Horsebox Buyer's Guide | Guide to buying a horse truck for sale (2023)

Horsebox Buyer's Guide | Guide to buying a horse truck for sale (1)

There are some careful considerations that need to be made when buying a used horsebox.

What size or weight of horse truck do you need?

One of the most important points to consider is the maximum and minimum number of horses/ponies you wish to travel with. For 2 or more horses you will generally need a 7.5t horsebox, usually fitted with 3 boxes and living areas of varying sizes and fittings. A very important factor when deciding to buy a horse truck is the PAYLOAD that the horse truck has. The payload is basically the weight you can legally pack in the horsebox. The only way to find out your payload is to take the empty horsebox to a weighbridge. (these can be found in most towns and in many business parks) At the weighbridge you can get a printout of the horsebox's actual weight (curb weight). To calculate horsebox payload, you need to subtract curb weight from horsebox gross weight (e.g. 7.5t or 3.5t etc.). This will give you the horse truck payload so you know how many horses/ponies you can legally transport. So that you know exactly what you can carry, we provide you with a weighing card for all our horse transporters.

A useful tip when it comes to buying horseboxes and considering payload is that the more luxurious and extras a horsebox has, the heavier it will tend to be. IE; If a horsebox has air conditioning, fridge, tv, microwave, power ramp, generator etc etc then it's all extra weight and as a rule of thumb a 7.5t horsebox with all those nice ones , but heavy extras is not. I will not be able to carry the weight of 3 horses. If you need all these luxuries because you are going to be traveling in your horse truck for some time and 3 horses need to travel then the only way to do that is with a truck horse truck (anything over 7.5t) that is required for this do a truck test.

Can you drive this horse truck?

Another question to consider is what you, as a driver, are legally entitled to drive. Put simply, if you passed your driving test before January 1997 you can jump straight into anything up to 7.5t. If you passed your driving test after January 1997, a 3.5 ton horsebox is the largest you can legally drive. 3.5 tonne horseboxes are usually designed for two horses and tend to be mainly rear-facing with a side ramp. The most payload you will get from a 3.5t horsebox is around 1200kg. An average horse weighs between 400 and 700kg and you also need to factor in the weight of passengers, bridle, water, feed etc. so doing a bit of math to find out if that is enough can be a good idea.

Prices for horse transport?

The prices of horseboxes for sale can be a bit difficult to navigate. Most people tend to look at the age/registration number of the chassis (chassis is the cab and propulsion system) and rate it that way. That's not really true, as the vast majority of a horsebox's value is found in the body. There are 2 different main types of horsebox bodies. They are conversions and constructions. A conversion is when a commercial truck has its body stripped out from the inside and then fitted with bulkheads, windows, bulkheads and sometimes living quarters to convert it into a horsebox. This is the cheaper way to make a horse truck, although if done right, there's nothing wrong with converting it. The second setup type is a coach built setup. This is when the bodywork is specially built onto the horsebox chassis. These are better for a number of reasons, including being stronger, lighter, and generally can be built from more horse-transporting materials. Carriage-built horseboxes tend to sell for slightly higher prices. Another factor that dramatically affects the value of the horsebox is the specification of the living area. If the living area has high specifications, ie; Shower, toilet, central heating, refrigerators, leather interior, generator, etc., then the horse transport costs more money.

Review of a horse truck for sale

When looking to buy a horsebox, there are a few simple and important things to look out for. The floor in the horse area is a good starting point. Most horse stalls have an exterior/marine plywood floor with a rubber mat over it. The more expensive horse boxes have aluminum plank floors, this is better as they are generally stronger and lighter, although a plywood floor in good condition is more than adequate to support the weight of several horses/ponies. When inspecting a wood/bulk floor, it is best to lift the mat and examine underneath for signs of rot/weakness. It's also good to lie on your back and slide under the horsebox to look at the ground from below. Wooden floors can usually be replaced relatively easily at a cost of between £600 and £1000. This process should also be repeated when looking at the wood on the ramp as safety is just as important. Another place to look for signs of leaks is up in the ceiling. This is not usually a cause for panic as they can usually be sealed quite simply by climbing onto the roof and replacing the sealant previously used. However, prolonged exposure to leeks can cause further damage, so keep a close eye out for signs of moisture-induced rot. A look under the cab can also be important to spot signs of excessive rust that can cause structural weaknesses. Most cabs (especially the older ones) have some form of rust in a few spots when you look underneath, which is perfectly fine as long as it's not deep rust causing problems. These are just a few key points when looking at horse trailers for sale. There are many more areas to inspect, but each horse truck is different so it must be taken individually. All horse boxes we sell are rigorously inspected in our professional workshop so everything is checked for you when you decide to buy from Central England Horseboxes Ltd. decide.

Mileage for horse transport

Mileage is another difficult point to understand when purchasing a horsebox, as many horseboxes have clocked hundreds of thousands of kilometers (mileage is usually given in kilometers for horseboxes over 3.5t). Do not let this put you off as most used horseboxes for sale were previously used as commercial vehicles where they may have traveled many miles up and down the motorways every day as delivery vehicles. High mileage is quite normal for horse trailers and even considering 3-400,000 km this is acceptable as long as the vehicle has been looked after. Some of the more expensive horseboxes for sale are built on a brand new chassis, which costs a lot more money but means that as the horseboxes get older they still get very little mileage as the average horsebox only travels around 4,000 miles a day Year.

The horse transport ramp

Raising the ramp is another point to look at. The last thing you want after a hard day of riding is going back to your horse truck, load up your horses or ponies and struggle with a heavy ramp. Ramps are almost always supported by springs, these springs can almost always be adjusted so that you can raise the ramp on your own with relative ease. We are happy to adapt the ramp to any of our horse transporters for you.

Horse transporters checking the details

If you are looking to buy a higher quality, more luxurious horsebox, it is also important to ensure that all lights and appliances are working properly and, where gas and electricity are involved, that they are secure. Parts such as refrigerators, heating systems, hot water systems, toilets and showers can be very expensive to repair if they are not working properly. If possible ask if the equipment is working as you don't want to wait until you have paid for the horse truck and brought it home to find out that the equipment is not working properly and it will be costly to fix it. We test all lights and equipment on every horsebox sold, they are also tested for Corgi gas safety.

Buy horse truck - finances and paperwork

Once you have chosen the right horse truck, you also need to pay for your horse truck. It is important to obtain an HPI certificate to show that the vehicle has never been in an accident, has been stolen and recovered, or is pending financing. We provide one of these certificates to every horse transporter sold. In terms of financing your horse truck, there are some horse truck financing companies that can help you with this. We are always happy to recommend some of the current market leaders for your financing.

These are just a few points to consider when buying a horse truck. Feel free to give us a call if you have any additional questions about a potential purchase you'd like us to pass through.

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