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Share your trailering words of wisdom.

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  • #21
    Originally posted by saje View Post
    Don't assume that just because a gas station advertises diesel that you can get your rig in AND out easily.
    THIS!!! Also, don't think, as you pass one who can get in and out of, "oh, I'm ok for awhile yet. I'll stop a little bit later." Otherwise, you'll end up having to get in and out of an impossible place! Speaking from experience....twice

    AND, having had those two experiences, I also offer up what I learned from them....you don't get REALLY good at backing until you put yourself, accidentally, in a sticky situation. Ever since those two times (especially the first one, which was horrific!), any other backing type situation has seemed relatively EASY!


    • #22
      What I Always Tell Myself

      W............I...............D.................E Turns.

      Defensive braking - apply before you think you need them, especially approaching intersections.

      Ditto to double-checking all hitch elements & testing brakes & lights before driving off.

      And safer to assume other drivers will do most anything to avoid being stuck behind you.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #23
        Are you driving diesel? Then remember it's 'fuel' not 'gas!' DD made this very clear with me.

        Never pull into a station without knowing how you're going to get back out. You will pick your favorites on your regular trips and GDit the car driver who pulls into a diesel pump when there are plenty of gas pumps open!! to them. and to top it off they'll leave the car there and go use the restroom, or get a drink. Welcome to our club

        I am huge about backing off the pedal and slowing down and coasting into a light, keeping my wheels rolling as it turns green. Saves a lot of wear on your truck not having to start from a dead stop, esp on inclines.

        Mount a marine battery under your gooseneck and then you can use lights without pulling off your truck battery.

        Watch your right hand mirror on wide turns! You will get he idiot who has no idea and they drive and squeeze in there.

        Honk and wave at us other ladies driving out there! I used to have an F250 I had a vanity plate made that said 'HER F250'
        Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


        • #24
          Something that really helps me on long hauls in areas I don't know for diesel is a smartphone app called GasBuddy - you can search for gas or diesel and by closest to you or cheapest price. It will also give you directions from your current location to gas/fuel.


          • #25
            Lots of good ones posted already, so I'll try to write some new ones...

            Have screens if you leave their windows down, it will catch bugs and something most people don't think about: Cigarette butts. I've read news stories of tossed butts (not on purpose I truly hope) landing IN a trailer... never a happy ending.

            First aid kit!

            Water supply. Even with no LQ style trailer, have water in your tackroom or truck bed. Even if you have US Rider (GET) your horses (and you) need water.

            Reflective stickers on the back stating the trailer has horses. Many people truly do not realize how far to stay back. Mine states 200 feet and has the wide turns sticker.

            I got those bumper cushions for use on tables in homes with babies/toddlers and put them on the inside rim of my trailer doors so if a horse tosses their head up while backing out it can really help.

            May think of more later but those are some that I value.
            My herd for life:
            King: 21 year old Foxtrotter gelding
            Ruais: 8 year old Friesian/Arabian mare


            • #26
              Take a friend, two eyes are better than one,,you will be fine


              • #27
                A Few Followup Questions

                Following up on the GREAT information in this thread....

                1. What are "chuckholes"? Do I really really need 2 spares if I don't trailer more than one hour away?

                2. "Speed up, brake or turn, ONE AT A TIME"
                OK, when you have a clover-leaf loop merge onto a highway, you have to both accelerate up to highway speed, while you driving around the curvy loop, otherwise you'll get to the highway and not be able to merge at all 'cuz your going too slow.

                (And the merges off a clover loop stress me out the most). What is the COTH opinion on this type of situation?

                3. "Reflective stickers on the back stating the trailer has horses. Many people truly do not realize how far to stay back. Mine states 200 feet and has the wide turns sticker."

                Where do you get a sign that says "Stay Back"? Any examples on the internet that you can think of ? I've never seen a driver stay back 200 feet. Most of them are so close behind the trailer that they are completely hidden.



                • #28
                  Drive as if you have a "coffee mug on the dashboard" .

