By law, we all make sure that our towing vehicles have passed the mandatory MOT and advised regular service at the recommended intervals, but is your trailer roadworthy too? Whilst Horse Trailers don’t require any form of MOT, it’s up to the owner, or user, to keep them in a correct and roadworthy condition. Similar to the towing vehicle there are benefits of regular servicing, like avoiding expensive repair bills, increasing the lifespan and resale value, and ultimately reducing the risk of causing an accident.
Apart from the regular in depth service, there are routine checks which users should make before every journey;
Doors – it might sound like an obvious one but make sure all doors are locked into position.
Lights – always check left, right, hazard indicators and brakes are working before setting off.
Tyres – should be regularly checked for any signs of wear and tear, old or worn tyres are likely to cause a blowout and also keep an eye on the tyre pressures. The legal minimum depth of tread for car tyres is 1.6 mm across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. The easiest way to measure the tread depth on your tyres is using ‘the 20p test’. This consists of placing a 20p coin into the tread grooves in at least three places around the tyre. If you can see any part of the outer band of the coin, then your tyres are not only unsafe but they are illegal and need replacing as soon as possible.
Brakes – Your braking system should be tested to ensure it is functioning properly, and that the breakaway cable is used correctly every time you tow (it must be attached to an eye or looped through a main brace of the tow bar, NOT over the tow ball) .
Maximum Tow Weight – Check your maximum towing weight (you’ll find this in the vehicle’s handbook or by checking the chassis plate) isn’t lower than the weight you are going to be towing. To work out your towing load, weigh your horses with a weigh tape and add it to the weight of the trailer, which you’ll find on the chassis.
Did you know – it is an offence to supply or sell a trailer which is unroadworthy?
There have been instances where a trailer owner has let a friend borrow their trailer, and when the friend was stopped by the Police for the trailer not being in a roadworthy condition, they were fined for using the trailer and the owner of the trailer was also fined £600 and had points added to their licence for allowing the trailer to be used in an unroadworthy condition.
For more information regarding trailer safety you can contact us directly on 01490 7736323 or get in touch with your local Cheval Trailer Distributor.
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