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someday
Jul. 12, 2010, 08:17 AM
Hi all,
I am looking at buying my first trailer. There is one I am interested in that someone at the barn is selling and would like to ask them questions about the condition, but I really am not sure what I should be asking. What should I be looking for as far as mechanicals? How do I know if the floor is in safe condition? Obviously, my main concern is about the safety of my horse. Any help would be appreciated!

EiRide
Jul. 12, 2010, 08:47 AM
There is a really good book that I suggest you get and read before shopping. It's called The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer and was written by Neva Kittrell Scheve with Thomas Scheve.

ChocoMare
Jul. 12, 2010, 08:52 AM
Ditto EiRide's suggestion.... in the meanwhile, see Question No. 15 here from Tom & Neva's website: http://www.equispirit.com/info/faq.htm

I believe you can order their book from there as well.

joiedevie99
Jul. 12, 2010, 10:17 AM
Ask to have it taken to a neutral shop for an inspection. You don't want to buy someone else's problems.

deltawave
Jul. 12, 2010, 10:55 AM
I agree with having it inspected by someone with real expertise in horse trailers. You can offer to take it yourself and bring it back, which will also give you the change to test-haul it. Tell the person doing the inspection you're interested in buying and would like to know if there are any immediate safety/soundness concerns, how much those are likely to cost, and if there are other problems he sees that might be coming "down the road". Rare is the perfect trailer, but with this info in hand you can possibly be a better negotiator on price. :)

Rather like a PPE for a horse. :)

Things to emphasize for the inspector (they ought to know this, but . . . )

Floor
Brakes
Frame and structural integrity
Wheels, axles, tires and bearings
Electrical

Heart's Journey
Jul. 13, 2010, 12:18 PM
Excellent advise thus far, but talk to the owner and find out how much they have used the trailer. If they say, rarely it has just sat for a long time - red flag - if they don't use it, I doubt they have maintained it as well. Trailers don't do well just sitting, tires rot, areas rust, etc

someday
Jul. 15, 2010, 11:35 AM
Hey all,
Thanks for the advice! I feel much more confident about what to look for! I really appreciate your responses.