Archive for the ‘Horse Vans’ Category

Horse Trailers, Horse Vans, Horse Racing, and now HorsePOWER!

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Week after week we talk about horse trailers, horse vans, horse riding and horse racing among other things.  With all this horse talk going on we couldn’t believe  it when we realized we had completely missed one of the most important “horse” items.

It doesn’t matter how snazzy your enclosed trailer, toy hauler or RV may be, you’re not going anywhere without horsePOWER.  And where do you find horsepower if not in a horse?  The internal combustion engine of course.

From weed-whackers and lawn tractors to motorcycles and everyday automobiles internal combustion engines are everywhere.  But what exactly happens inside that hunk of steel and which is better…diesel or gasoline?

At the core, all internal combustion engines are the same.  Dating back to 1876 when Nikolaus August Otto invented and patented a machine that converted chemical energy to kinetic energy through a contained explosion that drove a piston connected to a crank-shaft to create rotary motion.  This rotary motion is then transferred to the moving parts of the machine and voila.

We don’t really need another history lesson so for the sake of this article let’s focus on the massive four-stroke powerhouses found in full size pick-up trucks, SUVs and in the case of the Phoenix Sprinter…2 horse vans.

Diesel and gasoline engines are about as similar as they are different and at this point we will describe these differences and highlight the benefits and the potential short comings of each.

Gasoline engines function using a four-stroke combustion cycle that includes an intake stroke, a compression stroke, a combustion stroke and an exhaust stroke.  Automobile engines contain 4, 6 or 8 cylinders that draw fuel and air from a carburetor or fuel injector that is premixed and ignited by a spark-plug at the end of the compression stroke.  Gasoline engines are more common and in many ways simpler and require less maintenance (or at least the maintenance is less complex).

Rudolf Diesel discovered that higher compression resulted in higher efficiency and more power (a gasoline engine compresses at a ratio of 8:1 to 12:1 while a diesel engine compresses at a ratio of 12:1 to as high as 25:1).   Diesel fuel also has a much higher energy density than gasoline and as a result is much more efficient and packs a bigger punch per gallon (1 gallon of diesel contains approximately 155×106 joules equaling 147,000 BTU whereas 1 gallon of gasoline contains 132×106 joules equaling125,000 BTU).  Diesel also contains more carbon atoms in longer chains making it easier to refine which is why it used to be cheaper than gasoline.  But increased demand for diesel fuel has forced an increase in price.

Diesel engines use the same four-stroke combustion cycles (intake, compression, combustion and exhaust) however there are slight modifications.  As stated above, it’s really a matter of compression.  Gasoline engines have compression limits due to the risk of air being compressed too much and creating “knocking” within the engine.  With diesel engines, the fuel is injected directly into the cylinder and combusts as a result of the massive compression exerted on it.

Both gasoline and diesel engines can be fine-tuned and modified to increase overall horsepower and efficiency using a variety of methods such as cold-air intakes, super chargers, aftermarket exhaust systems and turbo chargers (we may elaborate on these modifications at a later date).

This is all great to know but the question in the minds of many is which one is better?

The truth is it’s a preference thing.  Just like Coke and Pepsi, McDonalds and Burger King or Ford and Chevy…people like what they like for a number of reasons.

Diesel engines may be more powerful and fuel efficient but they tend to be more expensive to buy and maintain.  The cost of fuel is also significantly higher.  Diesel engines do not emit nearly as much carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide as their gas guzzling buddies and in the age of the global warming and ozone deterioration these are things worth considering.

Whichever you prefer, both are excellent sources of the kind of power you need when  you decide to hitch-up and hit the road.  Now when it comes to what frame, body and manufacturer you choose…that’s something we’d rather not get into as the Ford, Chevy and Dodge lovers of the world tend to get a little heated in that debate.  Not to mention the slew of other auto-makers that have thrown their lot into the ring of contention (Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Hummer, etc.).