                  I took out my r.h. fender on a post by turning too sharp (once )

                  Make a habit of attention to detail and that means do a walk about to check hitch and doors every single time.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by ytr45 View Post
                    Following up on the GREAT information in this thread....

                    1. What are "chuckholes"?
                    Seriously? What magical well-maintained place do you live in that you have never heard of chuck holes? I must move there.

                    Chuck holes are pot holes. If you don't know what pot holes are, we ALL need to move to your town.
                    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina


                    • #30
                      Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by ytr45 View Post
                        Following up on the GREAT information in this thread....

                        3. "Reflective stickers on the back stating the trailer has horses. Many people truly do not realize how far to stay back. Mine states 200 feet and has the wide turns sticker."

                        Where do you get a sign that says "Stay Back"? Any examples on the internet that you can think of ? I've never seen a driver stay back 200 feet. Most of them are so close behind the trailer that they are completely hidden.

                        Here is where we got ours: http://cautionhorses.com/

                        Here are submitted before and after photos of trailers with them: http://cautionhorses.com/testimonials.shtml

                        Mine is one of them.
                        My herd for life:
                        King: 21 year old Foxtrotter gelding
                        Ruais: 8 year old Friesian/Arabian mare


                        • #32
                          A good source for other reasonably priced trailer stuff: www.tweetys.com - Even tho my EquiBreeze (made by EquiSpirit) came with reflective striping, I bought & added more. They also have a good price on the Trailer-Aid.
                          <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                          • #33
                            oh I definitely know what potholes are..... I just never heard them called "chuck holes". It sounds like a colloquialism that we don't have in Virginia, or at least I never heard of it. I was hoping it would be something more interesting than just a regular pothole, maybe a pothole with a little troll in it ?


                            • #34
                              These are great! One thing that has been really valuable for me is teaching my horse to unload quietly and self load in any situation, no matter what else is going on around him. It really helps in an emergency if you don't have to deal with a panicky horse, too.

                              Two stories, both times I was by myself:

                              A freak accident -- I went over a bridge on a small country road and must have hit the bumpy seam in the road just the wrong way, because the trailer popped right off the ball. Luckily I was not going fast, and the chains and safety wire kept the trailer attached to the truck, but it was still fishtailing all over the place. I coasted to a stop on the side of the road, which had no shoulder and a 3' drainage ditch running alongside. I blocked the wheels right away (always travel with wheel blocks!) since we were now on a pretty steep uphill, and I realized I was going to have to unhook the chains to get rehitched, since the trailer was way off to the side now. But I really didn't want to leave my horse on the trailer, on a steep hill, without it being attached to the truck. Luckily a guy drove by at just the right moment and stopped to help. I unloaded my horse right there on the road, right next to the ditch, and he stood there quietly with me while I helped the guy back up the truck to rehitch (he was too scared to hold the horse ). My horse self-loaded back on the trailer, and off we went.

                              Another situation, just this year: I was driving down a very busy 4-lane road when my trailer brakes failed. They had just been serviced a week before. I pulled over the first chance I got, which happened to be a gas station/small truck stop, and called my mechanic. He was able to get someone to drive to where I was and see if he could fix it. Turns out he had to jack the trailer up and take the wheels off to fix the brakes, so I had to unload my horse in the middle of a truck stop with tractor trailers pulling in and out, then stand there and wait for 2 hours while he worked on the brakes. Oh, and did I mention we were also in Amish country and it was Sunday/church day, so there were lots of carriages going by, and we were right next to a cornfield being harvested the old-fashioned way, with a team of 5 draft horses hitched side-by-side and men throwing giant sheaves of corn onto a flatbed the horses were pulling. The mechanic did eventually fix the brakes, and we were able to get back on the road.
                              RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


                              • #35
                                Keep an eye on your mirrors going around corners or turning. More than once I have had people try to pass me on the right despite the right hand turn signal was on because there was room as I was swinging wide. Always assume the other drivers are gong to do something incredibly dangerous/stupid.

                                Always check twice that you are hooked up right with the ball locked. I've personally known people who have lost trailers that way. Make sure your tailgate is in the correct position- that 's another common gotcha.
                                I'm not an outlier; I just haven't found my distribution yet!


