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Update-it's all fixed! post 27 Seeking trailer ramp help/suggestions/BTDT experience

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  • Update-it's all fixed! post 27 Seeking trailer ramp help/suggestions/BTDT experience

    Excellent update in post 27 (?)!

    This forum was very helpful in helping me find the perfect trailer for my horse. I ended up with a wonderful trailer, and we have hauled three times.

    My trainer pulls it and is thrilled with how it pulls. It has windows at eye level all the way across the front of the trailer and a window on the side where he can look out. I follow behind the trailer and he does look out the window the majority of the time. He isn't crazed when he gets out of it and seems to want to load easily. The trailer is warmblood sized, bumper pull, has a ramp, is very clean, safe, and in excellent condition, and I don't want to get rid of it...I love everything about it EXCEPT...

    The back of the trailer has two upper doors that we have removed due to the extreme heat here in AZ even in the winter, two "middle" doors that swing out, and a lower door that is the ramp. It is light enough that I can lift it myself easily and I'm no weightlifter.

    Because the lower door/ramp is shorter than most, the slope is steeper, which is turning out to be a huge problem. The ramp is approximately 4'8". The ramp has a rubber-appearing mat with ridges for traction.

    My horse loads and unloads beautifully. No issues, no drama other than a bit of excitement, but he doesn't bolt in or out, etc. However, when he steps out, when his front hooves reach about 1/4 - 1/3 of the way down the ramp, he slips. He went down to one knee about two months ago, and this weekend he went down on both knees. He wasn't being dramatic, bolting out, or anything untoward, just walking calmly backwards, albeit with the typical, "I'm backing out of the trailer" hard hoof placement down onto the mat especially with his hind legs but again, nothing very dramatic.

    We dropped off the trailer this morning at a local shop to see if they had suggestions. Someone at the show had suggested a cocoa (sp?) mat. We were thinking that we might have to have a new door made that was the size of the lower door/ramp AND the middle two doors combined. The expense and the weight of the new door concern me.

    I'd rather find a safe solution than sell the trailer because it's perfect except for the number one thing...safety of my horse... so if there is no good solution, off it goes.

    I have considered unloading on a slope to decrease the angle of the ramp, but we're not very hilly here in AZ and cannot be sure that anywhere we go has a small hill. Plus, it's not a workaround that I can live with in the long term.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.
    Last edited by right horse at the right time; Apr. 6, 2014, 07:15 PM.
    LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

  • #2
    The cocoa mat is an excellent idea. I've known horses that were hard to load/unload as you describe, but the addition of a cocoa mat made all the difference.

    I don't know how much weight it would add fastened to the ramp, or if it could simply be spread on the ramp before loading/unloading. They work, though. I believe they feel and look more natural and are more non-slip than ribbed rubber.

    Cheaper than a whole new ramp, too.

    Comment


    • #3
      Unless you can glue that cocoa mat solidly to the ramp, which will of course add more weight to the ramp, I wouldn't use it. Seems hazardous to me - what if one hoof catches the edge of the mat, and part of the mat get flip up? As to a new ramp, if you get one with spring load assistance, the weight should not be an issue. You will pay dear money for it but without it, you will end up hating your trailer I think.

      I am surprised though, 4' long ramp is the standard, and you said yours was 4'8"? That is more generous than most ramps and it is still too steep? Is the trailer floor jacked up? Maybe the issue is the rubber mat was worn out and need replacement?

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, my friend has one of that type, two doors with a ramp, and the ramp length seems to be stock. Agree with Gloria, is there something else going on with the trailer height or old mat?
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible

        Comment


        • #5
          Add some cleats of wood, across the ramp. We have done that on our ramp. Cleats are 2"x1" with wide side up on the ramp face. You can screw them down thru the rubber mat. With such a short ramp, you may only need a couple or three. Should be far enough apart for good size hooves to be set down each step and fit with lots of room above toe and heel. But if horse DOES slip, he will only slip a couple inches before stopping on the next cleat and having solid footing again.

