If you are looking to buy a horsebox it is important that you consider what features and facilities will fit your purpose. How many horses do you want to transport? Do you want living space? And what is your budget?
- Look for rust, damp patches and any rotting.
- Check that the ramp woodwork, hinges and springs are all in good condition and that the ramp can be lifted by one person.
- Check there are no oil leaks from the engine and that the oil light doesn’t come on when the engine is started.
- Make sure the lighting in the living and horse area run from a separate battery to the main vehicle battery.
- Check there is no damage to the tyres.
- In the cab check the gauges, lights, indicators, wipers, horn and warning lights.
- A road test is strongly advised so that you can get a feel for the lorry and the driving position. You will also notice any major faults when it is being driven.
Professional pre-purchase inspection
- If possible try to arrange a professional pre-purchase inspection. Jon recalls a lady telling the examiner that all she could find wrong with her new horsebox was some fraying rubber around the driver’s door. The inspection showed, amongst other things, that the body was attached to the chassis with just two bolts.
- Always consider the legal standpoint when making your purchase.
- The weight of your lorry and whether you use it privately or as a commercial operation, has a massive impact on how you can transport your horses.
- The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency(VOSA) is now targeting overweight vehicles.
- Unless you want an HGV, check that the weight of your lorry won’t be over 7.5 tonnes when fully loaded with horses, tack, feed etc.
- To find out more about the legal implications of transport buying visit www.vosa.gov.uk or download the user-friendly Guide for Horsebox and Trailer Owners (www.vosa.gov.uk/Guide-for-Horsebox-Owners).
- There is also a VOSA hotline offering free advice, tel: 0300 123 9000.
For more information from The Organisation of Horsebox and Trailer Owners visit www.ohto.co.uk
Read our transport special in this week’s issue of H&H (19 April 2012) to find out what sort of transport would best suit you and get our advice on how to make sharing transport a success.