Posts Tagged ‘horse trailer’

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.

Are You Covered?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

In several past articles we have mentioned the necessary supplies of traveling while pulling a trailer.  From emergency and first aid kits to paperwork and other miscellaneous must-have items, Phoenix Coach Works’ main concern is that our customers and those who visit our site travel safely while still having a great time.

That said, even the most prepared and cautious travelers have been known to have bad experiences.  As the saying goes, “accidents happen,” and we would hate to see you left in the dark if something was ever to happen to you or your trailer.  For this reason we would like to take time this week to discuss trailer-towing regulation and insurance.

Whether you’re traveling to a horse competition, a fox-hunt gathering or a prestigious car show, the most important part of any trip is mapping your quest and preparing for the road ahead.  However, one thing that often goes overlooked while traveling interstate is the variance in towing laws.

Before we discuss these differences, let’s go over a few things that are an absolute must regardless of where you’re headed.  No matter where you travel, you WILL NEED taillights and a light for your license plate.  Though not required in every state the following items are just as important while pulling a horse trailer, toy hauler, custom trailer or recreation vehicle: safety chains, brake lights, clearance lights, turn-signals, reflectors and breakaway brakes.

While many states share similar requirements for people hauling trailers, some states may have different regulations that complicate traveling interstate.

For example, if you’re traveling from Alabama to Mississippi, you could suddenly be exceeding the maximum towing speed without even knowing (towing speed decreases by 10mph), you’re trailer may be too wide (maximum width narrows by 6 inches) and you may find yourself without trailer brakes in a state that requires them.

To avoid any of these mishaps, and the fines and penalties that go with them, be sure to always check the towing laws and regulations of the states you plan to travel through.  Doing so will not only keep you on track by avoiding any holdups, but it will also protect your pocketbook and driving record.

In the case that an accident does occur, you want to be absolutely certain that all damages to your trailer are fully covered when you bring it to Phoenix Coach Works for repair.  When you spend 10’s of thousands of dollars on a 4 horse trailer, you want the security of knowing that it is insured in the event that anything should happen. Enter…trailer insurance.

Just as individual states can complicate traveling with a trailer, auto insurance companies often do the same.  While some companies will cover liability and partial damages for a trailer accident that occurs while on the road, others will leave you to foot the entire bill for repair.  That is why you need to read your policy’s fine print and if you have any questions, call your customer service representative.

If it just so happens that there is limited or no guaranteed coverage for your trailer, it may be time to start looking for trailer insurance.  Even though some companies may cover trailer accidents that occur while towing, this does not protect you from natural disasters such as fire and flood.  Many companies that specialize in RV insurance also provide trailer insurance as well.  Not to mention that many major insurance companies offer additional coverage for trailers. Something else to consider is if something happens to your trailer while it is on your property, it may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance.

Lastly, once you have hashed out your insurance woes regarding your trailer, be sure to find out if any of your insurers have safety standards that must be followed to ensure your insurance.

As always, we hope that you have found this article both helpful and informative.  If you are currently in need of repair, custom construction or a difficult install please feel free to contact Phoenix Coach Works.  You may also contact us if you have any further questions regarding finding and obtaining trailer insurance.

And remember…in a time when it’s difficult to trust and rely on anyone, Phoenix Coach Works is here for you!

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.

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.

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.

Horse Trailer Insurance

Sunday, January 23rd, 2011

Last week, we talked about a few ways to keep your horse trailer safe. But security measures such as sturdy locks and trailer alarms aren’t the only ways to protect your investment. First and foremost, you need to consider buying horse trailer insurance.

Your car insurance provider may already provide coverage plans for your horse trailer. If it does, this will almost always be your most cost-efficient option. If it’s not offered outright, be sure to ask if you get any discounts for insuring multiple vehicles through one provider. If not, you may want to consider switching to an insurer with such benefits.

And once you’re ready to buy, not all plans are the same. You may be able to add extended coverage, such as damage from natural disasters, which are not typically covered in basic plans. You can also choose between options for pricing, such as insuring your horse trailer for the amount you paid for it or the amount it would take to replace it. You may even be able to negotiate a fixed price to cover your horse trailer’s worth.

A few things to look for in a standard plan include coverage for parked or moving trailers, theft, collision, towing, roadside assistance and fire damage. Of course, you also want to be sure your belongings within the trailer are covered—including your most prized possessions, your horses.

Don’t hesitate to ask Phoenix Coach Works, Inc. for advice about how to best buy insurance for your new or refurbished horse trailer.