          Get some hard wood, horse shoes may take chunks out of the cleat as he goes in or out. If cleat gets really chewed up, just unscrew it, put on another one. Cheap, fast, SAFE for your horse even if ramp is soaked with water or even snow! We did round off the top corners of the width, so not an exact 90*, sharp edge. You could use a rasp to round it a little, or a saw, removing a TINY bit, the whole length of the wood.

          I had a horse do the same, slide down a ramp on her knees, from humidity in the air! Can't have THAT happening again, to hurt her or discourage good trailer loading, unloading. Husband had seen cleats on ramps before, just added them to our ramp in a few minutes. They are almost the width of the ramp, because we also load carriages in the trailer and need the ramp edges smooth for easy loading of wheeled things. Our horses are quite civil about backing as asked, you just direct them over to the center where they use the cleats.

          I don't want to deal with coco mats, storage of them in transit, having to pick up poopy mats when I haven't gotten dirty yet! So the coco was not an option for us.

          Cleats have worked very well, for lots of horses over MANY years of using that trailer. No refusals because the ramp scares them going in or out.

          Comment


          • #6
            My trailer has a slick mat and my horse kept slipping. I found a used cocoa mat on Craigslist. Its a bit of a pain to drag it out and place on the ramp but it works. I am in the process of finding the rubber that is on the Hawk trailers. That stuff is thin but very grippy. Basicaly just put a new mat on, the one you have is most likely just screwed on. Easy to replace.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              THANKS everyone!

              To answer questions - I don't have the floor "off the ground" height measurement with me, but we did measure a couple of trailers this weekend, and mine is actually the lowest. It's possible that I screwed up the 4'8" measurement of the ramp in my head as the numbers are written down and in the trailer which is now at the shop. But when we were at the show, I could definitely tell the difference between my ramp and other ramps - mine appears much steeper and shorter. It does have a bumper type thing so it doesn't sit flat on the ground - I'm not explaining very well.

              To clarify, it is NOT a ramp with two doors (as in two doors, one on each side above the ramp), but a ramp with four doors (so two levels of doors) above. Let me see if I can attach a photo - it's on my phone so will do it after I post this. Ignore my dirty windshield, please .

              http://s1325.photobucket.com/user/ri...fa97b.jpg.html

              Yeah...looking at the picture, I don't think there's any way the ramp is 4'8". Oops.

              Thanks for the info on the cocoa mat - seems like an option I should look into for sure with the caveats you all listed.

              Goodhors, I'm very interested in the wood idea as well - do the shoes ever catch on the wood? What if they step on the wood itself instead of the mat, then slip on the wood?

              I'm paranoid. My heart sank when I watched him fall to his knees. Here I am trying to keep him as safe as possible and the exact opposite happened, yet I expect him to trust me. Ouch. Luckily he didn't slip when we unloaded at home.

              Thanks for the great advice so far!
              LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

              Comment


              • #8
                The best thing I have found for my ramp is to take some shavings along and sprinkle them on the ramp before unloading. This helps a lot with my horse who slipped a couple times because he poos in the trailer, which then gets in his feet and makes him more prone to slip backing out. Since I've added the shavings to our routine, he's had a much easier time backing out.

                Comment


                • #9
                  My husband added pieces of used conveyor belting. They are screwed into the ramp. He says if you can not get the conveyor belting you can cut up up a used tire.

                  I will take a photo tomorrow when I go to the ranch and post it so you can see them. They work great.

                  Joyce

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Rubber floor mats

                    Originally posted by PoohLP View Post
                    The best thing I have found for my ramp is to take some shavings along and sprinkle them on the ramp before unloading. This helps a lot with my horse who slipped a couple times because he poos in the trailer, which then gets in his feet and makes him more prone to slip backing out. Since I've added the shavings to our routine, he's had a much easier time backing out.
                    We have an Adam trailer with a steep ramp, too-- it's surface was a hard thin rubberized synthetic and slippery even dry with a barefoot horse. I bought black rubber floor mats from Home Depot: I think they're 3x4ft., and have ~1in. holes and lots of grippiness. I cut to fit, and secured them with stainless screws/washers (about every 6-8" around. Made all the difference-- no slipping. The holes (that provide some of the important texture) do collect shavings, so we use a shop vac to remove the build-up a few times a season. Great solution for us. Mats are 3 yrs old now-- will probably replace them in another 3-4 yrs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a Hawk trailer and LOVE the rubber mats on my ramps. I agree with ICStables -- that type of mat is excellent -- and probably lighter and thinner than what you have now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I may have the same kind of ramp mat on my Trail-et as ThreeFigs does on her Hawk. It's basically a rubber version of the cocoa mat. Because I have a gooseneck, my ramp is a bit steeper and I've never had a horse slip, even when it gets gunked up w/ manure, urine. Doesn't retain water, so it doesn't make the ramp heavy. I think this is it:

