Trucks and Trailers

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farm equipmentA good truck and trailer are “musts” for the horse owner that does his or her own hauling and horse care. Weigh all the pros and cons of investing in a powerful tow vehicle or new trailer, however, before taking the plunge. How often would you use it? Can you trailer share with a friend or neighbor? Will owning and maintaining a truck or trailer outweigh your yearly shipping and hauling costs? View the results of a survey about which trailers TheHorse.com readers prefer.

Some cost-related suggestions for Trucks:
–       If you own an old tow vehicle, it may be practical to trade it in on the purchase of a new one that is more powerful, uses less fuel, and costs less to maintain
–       Shop the used lot but make sure to give the vehicle a thorough inspection before putting any money down.
–       Make sure you invest in a truck with enough towing capacity Ð it’s best to have more than you need than the other way around!
–       Driving conservatively and with gas mileage in mind.

Trailers:
–       When buying any trailer, but particularly a used one, bring your tow vehicle along so you can hook it up to evaluate the trailer. See a complete physical inspection checklist here.
–       Pay the extra few dollars to have a mechanic inspect a used trailer. The extra cost is well worth it, and any findings or flaws may be used as a bargaining tool.
–       If you only use your trailer occasionally, then don’t splurge for a large trailer with a dressing room and all the frills.
–       If you expect to do a lot of long-distance travel, it may be in the best interest of your horse to buy the best trailer you can afford.

For more cost-saving tips on truck and trailer purchases, read an excerpt from the Thrifty Horsekeeping farm equipment chapter here

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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