We hope that you found this article helpful or at the very least interesting.  Though we do not dabble in engine repair, we pretty much do everything else here at Phoenix Coach Works and if your ‘everything else’ needs a little attention please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sprinting Into History

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

History must wait for another day.  On June 8th, owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neal announced that the chestnut colt they call I’ll Have Another would not be running the Belmont Stakes due to a swollen left tendon.  In fact, the heavy favorite and winner of both the Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby was retired from racing entirely the day before he would sprint for history.

With history and sprinting on the mind, perhaps this is the perfect opportunity to disclose and discuss the Phoenix Sprinter Two-Horse Euro-Van.  Only recently introduced to our line-up, this two horse van is not only compact, fuel-efficient and stylish but also has in interesting history that aligns perfectly with the standard of quality that we hold dear at Phoenix Coach Works.

The Mercedes Benz 3500 series chassis is the product of innovative evolution dating back to 1896 when Gottlieb Daimler created the first truck.  That same year, another German engineer named Karl Benz created the first van which he dubbed a “combination delivery vehicle.”

To make a long story short, in 1926 the two merged to form Daimler-Benz AG and began producing commercial vans, trucks and busses under the name Mercedes Benz.  Add to that the corporate purchase of the U.S. based Freightliner Corporation in 1981 and you end up with the Sprinter Van chassis introduced in 1995.

The modern Mercedes Benz 3500 series Sprinter Chassis is available in 144” and 170” wheelbase models and comes complete with:

–          2,987cc 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine that delivers 188hp at 3,800 rpm and 325lb-ft torque between 1,400-2,400 rpm.

–          Rear-wheel driven 5-speed automatic transmission.

–          Rack and pinion steering for increased responsiveness, control and maneuverability.

–          Independent front suspension with reinforced leaf springs.

–          4-wheel disc brakes.

–          Streamline cabin that comfortably fits 3 people.

Using this chassis as a foundation, we take the reins and finish the job by constructing a spacious cabin with a 10’x7’ rear-facing two-horse stall, a spacious 3’x7’ tack area, 6’ spring assisted side ramp, four 24”x30” drop down windows and two 24”x30” slide windows.

With a total length of approximately 22’, the van has a turning diameter just under 55’ and in the case that you plan to haul additional cargo, this unit comes equipped with a hitch to pull a trailer.

Keep in mind that as with all our creations, you always have the option to customize your Phoenix Two Horse Van.

If you have any questions at all regarding any of our services or products (toy haulers, 4 horse trailers, 6 horse trailers, Phoenix Sprinter 2 Horse Van or enclosed trailers) please feel free to contact our team to schedule a consultation.  We look forward to speaking with you.

The Thoroughbred

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

If you’re a frequent visitor to this site or follow our blog regularly, you are well aware that we offer a variety of services ranging from trailer accessory installation to custom-designed trailer construction.  In recent weeks we have discussed at length many of the designs we offer such as the Phoenix Sprinter 2-horse van and reminded trailer owners about many of the MUSTs that accompany towing a trailer including insurance and proper maintenance/inspection techniques.

Although we take our business here at Phoenix Coach Works very seriously, sometimes we like to embrace the opportunity to lighten up and have some fun.  As many of our clients are horse-lovers we thought it would be fun to discuss one of the world’s most prestigious events: the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing.

The Triple Crown is awarded to the horse and jockey that win the three most prestigious events in the sport; the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.  There has not been a Triple Crown winner since 1978 when Steve Cauthen rode to victory atop Affirmed, a three year old colt owned by Harbor View Farm and trained by Lazarro S. Barrera.  With the Kentucky Derby scheduled on May 5th, the Preakness on May 19th and the Belmont Stakes on June 9th, the tension is beginning to rise as the world’s finest competitors race toward greatness.  That said let’s take a look at what makes thoroughbred racing such a fascinating sport: the athlete.

It may come as a surprise to learn that the thoroughbred breed is only 300 years old.  Around the beginning of the 18th century, three stallions known for their speed, courage and agility were brought from the orient to England where they mated with large English mares.  These three horses, the Darley Barb, the Byerly Turk and the Godolphin Arabian, are known as the foundation sires and all thoroughbred bloodlines can be traced back to at least one.

In combining these breeds the result was a large, powerful animal with light bones literally born to race.  Thoroughbreds also have two unique characteristics that make them particularly suited for lengthy, high speed sprints.

