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Wonderful tack roomers - thoughts on 3.5 - 4.5t lorries

(21 Posts)
mrslaughan Mon 04-Apr-16 10:44:19

I am starting to think about transport - For my horse 17.1 quite chunky warmblood, probable;y about 750 kg - and my sons pony - 13.2., though we probably wouldn't be going to shows together, but may take "friends" and/or"yard mates"

I am trying to decide what is best....I actually have access to a trailer and have a towing vehicle , but I wouldn't tow my horse, and would worry about my sons pony being thrown around......actually the biggest thing is , that I just hate the thought of towing and backing.

I have just come into some money so could afford a little lorry - I could also go for a 7.5 t , but think this is way beyond what we need at present, and someone made the point, you don't "nip" anywhere in a 7.5T.

I have had a good look at a equi-trek, but they seem expensive - are they worth it? Has anyone on here done the research and what were your conclusions?
Do you have a 3.5/4. or actually 4.5t, and what do you think?
What other brands should I look at? Key things to be aware of?
Thanks in advance for any help - even if its just raising things to think about - like what sort of construction do you think is best? rear or front facing? (the team that run the yard we are at, have differences of opinions about this, so are no help!)

Butkin Mon 04-Apr-16 11:46:46

We're going to be upgrading out 6.5 ton 2 stall lorry to a 7.5 ton soon - if we can find one (seems impossible to buy a second hand good one even though we have the money).

I like 3.5 ton ones but remember how easily they can go overweight. You also have to consider side ramp versus back ramp. we're a side one and never again - always getting blocked in at shows..

I'd recommend that you think about the quality of the chassis. Ours is an Iveco (Ford) and wouldn't recommend them. Although as in all things you only get what you pay for..

I'm also not keen on rear facing. I'd rather go for herring bone or, as per our current lorry, forward facing.

mrslaughan Mon 04-Apr-16 13:28:20

Oh butkin - thanks for your response.
The reason I am not focusing on a 7.5t is that it's just so much more than we need.
I do take you point about weight - I am shocked the number of adds that don't discuss payload..... I am guessing I need about 2t - do you think that's about right?
I don't compete that much myself - that may change but I don't think so.......for a couple of years at least. The truck will be to mostly ferry ds to pony club and little shows - we won't travel great distances.
I did look at the 6.5 t that I saw this morning and thought they looked great - but thought that they are probably a little too much for right now.
Good point about the side loading.

frostyfingers Tue 05-Apr-16 11:32:27

Have a look on the Horse and Hound forum, there's a towing/horsebox expert there who will guide you, especially on the technical side.

I have a 7.5 ton and usually travel only one horse. This might seem like a luxury, however after lots of research was the only sensible option. The smaller lorries are often more expensive as they can be driven on a car license (I'm old enough to be able to drive a 7.5t on my existing licence). A lot of the 3.5 will say "takes two" - yes they can fit two, but generally can't legally carry I really would suggest you look at 6.5 upwards, after all your son will grow and need a bigger pony/horse at some point I expect.

When going solo my horse travels loose (he stands herringbone) and it's stalled herringbone which seems to suit - my previous horse was terrible on a trailer but practically self loaded onto the lorry.

We found a dealer (Central England Horseboxes) who had lots of different sizes and spent a couple of hours there poking around and then driving a few - we also wandered around lorry parks at events and asked lots of questions. We bought locally but had it serviced before purchase and the vendor had all the service paperwork which was pretty good for a V reg. It's a Leyland DAF 45 and so far has been great.

mrslaughan Tue 05-Apr-16 15:06:18

thanks for that frosty.
After doing more research last night , I think I am going to focus on a 7.5t ....... I haven't found any 3.5 or 4.5t that could carry my horse and the schoolmaster I ride (he's 16.2)legally. Who knows if I would ever want too, but as you say the 3.5 to 4.5 are so much more expensive.

and as for the worry about "nipping" out in a 7.5 - you don't really nip anywhere with horses anyway.

I too can drive a 7.5t without an extra licence.

I will look into your dealer too.

frostyfingers Tue 05-Apr-16 15:58:41

No problem -- we didn't buy off Central England as they were too expensive - but only went as they had a good selection (they didn't know that though!). I'm sure there are lots of other places to look around. Ours came off Dragon Driving, locally to us which was the main attraction.

I'd never driven a lorry of any size before and once I'd got over the fear of going more than about 30mph have found it fine (it's all the other drivers who are the problem!) - certainly easier to manouevre than a trailer - the only issue is parking if the ground is soft. I hunt so every meet I have to get there early in order to nab a spot on hard standing/concrete!

