No Job Too Small

April 4th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in RV Repairs

Each week as we’re plowing through blog posts, providing what we hope is useful information to our customers and visitors, we remind them [you] that we provide a wide range of services that stretch far beyond custom trailer design and construction.  This week we would like to shine light on these services and elaborate on the fact that we are truly a full service company.

Although we typically stress our involvement with horse trailers, toy haulers and RVs, we also provide our services for 53’ semi-trailers, boats, cars and aircraft part painting.

We offer the following services:

Painting:  Phoenix Coach Works’ exterior services include collision work such as FRP and fiberglass repair as well as custom paint and vinyl striping.  We are happy to work on individual units or entire fleets with very short down times.

Fabrication:  Our facility is equipped to handle every possible challenge that a custom trailer may present.  We have the tools you need as we can cut and bend any size sheet metal and schedule 40 pipe (up to 2 ½”).  Our past projects include fold-down and roll-out ramps, unique tool box installations, interior walls and aluminum cages both with and without doors.

Installations:  At Phoenix Coach Works, we are happy to help in any way we can.  If you are having trouble finding or installing an item, please allow us to simplify the process and do the leg-work for you.

We offer installation of the following: climate control units, A/C units, camera systems, AC electrical wiring, windows/doors, generators, pressurized and gravity fed water tanks, underbody fuel tanks, in-bed fuel transfer tanks, towing air bags, hitches, electric brake box, axles, hydraulic jack and charge lines between truck and trailer.

Truck Customization:  If you just want to make your truck appear a little flashier as you’re cruising down the interstate, Phoenix is where it’s at.  We install running boards (lighted and unlighted, painted to match), nerf boards, visors, bug shields, LED accent lights, mud flaps, auxiliary lighting and bed rails; anything to make your ride stand out among the rest.

Vehicle Service and Repair:  Besides run-of-the-mill service and repairs such as tires, wheels and brakes (both hydraulic and electric), we also provide a variety of specialized services including: wiring repair, frame repair, air suspension service and aluminum, steel and stainless steel welding.  Not mention we provide Pennsylvania State Inspection.

We really hope this brief overview has given our visitors a better idea of what we mean when we say that if you have ANY problem or question at all regarding your trailer to please contact our offices for a consultation.  And please remember that although we welcome fleet work into our facility with open arms there’s no job too small here at Phoenix Coach Works.

We treat every job as if it’s our most important…because it is.

A Rose Is A Rose Is a Rose

March 26th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in General

A rose is a rose is a rose, this is true.  But the same is not true when concerning tires.  Unlike men, all tires are not created equal.  This week we’re going to expand our knowledge around the topic of tires.  Whether you’re replacing the tires on your truck, horse trailer or horse van, there are specific characteristics about tires that make them applicable to a variety of functions.

If you haul using a truck and trailer combination or a self-driven horse van such as our Phoenix Sprinter, you may be surprised to find that you will need different tires for your trailer.  Trailer tires are not designed to handle the loads applied to, or the traction required by drive or steering axles.

Unfortunately some folks choose to disregard all precaution and throw on whatever tires fit their rims.  However, when you’re pulling a 6 horse trailer full of your prized companions down the interstate at 65mph, you’d better hope that your tires are qualified for the job.

For that reason, consider the following when selecting and maintaining tires for you horse trailer or toy hauler.

Application: The LT and ST designation on a trailer tire specifies load range only.  It does not mean the tire is suitable for use on small or light duty trucks.  DO NOT mount ST or LT trailer tires on passenger cars or light trucks

Inflation: Underinflating trailer tires is the number one cause of failure.  Always inflate trailer tires to the maximum psi indicated on the sidewall.  Check inflation when tires are cool and have not been exposed to the sun.  If your tires are hot to the touch following operation, add three psi to the max inflation.

Load Carrying Capacity:  The combined carrying capacity of all the tires should exceed the loaded trailer weight by 20%.  All tires must be identical in size to properly manage the weight of the trailer.  If one tire fails on a tandem axle trailer, you should replace both tires on that side.  It is likely that the remaining tire has been subjected to excessive loading and uneven wear.  If a trailer’s original tires are replaced with tires of a larger diameter, the tongue height may need adjusted to maintain proper weight distribution.

Time, Mileage and Wear:  Be sure to abide by your tires’ maximum speed rating as higher speeds generate more heat and overall stress that will decrease your carrying capacity.  As with all things, time and the elements weaken your tires.  The projected life of a trailer tire is between three and five years or 5,000 to 12,000 miles.  It is recommended that trailer tires be replaced every three to four years regardless of treat depth or tire appearance.