                        http://www.lumber2.com/Utility-Trail...p/re-mat60.htm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The mats on Hawk trailers are REALLY non skid. We bought a piece from our locak Hawk dealer and put it on my old trailer ramp. No added weight and cost about $125
                          I wasn't always a Smurf
                          Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
                          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
                          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good to know those "Hawk mats" can be purchased and installed in any trailer!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Looking at the photo, depending on the height of your trailer (7' or 8' tall) I'm guessing your ramp is either under 3' or just above 3' long. Coupled with the fact that the ramp is part of the door, which makes the bottom of the ramp sit higher than those that are behind the doors, this ramp is rather steep just like what you said. If you go to some trailer shows and compare the rear ramps and side ramps, you will often see that with the same length, the side ramps are much steeper than the rear ramps, simply because of the way they are bolted to the trailer frame.

                              I think it is simply too steep. In this situation, I will take out the middle window and make your ramp longer. I want my ramps to be at least 4' long.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                http://www.hawktrailers.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=129
                                Ramp rubber from Hawk.

                                I have ordered other items from Hawk and service has been great.
                                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by ICStables View Post
                                  My trailer has a slick mat and my horse kept slipping. I found a used cocoa mat on Craigslist. Its a bit of a pain to drag it out and place on the ramp but it works. I am in the process of finding the rubber that is on the Hawk trailers. That stuff is thin but very grippy. Basicaly just put a new mat on, the one you have is most likely just screwed on. Easy to replace.
                                  Here it is: http://www.hawktrailers.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=129
                                  And here is something that looks similar (thanks for the link from another poster!)

                                  http://www.lumber2.com/Utility-Trail...p/re-mat60.htm

                                  I think I'm going to try the Hawk matting asap. Thanks!

                                  Originally posted by PoohLP View Post
                                  The best thing I have found for my ramp is to take some shavings along and sprinkle them on the ramp before unloading. This helps a lot with my horse who slipped a couple times because he poos in the trailer, which then gets in his feet and makes him more prone to slip backing out. Since I've added the shavings to our routine, he's had a much easier time backing out.
                                  We can try this too, thanks!

                                  Originally posted by Macimage View Post
                                  My husband added pieces of used conveyor belting. They are screwed into the ramp. He says if you can not get the conveyor belting you can cut up up a used tire.

                                  I will take a photo tomorrow when I go to the ranch and post it so you can see them. They work great.

                                  Joyce
                                  Thanks for the tips - it's at the trailer repair place now; I think we may try the Hawk mats first due to ease...but thanks for the tip and we may eventually need to add that as well!

                                  Originally posted by Blonde pony View Post
                                  We have an Adam trailer with a steep ramp, too-- it's surface was a hard thin rubberized synthetic and slippery even dry with a barefoot horse. I bought black rubber floor mats from Home Depot: I think they're 3x4ft., and have ~1in. holes and lots of grippiness. I cut to fit, and secured them with stainless screws/washers (about every 6-8" around. Made all the difference-- no slipping. The holes (that provide some of the important texture) do collect shavings, so we use a shop vac to remove the build-up a few times a season. Great solution for us. Mats are 3 yrs old now-- will probably replace them in another 3-4 yrs.
                                  Thanks! Our mat is fairly new (the trailer was completely redone), but is slippery apparently, so thanks for this tip!

                                  Originally posted by ThreeFigs View Post
                                  I have a Hawk trailer and LOVE the rubber mats on my ramps. I agree with ICStables -- that type of mat is excellent -- and probably lighter and thinner than what you have now.
                                  Thanks - I think this is the option I'm going with. My mat is definitely a thick one...looking forward to this new mat!

