H&H sits in on the latest in a series of webinars aimed at helping horsebox drivers navigate post-Brexit travel to Europe. This session covered the importance of vehicle compliance
RIDERS have been reminded of the importance of meeting vehicle requirements for travelling horses abroad since Brexit.
On 28 April the Road Haulage Association (RHA) hosted a webinar focusing on vehicle compliance during which industry experts discussed the requirements for obtaining vehicle approval certificates, and some of the issues catching people out. The webinar is the second in a series that has already covered post-Brexit operator licences and paperwork requirements.
Charles Cunningham of Horse Transport Europe said some horseboxes have been failing vehicle approval inspections owing to a variety of issues including not having lashing points, dim internal lighting, and a lack of fans in the horse area – which must also be able to operate when the engine is switched off.
Other requirements include keeping data logs of temperature monitoring inside the horsebox, which must be downloadable for inspection for up to 30 days, and sufficient head space and airflow.
“Horseboxes are arriving for inspection in Ireland with lashing points attached to the floors of lockers and they are being told to get this repaired here, or get back on the boat and to come back when they have it done,” he said. “Where we used to be able to travel a three-axel lorry with four lashing points, we now need six; one in each corner at the back, two in front and two at the sides. Each lashing point must also be clearly identified.
“It’s the little things people don’t think of. You think your truck is up to spec but things like not having ‘horses in transit’ on the front and back can cause a failure, which you don’t want when you’re trying to get your approval.”
Mr Cunningham added that horseboxes must also have space to carry a certain amount of feed, hay and water in order to be approved.
“People are filling up their lockers with tack but you need to keep space for the amount of feed that will be required for the journey,” he said. “And if you are stopped at the port or en route at any point and don’t have sufficient feed on board they have the right to refuse you onward travel.”
Julie Magnus of Julie Magnus Racehorse Transport reminded those travelling abroad to carry directories such as the Thoroughbred Business Guide, lists of English-speaking vets, and to have a prepared contingency plan and breakdown recovery.
“You cannot rely on a mobile phone signal, so having a directory means you can contact vets or equestrian centres if you have some kind of emergency. It’s very important to have,” she said.
John Lucy, RHA head of international transport, said moving horses around is a “bit of a minefield” owing to the amount of legislation to comply with, but further information and guidance can be obtained from the RHA website.
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