Storage & Maintenance:  The ideal storage for your trailer is in a cool, dark garage with tires at maximum inflation.  For extended storage, put the trailer on blocks to take the weight off the tires and use tire covers to protect them from direct sunlight.  Clean tires using mild soap and water.  Try to avoid tire care products containing alcohol or petroleum distillates.  Inspect tires for cuts, snags, bulges or punctures.

Phoenix Coach Works can help you choose and supply the tires that will fit you needs Here at Phoenix Coach Works we like to touch on a broad range of topics that our customers might find useful and informative.  And if you happen to discover any undisclosed damages in need of repair while performing your tire maintenance, repair or replacement, you know who to call.

Phoenix Coach Works is proud to provide a full line of custom built 4 horse, 6 horse, 8 horse and 9 horse trailers as well as motorcycle haulers, RVs and enclosed trailers.  For commercial haulers we also provide a 15 horse trailer.  Our trailers are fully customizable; by placing you in the director’s chair, you dream the dream and we make it a reality.

Buckle Up and Ride

March 19th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in Enclosed Trailers

Last week we gave an enthusiastic shout out to our customers as a way to show our appreciation for the people who help make Phoenix Coach Works a success.

This week we’d like to get back on task and start talking business once more.  As was described last week, our customers range from lifelong equestrians to individuals who possess a nostalgia for shiny, chromed-out toys.

For those who have been loading and unloading trailers their entire life, please be patient as we provide an overview of how to properly prepare and tow a large trailer.  As a matter of fact, this week’s post may even serve as a reminder to some of the mundane tasks that often go overlooked after years of repetitive behavior.

Whether you’re hauling a classic car or several of your prizewinning stallions, safety in transportation is the primary concern when you’re planning to hit the road.  For that reason, begin with a thorough inspection of the vehicle with which you plan to haul.  Starting in the front and working your way back, check the following:

–          Fluid levels (including transmission, oil, and water/antifreeze)

–          All tires (including the spare) for unusual wear and correct air pressure

–          Make sure the hitch is attached correctly and securely

–          Wiring harness is clean and all wires are in place

–          All proper documents and licenses are in the glove box

Once you have checked your towing vehicle, it is time to inspect your horse trailer, toy hauler, or enclosed trailer.  Again, working your way from front to back look closely at the following:

–          Trailer wiring harness is clean and all wires are in place

–          Test the handbrake

–          Make sure there is no damage to the breakaway cable/chains

–          All tires (including the spare) for unusual wear and correct air pressure

–          Trailer structure for rust, loose fasteners, cracks and breaks.

If you happen to notice any structural damaged, feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works to schedule an appointment and receive a thorough assessment of the damage.

Now that you have completed this checklist, you can safely attach your trailer to your vehicle and be on your way.  Be sure to remember all necessary items including extra gear, a human and horse first aid kit, and all emergency roadside equipment.  If you are having trouble thinking of the essentials needed for your truck and trailer, please refer to our past blog-post titled Dream the Possible Dream.  It provides a detailed list of many of the items that many travelers include while packing their horse, car, or enclosed trailer.

Most importantly though, don’t forget to have fun.  Life is a journey best traveled with those you love and a smile on your face.  So put your stress behind you and embrace the open road, trail or meadow.  Though you may already know your intended destination, buckle up and ride because in life, if you don’t know where you’re headed any road will take you there.

To Our Customers

March 12th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in Horse Trailers, Horse Vans

This week we’d like to express our appreciation for the people that help make Phoenix Coach Works a success.  Despite these trying times, we have been fortunate to continue providing service to a wide range of consumers.  From trailer repair to custom trailer design and new trailer construction, we do our very best to tailor the service of each job to suit the needs of our growing clientele.  Whether we’re building a 6 horse trailer for show animals or a custom trailer for cars and motorcycles, you can rest assure that all Phoenix Coach Works transportation vehicles exceed industry quality standards.

We communicate with a variety of customers with unique needs and interest in our products.  From there, we will schedule an appointment to discuss their specific needs and make an overall assessment of the job.  As you can imagine, different people need different things for a variety different reasons.  And you know what they say: “variety is the spice of life.”

Imagine there’s an equestrian whose passion is grooming and training their animals to become prizewinning show horses.  These fine creatures are also deserving of the tremendous care and attention to detail that Phoenix Coach Works pours into everything they create.  This individual may want to consider the new Phoenix Sprinter.