                                  Originally posted by EasternMkt View Post
                                  I may have the same kind of ramp mat on my Trail-et as ThreeFigs does on her Hawk. It's basically a rubber version of the cocoa mat. Because I have a gooseneck, my ramp is a bit steeper and I've never had a horse slip, even when it gets gunked up w/ manure, urine. Doesn't retain water, so it doesn't make the ramp heavy. I think this is it:

                                  http://www.lumber2.com/Utility-Trail...p/re-mat60.htm
                                  Thanks! We are going to use the Hawk mat but this looks very similar if not the same!

                                  Originally posted by carolprudm View Post
                                  The mats on Hawk trailers are REALLY non skid. We bought a piece from our locak Hawk dealer and put it on my old trailer ramp. No added weight and cost about $125
                                  Thanks - this is the option we are going with!

                                  Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                  Looking at the photo, depending on the height of your trailer (7' or 8' tall) I'm guessing your ramp is either under 3' or just above 3' long. Coupled with the fact that the ramp is part of the door, which makes the bottom of the ramp sit higher than those that are behind the doors, this ramp is rather steep just like what you said. If you go to some trailer shows and compare the rear ramps and side ramps, you will often see that with the same length, the side ramps are much steeper than the rear ramps, simply because of the way they are bolted to the trailer frame.

                                  I think it is simply too steep. In this situation, I will take out the middle window and make your ramp longer. I want my ramps to be at least 4' long.
                                  Excellent points and thanks for the explanation - all makes sense!

                                  I agree with you that the ramp is too short, and my first choice would be to replace the whole thing. Sadly, I got the quote yesterday from the trailer repair people...before materials, the labor is over $2k because of the integrity of welding the doors/new door/ramp. I would do better to buy a new trailer before spending that kind of money on a ramp alone, so at this point I'm going to try the Hawk mat and if that doesn't work and he slips, then we will be selling this trailer and getting a new one. It would be unfortunate, as this one is exactly what I wanted - huge for him and even bigger horses, he can see out, not a huge tack room, pulls great, etc. But, if he can't get out of it, it's useless.

                                  The other thing we are going to do is add larger bumpers so that the slope is decreased just a bit - two additional inches off the ground at the bottom.

                                  Thanks so much, Gloria!

                                  Originally posted by SonnysMom View Post
                                  http://www.hawktrailers.com/store/shopexd.asp?id=129
                                  Ramp rubber from Hawk.

                                  I have ordered other items from Hawk and service has been great.
                                  Thanks!! This is the way we are going to go.

                                  Thanks everyone for your advice - I really appreciate it!
                                  LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Over 2K alone for the labor? Holy Smoke. Maybe get more quotes? We are expecting our Elite trailer, and we added a 54" ramp to it. Now granted it is the behind the door kind, instead of the ramp being part of the door so different from yours. Still, the whole thing was $1475....

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                                      Over 2K alone for the labor? Holy Smoke. Maybe get more quotes? We are expecting our Elite trailer, and we added a 54" ramp to it. Now granted it is the behind the door kind, instead of the ramp being part of the door so different from yours. Still, the whole thing was $1475....
                                      Insane, huh. It was $2675. Labor alone.

                                      I may get more quotes in the long term...but with that high of a quote I can't imagine it being so much less costly...

                                      Was the price you quoted for your ramp the difference in cost between whatever they were offering and the new ramp? (I am assuming you ordered new? or maybe I'm way off base...)

                                      Ideally I want a new ramp...
                                      LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by right horse at the right time View Post

                                        Was the price you quoted for your ramp the difference in cost between whatever they were offering and the new ramp? (I am assuming you ordered new? or maybe I'm way off base...)
                                        Yes. It's new, $1475 in addition to whatever else it was to add the 52" ramp.

                                        A crazy idea - may not work at all... How about "adding" a ramp behind your existing ramp? Your existing ramp will then sit on top of the new ramp when down. I'm wondering whether the costly part is because your ramp is part of the door, which makes it a bit difficult to modify. Your trailer may not have space to add a new ramp but it may be cheaper if feasible.

                                        Comment

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