PM me if you want more handy hints on what to look out for - there are a few things I'd do differently were I to buy again.

Butkin Tue 05-Apr-16 16:56:09

We are scouring all websites continually and may also go to some dealers. We're looking for a 7.5T that takes 3 (amazing how some only partitioned for 2) with rear ramp and a nice - not OTT - day living. One of the biggest problems is if they charge VAT and that can easily add about 8,000 pounds to the cost so we're hoping to buy privately.

We're ideally looking for one that is 52 plate or more recent. We'll be selling our 2 stall 53 plate box with nice living but only when we've found something we want to (can afford to!) buy...

muddiboots Fri 08-Apr-16 23:22:41

I have a 5t stalled for two plus living. It has about 2 t payload. Just small enough that you can sort of nip out !
Even if you buy a 7.5t make sure you see a weighbridge certificate, so many are overweight even with one big horse. A friend had a massive one, stalled for three with a payload of 800 kg !

mrslaughan Sat 09-Apr-16 10:45:55

Muddy boots - what "brand" is your Lorry? It sounds just the sort of thing I would be looking for? Or did you get it made your self?
What chassis is it on?

thetemptationofchocolate Fri 15-Apr-16 11:47:30

I had a 7.5 ton lorry which was 22 feet long from nose to tail. It was small, but the payload was huge - over 3 tons!
I loved that lorry and so did my ponies but I had to sell it as I couldn't afford to run it any more.
If I ever got another horse lorry I'd not buy a 3.5 ton, the ride is so much better for your horses in a more substantial vehicle.

mrslaughan Sat 16-Apr-16 08:32:43

The ride quality is impt for me - my girl is big and throws her weight around in the Lorry - you feel her moving the 7.5 t Lorry she goes out in at the moment - I would never take her in a trailer.

Booboostwo Sat 16-Apr-16 20:55:42

I think he payload depends very much on the quality of the conversion. On a good 3.5t you may get as much as 1.2t payload but that wouldn't be any good for you. A good 5.2t conversion could give you a 2t payload and you have the added advantage of having the living between the cab and the horses - some dodgy 3.5t conversions do not have a partition bulkhead good enough to prevent a horse coming through to the cab in case of an accident.

Booboostwo Sat 16-Apr-16 20:56:46

Sorry just to add, with some 7.5t conversions a huge amount of space is taken up by the living which you may not need while the horse area is stalled for 2 herringbone with a very steep ramp.

muddiboots Mon 25-Apr-16 23:08:04

Mrslaughan, sorry missed your question. I had it made by a guy in Cambridgeshire. I had seen some he advertised and contacted him. He finds a chassis, often ex John Lewis vans, and builds on that. Advantage is you can pretty much design it yourself. So mine has a shorter horse bit ( we only have ponies) and a bigger living with full fridge, oven, hob etc as we frequently use it for weekend events, staying away two nights or more. I'd say it's not the best build quality, though it looks lovely. Mechanically it is very sound, has never let me down and we do very long distances regularly, plus it was thousands and thousands cheaper than the "names"

mrslaughan Tue 26-Apr-16 07:30:34

Could you pm me his name? He can't be too far from me. - or if your happy too, just post his name on here. Cheers Ursh

mrslaughan Tue 26-Apr-16 07:32:37

Could you pm me his name? He can't be too far from me. - or if your happy too, just post his name on here. Cheers Ursh

Butkin Tue 26-Apr-16 11:07:02

Muddi - was your box built anywhere near Oundle?

muddiboots Wed 27-Apr-16 07:57:36

His name is mark hunt
Will find his email or number and pm you.
He sometimes advertises boxes on h and h

muddiboots Wed 27-Apr-16 07:59:15

That sort of area butkin, I can't remember exactly but def in that vague direction !

Butkin Wed 27-Apr-16 09:51:24

Yes same Muddi.. I expect we have a lot in common.. We'll be selling our blue 6.5 ton version made for us by him (on 53 plate) as soon as we can find a 7.5 ton which seem impossible to buy unless you have 60,000+ to spend.

muddiboots Wed 27-Apr-16 13:42:46

Ha small world
Do random bits of yours fall off occasionally too grin
Dh gets really narky about the build quality but given how much it cost compared to similar versions ( the price of which he had no idea of as I tend to protect him from the general expensiveness of horse related items ! ) I feel it's a price worth paying.
I have also found mark very helpful when I have had problems. Last year one of the gas struts snapped and he talked dh through replacing it and this year I had ramp issues when a local garage managed to double the weight of the ramp while fixing it, again he was really helpful.

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