Ram Trucks Offer the Towing Capacity for Trailering Horses
Ram trucks offer plenty of towing capacity and they are a popular choice among those trailer horses or livestock. While Ram trucks provide drivers with the necessary power and a safe vehicle, there are several safety precautions for both yourself, your horse, and the truck and trailer. Here’s a quick rundown on basic horse trailering directions and tips.
Truck and Horse Trailer Tips
These are some important safety tips which should be followed for the safety of the driver, horse, and other drivers on the road.
- You should replace your vehicle’s tires at least every 3-5 years, or more frequently if you drive a lot. If a tire were to blow while the horse trailer is attached it would be a very hazardous event, especially if there is a horse in the trailer.
- Maintain your towing vehicle: Maintaining your truck is very important to making sure it performs properly while you are towing. This means up-to-date oil changes, getting full service checks, especially on your brakes, and always have any vehicle problems looked at by a mechanic before trailering horses.
- Safe driving: This is a given. Go the speed limit, be careful around curves, and double check your blind spots when switching lanes.
- Service your trailer once a year: Not only does your truck need to be serviced, but the trailer does as well. This tip should never be skipped. Check to make sure all of the trailer’s lights, brakes, bearings and tires are in good condition. Rust on bolts is common, so beware of that as well.
- Don’t leave without an extra halter and lead rope for each horse, spare tires, a jack, chock blocks, torque wrench, a tool kit, and both horse and human first-aid kits.
- Always clean out your trailer after each drive. This is important to the horse’s health. The horse needs a sanitary environment to maintain good health.
- Only hauling one horse? For safety reason the horse needs to be put on the left side of the trailer. The will balance out the trailer around curves to avoid flipping or riding off the road.
- Stop every four hours to give your horse or horses a break, and make sure they have plenty of water and hay to stay nourished. Let them lay down if they need to for a little. Standing a long time can be exhausting for horses.
How to Connect Your Horse Trailer to Your Truck (Steps)
- Connect your hitch to your truck first. Never load the horse until the trailer is properly hitched and double checked. The hitch goes over ball on the truck. Once it is securely on, latch and secure sleeve over ball and lock the safety pin.
- Double check and make sure the first step is completed properly, and the hitch is locked down.
- Then secure the extra trailer chains under the truck. The chains are backup in the event the hitch and ball separate.
- Don’t forget to make sure the electric elements on your hitch are attached and working. This is more simples then it sounds. Must trailers use four wires that connect the trailer to the underside of the vehicle. This function is used to connect the truck’s turn signals, brakes, and lights to the trailer. Once you have properly connected the wires, test out your trailer’s lights by pumping the brakes on your vehicle and making sure they come on.
- Make sure the emergency safety is attached and working. This is in place to initiate the trailer brakes in case the trailer separates from the vehicle. This will help minimize the risk to drivers and the animal.
- Practice loading your horses in the trailer and driving around first. You don’t want to do this for the first time when you need to travel. The horse needs practice, just like you do as a driver.
- Once you are ready to lead the horses into a trailer, load them carefully and let them take their time (they can be scared by small spaces), shut the trailer gate BEFORE tying them in, then, once the gate is in, tie the horse in for the ride.
Extra towing options – Gooseneck and 5th wheel towing hitches
Gooseneck hitches and 5th wheel towing hitches can both be beneficial for those hauling large horse trailer trailers. The main difference between the two hitches is that the gooseneck attached to the ball, while the 5th wheel towing hitch uses a pin. Gooseneck hitches are usually used for commercial purposes while 5th wheel towing hitches are used for recreational reasons. Both these hitches allow for a smoother ride and require special hitch configurations to be installed in the bed of the truck.
At first loading a trailer can be hard, especially if you have a stubborn horse, but after the first few times, it gets much easier. Practice makes perfect. Check out our inventory on 2016 Ram Trucks, perfect for hauling the trailer.
Photo source/credit: Shutterstock/Egon Zitter