Posts Tagged ‘Horse Vans’

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.

A Rose Is A Rose Is a Rose

Monday, March 26th, 2012

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.

Horse Trailer Security

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

Not only is it a significant expenditure to buy your horse van or trailer itself, but most of the time, it’s full of valuable tools and equipment you need for your horses, shows and transport. Good people like you aren’t the only ones aware of the worth of a horse trailer and its contents—there’s unfortunately a large market for theft targeting this type of vehicle. That’s why insurance and other forms of protection are so vital to horse trailer ownership.

Security System

Naturally, the first thing that comes to mind is installing a security system. There are many types out there for rigging your doors and windows, and a little research will go a long way when it comes to tailoring one specifically to your rig. From a simple auto-lock mechanism to an alarm to a GPS tracking system, there’s an option at every price point. Just remember, any additional security you add is going to pay for itself in peace of mind.

Locks and Bolts

You’ll also want especially strong locks on all of your doors—whether for people or horses. A thief with a simple lock-picking toolkit could make your life very difficult if you don’t start out with locks that deter thieves from even trying to break into your horse trailer. Compared to a security system, this may be a cheaper way to wisely protect your horse trailer while it’s parked on a lot and you may be too far to hear a siren (unless you’ve installed an alarm that also automatically notifies authorities, which may be wise if you’re often away from your trailer chock full of valuables). At Phoenix Coach Works, we always install high quality, theft deterrent locks on all of our horse vans and trailers. If you have a used horse trailer that needs an upgrade on its lock and bolting system, bring it by and we can help you install one.

Insurance

Phoenix Coach Works Inc. likes to think that our clients are smart enough to protect their investments with the proper vehicle insurance. But that being said, how covered are you really? Let this serve as a friendly reminder to review your policy and be sure you’ve got the coverage you need for your trailer on the road and parked in storage–for the vehicle itself and for the items inside. Is towing covered? What about natural weather damage? Stay safe and stay smart by reviewing and updating your existing insurance.

Next week, we’ll talk more about horse trailer insurance. In upcoming weeks, look for articles about other interesting and clever security ideas at varying price points. As always, feel free to call us or drop by to discuss the best protection for your horse trailer.

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

Why Go Custom When It Comes To Trailers?

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Phoenix Coach Works Inc. is a custom manufacturer of horse trailers, horse vans, toy haulers, and enclosed trailers. A lot of people hear the word “custom” and think “expensive” but that could not be farther from the truth. Here is what custom trailer manufacturing means to us at PCW:

  1. No two customers have the exact same needs and budget. By building our trailers custom we can create the perfect product to fit your needs.
  2. We are not mass producing cookie cutter trailers. Every custom trailer we build is a unique piece of quality construction that nobody else will have.  Since our trailers are so long lasting (90% of them are still on the road today after 25 years in business), we thought you would want to have a unique trailer you can call your own.
  3. If you already have a truck chassis we can build your new trailer or van to fit it.
  4. We offer full service repairs for your trucks and trailers so if you don’t need a new trailer yet and just want to repair your old one, we can help you out with RV painting, fabricating, upgrading, and much more. No repair job is too big or too small!

If you are in need of a new trailer or any type of trailer repair services, give us a call, we are happy to have your business and will treat you like family. At Phoenix Coach Works we want to be the partner that you turn to for all things trailer related, which is why we custom manufacture our products…to provide the ultimate flexibility and service for your needs.

Horse Head Safety

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

At Phoenix Coach Works, we put a lot of thought into creating the perfect trailer for your every need. After 25 years in the business, we have seen it all, and know the safety features you want and need to make your life easier. One of the safety features that come standard on all of our horse trailers and horse vans protects the safety of your horse’s head during the loading process, a vitally important feature.

Leading a horse into a horse trailer is not always the easiest process. Of course they are reluctant to be led into a small metal stall that inhibits them from moving around as they please (even if it is a Phoenix Coach Works quality constructed stall made of strong light weight aluminum). As the horse is being loaded chances are they can rear up at the wrong time and smack their head against the roof of the horse trailer causing cuts and injury.

That is why at Phoenix Coach Works we build our roofs to be flexible so that it will bend around the horse’s head, should they come in contact. Styrofoam insulation between the interior and exterior roofs absorbs any impact which should happen, protecting your horse and your horse trailer. This safety feature is so important that it comes standard in every horse trailer we build. We have been including this feature for so long, we often forget to mention it!

For the ultimate in safety and quality construction, call us about a custom horse trailer or van today. We are happy to help you determine the features and options that are the best fit for your needs and budget.

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.