Request a Quote

Please tell us the details about your job so we can work out an estimate. We'll get back to you within 24 hours.

(*) Required

Call Chris: 0438 081 404
Trusted Float and Trailer Repairs

2420 Plenty Road, Whittlesea, Vic 3757

Hints & Tips

Tips for towing a horse float

Posted by Chris Bryce on Thursday May 3, 2012

When you tow a Horse Float there is far more to consider than when driving a car. If you have towed any kind of trailer before, you are one of the lucky ones who do have a head start.

However, if you are new to floating your horse, it’s time to take a lesson in the basics, most of which is just good common sense. But like anything when it’s new to you the basics are not always that obvious.

You will require a new approach to driving, safety for you, other road users and your horse is paramount. All horses are different when transported. If you know your horse you will of course be aware of how well they float.

As smooth a ride as possible is one of the goals. You will need to know what you are doing in order to achieve this, an dmay like to consider the following:

A horse float is heavy load which will seriously affect the performance of your towing vehicle; this requires a large degree of anticipation of any change of direction, or speed. Braking distances have to be vastly increased to ensure a safe and comfortable ride for the horse.

When we first embarked on transporting our horse, we drove around with an empty float, a safer way of learning! Plus the basics were all the more familiar and the whole experience of towing the float with the horse somewhat less intimidating.

Before Driving:

  • Check your vehicle is in a good state of repair and safe.
  • Check your vehicles tyre pressures (refer to the owners’ manual)
  • Check your towbar is rated to tow the weight of the float and is mechanically sound.
  • Most floats have electric brakes. Check they are set up properly for the weight
  • Check the horse float is roadworthy and tyres properly inflated.
  • Floats wheel-bearings, suspension and brakes work properly.
  • All lights work and safety chains are properly connected. We always do a double check!
  • Ensure the float being used is suitable for the horses being transported. Never overload your float.
  • If you have any doubts at all contact the float or vehicle manufacturer for any technical advice.

While Driving:

  • A horse float is wider than most vehicles and this plus the extra length makes towing a skill that takes some time to master.
  • Reduce your speed well in advance before corners or bends.
  • Drive smoothly when accelerating or braking.
  • You will need to leave much longer distances for braking than you would with normal driving.
  • Have someone outside the vehicle whilst reversing, keep your car windows open so you can communicate, agree on some basic hand signals.
  • Change into a low gear prior to a steep downhill. This will give you greater control and prevent the brakes from overheating.
  • Avoid sudden lane changes and changes of direction.
  • Look further ahead than normal so you can react to changes in traffic or road conditions.
  • Be considerate to other motorists where you can; it is not always possible or practical to prevent delays to other drivers, but do so where you can. Other road users do not always understand how difficult your situation is, you can’t just pull over and stop and start constantly.
  • Your Float can sometimes start swaying from side to side, in these circumstances only brake if you have to. Rather take your foot off the accelerator slowly or speed up a little. If you can apply the float brakes separately then do so. The swaying should then stop.
  • Take regular rest stops both for you and the horse, this will keep you more alert and therefore safer for all. Check your vehicle and float at each stop.

General Rules:

  • Passengers are not allowed to ride in Horse Floats at any time. Always leave at least 60 metres behind heavy vehicles or other vehicles towing trailers, unless overtaking.
  • P1 or learner car license holders cannot tow horse floats.
  • Horse floats must be registered and in roadworthy condition the same as any car.

Sometimes it's all just basic common sense, be safe out there, and look after yourself and your precious cargo - your horse or pony is counting on you!!

What do you think? It'd be great to hear about any experiences or ideas you've had.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Trusted Float and Trailer Repairs, Call Chris: 0438 081 404

Pine Park Float Repairs
2420 Plenty Road,
Whittlesea, Vic 3757

Mon - Sat:
7.30am - 4.30pm weekdays
7.30am - 1.30pm Saturdays
(or by appointment)

TEL: 0438 081 404

"Chris works hard and has always done a great job on my float at a minimum cost. We're lucky to have such a good engineer not far away. Thanks Chris!"

Janet Chambers

"I was also really impressed with the quality of work. Chris did a great job and we'll be back next time we need something done as well!"

Michelle Whitewood

"Chris is down to earth and puts in the hard work to make sure you get the best job possible."

Mark Scott