First Trailer Upgrades
As published in West Coast Horsemen magazine – Dec 2018
When I started the TrailMeister trailer project I knew that I would want to learn about all that goes into a horse trailer first hand as opposed to having everything completed at the factory. This meant I would be hauling the new trailer across the nation and back again as I visited numerous manufacturers of equipment for horse trailers. It’s been a busy year.
Happy for Hydraulics
The very first change that I made to the trailer was removing the standard manual jack and having the folks at Equalizer Systems in Elkhart, Indiana replace it with an electric hydraulic jack. No endless cracking. I like being able to push a button and have the trailer go up or down as I see fit.
If you’ve ever hauled horses you already know what a “joy” hand cranking a trailer jack can be. Standard jacks take more effort than I care to expend and the “improved” geared jacks may be easier to turn, but take seemingly forever to extend the leg. I prefer to save my energy and time for the ride.
Equalizer Systems has been producing jacks for horse trailers for over 25 years, and it shows. I’ve seen Equalizer jacks on horse trailers from coast to coast and uniformly the owners have had positive things to say about them;” very dependable” was the most commonly used term. Those encouraging owner accounts made my decision to go with an Equalizer System quite easy. Immediately after picking up my MH Eby Trailer near Columbus, Ohio I headed northwest for Elkhart, Indiana – RV capital of the world and home to Equalizer Systems.
As a layman being able to observe Equalizer’s professionals not only building the jacks, but also installing them was fascinating.
For my 22 foot, long stock trailer with a “to be completed” living quarters area, the Equalizer engineers recommended their AM single leg jack for the job. With a lifting capacity of 12,000 pounds this jack can lift not only the nose, but the entire trailer and a load of horses, so it’s plenty strong for the job. And it’s quick! Instead of budgeting minutes to lift and lower, it’s now a matter of mere seconds. I like the extra time it gives me to work on other things besides cranking on a jack handle
Another feature that I’m a huge fan of is the manual override. Should I lose power I can manually work the jack. With my solar power system (more on that in a future column) that should never be a concern, but I’m a big fan of redundant systems.
There you go! The first thing I did to the trailer was entirely for me. I’m all about preserving my back, conserving my energy, and generally making life easier on myself! Equalizer made that possible and I thank them for that. Now I need to save my pennies for their hydraulic jack for the bumper pull! Learn more at https://equalizersystems.com
The second change I made to the trailer was mostly for the horses and mules, and a little for me. I wanted a stock area floor that would be safe for the beasts. Specifically, I was looking for a nonslip surface that was impervious to liquids while also providing some cushion to smooth the ride. I also wanted to reduce my workload when cleaning out the trailer. I’m not about to claim that I regularly pull the rubber mats from my bumper pull. I know it’s a chore I should pay more attention to. The accumulation of pee and poo growing under my mats isn’t doing my aluminum floor any favors. I also know that trying to manhandle multiple ungainly 90 plus pound rubber mats isn’t going to happen as often as it should. I needed something that would keep my animals safe and save me a bit of back breaking work. WERM Flooring does that.
Depending on where I’m going, the ponies may be in the trailer for anywhere from a few minutes to 10-12 hours. I don’t know why but every one of my animals voids their bowels as soon as I have them in the trailer. Every trip. Every time. That can make for a long slippery and dangerous trailer ride. I want to make the ride as safe and pleasant as I can for my trail partners. That means I want to give them a secure and safe surface for the ride. I considered a wide variety of durable flooring surfaces from Rumber (much too slippery) to Rhino Lining (no cushion) and finally settled on WERM Flooring for a permanent solution for the trailer, horses, and me.
My trailer has a solid aluminum floor so being impervious to liquids was a key concern for me. I needed a material that would prevent any urine or poo juice (Is that a word? It is now; “poo juice”) from getting to the floor and corroding it over time. WERM accomplishes this by being sealed to the floor. This permanent bond doesn’t allow anything to come between it and the floor. This is accomplished through careful preparation of the trailer floor and the application of a proprietary primer and epoxy compound by WERM’s highly skilled technicians. In a nutshell, this makes for a permanently installed rubber mat that eliminates a nasty job for me. Instead pulling mats, I pull out a hose and spray it clean while the trailer floor beneath stays dry and protected. Easy peasy.
The flooring is mostly rubber and as such provides a goodly amount of cushion for the ponies. I like that the surface is textured and slip resistant. It’s much less slippery than the standard rubber mats in my old trailer.
For my needs WERM saved the day. It keeps my horses safe and more comfortable, protects my trailer floor, and saves me a lot of work. It even comes in a variety of colors! I wanted a sporty red, but my better half prevailed and we went with a brown that hides “stuff.” Learn more at www.wermflooring.com
I love the efficiency and convenience of both the Equalizer System and WERM Flooring. Watch videos of the manufacture, installation, and every episode of the Trailer Project at TrailMeister.com.
The TrailMeister Trailer Project is brought to you by the generous support of the following underwriters:
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