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Horsebox Safety: The Facts

Do you know how heavy your fully loaded horsebox is? Surprisingly, many who transport horses don't - a fact that can unfortunately lead to unnecessary risk to horses, drivers and other road users as well as making the vehicle operation illegal.

Overloading any vehicle puts strain on its mechanics, reduces its stability and can often lead to it behaving unpredictably with steering and brake operation being impaired. If you throw into this mix, the unpredictable and often unstable behaviour of equine passengers, the dangers of overloading the vehicle need to be taken seriously.

Often, stamped weights on a vehicle can be misunderstood - some believing that a 3.5 tonne horsebox can carry this stated weight. The fact is that 3.5 tonne refers to The Gross Weight of the horsebox, which is the total calculated weight of the vehicle when it is un-laden added to the weight of everything loaded into the vehicle, which includes the drive, passengers, horses, tack, water supplies, food and any other items. The total weight can creep up quickly and many horseboxes are often close to the legal weight limit with just

the payload of the horses and a driver on board.

To ascertain the horsebox's un-laden weight, some drivers take their empty vehicle (but with a full tank of fuel) to their nearest weighbridge. Once they have this number, they can then calculate the available weight left over, before the vehicle reaches The Gross Weight.

However, there is a easier, more convenient and less time consuming way to ensure compliance. Vehicle Weighing Solutions has developed a sophisticated, yet simple solution that can be fitted to most types/categories of vehicle, whether the suspension is steel or air. The award-winning VOPS™ 2 vehicle overload protection system is an extremely reliable enclosed measurement system that does not rely on springs or any moving parts. The simple in cab indicator gives the driver accurate loading information when and where it is needed and it displays a percentage of load on front and rear axles, as well as percentage of Gross Vehicle Weight.

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