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What truck are you pulling your BIG trailer with?

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  • What truck are you pulling your BIG trailer with?

    Looking at a 4 and a 6 horse head to head trailer. Both around 37' long. One has empty weight of 8000 lbs, the other 10000 lbs. Need to buy a truck to haul either with but not sure what to be looking at, these are BIG trailers LOL.

    Anyone else hauling a trailer this size and if so, what do you pull it with? Any recommendations? And I can't afford new.....

    My husband is not feeling like even a one ton pickup is enough. Definitely looking at a dually. I've owned trailers this big about 20 yrs ago and did pull with a one ton and never had any problems but he wants to get something more like a 3-5 ton great big truck. Not keen on driving that particularly but will do it if need be.


    OH and while I'm at it, WHY is it so darned hard to find a head to head trailer? I am so frustrated, everything is slant loads. Have one now and don't want another one for many reasons. Anyone know of a good website to look for trailers? I've searched endlessly and found very few H2H. Needs to have at least a decent size dressing room too in order to put in a small weekender. Looking at older trailers, can't afford the huge price tag on a new 4 horse with LQ, bummer!

  • #2
    I have pulled a couple of these trailers in the 4 horse h2h and 7horse all over with a dodge 3500 dually and a ford 350 or 450,


    • #3
      LOL...you answered the second part of your question with the first. Those big assed head to heads required a big assed truck to haul them. Most people don't want to buy a big assed truck

      I have always seen those trailers hauled by F-450s or F-550s, or small Frieghtliners.


      • #4
        I haul with a Freightliner FL70.


        • Original Poster

          Originally posted by DistanceHorse View Post
          I haul with a Freightliner FL70.
          Do you need a special license for that big a truck, like A-Z? Air brakes?

          We are looking at an older F600. The thing that bugs me most about this type of truck is there's no back seat so you are limited to 3 people squashed in the front and then have to take a second vehicle to a show. And no four wheel drive option. Is that a problem? I can just imagine getting stuck in some field at a show with the big a$$ truck and mega trailer LOL.


          • #6
            We just bought a used Dodge 5500 as we're wanting to upgrade to a larger trailer. Looks the same as the one ton but much heavier duty. Hubby says it doesn't even shift down on hills.
            I have yet to drive it.


            • #7
              We have a Hawk 6 horse H2H and pull it with a F450 dually. Previously, we had a Kiefferbuilt 6 horse H2H and the 450 pulled it fine. The F450 pulls the Hawk but you can tell that there is a lot more trailer behind you now. We wish we had a 550 now but the 450 will have to do.

              I don't know where you're located but we got our Hawk at DiBella in Pottstown PA and they usually have at least one used 6 horse H2H sitting on their lot.


              • #8

                They'll build it with whichever features you want.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by alterchicken View Post
                  Do you need a special license for that big a truck, like A-Z? Air brakes?

                  We are looking at an older F600. The thing that bugs me most about this type of truck is there's no back seat so you are limited to 3 people squashed in the front and then have to take a second vehicle to a show. And no four wheel drive option. Is that a problem? I can just imagine getting stuck in some field at a show with the big a$$ truck and mega trailer LOL.
                  Classes of License:

                  The Federal standard requires States to issue a CDL to drivers according to the following license classifications:

                  Class A -- Any combination of vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.

                  Class B -- Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.

                  Class C -- Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.


                  • #10
                    I have found that this flow chart provided by WA DOL is extremely helpful. We thought we were going to have to get a CDL, but this cleared it up, we do NOT.

                    DH's truck was custom built for him, it's a F350 with gear ratio and etc (stuff I don't understand) of a 450 rear end, dually of course. The "big" trailer we just got has an empty weight of 18000 I think? It's a three horse slant with a big LQ. DH's truck it a titch over 10000. Add in two or three horses, a tank of water, tack, etc, and we're over that "cdl" limit, but it still doesn't apply to us.

                    This was the day we brought it home, empty. DH had to add airbags to his truck, so keep that in mind if you buy something that doesn't come with them already. Also, DH opted for something, I want to say triple caliper brakes (triple? double? whatever an extra one would be), on the truck when he ordered it, and it saved our butts. We were hauling on the Interstate, one horse and two dogs in the trailer plus full tank and food, etc, for an overnight stay, and traffic went from 70mph to ZERO right in front of us. In the rain. DH got the rig stopped, and we watched in the rear view as people behind us were driving off into the median to keep from hitting us.
                    Last edited by TheJenners; Jan. 12, 2013, 08:51 PM.
                    COTH's official mini-donk enabler

                    "I am all for reaching out, but in some situations it needs to be done with a rolled up news paper." Alagirl


                    • #11
                      Our 4 H LQ steel trailer is 10,000 lbs empty. We haul with a beefed up 3/4 ton GMC Duramax. We added springs to the back and it does very well unless I'm going up a very steep mountain. I'd think a 350 or 3500 would be enough if you get a diesel.


