First time Gooseneck trailer owners
Typical statements and questions from first time Gooseneck trailer owners include:
- I just bought my first Gooseneck trailer, but am somewhat apprehensive about getting started.
- What will it feel like to tow a trailer?
- Will I experience any changes once I add my horse’s weight to the trailer?
- What about adding a second horse?
These are all good questions because most individuals experience a little intimidation upon buying and using their first trailer. In fact, they feel this intimidation indicates a mature concern for not moving too fast or too soon in a new area where it can affect your safety and your horses.
Understanding how to correctly do everything can greatly reduce fear anxiety about traveling for first time Gooseneck trailer owners.
Proper Tow Vehicle
The first thing you want to do is ensure your tow vehicle can safely pull the weight for the following:
- your Gooseneck trailer
- the number of horses you can place in your trailer
The size of your horses as well as the number of horses you are towing can affect the weight. This is something that requires consideration before selecting and purchasing your trailer.
Once you have the proper vehicle and trailer for your intended load, the next thing to do is to connect your trailer. Make sure you do the following:
- Connect the trailer properly
- Secure the hitch
- Raise the jack leg
- Attach the safety chains
- Make sure to attach the electrical cable
- Attach the breakaway brake
Test Turning and Brakes at Slow Speed
Now, you can drive your rig slowly down the road while experiencing how your tow vehicle responds differently with the trailer in tow. You can try gentle and somewhat sharper turns in both directions, but don’t take any really sharp turns. Turns should be wider than when driving without a trailer attached. Next, apply the brakes. Do it gently, intermediately and try even some harder braking — still while at a slow speed. You will realize quickly that you’ll be safest when making gentle turns and gentle stops. This is especially true for your horse. You don’t want to be stressing your horse’s legs and throwing him into the front or side wall as a result.
The best way to reduce stresses on a horse and towing rig is not to drive too fast. Going faster requires much longer turns and stopping distances. Also, you never want to run out of space you need to turn or stop.
Speed Up and Re-Test
As you get more comfortable with driving with your trailer, try speeding up, as well as turning and stopping again. However, avoid sharp turns and hard stops, as these can become dangerous as your speed increases. Once you’re comfortable, then you can load your horse and drive slowly. Gradually increase the speeds you will usually want to go. Typically, that’s not going to exceed 45-50 MPH. Risk of injury or worse increases quickly for you and your horse as you increase speed above that range.
You will notice that each increase in weight reduces the response of your tow vehicle. In addition, it increases the time it takes to respond. If you are uncomfortable with the handling of your rig, talk to your trailer dealer about the possibility of a weight distribution system with your vehicle and trailer. A weight distribution system can benefit you in the following ways:
- significantly improve handling
- even out bumps
- reduce the effect of wind
- keep your entire ride more level
These are just a few tips for first time Gooseneck trailer owners. Contact Gooseneck Trailers with the link below for more information!