafetyandmaintenance.Please click on the logo on the left to download a version in ADOBE pdf format.RobertWebb-Bowen,DirectorofEquineWelfareattheBlueCrosssays:“Fatalinjuriestohorsescausedthrough unsafetrailertransportaremorecommonthanyouthink.UnlikeothercountriesinEurope,theUKhasnotrailer MOTtest,somakingsureyourowntrailerissafeandlegalisentirelyyourresponsibility.Yetmanyhorseowners remainunawareofhowtokeeptheirtrailerinsafeworkingorder.Thisleafletwillplayavitalroleinmakinghorse owners aware of what is necessary. “Thegroundpressureexertedbya550kghorsethroughitsshoesis3.05kgpersquarecentimetre,whichis exactlythesameasthatofafullyladenmilitaryLandRoverDefenderweighingsixtimesmore.Thebigdifference isthattheLandRoverissupportedbyallfourwheelsasitmoves,butthehorsewalkingintoatraileralwayshas one foot off the ground, creating even more, ever changing, stress on the floor."Pleaseremember,itisnotjustweakenedfloorswhichendangerhorses.Regularmaintenanceofthetrailer's brakes,wheelbearings,towhitchandlightsareallessentialtoavoidaccidentsthatcouldendangerthehorse, tow-caroccupantsandotherroadusers.AndyBatheMAVetMBCertES(Orth)DipECVSMRCVSRCVS& EuropeanSpecialistinEquineSurgery,UniversityEquineSurgeonatTheQueen'sVeterinarySchoolHospital, UniversityofCambridgesaid"Iseeatleasttwoserioushorseinjuriesperyearcausedbytravelling.Iwould expectthisfiguretobesimilarforalotofequinevetsaroundthecountry,whichwouldroughlyequatetoanational figure of about 1000 injuries resulting from travel every year."