3.5T horse box safety features and makes

Highland22

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20 May 2019
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Looking for my first 3.5T horsebox. Wanting advice on safety features. Many boxes say emergency exit and have wide back door or double van doors. I am confused about what I should have between the grooms area and the horse area for safety. Some seem to be fixed panels, others with wide door in middle and others have a collapsible breast bar. What would people recommend? What is best for a 14.2 pony to lean on? I do realise that backward facing means they will rely on their rear ends if stop suddenly. My budget is around £12K. Many thanks.
 

ycbm

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It is unsafe to have any back door unless you have a full height partition between the horse and the back door. I have seen the result of a van where the horse attempted to exit via the back door during transit, and heard of other cases


.
 

Highland22

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Thanks ycbm that is helpful. Does an anti jump bar help or weave bars?
Should the full partition have an opening mechanism or door in case of emergencies - so can take horse out back door? Or is this not necessary?
 

ycbm

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I personally wouldn't have any other construction than mine. A full breast bar with quick release fixings and a full wall with a small jockey door in it from the living. Unless you have small horses, you need a long wheelbase van to get that. . The ramp is the only horse access in mine. In the event of a tip-over accident, the Fire and Rescue Service will cut the van open anyway, not try and get the horse out through a door.
 

Highland22

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I personally wouldn't have any other construction than mine. A full breast bar with quick release fixings and a full wall with a small jockey door in it from the living. Unless you have small horses, you need a long wheelbase van to get that. . The ramp is the only horse access in mine. In the event of a tip-over accident, the Fire and Rescue Service will cut the van open anyway, not try and get the horse out through a door.
Thanks. That makes sense and will help me to narrow down my search. The escape route was confusing me. What make do you have?
 

ycbm

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I have a Fiat Ducato. They are still fairly unusual as horse boxes, they usually get snaffled up as bases for motorhomes. I love it. Great engine, great gearing, great fuel economy, low floor pan, good payload.
 

Barlow

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I’ve got a Foxy stallion. It’s got a wide external door on the back and the bit between the horse and grooms area is two full height solid doors. I also have a removable breast bar as my horse doesn’t take up all the room in the partition and it gives him something to lean on if he wants.
 

Highland22

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I have a Fiat Ducato. They are still fairly unusual as horse boxes, they usually get snaffled up as bases for motorhomes. I love it. Great engine, great gearing, great fuel economy, low floor pan, good payload.
I have a Fiat Ducato. They are still fairly unusual as horse boxes, they usually get snaffled up as bases for motorhomes. I love it. Great engine, great gearing, great fuel economy, low floor pan, good payload.
Thanks. I wondered why I had not seen many of those.
 

Highland22

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I’ve got a Foxy stallion. It’s got a wide external door on the back and the bit between the horse and grooms area is two full height solid doors. I also have a removable breast bar as my horse doesn’t take up all the room in the partition and it gives him something to lean on if he wants.
Thanks. Our horse is quite neat so having a removable breast bar too would be good. I like the look of the Foxy Stallion. Just need to find a box now!
 

Toby_Zaphod

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Having viewed numerous 3.5 ton horseboxes I firmly believe that the STX company builds the best, strongest & most workman like box. A horse transport company I know use them & with all the abuse they get they just come back for more. They are expensive but if you view the attached video link below it will give you ideas as to safety features you may want.
 

ycbm

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That box shown in the still before the video starts has exactly the configuration which I have heard of causing accidents. A partition which is low enough for a horse to climb over and direct sight of a back door which it might think it can get through, and can burst open it it decides to climb the partition with it closed. And while that sounds extreme, I've seen a van immediately after a horse did just that while in transit, and I've owned a horse who would certainly have done it.

Those vans look absolutely beautiful and very sturdy. I would wonder about the payload on a 3.5t, though.
 
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I'm another who's seen a horse that went over the partition into the day living area-the horse had previously travelled well in it for months and (luckily?) she went over it just as they arrived at a clinic. Thankfully horse was fine but it took several hours to cut the horse out of it, horse was sedated and must have wrecked the box and the whole incident cost a small fortune-I wouldnt buy nor hire a 3.5t that didnt have a full barrier.
 