Built on Mercedes chassis, this two horse van is powered by an 188hp Mercedes Benz engine that stretches fuel economy to nearly 17mpg.  Not only does this unit help reduce maintenance costs compared to a truck and trailer combination, but it also comes with innovative safety gates, loading ramps, adjustable partitions, and a quick-release breast-bar.  Not to mention the aluminum lined interior is fully insulated for maximum comfort.

Lastly I’d like you to picture a different kind of showman.  This person has a nostalgia for restoring things that have been forgotten, a collector of the extremely rare and a creator of something entirely unique.  Whether it is classic cars, custom hot-rods or a collection of chromed-out motorcycles, this person needs a safe way to transport his ‘babies.’  Again, Phoenix Coach Works comes to the rescue.  Our line of motorcycle and toy hauler RV-style trailers is available in 8’ and 8.5’ widths and 16’, 18’, 20’ and 24’ lengths.  Again, please feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works so we can discuss your specific needs and begin the creation of your toys’ home away from home.

This is just a peek at the kind of service we provide our customers.  As stated above, everyone’s trailer and hauler needs are different and we take that into full account throughout our consultation and assessment. We’re there for you every step of the way.  Designing and purchasing a large trailer such as these can be an expensive and often difficult thing to do, especially in today’s economy.  But don’t let this deter you from moving forward with your dream.  Here at Phoenix Coach Works, you envision the dream, and we make it a reality.

Spring Tune Up 101

March 6th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in Horse Vans

Here at Phoenix Coach Works, we are excited for spring to arrive.  Not only do we escape from dreary, overcast skies but the flora and fauna of nature emerges in its full beauty.  Our equine friends have been dormant for many months and are likely raring to burst from the gate.  But don’t be hasty at the first signs of spring to saddle up and begin your routine.

Like an antique car sitting for many months, or any machine for that matter, there is maintenance to be addressed and a checklist to follow before you hammer the throttle and drop tread.

If your animal and your equipment are not properly tuned for another season of performance, a number of things can go terribly wrong.

Begin your preparation by getting your gear together.  Clean, oil, and inspect each piece, looking for dry-rot, loose screws, rusted buckles, missing straps etc.  Catching equipment issues now will ensure that when your horse is ready, you are too.  Not to mention this also builds excitement that will make that first ride much more rewarding.

The next thing you want to do is inspect your horse trailer.  Whether you do this yourself or have a professional conduct an inspection, be sure to check the following: brakes, bearings, tires, wiring, lights and floor condition.  If you discover anything that needs amended, contact Phoenix Coach Works and schedule a horse trailer repair appointment to discuss your concern.

While you’re at it, you may choose to customize your trailer to include a cabin, tack-room, additional stalls or simply modernize your outdated equipment.  Doing so will further ensure that no unexpected snags keep you from doing what you love.

Now it’s on to the horse.  Check your horses’ hooves and schedule to have them trimmed and possibly shod depending on anticipated riding conditions and intensity.  Update your paperwork, and if necessary, have your horses wormed and vaccinated.

Depending on your horse’s living conditions and diet throughout the winter, they may be overweight or lack energy.  On the contrary, it is not uncommon for a horse coming out in spring to exhibit a playfulness that may lead to injury if the rider/trainer doesn’t adjust appropriately and regain the animal’s focus.

From here, begin your spring tune-up.  Begin with short, slow rides and increase duration and intensity as your horse regains stamina.  It will likely take upwards of 90 days to fully reinstate your animals back to optimum performance.  But it will be a bonding experience.

Once you have completed spring tuning, it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.  Your horses will be able to compete and show well because of your commitment.  They will also be in their prime as they team with the hounds to embark on a fox hunt.

Whatever your equine attraction may be, the relationship between man and horse is one to be cherished.  Treat your friends with the respect they deserve.  Transporting large animals can be a cumbersome task, so when considering your next carriage, be sure to contact us at Phoenix Coach Works where we offer a full line of  4 horse, 6 horse, 8 horse, and 9 horse van bodies as well as a 15 horse trailer for commercial carriers hauling horses interstate. And don’t forget about our new 2 horse-van built on a Mercedes Chassis.

Remember, from custom built horse vans to trailer repairs and modifications…if you can dream it, chances are we can build it.

Spring Is In the Air

February 28th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in Horse Vans

With spring around the corner, the perfect time for a family vacation is on the horizon.  Even though it was a mild winter, the best way to beat cabin fever is to get out and enjoy nature.  So round up the kids, load the RV or trailer and get ready to hit the road (and trail) because 2012 is going to be a great year!

Now, exactly what you load into your trailer is up to you.  If your family likes to spend time traveling on horseback, really getting in touch with nature, then you’ll probably be traveling with 4 or more horses.  Or you may already have a trailer but it needs repair or it’s a little outdated.  You’ve come to the right place as Phoenix Coach Works can help address all your concerns.

