Coming across a news story about a trailer wreck evokes a horse owner’s worst nightmare. Even though accidents can happen for countless reasons, we would do anything to avoid this scenario from happening in our own lives.
However, we might be unknowingly putting our horses, and ourselves, at risk by using an inadequate tow vehicle for the job, or by not matching a trailer to our tow vehicle correctly. The simple matter is that math always rules, and pairing a tow vehicle with a horse trailer isn’t a casual task. It takes some research, some common sense, a little number crunching, and it’s a bonus if you have an experienced horseman in your court who has driven a million miles. Thankfully, for our readers, we have three.
Before you order that new trailer and truck, purchase those sway bars, or add a hitch to your SUV, see if your numbers add up to what our experts have to say.
What does math have to do with my truck and trailer?
“As I travel the highways, I constantly see mismatched combinations,” explains Phil Harris of Harris Leather and Silverworks. The industry saddlery icon is additionally known for his enthusiasm for big rigs and his experience going down the road. “Drivers feel that if their car or truck has a hitch, then it must be able to pull any size trailer. That’s not true,” he explains. “All pickup trucks with a hitch have a data sticker detailing the weight rating of the truck and the combination of the truck and trailer. This data sticker is usually located in the driver’s door jamb. This lets the driver know how much weight the vehicle can tow with the truck and trailer fully loaded.”
Checking the numbers recommended by the manufacturer is an invaluable practice when doing any type of towing, whether you’re hauling horses, campers, cargo trailers, or boats. According to RV Life, mismatching the tow vehicle to the trailer is a major cause of “sway wrecks,” especially when you add speed, wind, or improper weight distribution.