                                • #36
                                  Always make sure you have some drinkable water for your horses, whether it's a small water tank or cooler full of water, just in case you get stranded. And always bring a map, because GPS isn't always correct, and know an alternative route just incase there is bad traffic and it's a hot day. Also, I use hay string loops to tie my horses to, instead of buying those little plastic things that pop open when pulled back on (Its much cheaper and recycles you our hay string). Make sure you have some sort of knife so you can cut off halters or lead ropes if you are in a bad wreck.


                                  • #37
                                    Good idea about knife (have one - but it's not in my trailer, it's in a saddlepad). Some people ship with two halters so that if you have to cut one off, or it breaks, there is still one on the horse. Spare leadropes.
                                    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by groundrover View Post
                                      Make sure you have some sort of knife so you can cut off halters or lead ropes if you are in a bad wreck.
                                      An old friend of mine never hauled without carrying some tranquilizer. And it came in handy the time her truck broke down on a busy 4 lane. It took me time to get my trailer, and truck gassed, to get to her to pick up the horses. Meanwhile all the big rig truck traffic was whipping and rocking the trailer stuck on the side of the road and they had a long wait for me to get there.

                                      I can also see the scenario if there is a bad accident and you're caught in the long wait pileup (especially on interstates) where you can't easily turn around and take another route.

                                      Also always keep the lead rope/extra halter in the truck with you.
                                      Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.


                                      • #39
                                        Several comments about wide right turns.

                                        Get a CDL manual, even though you probably do not need a CDL.

                                        Lots of good tips about driving trailers.

                                        One thing they stress is that you do not swing wide right turns. You stay in the right lane and close to the curb or pavement edge and drive your truck PAST the corner just enough that when you make the turn, the trailer stays on the pavement and not on the sign posts or the ditch.

                                        This means that your truck will on some turns encroach on the other lanes in the road you are turning into, but so be it.

                                        Next time y ou are behind a big truck with a 50' trailer, watch how he makes the turn. He does this to keep you from trying to sqeeze between him and the curb.

                                        It is true that if y ou are turning into a very narrow road, such as a private roadway or back road, that you will have to swing. But do not do it unless you are in that situation.

                                        After a while, you will get so you can judge how far you need to pass the corner before turning and can do it on a dark rainy night, unable to see anything in the right mirror.

                                        Another tip regarding left turns where there are two or more lanes turning to the left at a light.

                                        Take the most right hand lane. The reason is that this allows you to go past the critical point in the turn before you turn, this keeping your rear wheels from encroaching on the drivers lane to your left.

                                        If you take one of the inside or left most lanes, the vehicle on your right will prevent you from going past the critical point and crowd you so that your rear wheels just might crunch the guy to your left, if it is a three lane turn, or one of those signs the stupid DOT people put so close to the traffic island that you scratch your trailer.

                                        I get my brakes checked and bearings checked twice a year, which for me is right at 10,000 miles between checks. Under side checked at the same time for corrosion or brocken welds.

                                        One more thing. Be very careful about how you turn around or make turns on any uneven surface, even roads where the road you are entering is banked at a different angle than the road you are leaving. This will not apply to federal or state roads, but to farm roads, private drives, etc.

                                        If the surfaces are too uneven, your truck will tilt in one direction, your trailer another and the goose neck will dig into the sides of your bed.

                                        Ask me how I know. If I were to repair mine, it would cost $4,000. I won't because I would with my luck do it agaIn within days.

                                        If you hunt and are parking in pastures or if you are camping in the mountains....something you need to pay a lot of attention to.


                                        • #40
                                          US Rider has a great list of things to always bring or have with you.

                                          We also have the "back up buddy" yellow thingy. Best thing I've ever bought.

                                          Finally, assume that the car/vehicle that you see waiting to pull out into the road will pull out right in front of you, trying to not get "stuck" behind a horse trailer. Whenever I see a car waiting to pull out, I take my foot off the brakes because 99% of the time, you'll get cut off and you don't want to have to brake suddenly.