Whew a huge step is now completed in my journey to getting to Washington! What is this step you ask? Why the vet visits of course! Jack and Cash both got their health certificates and Coggins and Koda has her health cert and shots all up to date!
My truck and trailer have been thoroughly gone through to ensure that nothing is wrong with them so unless we get a blown tire it should be smoothing sailing!(knock on wood!) What are some of the things I check for?
- The Floor!!!!!! The number one thing I always check is my floor! No one wants a horse to fall through a floor on a trailer. It’s a devistating and very avoidable accident. Since most floors are made out of wood and usually covered with mats its easy for the wood to begin to decay with all the urine and feces that end up under the mats. Trailer flooring can need replacing from just wear and tear from use or from the elements if it’s been sitting a while. If you’re not sure what your looking at you can get most trailer shops to check the floor and most things out in a trailer!
- Brakes! This really should be another #1. I actually just had to change my brake system. Thankfully it started malfunctioning this week before I was on the road! Have your brake system and wiring checked out. While you can drive a trailer without brakes it really is nerve wracking not being able to stop realitivly fast especially when going through a city plus it puts some major wear on your truck brakes
- Ball Hitch! ok Really these probably shouldn’t be numered because this is HUGE! Double, Tripple, and Quadruple check that your ball hitch, weather bumper or goose neck, is the right size for your trailer! Even if the hitch is a fraction too small say a 2 1/3″ instead of 2 1/2 inch the possibility of your trailer popping of your hitch is very high! Not only will it cause immense damage to your truck (especially if its a goose hitch) and trailer it is also putting the welfare of your horses at risk. Spend the money for the right hitch. It will save heartache and headache later!
- Trailer lights. This is mandatory should you wish to drive anywhere. Without trailer lights you will most likely be pulled over quickly by the police, not to mention should you get stuck driving at night your chances of getting hit are really high if your trailer lights aren’t working.
- Bearings. Having the bearings checked/greased is a good idea. I’m not a mechanic so I can’t tell you exactly what they do but they are an integral part of your hub/axel and when you blow them it’s expensive and will be one bumpy ride for your horses until you get them fixed.
- All Trailer connections: Where ever your trailer connects for your brakes and lights, have the connection checked incase it’s loose and rusting. You’ll notice if your lights on your trailer keep going on and off. If theres a lot of corrosion you might want to consider cleaning it or changing out the plug for a new one.
- Ball Hitch. Again check to ensure the ball hitch is the right size but also check the pins and assembly that hold the hitch onto your truck. You don’t want your trailer coming unhitched because the pins broke!
- Oils/fluids: Check all oils and fluids in the truck. You don’t want your truck over heating because coolant was low or your engine seizing because you had an unknown oil leak! I always carry some extra engine oil in case a leak develops or my truck just starts burning it. Check the oil every morning when hauling! And look under your truck to see if there is any oil/fluid leaks from when you parked it the night before.
- Get any transmission or engine issues or troubles checked out! The last thing you want is your transmission going out half way to where ever your going! Have a mechanic do an inspection on your truck just to nip any issues in the bud. It’s easier on the pocket book and just helps manage any issues that might be occurring.
I’m sure there is probably some things I have missed but these are the major ones that I always want checked when I’m hauling long distance! It’s a very good idea to have all these systems check regularly regardless of how far you are going just for peace of mind and for the safety of our beasties!
Well now the daunting job of packing up and loading all my stuff is upon me! The days are dwindling down until my date to head out arrives! Talk about exciting and sad all at the same time. I get used to hanging around my parents ranch! *sigh* Better go find my boots! Might have to ride the boys before I go fight the dust bunnies!