We offer 4 horse, 6 horse, and 8 horse van bodies as well as a 2 horse van built on a Mercedes Sprinter chassis.  If you currently own a trailer, but it’s aged and in disrepair, worry not.  Here at Phoenix we can repair, update, and modify your current outfit to suit your changing needs.

Maybe horseback riding isn’t really your thing.  You’re more into motorcycles, ATV’s, dirt bikes and cars.  Once again you’ve come to the right place.  Phoenix  Coach Works can customize a trailer you already have or custom build one for you

Now that you’ve handled transportation, it’s time to choose a destination.  There are a number of horseback and off-road riding guides available that can help you choose the best route for your family vacation.  These guides will help you choose trails that are suitable for all members of your family.  After all, isn’t staying safe is the most important part of enjoying any trip?

As you perform spring tune-up on your equine friends and machines alike, please keep Phoenix Coach Works in the forefront of your mind.  As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your horse transportation and toy hauler needs.

Dream the Possible Dream

February 21st, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in Horse Trailers, Horse Vans

After months (or years) of shopping, you’ve decided to go with Phoenix Coach Works for your custom-built 2, 4, 6, or 9 horse van body or 15 horse trailer.  The color detail is not an issue since you’ve seen this trailer many times in your dreams streamlining down the interstate so you know exactly what it’s going to look like on the exterior.  What you haven’t quite figured out yet, is how you plan to optimize the use of space and guarantee that all horse-trailer necessities are accounted for.

As far as custom interiors, the most important thing to consider is the intended use of your trailer.  If you use a trailer for short trips between neighboring barns, a simple setup trailer with adjustable stalls will easily suffice.  However, if you travel long distances for shows or take your animals trail riding for days or weeks at a time, you’d likely want to consider a larger trailer with a tack-room.

Once you have decided the size and configuration needs of your trailer, it’s time to load up and hit the road/trail.  We understand that as you’re making the investment to purchase a horse van or horse trailer, you have likely been at this for many years, if not decades.  However, it is always nice to have a checklist to reference when packing in case you have forgotten or overlooked something important.

You will need the following:

Safety Items

–          Horse & Human First Aid kit (including a sedative, God forbid, in case of an accident)

–          Trailer Aid

–          Air Compressor

–          Dielectric grease

–          Gloves

–          Duct Tape

–          Cross-jack

–          Trailer chocks (anything from bricks to pieces of 2×4 will work)

–          WD-40

–          Heavy duty Coupler Lock

–          Tool Box

–          Warning Triangle and Flares

Misc. Items:

–          Large, durable tote

–          The Clip

–          Grooming Supplies

–          Fly Spray

–          Muck Bucket, Broom and Pitchfork

–          Treats

–          Extra halter & lead rope.

–          Extra Clothes

–          Twine

–          Tarps

Although this list is quite obvious, we can all agree that in the midst of both excitement and haste, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the most obvious items only to swat your forehead and curse yourself 40 miles into your trip.

Whether you’re the proud new owner of a custom trailer, merely shopping around and considering options, or looking to make changes to your existing trailer, please feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works with any and all questions or comments regarding your horse trailer needs.  We offer a range of services from new construction to repair and customization.  If you can dream it, we can build it.

Penny Pinchers Unite

February 15th, 2012   |   No Comments   |   Posted in Horse Vans

Avoiding brand names while shopping? Running through the house like a maniac turning off switches and unplugging things that aren’t being used? Maybe you’re just wearing that ‘dirty’ pair of jeans for one more day before giving in to do another load of laundry. These are just examples but chances are, like many people, you’re cutting back in certain areas trying to pinch pennies in this soft economy.
But when will we bounce back? That’s entirely uncertain, but what is certain is that you’d rather sacrifice a few simple luxuries here and there than part with your grown up toys and favorite pastimes that may include motorcycles, RVs, and horses.
These things can bring joy even during the lowest of lows. Whether that joy comes from showing off your street bike at a national rally or hitting the trails with your four legged friends you inevitably need to transport said items.
Admittedly, these vessels are not ‘cheap’ by any means of the word, but even in a floundering economy, the excitement and overwhelming joy that you experience are worth a little sacrifice. For that reason, Phoenix Coach Works offers a wide variety of custom-built trailers and vans to suit your transport needs and fit nicely within your budget.
From two horse vans to 15 horse trailers, Phoenix Coach Works offers fully customizable, high quality products that put you in complete control of design and function. Our featured item this week is the Phoenix Euro-van
The Phoenix Euro-van is built on the Mercedes Sprinter chassis which is a wonderful option for someone hauling two horses that doesn’t want to splurge on a truck and a trailer. This two-horse van will save you time and money in the following ways:

  • Our 188hp Mercedes Benz engine with eco-conscious technology gets 16-17 mpg fuel economy compared to 11mpg with a truck pulling a trailer.
  • Reduced maintenance costs compared to truck and trailer combinations.
  • Innovative safety gates, loading ramps, adjustable partitions, and a quick-release breast-bar make for efficient loading and ease of use.
  • Aluminum lined interior is fully insulated for the maximum comfort of your animals.

