KELLY HORSEBOXES – this months all about Tyres and Weight limits

Part 5 in the Transport for Safety series is all about tyres!


1. Check that your vehicle has been fitted with the correct tyres. The type of tyres required for trailers are completely different than for cars and horseboxes.
2. Check that the pressure for the tyre is correct. This is easier to do than you think – you will find the required pressure printed in your manual. It is a good idea to keep a foot pump in your vehicle for emergencies, but make sure that the tyres are cold before checking.
3. Check the tread depth. The simplest way to check a tread depth is to use a tread gauge but you can also use a 20p coin. Most people know that they need to change their tyres when the tread depth approaches the legal limit of 1.6mm but they don’t know how to check and why.
Place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre in at least three locations. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a qualified tyre professional.
The not for profit organisation TyreSafe explains how the tread helps to remove water from the contact point between the tyre and the road meaning you can steer, break and accelerate properly, keeping you safe in wet conditions.
4. Check the condition of the tyre wall. The tyres on vehicles which do low mileage – like horseboxes, trailers – need a more thorough check of the tyre walls for splitting, cracks or bulges.
This is because tyres perish over time, so even if your tyre tread is like new, the tyre could still be showing signs of deterioration from standing still for large periods of time which could pose a serious danger.
5. Check the age of your tyres. You can check the age of your tyre by reading the code on the tyre wall – as a precaution most tyre manufactures advise to change any tyres over 10 years old despite their appearance.
So next time you’re at the yard, just take five minutes to inspect your tyres – particularly on trailers, as most horse trailers are not legally required to have a yearly MOT.
Remember KELLY Horseboxes are on hand to advise or check your tyres for you as well as all other lorry health checks and MOT’s

Part 6 in the Transport for Safety series is all about being overweight – and we don’t mean your horses!

Just as obesity in horses and ponies poses a threat to their welfare, so does overloading the horsebox or trailer in which they have to travel.

What many people fail to realise is that they are putting themselves and their animals at risk by overloading the horsebox or trailer in which they are travelling: but how do you make sure that you are not overloading your horsebox or trailer?

To work out how much you can carry in your horsebox or trailer, you will also need to know the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM), often referred to as The Gross Weight, or GWT of the horsebox or trailer. To avoid breaking the law, you will need to do some basic calculations and subtract the un-laden weight of the horsebox or trailer (how much it weighs empty) from the MAM – this will give you what is known as the Payload (the weight you can put in the trailer).

To put it simply, if you have a 7.5 tonne horsebox and it weighs 5.6 tonnes empty (before you have loaded anything into it), you can load 1.9 tonnes into the vehicle (this is known as your payload). It’s important to remember that 7.5 tonnes is the most the vehicle can weigh when fully loaded and not the amount of weight you can load into it!

Many people are shocked when they find out just how much their horsebox or trailer weighs before their horse has even stepped inside. The best way to find out the unladen weight of your vehicle is to take the vehicle empty (but with a full tank of fuel) to your nearest weighbridge. Once you know how much your vehicle weighs when empty and have worked out your payload you will then need to work out the weight of everything you want to put in the vehicle.

The table above gives you an idea of how quickly the weights can add-up using the example of the 7.5 tonne lorry.

The figures used in the table are real world weights taken from a weighing exercise. You can see that even on what many regard as a ‘big box’, the potential for getting things wrong is high.
Remember, overloading is regarded as an ‘absolute offence’ by the authorities, effectively one to which there is no defence. If detected, the vehicle will be prohibited from further movement until the excess weight is removed and a Fixed Penalty Notice or a court summons may follow.

For all horsebox advice and to get your lorry taken to a weighbridge get in touch with KELLY Horseboxes.