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What kind of truck?

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  • What kind of truck?

    I'm looking into getting a truck and trailer before my next horse, Thats the plan anyway and everyone knows plans change.

    Ive been asking around a bit but getting conflicting bits and pieces, some people say a half ton would be fine for just about anything so long as it was a V8 others say a full ton for anything and everything.

    The trailer I want to get would be a 2 horse (3 absolute max) stock trailer like this one (This is actually the trailer that fits my idea of perfect for what I want)


    Would a half ton be fine for this? What about SUVs since it would also be a second vehicle for us?
    Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
    I am pro-Slaughter

  • #2
    Totally depends on what you plan to do with the rig. My half-ton blew two cylinders dragging my steel two-horse (plus a fat Morgan) up the mountains of Colorado. So I bought a 3/4 ton diesel.

    Now that I live in a "flatter" state, I look silly rolling up to a show with my diesel pulling my two horse BP. But it gets the job done and I feel better knowing that I have enough power in the truck to haul my rig & horses (including my much-heavier 1400lb TB).

    I've also seen people hauling what is in your picture with a Ford Ranger. I, however, deem it extremely unsafe, but they do it regularly and haven't had a problem yet.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I live in lower central Alabama (tri county area, Montgomery, Prattville, Millbrook, etc) so it is all relatively flat, a few hills here and there. Hauling wise, a few times a month maybe, I want to haul out to trail rides around the area. So all in all probably no more than an hour away?
      Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
      I am pro-Slaughter

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a heavy 2-horse w/dressing room.

        I towed it for years with a diesel 1500 Suburban. We got everywhere safely, at least I felt like we did. It took us a LONG time to get up hills, and we did it very slowly. But it was a decent truck, the horses always walked off the trailer calm and cool, and everyone was happy.

        Until I upgraded to a 3/4-ton 2500. (Gas, as that's what fit the budget, unfortunate as that is.) Oh man. You could not pay me to go back to a 1500. Nuh uh. No way, no how. It is just such a drastic and wonderful difference that I cannot ever advocate hauling with a 1500, not any sort of "real" trailer, anyway.

        Comment


        • #5
          Save yourself the trouble and do a forum search.
          Life doesn't have perfect footing.

          Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
          We Are Flying Solo

          Comment


          • #6
            I spent a lot of time studying this subject (as an engineer, it's natural) and here is my opinion now that we're on our second truck.

            There are a few things that give people misunderstanding and heartburn.
            - Towing rigs are not good daily drivers. Fact. Trying to cross the two is not done without compromise.
            - SUVs with a tow rating are not the same as a pickup with the same/similar tow rating.
            - What defines a "safe" rig. This is a very grey line but I can say that for anyone who's stepped up to the heavier duty tow vehicle, I've never seen them say it's too much. Those who tow with less sturdy rigs will tell you they've never had an issue - but I caution that's the same logic could suggest Russian Roulette is safe because you haven't lost yet.

            First, will this be strictly for towing the trailer and other horse activities, or will this be someone's daily driver? Ideally it's not a daily and therefore you can buy exactly the right truck for the towing job. Which is to say I recommend buying the heaviest duty truck that fits your budget.

            Second, will it be for bumper pull or 5th wheel? (Or both?) Only the newest 1/2 tons will do 5th wheel and with a 5th wheel it's touchy to do it with a short bed truck.

            Third, do you need 4WD? Unless you only drive on highway and dry dirt roads, I personally recommend 4WD as an option.

            SUV's can be used but only when well equipped and with an understanding of limitations. Because they're so short compared to a pickup, a load-distributing hitch is generally required. Also you'll rely on your trailer brake - if it stops working it will be a lot harder to control than a pickup. There is also the issue of maintenance - by using the less robust rig, brakes, suspension, engine fluids, drivetrain components, and your nerves will wear out more quickly.

            Horse trailers are not particularly stable. Stomping, pawing, shifting horses will remind you of this, but in an emergency maneuver their bodies put the center of gravity very high and this can pitch the trailer around. Less stable rigs (SUVs and 1/2 ton pickups) will be more easily overpowered by a trailer gone wrong. This is why it's recommended to never tow horse trailers at the tow ratings - the rating is based on a totally dead load.

            Engine selection is important especially if you drive in a hilly area. So is the capacity of the truck - if you have an extended downhill section out west, a vehcile with marginal capacity can easily melt the brakes or boil the brake fluid. Diesel used to be a terrific choice for a vehicle that does a lot of towing, but for diesels less than 10 years old, that equation has been permanently altered by the newest emissions regulations. (I'm all in favor of cleaner air, but not in favor of systems that cause the diesels to burn 50% more fuel per mile!). Older diesels are still the rock they always were. If you live in the flats and don't have steep hills or mountains, a 3/4 ton with a smaller engine would work well. Just don't expect to pass anyone on the highway.