Their long necks move in unison with their front legs, propelling them forward as their hind legs spring in a straight line, further enhancing the efficiency of each stride.  The average stride length of a thoroughbred horse is more than 20 feet and they are capable of taking 150 strides per minute reaching speeds of 40mph.

The ability to endure such speeds throughout a race is due to an extremely efficient oxygen delivery system.  Breathing only through their nose, thoroughbreds inhale while extended and exhale when their legs come together, similar to a bellows.  Their large heart circulates 75 gallons of blood per minute and their spleen increases red blood cell production from 35 to 65 percent to provide ample oxygen during races.

We could spend another 400 words elaborating on how thoroughbred bloodlines are tracked, the rules of the Jockey Club regarding the qualifications of an animal and the capacious industry that has grown from the loins of the three foundation sires but at this point we will bring it full circle and part ways on a professional note.

If you happen to be or know someone who is involved in thoroughbred racing, let Phoenix Coach Works help to safely and efficiently transport your valued animals.  From independent race teams who need 4 and 6 horse trailers to commercial haulers that desire an 8, 9 or 15 horse trailer and everything in between, Phoenix Coach Works has a design that will work for you.

If you’re not really into horses but find yourself still reading, leave a message or pick up the phone and let us know how we can help you build or repair your motorcycle trailer, car trailer or toy hauler.

Let Phoenix Coach Works make your new or old trailer move like a thoroughbred…unique and efficient.

To Our Customers

Monday, March 12th, 2012

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

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

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

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

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

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

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

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

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.

3 More Perks to the New Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Last week was the first time Phoenix Coach Works Inc. introduced our newest addition, the Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van. With impressive design and a Mercedes Benz engine guiding you on, this two-horse van offers the best modern solution for your horse transport needs. If the specs alone aren’t enough, here are three more perks to consider:

Saves You Money

The 3500 Mercedes chassis–along with the aerodynamic van body–will get you 16-17 mpg. Compared to 11-12 mpg with a pickup truck pulling a trailer, this benefit will add up to big annual fuel savings–not to mention the savings in maintaining one vehicle instead of two.

Eco-Friendly

The Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van is also better for the environment than many horse vans because it utilizes the most modern Mercedes Benz engine technology, with additional eco-conscious considerations to the smallest detail. Furthermore, Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van’s body materials have been recycled and are recyclable.

Safety and Convenience

Here are some safety details that come standard with the Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van:
• Safety gates make loading horses quick, easy and secure
• Steady loading ramps and fold-out steps facilitate entry
• Adjustable partition and quick-release breast-bar ensure ease of use
• The interior is fully lined in aluminum and insulated for horse comfort

Introducing the Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

We’re extremely excited to introduce the latest addition to our complete line of trailers, vans and RVs. Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van is a premier two-horse van built on a 3500 Mercedes chassis. It’s compact, fuel-efficient and stylish—but big enough to do the job. Thoughtful touches that account for your comfort in every detail—from added storage to space flexibility and safety features—make this horse van an ideal choice for your transport needs.

With its 3.0 turbocharged diesel engine delivering 188 hp to its five-speed automatic transmission, the Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van can comfortably haul two rear-facing horses. And should you need to haul a few more, it’s equipped with a hitch to pull a trailer.

And of course horses aren’t your only cargo. The cabin is a streamlined space that can comfortably fit 3 people. There are many ways to tailor both sections of the rear space to suit your preferences and needs for each and every time you use it.

Here are some specs for your consideration:
• With a total length of just under 22’, the van can turn a circle in under 55’—making it extremely maneuverable and easy to drive
• The horse section is a roomy 10’5” in length and 84” in width with an interior height of 8’
• Loading is by a large 6’ wide, spring-assisted side ramp
• The van sports four 24×30” drop-down windows in the horse area and two 24×30” slide windows in the tack area
• The rear tack room is 36x 84” and a walk-through door allows access to the horse section

But that’s not all we have to say about the new Phoenix 2 horse Euro-Van. Next week, learn about three more key features that we haven’t even mentioned yet.