USRider Offers Trailer Preparation Tips for Travel Season

USRider


Before the start of the summer travel season, it is critically important for horse owners to perform basic yet essential maintenance on their trailers. USRider, the national provider of roadside emergency assistance for horse owners, reminds equestrians to invest time doing routine preventive trailer maintenance. This will be time well spent because it will ensure that their trailers will be in optimal shape to provide safe passage for precious cargo during the upcoming season.

"A good roadside assistance program is something all horse owners should have but hope they will never have to use," says Mark Cole, managing member for USRider. "To that end, our mission is to continually educate horse owners about trailering safety."

To provide a reliable and accessible source of information about trailering safety, USRider maintains an Equine Trailer Safety Area on its website, www.usrider.org. The safety information is developed with input from equine travel expert Neva Kittrell Scheve.

"We have carefully developed this area to be a resource with helpful and practical topics - all free and available to members and non-members alike," added Cole. "Our website is designed so visitors can print out information as a handy reference. We also post safety bulletins as new information develops."

Examples of the information available at www.usrider.org include a list of items every horse trailer should have on board, short trip and long trip precautions, and trailer inspection procedures.

"Horse owners can put these tips to work and greatly reduce the chances that they will be stranded on the side of the highway," said Cole.

With the upcoming trailering season, USRider shares some of the helpful tips from its Equine Travel Safety Area (www.usrider.org/safety.html):

1. Remove and inspect all wheels and hubs or brake drums.

2. Inspect suspension for wear.

3. Check tightness of hanger bolt, shackle bolt and U-bolt nuts per recommended torque values.

4. Check brake linings, brake drums and armature faces for excessive wear or scoring.

5. Check brake magnets with an ohmmeter. The magnets should check 3.2 ohms. If shorted or worn excessively, replace.

6. Lubricate all brake moving parts, using a high temperature brake lubricant.

7. Remove any rust from braking surface and armature surface of drums.

8. Inspect oil or grease seals for wear or nicks. Replace if necessary.

9. Inspect and grease wheel bearings.

In addition to these recommendations, USRider advises horse owners to check all trailer tires, (including spares) for signs of dry rot, correct air pressure, faulty air valves, uneven tire wear, overall tire wear and damage. USRider recommends investing in a high-quality air pressure gauge - learn how to use it - and inspect tire pressure before each trip. Always replace tires if worn or damaged. In addition, tires should be replaced every three to five years regardless of mileage. When replacing tires, always replace the valve stems. USRider recommends that only high quality tires specifically designed and rated for trailers be used - never use retread or automobile tires on a horse trailer. According to Cole, "Quality tires are like fine leather shoes, they only hurt once - when you pay for them."

It is also important to service the wheel bearings every 12,000 miles or annually, regardless of mileage, due to moisture build-up. Keep a spare set of wheel bearings in your trailer in case of premature failure. Be sure to inspect trailer wiring and lighting; inspect door latches and grease the doors; inspect the floor (be sure to remove any rubber mats so the entire floor can be examined); and inspect and lubricate mechanical moving parts, such as the hitch and suspension parts. If the trailer has been sitting for a while, check for wasp nests, spider webs and any other creatures.

Cole also reminds equestrians to check the contents of their equine and human first aid kits. "Any depleted and out-of-date items should be replaced," he said. A list of recommended items for first aid kits is posted on the USRider website.

USRider advises horse owners to use ICE, which stands for In Case of Emergency. This important initiative was designed to aid emergency responders in identifying victims and determining who needs to be notified. Implementing ICE is easy. Program your emergency contact information into your cellular phone and designate it with the acronym ICE.

Horse owners should also ensure that their emergency contact information is stored in their tow vehicle. To facilitate this, USRider has developed an In Case of Emergency form and posted it online for horse owners to print out. Simply fill in the blanks and store the paper in the tow vehicle as well as in the trailer. Additional recommendations as well as a Power of Attorney form are posted on the USRider website.

For additional safety tips, visit the Equine Travel Safety Area on the USRider website at www.usrider.org.

Neva Kittrell Scheve and her husband, Tom, have been involved in the horse trailer business since 1983. They have written three horse trailering books, including the nationally recognized textbook The Complete Guide To Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer. The couple has become well-known for their high-quality EquiSpirit horse trailers. For more information about EquiSpirit Trailers, visit www.equispirit.com or contact them toll-free 1-877-575-1771 or at equispirit@earthlink.net.

USRider provides roadside assistance and towing services along with other travel-related benefits to its members through the Equestrian Motor Plan. It includes standard features such as flat-tire repair, battery assistance and lock-out services, plus towing up to 100 miles and roadside repairs for tow vehicles and trailers with horses, emergency stabling, veterinary referrals and more. For more information about the USRider Equestrian Motor Plan, visit www.usrider.org online or call 1-800-844-1409.



2004-2012 Horse Tack Review


Equestrian Collections - Shop in Comfort, Ride in Style

5% off Any Size order on Horse.com




 Horse Tack Review Home


 Shop For Tack
 Back in the Saddle
 Boot Barn
 Dover Saddlery
 Equestrian Collections
 Horse.com
 HorseLoverZ.com
 State Line Tack

 Help Us Support
 Bright Futures Farm


 Horse Tack Reviews
 Submit Your Own Review!
 Search Review Database
 All Reader Reviews
 Staff Reviews
 Submit a Product for Review

 English Tack Reviews
 Dressage Saddles
 Jumping Saddles
 Close Contact Saddles
 All Purpose Saddles
 English Saddle Fittings/Pads
 English Bridles
 English Bridle Accessories
 English Show Apparel
 English Casual Apparel
 English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
 English Miscellaneous

 Western Tack Reviews
 Barrel Saddles
 Reining Saddles
 Roping Saddles
 Show Saddles
 Trail Saddles
 Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
 Western Bridles
 Western Bridle Accessories
 Western Show Apparel
 Western Casual Apparel
 Western Chaps/Boots/Hats
 Western Miscellaneous

 Horse Gear Reviews
 Horse Boots and Wraps
 Halters/Ropes/Leads
 Horse Health and Well Being
 Horse Apparel
 Horse Treats
 Horse Miscellaneous

 Barn & Stable Reviews
 Fly Control
 Gifts/Books/Videos
 Grooming Equipment
 Stable Accessories
 Tack Room
 Training Equipment
 Barn and Stable Misc

 Articles
 Barn and Stable Articles
 English Articles
 Feature and Misc Articles
 Grooming Articles
 Horse Care & Health Articles
 Horse Related Gift Articles
 News and Events
 Training Articles
 Western Articles

 Other Features
 About Us / Contact Information
 Articles & Subjects By Date
 Article Archives
 Join Our Mailing List
 Privacy Policy