Written by Rachael Kraft (Updated 3/17/2023)
SafeTack is the patent awarded to Double D Trailers by the US Patent and Trademark Office. This horse trailer design, (awarded U.S. Patent #9132762) is exclusive to Double D Trailers and addresses the safety shortfalls that are found in other reverse slant load trailers available on the market. Double D Trailers owner and horse trailer design expert Brad Heath shares more about the unique features of this innovative trailer design.
The idea of our innovative SafeTack horse trailer design came about many years ago when a customer first approached Brad. “One of our customers sent me an article published by the Journal of Veterinary Behavior,” he explained. “The research said that horses haul with less stress in the rear facing direction.”
The customer was having trouble finding a rear facing design that had all of the safety features she desired. After listening to her concerns and doing some thinking, Brad developed the SafeTack Reverse Slant load horse trailer.
There are several key features that make the Double D Trailers reverse horse trailer a safer and smarter option. Brad explained, “The SafeTack Reverse Slant Load trailer addresses the shortfalls of what other manufacturers in the industry are doing.” He emphasized one important point. “We have not developed a reverse slant. Rear facing trailer designs have been around for many years.” Instead, he took an existing concept and applied a new layout and new safety features.
Many of these other designs include reverse slant load layouts, separated stalls, and a side entrance. The awarded U.S. Patent describes how, “In this arrangement, there is typically a tack storage area in the rearmost portion of the trailer where saddles, bridles, and other tack are stored. This tack storage area reduces the amount of opening space for the rear doors and thereby limits the space in which the horse can exit the trailer.”
One competitor’s design mentioned by Brad has only a narrow 39” ramp for the horses to walk down when they exit. “It’s a very confining claustrophobic space. A lot can happen to a human trying to walk out that small narrow door with a large horse.”
“The problem that most trailers have is that the horse loads on the side and enters or exits out a very narrow door.” Double D Trailers eliminated this problem by adding in the SafeTack compartment and double-hinged dividers. The SafeTack compartment swings out like a second door allowing a wide-open area for your horse to pass. Double-hinged dividers in the interior of the trailer allow the horses to easily move through the trailer to exit without awkward backing and maneuvering. “When you’re unloading with the SafeTack Reverse, you have the entire back of the trailer available for loading and unloading.”
The SafeTack Reverse Slant Load Trailer from Double D Trailers allows horses to load from a large side door with a ramp. Double hinged dividers and the swing-out SafeTack storage compartment are maneuvered so that horses can exit through a wide open rear opening and ramp.
Another safety feature on the Double D Trailers design is an extra partition behind the rear horse. When the rear ramp of the trailer is opened, this partition prevents the horse from immediately trying to unload. “It’s very safe to have this extra partition in place.”
This SafeTack Reverse Slant horse trailer design has drop down windows on both sides of the trailer as well as overhead pop up vents at the head and tail of the horse. This allows owners to face their horse in a rear or forward direction without loss of accessibility or airflow.
With the combined benefits of the moveable rear SafeTack compartment, the double-hinged divider partitions, the drop down windows, and the wide side ramp, the patented Double D Trailers SafeTack Reverse slant load trailer is a truly safe and well-designed trailer. “You will find this unique to Double D Trailers. No one else in the United States has this. And now with the patent, others will not be able to copy it.”
Check out this customer video below of what loading on the SafeTack Reverse horse trailer looks like.
Making a design that made sense on paper and also worked in real use was certainly a challenge for Brad and his manufacturers. “The biggest challenge was the double hinged divider,” he explained. “Trying to get it to swing from both ends and to figure out the safety issues associated with it was a challenge.”
When Brad designs a trailer he always likes to work in two points of escape for the horse handler. Other challenges in creating this new design involved figuring out which way was best for the horse to face, where to place the partitions, how best to incorporate the ramp, and how to maintain the shortest wheelbase.
Brad chuckled at this question because it took much longer than you’d expect. “We submitted the paperwork sent to the U.S. Patent office in May of 2013. The first trailer was also built sometime in 2013. The approval came in 2015.” Despite requesting a ‘fast-track’ processing for the patent, it still took 2 1/2 years for the patent to be approved.