            We started with a 95 F-150 4WD and drove it for a few years to tow a 2-horse steel frame trailer. The towing capacity had room to spare but when we upgraded to a 08 F-250 4WD diesel, the difference was amazing.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DHCarrotfeeder View Post
              I spent a lot of time studying this subject (as an engineer, it's natural) and here is my opinion now that we're on our second truck.

              There are a few things that give people misunderstanding and heartburn.
              - Towing rigs are not good daily drivers. Fact. Trying to cross the two is not done without compromise.
              - SUVs with a tow rating are not the same as a pickup with the same/similar tow rating.
              - What defines a "safe" rig. This is a very grey line but I can say that for anyone who's stepped up to the heavier duty tow vehicle, I've never seen them say it's too much. Those who tow with less sturdy rigs will tell you they've never had an issue - but I caution that's the same logic could suggest Russian Roulette is safe because you haven't lost yet.

              First, will this be strictly for towing the trailer and other horse activities, or will this be someone's daily driver? Ideally it's not a daily and therefore you can buy exactly the right truck for the towing job. Which is to say I recommend buying the heaviest duty truck that fits your budget.

              Second, will it be for bumper pull or 5th wheel? (Or both?) Only the newest 1/2 tons will do 5th wheel and with a 5th wheel it's touchy to do it with a short bed truck.

              Third, do you need 4WD? Unless you only drive on highway and dry dirt roads, I personally recommend 4WD as an option.

              SUV's can be used but only when well equipped and with an understanding of limitations. Because they're so short compared to a pickup, a load-distributing hitch is generally required. Also you'll rely on your trailer brake - if it stops working it will be a lot harder to control than a pickup. There is also the issue of maintenance - by using the less robust rig, brakes, suspension, engine fluids, drivetrain components, and your nerves will wear out more quickly.

              Horse trailers are not particularly stable. Stomping, pawing, shifting horses will remind you of this, but in an emergency maneuver their bodies put the center of gravity very high and this can pitch the trailer around. Less stable rigs (SUVs and 1/2 ton pickups) will be more easily overpowered by a trailer gone wrong. This is why it's recommended to never tow horse trailers at the tow ratings - the rating is based on a totally dead load.

              Engine selection is important especially if you drive in a hilly area. So is the capacity of the truck - if you have an extended downhill section out west, a vehcile with marginal capacity can easily melt the brakes or boil the brake fluid. Diesel used to be a terrific choice for a vehicle that does a lot of towing, but for diesels less than 10 years old, that equation has been permanently altered by the newest emissions regulations. (I'm all in favor of cleaner air, but not in favor of systems that cause the diesels to burn 50% more fuel per mile!). Older diesels are still the rock they always were. If you live in the flats and don't have steep hills or mountains, a 3/4 ton with a smaller engine would work well. Just don't expect to pass anyone on the highway.

              We started with a 95 F-150 4WD and drove it for a few years to tow a 2-horse steel frame trailer. The towing capacity had room to spare but when we upgraded to a 08 F-250 4WD diesel, the difference was amazing.
              One of the best posts ever on tow vehicles.

              I especially like this: "Those who tow with less sturdy rigs will tell you they've never had an issue - but I caution that's the same logic could suggest Russian Roulette is safe because you haven't lost yet."
              www.HistoricHousePreservation.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by DHCarrotfeeder View Post
                I spent a lot of time studying this subject (as an engineer, it's natural) and here is my opinion now that we're on our second truck.

                There are a few things that give people misunderstanding and heartburn.
                - Towing rigs are not good daily drivers. Fact. Trying to cross the two is not done without compromise.
                - SUVs with a tow rating are not the same as a pickup with the same/similar tow rating.
                - What defines a "safe" rig. This is a very grey line but I can say that for anyone who's stepped up to the heavier duty tow vehicle, I've never seen them say it's too much. Those who tow with less sturdy rigs will tell you they've never had an issue - but I caution that's the same logic could suggest Russian Roulette is safe because you haven't lost yet.

                First, will this be strictly for towing the trailer and other horse activities, or will this be someone's daily driver? Ideally it's not a daily and therefore you can buy exactly the right truck for the towing job. Which is to say I recommend buying the heaviest duty truck that fits your budget.

                Second, will it be for bumper pull or 5th wheel? (Or both?) Only the newest 1/2 tons will do 5th wheel and with a 5th wheel it's touchy to do it with a short bed truck.

                Third, do you need 4WD? Unless you only drive on highway and dry dirt roads, I personally recommend 4WD as an option.

                SUV's can be used but only when well equipped and with an understanding of limitations. Because they're so short compared to a pickup, a load-distributing hitch is generally required. Also you'll rely on your trailer brake - if it stops working it will be a lot harder to control than a pickup. There is also the issue of maintenance - by using the less robust rig, brakes, suspension, engine fluids, drivetrain components, and your nerves will wear out more quickly.

