Monday, September 29, 2014

Safety on the Road - Horse Trailer Hauling Tips

Before you go out on the road with a horse in tow, be familiar and confident with all aspects of your truck and trailer.

If you are a first-time driver, practice driving the combination before you ever put a horse in it. Backing a trailer can seem intimidating, but it really isn't too hard if you know the secret. Put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and turn it in the direction you want the back of the trailer to go. If you want the trailer to move sharply, turn the wheel before you move the vehicle. If you want to turn more gradually, turn the wheel as the vehicle is moving.

If you are only hauling one horse, put him on the driver's side. If you are hauling more than one horse, put the heavier one on the driver's side. Roads are usually crowned higher in the middle so putting the heavier load on this side will help balance the trailer.

If you have a friend with you, and you really should not haul alone, familiarize him/her with you rig. If you should become incapacitated, for some reason, your friend may have to take over.

Before you leave for a trip, take the time to check over the rig.

-Check the tow vehicle.
-Check and replenish engine fluid levels and wiper fluid. Towing puts extra stress on the radiator, brakes, and transmission so make sure everything if in top working order.
-Make sure the ball on the tow vehicle is the correct size for the trailer.
-Check tire pressure in the tires on the tow vehicle and the trailer. Improper tire pressure is one of the most common reasons for trailer sway.
-Check lug nuts on the wheels. Wheel nuts and bolts should be torqued before first road use on a new trailer and after each wheel removal. Check and retorque after the first 10 miles, 25 miles, and again at 50 miles.
-Check the inside of the trailer for bees and wasp nests.
-Check over your hitch, coupler, breakaway brake battery, and safety chains. Make sure all lights and the brakes are working properly before you load the horses.
-When the horses are loaded make sure all doors are latched properly, and horses are tied.
-Drive down the driveway and before you drive onto the road, get out and check your hitch assembly again. Take a look at the horses too, to make sure they're good to go.
-If you happen to stop somewhere where the rig has been left unattended, check everything all over again. Someone may have been tampering with the trailer or the horses.
-Driving a horse trailer requires some special precautions. The extra weight will make stopping and starting distances longer, and you will not be able to accelerate as quickly as if you did not have the trailer, especially if you have a downsized vehicle. So drive at least 5 miles under the speed limit and stay a good distance from the vehicle in front of you. Change lanes gradually and always use your turn signals.

Use a lower gear when traveling up or down steep grades. On long grades, downshift the transmission and slow to 45 mph or less to reduce the possibility of overheating.

Always consider the horses in the trailer. Give them time to prepare for stops. Don't accelerate quickly, and make sure the trailer has cleared the turn, straightened out, and the horses have regained their balance before you return to normal speed. Travel over bumpy roads carefully.

If you hear or feel anything that isn't normal, stop and check it out.

Carry an automobile emergency kit with you and an emergency kit for the horses. A human emergency first-aid kit is also a good idea.

Carry a cell phone or CB.

There is an emergency road service available called US Rider for people who are hauling horses. A membership can give you some peace of mind.

Remember that if you have an accident, and you become incapacitated for one reason or another, the emergency personnel and police will most likely not have a clue how to handle your horses. In a visible place in your tow vehicle and/or trailer, put a list of emergency numbers for them to call - your veterinarian, friends, or family members who would be able to help make decisions about your horses.

Whether you are traveling one mile or 500 miles, once you leave your driveway you are at risk. By taking these precautions you have increased your chances to have a safe and enjoyable trip with your horse.

Neva Scheve is a recognized authority on horse trailer safety and author of, "The Complete Guide to Buying, Maintaining, and Servicing a Horse Trailer." You can learn more about trailer safety at EquiSpirit Horse Trailers.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Horse Trailer Buying Tips: Slant load vs. Straight load

Unless you have a friend who hauls or already own a trailer, you're grounded. Ready to buy a new or used horse trailer? First, learn the differences between slant load and straight load horse trailers so you can make an informed buying decision.