This meant that before the patent was ever awarded, there were already many happy Double D Trailers customers with this model throughout the United States.
Since Double D Trailers specializes in custom trailers for its customers, each SafeTack Reverse slant load horse trailer is unique. “We’re very flexible in our designs!” Brad exclaimed. In addition, safety is always a top priority. His goal when he is designing a trailer is to ensure that each horse can be accessed individually during an emergency situation.
The patented SafeTack Reverse Slant Load trailer from Double D Trailers can be built in a 4 horse, 3 horse, or 2 horse trailer. It can also be configured in both bumper pull or gooseneck versions.
“It’s important to have multiple points of entry to get to horses in case of emergency and multiple points of escape to maintain operator safety.” The ramp is often placed on the “ditch” or passenger side of the vehicle so that horses can be unloaded on the non-traffic side if the rig is alongside the road. However, if desired, the ramp can also be placed on the driver’s side. It simply changes the direction of the slant.
Normally, horses load onto the trailer using the side door and ramp. When the horse is ready to unload, the handler can easily and safely lead the horse straight off the rear of the trailer. This trailer design can also be used with a forward facing orientation if that’s what your horses prefer. “You do have the flexibility of reverse facing or forward facing without making any changes to the trailer.” In this case, horses would load from the wide-open rear, and then exit through the side door and ramp. Once again, the double-hinged dividers make this possible.
“It’s a really neat design! We can replicate this for two horse, three horse, or four horse trailers.”
Read more: Why The SafeTack Trailer Design is the Safest Trailer for Loading Horses
The first of the SafeTack Reverse Slant load horse trailers was built in 2013. Since then, customers across the nation have been coming to Brad. “We have built a number of these from the East coast to the West coast, South as far as Florida, and North up by the Canadian border.”
Each one of the Double D Trailers customers has been extremely pleased with their trailers.
Cindy from Knox PA who purchased a SafeTack 2 Horse Bumper Pull trailer says, “You swing out the tack compartment, latch it so there’s no chance of it swinging shut, and it’s like loading them onto a stock trailer. There’s no bending around a tack compartment. The second horse is securely latched in his stall until you swing out the tack compartment. If you have trouble with your horse backing off, this is the trailer you need.”
BJ and his wife Allison who purchased a SafeTack Reverse 3 Horse Gooseneck trailer says, “Our horses have always been very easy loaders. The extra width and height of this trailer make it especially spacious, and the ability to load from the rear or the side, as well as unload from the side in the case of a breakdown on the road are an extra bonus.”
Pam from Tennessee purchased a SafeTack Reverse 1 Horse Bumper Pull Trailer with Living Quarters. Pam says, “When we load our horse in another trailer that has a rear tack compartment, we have to do it very carefully so that she doesn’t get too nervous. The Double D Trailer makes loading so much simpler.”
Read more Double D Trailers Reviews.
If you are curious about the SafeTack horse trailer design, there are a few ways to see it up close.
On both our website and Double D Trailers YouTube channel, you’ll find a wide variety of horse trailer videos. There are many SafeTack Reverse trailer walk-throughs, as well as client-submitted videos.
Brad says, “We always have customers all over the U.S. who are more than willing to speak with someone or let someone take a look at the trailer.” Double D Trailers offers an easy to use tool that allows you to just plug in your zip code and connect with Double D Trailers owners that are closest to you. Click here to use our buyer connect tool.
Each year, we attend horse shows and expos to display our trailer models. The best way to find out our yearly show schedule is to sign up for our mailing list and get updates from us. Brad added, “Definitely come check this trailer out at the show. We feel that the value and the uniqueness of this trailer warrants that we get it out in front of customers so they can touch it, feel it, and climb all over it to see what this design’s about.”
If you would like to learn more about the Patented SafeTack Reverse Slant trailer from Double D Trailers, there’s no reason to wait until you can see it in person. Contact Brad and he will be more than happy to talk to you about the design and how he can make a custom trailer to fit your specific needs.
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