                Horse trailers are not particularly stable. Stomping, pawing, shifting horses will remind you of this, but in an emergency maneuver their bodies put the center of gravity very high and this can pitch the trailer around. Less stable rigs (SUVs and 1/2 ton pickups) will be more easily overpowered by a trailer gone wrong. This is why it's recommended to never tow horse trailers at the tow ratings - the rating is based on a totally dead load.

                Engine selection is important especially if you drive in a hilly area. So is the capacity of the truck - if you have an extended downhill section out west, a vehcile with marginal capacity can easily melt the brakes or boil the brake fluid. Diesel used to be a terrific choice for a vehicle that does a lot of towing, but for diesels less than 10 years old, that equation has been permanently altered by the newest emissions regulations. (I'm all in favor of cleaner air, but not in favor of systems that cause the diesels to burn 50% more fuel per mile!). Older diesels are still the rock they always were. If you live in the flats and don't have steep hills or mountains, a 3/4 ton with a smaller engine would work well. Just don't expect to pass anyone on the highway.

                We started with a 95 F-150 4WD and drove it for a few years to tow a 2-horse steel frame trailer. The towing capacity had room to spare but when we upgraded to a 08 F-250 4WD diesel, the difference was amazing.
                Very well done.

                The Russian Roulette analogy is very, very good.

                G.
                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah, except for the 2008 Ford diesel part.

                  OP, no towing thread would be complete without the "yo, heads up!" warning about Ford's 6.0 and 6.4 diesel engines. Those are years 2003.5 to 2011.
                  The armchair saddler
                  Politically Pro-Cat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I beg to disagree with the russian roulette comment.

                    Here, for a good 50+ years, most have 1/2 pickups and bumper pulls, the past 20+ years GN trailers.

                    I think that there is less russian roulette to how those pickups and trailers have fared than on just getting in ANY vehicle and pulling out from your driveway.
                    I only know of one accident and it was a truck at dawn running over a pickup and trailer, the truck driver was distracted and didn't see them.

                    That is standard cowboy rig, that holds up to four horses, but mostly has one or two only and maybe occasionally a couple of cows too.

                    Now, bigger ranches with the larger crews have larger pickups and trailers, but those dayworking for them still come in with their 1/2 tons and 16' GN and one or two horses and are safe for that.

                    I agree that you can't have too much pickup, more is always better as far as pulling, but 1/2 is most times, for the right uses, just fine.

                    That is all we have ever had and don't feel at all we are playing with any safety issues.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      That's a whole other subject there. I will say with the DPF removed it's a much more reasonable rig.

                      I didn't say driving smaller rigs was russian roulette. I didn't say that at all. What that statement means is that there is no logic in justifying something based simply on an anecdotal "I haven't wrecked yet". With smaller rigs you have to dot the i's and cross the t's and there is less margin for error.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Driver skill should also be mentioned.

                        A cowhand who drives his truck and trailer every day since 16 years old, who knows his rig like the back of his hand and the roads that he's driving on is a WHOLE different scenario than some of the semi-frantic weekend-warrior horse women I see white-knuckling their half-tons on the highway.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          ^
                          Unfortunately that will be me!

                          However I will be practice driving with it near mom's house starting off where I will be able to without bothering or hindering other traffic. When I get it hubby will be taking it on up to mom's house for me. I am soooo not getting onto the "It should be EASY!" boat and try to drive off into the sunset.

                          As far as fuel goes, which would be better? Diesel or unleaded? Gas mileage wise? I know gas mileage is just about shot hauling anyway but every little bit counts right?
                          Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                          I am pro-Slaughter

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well, gas mileage will only start to make a difference after a certain point, so ask yourself how much you REALLY haul.

                            I LOVE diesel, but gas trucks are SO much cheaper in my area. I do such a limited amount of local hauling that the extra several thousand dollars (or severe decrease in general truck condition) to get a diesel was not worth it.

                            Sure, it would have "paid for itself" after several years (just bought the gas truck two years ago and I don't think the diesel would have paid itself off yet) but diesels are more expensive to maintain, and they like to WORK. And you can't beat the convenience of knowing that you can pull into any ol' gas station and get what you need. (Diesel is hard to find around me, at least.)

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              That is a good point, It will be our "secondary" vehicle (not counting my motorcycle) but for the most part we will be using the car for the every day to day stuff and the truck for either hauling or when someone else has the car and either myself or my husband doesn't feel like using the motorcycle.

                              Thanks for all the info guys! Your awesome!
                              Did you know, today is yesterdays tomorrow and what you would leave for tomorrow you should do today?
                              I am pro-Slaughter

                              Comment

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