Many choices
There are many design choices when buying a horse trailer. One decision that can be difficult to make is whether to buy a horse trailer with a slant load design or a straight load design. A slant load horse trailer enables you to load horses into slanted stalls (from left to right), making it more economical when hauling three horses. A straight load trailer has a traditional design in which the horses are led straight into the trailer from the back, facing forward.

Preference and practicality
Choosing a slant load or straight load trailer is really a matter of preference and practicality. You should research all the facts about horse trailers before making a purchase, and know what you'll need for your horses today and in the future. If you have two horses now, but plan to buy another horse soon, you might consider this when choosing a horse trailer.

Straight load horse trailer - pros and cons
A straight load horse trailer features escape doors at the front, which allow you to exit the trailer easily after loading the horse. There's usually a ramp at the back for loading and unloading and one or two escape doors in the front. With some horse trailers, the escape doors are large enough for the horses to exit through them in case of an emergency. Another feature of the straight load trailer is its wheel wells are located outside the stalls.

Straight load horse trailers tend to work better for larger horses because they provide more space in the stalls.

A disadvantage of straight load trailers is they can be very big when you need one to haul more than two horses. This can cause additional strain on your hauling vehicle.

Slant load horse trailers - pros and cons
Slant load horse trailers are convenient and economical when hauling two or three horses. With a slant load trailer, the stalls are slanted from right to left; thus, you can haul two or three horses without adding much to the length or width of the horse trailer. The wheel wells can be located in one of two places on a slant load trailer, so you can choose between a wide interior trailer with wheel wells in the stalls and a trailer with unobstructed stalls.

Horses tend to ride at a slanted position naturally to maintain good balance, so the slanted stalls enable them to stand in a slanted position for the duration of the trip. Sometimes, however, the slant provided in the stalls might be too much for some horses, causing strain on them while riding. So, each horse owner should carefully consider this for their horse to determine if a slant load trailer is right for them.

Slant load horse trailers also have a few drawbacks. There's often a small tack area in the corner, but this usually forces the last horse to back out because there's not enough room to turn around. Another drawback is some slant load trailers are designed so it's impossible to unload the second and last horse without unloading the horse before it. This can be dangerous if there's an emergency.

When choosing between a straight load and slant load horse trailer, consider the size of your horses and how calm they are when loading and unloading. Bigger horses might be too cramped in a slant load trailer whereas smaller horses usually have plenty of room. If you have only one horse, you can still buy a slant load trailer made for two and remove the divider to provide more space for your horse. Or, you can buy a three-horse slant load trailer for two horses to give them more room to move and breathe.

Shopping for horse trailers
You can find numerous horse trailer brands online to get an idea of the style and design you want.

No matter which type of horse trailer you prefer, consider all its features, benefits, and drawbacks before making a decision. Buy the horse trailer that will be comfortable and practical for your horse for years to come.
Article source:

And remember, if you are in the market for a new or used horse trailer, let Burdette Brothers help you! Visit us in Hyattstown, Maryland or online at: 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Good afternoon!

Our trailer of the week this week, is a  2015 BRAVO SCOUT UTILITY TRAILER that just came on the lot! This is a great-looking trailer priced at only $4, 490. This brand new trailer is perfect for all of your recreational needs. Be sure to stop out to our location in Hyattstown, Maryland to come see it in person!

Monday, September 8, 2014

New Listing this week!

Today we want to share with you a new trailer listing available! This one is a beauty! It's a
2014 Featherlite 4926 car trailer and we are asking only $19,250! It's 24′ long x 8.5 wide x 7’0 high. Come out to our property in Hyattstown, Maryland to see it for yourself. And remember, if you have any questions you can contact us at: 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New stock trailer for sale and a price reduction on as open car trailer!

This week we want to highlight a new stock trailer for sale that we just got in! We are offering a  
2015 FEATHERLITE 8107 STOCK TRAILER for sale listed at $11,326. This trailer is shuny brand new and very sharp-looking. Come out to our show lot and see it for yourself in person!

Also we want to share this price reduction on this 2013 FEATHERLITE 3109 open car trailer for sale. Currently listed at $5,525. 

For more information, or other horse and stock trailers for sale in Maryland, come visit us!