Whatever you do, don’t let the troubled economy get you down.  Be frugal where you must, but when it comes to the things that bring you happiness, don’t feel bad spending your hard-earned money on yourself and those you love (chances are it brings them joy as well).  If you have any questions regarding our products and services, please feel free to contacts us for all of your trailer and horse van needs.

Traveling With Pets

February 4th, 2011   |   1 Comment   |   Posted in General

Ever get the urge to add some excitement to your trip by bringing along a furry friend? No, we’re not talking about toting horses this time, nor are we discussing a road trip with your old college pal. But sometimes when you’re on the road for long stretches of time, you like to bring a pet along for extra fun and company. Especially when you’re at a rest stop and see others parking their rigs and then stretching their legs while they play with their four-legged cab companions.

Of course, there are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration when you’re deciding whether or not to bring your cat, dog, ferret or bird along in your toy hauler, truck, van or RV.

1. Safety. Check your vehicle with an eye toward your animal’s safety. Depending on the size of the animal you may want to keep your furry friend in an area of your rv or trailer during the trip. The best way to learn the ropes is to take a short test drive before the long haul. And since your animal’s encountering new environments and new people, you should be sure that it’s up to date on all of its vaccines and shots. It’s also vital that you’re aware of pet stores and animal hospitals between your point of origin and destination—just in case.

2. Comfort. While it’s all right to let your pet roam if you’ve taken the correct safety precautions, you’ll want to be sure that he or she has a designated area, such as a crate. Make sure he or she has plenty of room to lie down, stretch out and sit up. You don’t only have to take into account your pet’s comfort, but your own as well. Fido might love to sit in your lap or Kitty might like to nap by your feet, but those aren’t the best options. And even the best-trained pets sometimes exhibit atypical behavior on the road; for example, your pet may be getting car sick or using the restroom in your vehicle, and you’ll want to think about any mess or smells that might make a long drive a lot more unpleasant. You also don’t want an animal that’s going to make excessive noise that can distract you while driving.

3. Convenience. Having a pet with you may limit which hotels, parking areas and camp sites you visit (with your Phoenix Coach Works toy hauler rv, enclosed trailer, or horse van). So before you take off, you’ll want to double-check any pet restrictions along your route. You also want to take into account the extra time and mileage for stops you might need to make to take your pets for walks to stretch and get fresh air.

Locks for Trailers

January 30th, 2011   |   No Comments   |   Posted in General

From insurance to alarm systems to video cameras, we’ve discussed several ways to keep your trailer safe. To round off the series, we’d like to discuss hitch locks, trailer locks and coupler locks.

Hitch locks are pin latches designed to keep your ball mount attached to your vehicle. This will prevent it from being stolen while your vehicle is parked but disconnected from your trailer. However, it’s important to also note that ball mounts should not always remain attached to the hitch; this can make your accessories corrode faster by suffering unnecessary wear and exposure to the elements. Between trips and uses, you should always detach, clean and safely store your ball mount.

Trailer locks cover your trailer’s latching mechanism so that no one can hook their car, truck or SUV up to your trailer when it’s not directly secured to your own vehicle. These typically lock a metal ball in place, similar to how your trailer is traditionally rigged.

Coupler locks also use pins, but these secure your trailer’s latching mechanism to the ball mounts while you’re on the go. Coupler locks offer a variety of drop lengths, ball widths and all trailer weights and sizes. They’re not only made to be secure and easy-impact on the road, but they’re also weather-resistant metal alloy that will prevent or resist rust and corrosions when sitting in the elements for great lengths of time. These anti-theft devices are designed to be resistant to picks and drills so that no one can detach your trailer without your key.

If you have several trailers, you can have all of your locks prepared so that they all work with a universal key, which helps you stay organized and prevents key-switch mishaps. If you only plan to use one trailer at a time and want one kind of lock (hitch, trailer or coupler) for all of your vehicles, you can purchase a universal lock that can adjust to work with all truck and trailer types.