                      • #12
                        You do not say where you live.

                        Duallies are terrible on ice and snow but better in mud because dual tires tend to float.

                        Everyone will tell you that you need a dually, but the facts are that all that counts is your hitch weight loaded.

                        If the hitch weight does not exceed the tire loading, an F350 will pull it anyplace you need to go with a rig that long.

                        Get someone to calculate the hitch load when the trailer is fully loaded and cross check that against the Ford book on the subject.

                        Not what the dealer says, what the Ford book says.


                        • #13
                          I have a Hawk 4 horse H to H Elite and I had them add 2ft to the dressing area so that it is 6ft rather than the standard 4ft. I have a Ford F450 diesel, dually 4x4 to haul it with. Loaded it down with five horses (one in the middle) and been all over the east coast and mid west with no problems at all. I would never haul a trailer of this size and load any long distance with anything less than a dually.


                          • #14
                            Equispirit 2+1 with living quarters. 40 footer, 10,000 pounds. Our Dodge 3500 tows it like a dream. Our family participates in three different types of equestrian sports and we are on the road a lot.



                            • #15
                              I worked at a farm were we had a 6 horse head to head (that we usually hauled 7 in, one in the center) with a '95 Ford F350 dually diesel and never had trouble. All over the country, 200,000 miles on that truck pulling that trailer and it is still going.

                              We have a 6 horse head to head at the farm I currently work for that we pull with an '08 Ford F450 diesel dually 4x4. We had some trouble with the electrical systems working right between the truck and the trailer and the trailer brakes not working properly, but we have that straightened out and everything works well now.


                              • #16
                                We had a 4 horse head to head and now own a 3 horse slant with living quarters. Both heavy when loaded up with horses. Our truck is a 1995 (yes a 95) Dodge 3/4 ton with the Cummins diesel and we have no problem at all. When I replace my current truck in 5 years or so....I would like to get a good 25 years out of the girl if I can then I will upgrade to a 1 ton. NOT DUALLY! Dually trucks are not very popular up here in the land of ice and snow because they get stuck so often. A single rear axle with the wider profile tire is the norm for the big trailers. And beefed up air bags too.....


                                • #17
                                  We pull our 4Star, 4 horse goose neck with a 2002 Dodge Ram 2500 v10. Pulls like a champ.


                                  • #18
                                    Maybe you could ask Jim_in_PA to help you. (wink wink) I am sure his NEW Jeep Cherokee could pull what you need.

                                    Seriously, a 350, 450, 550, (ford or chevy) or small freightliner would definitely do the job like everybody else has said. I have seen lots of the smaller freightliners pulling huge LQ's to endurance rides. Don't think you need a CDL for it any of those. I have seen huge rigs pulling, and the rider/driver did have a CDL coming to the rides.

                                    It may come down to what you are comfortable in when driving, and hauling behind you. Also parking it. Going in and out of the gas stations. Will you have to go through the weight stations off the interstate? Also the maintenance on a bigger truck, don't forget the tires.

                                    I did the big truck dually, and super big trailer (3500 4x4). I now have a short bed, 2011 4 door chev 4x4 duramax now. I like a smaller truck, a shorter length, smaller girth on the back (non dually). But I could haul a really big trailer if I wanted to again (and have). For practical purposes this truck for us meets and exceeds everything we need in a truck/pulling things/farm/4 doors. I couldn't justify having more than one truck.


                                    • #19
                                      The First Rule of Towing Anything is that "Starting is optional; stopping is not."

                                      This means that the engine and drive train, while important, are not primary. The BRAKES are!!! Consider this carefully in selecting a truck.

                                      An overloaded drive train might not fail today, but will fail. I was over at our local trainer shop a few weeks ago and was chatting with guy getting a minor repair done. He bragged about how well his Dodge 350 pulled his massive (20,000 lb.+++ loaded) trailer. He did complain about "crappy Dodge trannys" (he had just had number three installed after just over 50,000 miles). He never connected the dots that maybe his "crappy tranny" was just protesting constant overloading.

                                      All one ton and less trucks are light duty trucks. I don't care what the badges on the side of the truck say and I don't care what the salesman (or sales brochure) says the "towing capacity" is. I do care what the owner's manual says the GCVWR is because if you have an involvement with "The Authorities" that is what THEY will be looking at.

                                      You can get some really expert advice here:



                                      As for licensure, that's highly dependent upon where you live. Be guided by the written rules of your state.

                                      Big trailers mean big trucks. Not because I say so, but because the Laws of Physics say so.

                                      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                                      • #20
                                        We have an F350 crew cab long bed dually (2008) and an M2 Freightliner. (My horse trailer is just a 3H weekender, so pulling it is not an issue.) The M2 is so much more maneuverable than the F350. Just an FYI if you are worried about parking/turning around and such. My husband can turn around the M2 with the 52' wedge in a much smaller space than if he is towing it with the F350 - like 1/2 the space.