Posts Tagged ‘2 horse van’

Creating Works of Art

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Not long ago, we decided to have a little fun with our blog by sharing a few little-known facts about the history of thoroughbred horses in light of the Kentucky Derby.  As it turns out, the 2012 race for the Triple Crown has been one for the history books as a 3-year old colt named I’ll Have Another and 25-yeard old jockey Mario Gutierrez  prepare for the Belmont Stakes having won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.  If they finish first on June 9th they will become the 12th team in history to win the Triple Crown and the first in 34 years.

Horse-racing updates aside, we would again like to delve into the archives and provide a little insight into something that we at Phoenix Coach Works know very well.

Whether we are building a new 2 horse van or 4 horse trailer or repairing and remodeling an existing trailer into let’s say…an enclosed toy hauler RV, it’s safe to say with over 60 years of combined experience among our staff, we know a thing or two about bonding, fastening and repairing metal.

While there are many ways that metals can be bonded, fastened and repaired (such as riveting, brazing and soldering) one such method reigns supreme…welding.  Knowing how to weld both properly and safely can provide job security in any market not to mention produce quality products and services to those in need.

A lot of people know how to weld and a lot of people do it well.  But what most people DON’T know…is how welding works and the history behind its succession.  For that reason, we would like to offer this brief expose on welding.

To fully understand why welding reigns supreme, we need to understand all methods of bonding metal.  Riveting is merely joining two pieces of metal by pressing fasteners into holes drilled through both while brazing and soldering introduce a bonding agent with a lower melting point that acts as an adhesive between the bonded surfaces.  Welding on the other hand, is the physical bonding of two pieces of metal ultimately creating a solid seam.

The origins of welding are found as far back as the Bronze Age when metal would be forged using heat and pressure.  Forge welding occurs when a blacksmith heats two pieces of metal just shy of melting and pounds them together using a hammer and anvil.  Forge welding has many limitations in that only soft metals can be forged and the process is very labor intensive.  Fortunately this ancient technique has not gone the way of the dinosaur as it is still used in places without electricity.

Forge welding dominated for hundreds of years before the tools for simpler yet stronger welding techniques were put into place thanks to the industrial revolution.  Using electricity, welders discovered they could bind metals much more efficiently using less physical exertion.  This technique became known as arc welding.

Using electricity to alter metallic properties and more easily bond metals has allowed for stronger fusions and more precise techniques.  As welding has evolved a great deal beyond the forge technique of the past and even the arc method of today, welders can now work in extreme conditions including underwater and outer space.  Modern welding methods include MIG, TIG, resistance, electron beam and plasma welding and are explained in detail using diagrams on WeldingEngineer.com.

As always this presentation would not be complete without a safety reminder.

While welding may be interesting and even cool it can also be dangerous and is most definitely hot (welding generates temperatures up to 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit/5,538 degrees Celsius).  A welder should always wear heat resistant gloves and a protective welding mask.  Proper ventilation is also important as welders may be exposed to harmful substances such as lead, mercury and carbon monoxide.  If ever you are near a person welding, resist the urge to watch without proper protection.  Watching a weld without protection can result in what’s known as arc eye, a painful inflammation of the cornea that feels like you have sand in your eye.

As with any topic, there is much more to learn if you wish to do so.  Welding is an important part of most industrial jobs and is something we use every day at Phoenix Coach Works.  In our opinion good welding is important but great welding is an art.  Here at Phoenix we approach every job, whether it’s a custom build or a simple repair, as our canvas and we are the Van Goghs, Rembrandts, Picassos and Michelangelos of our industry.

So if you notice some rust on the fenders, a crack in the frame or any type of damage to the structure of your trailer or vehicle, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and we will safety and efficiently get you back on the road.

We take absolute pride in everything we do and treat every job as if it’s a precious piece of art.  If we didn’t, we’d be out of work and you’d be out of luck.

Phoenix Coach Works: Rebirth and Renewal

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Upon reading our blog, discovering our services and contacting our office for consultation you may find yourself wondering how we came to be known as Phoenix Coach Works.

Our name is a tribute to Phoenixville Pennsylvania, an old steel-mill town 35 miles northwest of Philadelphia where we began our company 28 years ago.  Though we have since moved to our current location in Pottstown, Pa, the name Phoenix Coach Works still  conveys relevance to the type of services we provide.

A Phoenix is a mythological bird with vibrant plumage and a tail of gold.  Every 500 years the Phoenix builds a nest where it wildly bursts into flames and crumbles to ash.  From these ashes a new Phoenix will emerge to soar the heavens for another 500 years.  Due to its perpetual life-cycle, the Phoenix has come to represent immortality, rebirth and renewal.

That is precisely what Phoenix Coach Works provides for our customers.  We build our custom trailers using the highest quality standards and perform a variety of other services that will renew your vessel.  Our sole purpose in business is to ensure that the trailers we build and service remain on the road for years to come.

Tow-vehicles can really take a beating while on the road so if you currently own a 4-horse trailer, 2-horse van, utility trailer or toy hauler that is need of repair or restoration, let Phoenix Coach Works immortalize your rig.  And while your unit is being pampered by our experienced staff, make it a true Phoenix with a custom design.

Just storm your brain and create a wish-list for your trailer.  Anything you’ve ever dreamt would make towing and traveling easier, just let us know and we can help resolve your concerns.  If safety is your top priority, you’ve come to the right place.  Our staff has over 60 combined years of experience in the industry and if there’s something to raise a brow about, we’ve probably seen it before.

Regardless of your needs, Phoenix Coach Works has the ability to satisfy them.  We have been going strong now for 28 years and look forward to 28 more.  Even in the face of a depressed economy we will thrive and continue to provide the highest standard of quality service available in the industry.

So if you’re looking to purchase a new 2-horse van, toy hauler or enclosed trailer or simply need repair work to bring your existing trailer back into operating condition, please contact Phoenix Coach Works and schedule a consultation.

We do what we do so you can do what you love.

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.

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.

A Better Trailer Configuration for Horse Shows

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Transporting horses to shows can add up to become an expensive endeavor. Horse trailers with living quarters will cost you approximately $40-50K. These trailers often end up being 30-40 feet long and are quite heavy to pull so you will also need to invest in a pickup that can tow this load which is going to cost you another $50K.

Instead of spending $100K on a truck and a trailer and then having no place to get out of the sun, you can buy a 2 horse van, also known as a horsebox, which can then tow a living quarter trailer with all of the conveniences of home behind it for a lot less. This configuration has a lot of advantages to the more traditional truck and trailer. Our new 2 horse van is only as long as a pickup truck and has the same towing capacity so you can easily tow an enclosed trailer with living quarters and have a place to store an alternate method of transportation such as a golf cart for use while at the show.

At Phoenix Coach Works all of our horse vans and enclosed trailers are completely customizable so we can build the best configuration to suit your needs. Just tell us what you want and we can make it happen!

It is a good time to save money and make sound financial investments. If you are looking to decrease your horse transportation expenses while increasing your comfort level, Phoenix Coach Works can help.