What happens when you want to haul more than just ‘horses’ on your horse trailer? Is your trailer equipped to safely secure extra items with your horses on board? If you are hauling equipment without your horses, how do you know your trailer can handle the load?
In this article, we are going to take a look at some creative (and very useful) ways to haul things other than horses on your horse trailer.
One of the most common large items for people to haul with their horses is a horse cart or wagon. Brad Heath, owner of Double D Trailers, has worked with a number of customers with this particular need.
He explained, “Most of the cart haulers we make are SafeTack slant load trailers.” In one particular example, a woman requested to either haul three horses with a front dressing room or haul two horses with a wagon stored on board.
To solve this challenge, Brad made a swinging wall partition between the main trailer cabin and the front dressing room (photos below). Whenever the cart was needed, this wall could be opened up and the wagon could be rolled up into the dressing area with the two remaining horses safely placed in the rear most stalls of the trailer.
In these images, you can see the wall partition with swinging doors. These doors couldopen to allow the cart to be stored forward in the dressing room area.
Another customer requested a one horse trailer with the ability to haul a cart. Brad shared his drawings with this explanation, “They needed to haul one horse and a cart…as you can see from the drawing, the shafts ended up laying on top of the gate and sticking over into the horse area. However, she tied her horse head at a slant and the shafts were up high at the roof line, safely out of the way.”
Here are some photos of the final single horse trailer with cart storage area.
Sometimes, the requests from our customers are a bit more complex. One lady from Canada requested a trailer that could handle at times three horses with a dressing room. Other times, she wanted to haul two horses, a cart, and a four-wheeler.
“Plus, she had two different size carts. Still, we made it work very well,” Brad shared.
Take a look at the 2+1 horse trailer design below. You will see two straight load stalls in the back with a forward area for the third horse. This front section is also able to store an ATV and a four-wheel carriage depending on the needs of the customer on that particular day.
In one final example, Brad had to solve an unusual request from a client in Virginia. This gentleman wanted a living quarters horse trailer for two horses with room to store his motorcycle. On days when he favored rivers over riding, he also wanted a way to transport several large canoes.
This SafeTack slant load horse trailer was designed with a 10’ living quarters. As you can see from the drawing below, a mid-tack storage area was incorporated that could protect his horse tack and motorcycle.
On days when the customer wanted to haul his canoes instead of his horses, he had an easy solution. Brad explained, “I made the entire wall so that it would ‘swing,’ latch to the side, and he could put in his canoes. Pretty neat actually.”
In each of these trailers, Brad has found a creative and safe way to store the larger items inside the trailer. This option will better protect your equipment from the elements or road debris compared to “outside the trailer” storage solutions.
Sometimes you may need to haul farm supplies with your horse trailer. This may include things like tractors, lawn mowers, or hay bales. Brad explained, “As long as the equipment will fit and doesn’t overload the trailer axles and tires - this would be okay.”
This is assuming you do not have your horses on board. Brad cautioned, “Don't haul anything with your horses on board unless there is a separate area designed for the application, and a way to secure those items.”
He does caution that you note especially large items up front when designing the trailer. This will insure proper axle placement to carry the load. Extra attention to load distribution would be important if you were to haul something large like a farm tractor. Plus, you may need a reinforced ramp to handle the extra weight when loading the tractor.
When you are not transporting your horses, a trailer can be a very handy resource for hauling other large items like furniture, tools, or gardening supplies. Once again, there is no problem with doing this as long as you consider the weight of the items you are planning to load onto the trailer.
Brad shared, “In my opinion, a ‘box trailer is a box trailer.’ A horse trailer is just a special type of box trailer that is designed to safely haul horses. However, they are extremely versatile when it comes to moving anything bulky.”
We have one customer named Lisa from North Carolina who uses her Double D Trailer to haul equipment for the North Pitt High School Marching Band. She shared, “We tend to get a few laughs when we park among the decked out cargo trailers, but they stop laughing when our Band hits the field.”
Lisa explained that the band has won almost every competition they’ve entered in their first two years of competing. Check out the photo below with band members standing in front of Lisa’s Double D Trailer. She has been a proud Double D Trailers owner for 15 years!
(Photo Credit: Lisa Martin, North Carolina)
As we mentioned above, it is possible to overdo it with heavy equipment. This can do permanent damage to your horse trailer and pose a safety risk. To figure out if your load is too heavy, think about the following.
A horse typically weighs 1100 lbs or more and stands in a very compact space. This means a 2 horse straight load or slant load horse trailer is designed to easily haul 2000 lbs or more. Most items, such as furniture or a lawn mower will not weigh that much.
“The items being hauled should not exceed the trailer’s axle and tire capacity, including the weight of the trailer,” Brad cautioned. “Otherwise you can bend an axle or blow out a tire. If you are hauling something really heavy and compact (like bricks, blocks, or bags of cement), then I can see where a horse trailer could be easily overloaded. You could even bend the flooring frame underneath if the weight is concentrated in one area.”
“If in doubt, don’t do it,” Brad concluded. “Or, ask the trailer manufacturer first.”
If you have any questions about hauling large items with your horse trailer, reach out to Brad and he’ll help you find a solution.
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