Horse Transporting Business Entrepreneur? Things To Consider When Choosing A Truck
If your dream is to start or expand a horse transporting business, you'll need to carefully consider the primary workhorse for your business—the truck. This is a prime example of when size matters, because it can make a huge difference in how well your horse transporting business does.
You're probably going back and forth between a large pickup and a semi truck. This is the biggest decision you'll have as a horse transporting business owner. On one hand, you could go too big and lose money. On the other hand, you could go too small and have to turn down business. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a suitable truck.
Important Things to Consider When Choosing a Truck
As you know, a dually is a pickup truck that has double wheels on the back, such as the Ford F-350. The double wheels allow for greater stability and power on the road, especially when it comes to hauling large horse trailers. These features and benefits, however, increase the weight of the truck. In fact, a dually Ford F-350 has a maximum payload of as much as 7,630 pounds.
The weight of a horse trailer can range anywhere from 2,400 to 6,300 pounds. That puts the GCVWR (gross combined vehicle weight rating) to close to—or over—10,001 pounds, which is magic number that means you would need to follow FMCSR (federal motor carrier safety regulations). And since horses weigh 1,100 on average, a fully loaded 4-horse trailer could easily weigh over 10,000 pounds alone. But you also have to consider the weight of the feed, water, hay, bedding, and on and on.
The horses and materials in a 4-horse trailer could quickly outweigh the towing capacity of a dually or large pickup truck. Of course, if you are just starting out as a horse transporter, a used heavy duty diesel truck may give you enough horse power to haul a fully loaded mid-sized horse trailer. If possible, it may be better to start off with a bang right out of the gate by getting a larger trailer and a semi truck. That way, the trailer will have enough stalls to pick up horses along the various routes as you transport horses to and from different locations.
Another huge factor to consider before choosing what size to get is where you will be driving. If you will be crossing the continental divide regularly, you'll want to get a truck with a lot of horsepower so it will be able to safely haul a trailer loaded with horses up the mountainous roads. Of course, what goes up must come down, so it's a good idea to consider getting a truck that has air brakes. That way, you'll be able to control the speed of the truck as it descends.
Licensing & Documentation Requirements
Obviously, you'll need to get a commercial driver's license and follow federal safety regulations if you buy a semi or a diesel truck. The towing vehicle and the trailer will both need to be assigned numbers by the Department of Transportation. This means that you will need to keep accurate records of every aspect of your trips, including the amount of sleep you get, the time length of each of your breaks, and the weight of your truck and trailer at all times.
You'll need to take a close look at motor carrier, licensing laws, and livestock transport regulations, which largely depends on your home state. Each of the horses will need to have various forms and documentation, such as a negative Coggins report and a current ICVI (interstate certificate of veterinary inspection). Check out a dealership like Arrow Truck Sales to see your options for a truck to transport horses.