Horse Trailer Security Cameras

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing ways to keep your horse trailer safe while traveling. This week, we’d like to talk a little more about one of Phoenix Coachwork Inc.’s favorite ways to protect your horses on the go: security cameras.

Security cameras can be hooked up to watch over your horses in the trailer while you focus on the road from the cab. However, you can keep an astute eye on what’s going on behind you by watching a monitor rigged to your dashboard (or a similarly convenient location). This not only allows you to ensure that your horses (or other cargo) are protected, it also provides you with peace of mind when you’re on the road.

Voyager is our brand of choice for monitors and cameras–they’re very reliable, commercial-grade units. Although a variety of options are available at lower price points, we’ve tried out many and realized that Voyager is the best blend of quality and affordability. And though some wireless systems claim to work through the wall of your cab, our testing has revealed that reception is unreliable–and what good is a semi-reliable security system?

We can work with almost any system devised by Voyager, so you can choose which kit best suits your rig. We will then install all of the necessary wiring and equipment on your horse trailer. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just completed a new horse trailer purchase from Phoenix or you’re bringing in your old tried-and-true trailer. Most horse transport vehicles can benefit from a camera security system. Call us for a custom quote for installing security cameras in your horse trailer. If you imagine the total cost of losses of one lost or injured animal or a piece of pricey equipment, it’s easy to see how these cameras pay for themselves. Extra security may also reduce your monthly insurance payments; contact your provider to learn more.

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.

Looking Back at Where We Came From

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It’s the end of 2010, a time for reflection on what’s past and what’s to come. As we think about where we stand today, it’s easy to see that Phoenix Coach Works, Inc. has come a long way from its origins in 1984. But the journey to this place and time paints an accurate portrayal of why Phoenix is now a successful and bustling horse trailer retailer and repair company.

For example, did you know that owner Joe Skupski comes from a family background of trucking—and he even personally owned a company for seven years? His astute attention to detail with Phoenix comes from years of trucking business experience, so you can trust him with the ins and out of financing, paperwork and to hire only the most knowledgeable and trustworthy staff.

But even before that, he started out as a mechanic. He brings this intimate knowledge of how vehicles operate to overseeing the work done on your rigs today. After running his own trucking company, Joe opened a truck repair and paint shop that adapted to include horse transport repairs and restoration—and later became Phoenix Coach Works.

You can find our complete history here and then learn all about the services that are currently expertly offered by Phoenix Coach Works. They’re all part of a result of the company’s background and collective experience. We bring everything we’ve got to the table to ensure the most reliable work on behalf of your valued vehicles.

Looking back at where Joe came from, it’s easy to see how he rose to acquire the success that Phoenix enjoys today. And you can benefit from the fruits of his labors as well when you make a new horse trailer or van purchase from Phoenix or bring any of your needs to Joe and the rest of the friendly crew at Phoenix Coach Works, Inc.—they’re always happy for the chance to show you exactly where they came from and just what they’re made of.

Head South for Florida Winter Quarter Horse Circuit

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

There may be snow on the ground for many Americans in the coming weeks. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to hang up your equestrian gear until spring. This time of year is bustling with events for owners and riders with horses competing in the winter circuit, taking place in sunny Florida. If you’re making the drive south to compete in upcoming activities, you definitely want to travel in safety and style.

First of all, before you take off you’ll want to have your horse trailer thoroughly checked. You’ll want to check your tires, lights, wheel bearings and braking system—among other standard check-ups (gas, oil, license, etc.). This will ensure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible, without any unscheduled road hazards, police checks or side trips to an unknown garage. Phoenix can help you out either starting off to your shows or when you’re about to head home; we offer fast, reliable systems checks to get you on your way with total confidence.

But the security of your travel isn’t the only thing you might want to think about. How about how your horse RV or trailer is looking these days? Has it been washed from top to bottom in awhile? Showing up with a worn-looking horse trailer is no way to kick off your competition season. Start things out right by presenting your champions in their best light: in a freshly cleaned horse trailer. Phoenix offers trailer acid-wash cleaning to get even the worst buildup of grime and dirt off your hitch—so you’ll make an entrance looking your best. On the other hand, traveling for the circuit can also take its toll. If you’re looking to get cleaned up after the fact, we can get your rig in good condition to bring back home.

Please don’t hesitate to ask about our trailer maintenance services and pricing for preparing your horse trailer in terms of both safety and style.