Sussexbythesea

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I’ve been looking for awhile and there’s a lot of crap out there and £12000 won’t get you much certainly in the area I live. I had one inspected that looked ok on the outside but it had a rotten floor and the sides potentially wouldn’t have contained the horse in event of a collision or even and emergency stop. It was priced over £10,000.

Another I looked at was built like a tank but it was clear the payload would have been minuscule. Good boxes at the price you are looking at get snapped up quickly, ones that have been around awhile are often not sold for a reason.
 

Highland22

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Thanks everyone for your replies, really interesting. After reading these posts and doing further research I have now increased my budget as safety is the most important thing for me. Now looking for a well built second hand box with the full partition or stallion gates. Any advice on makes? I am in the North of Scotland so will have to travel to get a box. Is there any dealers close to one of the airports Bristol, Luton, Manchester ( would consider driving to the north of England) that have a few to look at - with a good reputation? I am just not going to be quick enough to catch the bargains.
 

ycbm

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Not Regent under any circumstances unless you are a good DIY person. They are cheap, and there's a reason.
 

honetpot

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If you can go and see them in build even if you are buying secondhand.
I like stallion boxes with full opening doors. If your horse is having a paddy once you have loaded it you do not want to be bending down to duck under or duck therough. Protect your head.
I like a rear door at the back, because if there is a problem you do not need to drop the ramp, the last one in has more chance of getting out.
Make sure the ramp is on the opposite side to the driver , so if you need to you are not unloading into traffic.
Hire before you buy, something that looks lovely may be actually be badly designed.
 
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Thanks everyone for your replies, really interesting. After reading these posts and doing further research I have now increased my budget as safety is the most important thing for me. Now looking for a well built second hand box with the full partition or stallion gates. Any advice on makes? I am in the North of Scotland so will have to travel to get a box. Is there any dealers close to one of the airports Bristol, Luton, Manchester ( would consider driving to the north of England) that have a few to look at - with a good reputation? I am just not going to be quick enough to catch the bargains.

The market seems really funny at the moment, some good (and bad) ones go really quickly but if you trawl back through the ads there are quite a few that haven't been sold for a couple of months and that might give you the chance to go and view something that should usually have been snapped up.

Also I found it really helpful to check the MOT history of the vehicles. Some looked great but from the MOTs you wouldn't touch them with a barge pole.
 

Highland22

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The market seems really funny at the moment, some good (and bad) ones go really quickly but if you trawl back through the ads there are quite a few that haven't been sold for a couple of months and that might give you the chance to go and view something that should usually have been snapped up.

Also I found it really helpful to check the MOT history of the vehicles. Some looked great but from the MOTs you wouldn't touch them with a barge pole.
Thanks for that. Yes I am a bit confused about the market too. I think I will look back and ask about a few that may not have been sold. My problem is getting to them. I do like the fact that you can look up the MOT history of vehicles - can be interesting reading.
 

Highland22

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If you can go and see them in build even if you are buying secondhand.
I like stallion boxes with full opening doors. If your horse is having a paddy once you have loaded it you do not want to be bending down to duck under or duck therough. Protect your head.
I like a rear door at the back, because if there is a problem you do not need to drop the ramp, the last one in has more chance of getting out.
Make sure the ramp is on the opposite side to the driver , so if you need to you are not unloading into traffic.
Hire before you buy, something that looks lovely may be actually be badly designed.
Yes - I would like to go somewhere to see them built. Thinking stallion doors are the way to go. Not thought about the side the ramp is on - that would be a nightmare if on the drivers side.
 

Highland22

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Not Regent under any circumstances unless you are a good DIY person. They are cheap, and there's a reason.
Ah - I had thought their prices were very reasonable. Think I will go for a good make but second hand as budget sadly won't stretch.
 

Highland22

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Having viewed numerous 3.5 ton horseboxes I firmly believe that the STX company builds the best, strongest & most workman like box. A horse transport company I know use them & with all the abuse they get they just come back for more. They are expensive but if you view the attached video link below it will give you ideas as to safety features you may want.
They look fab - if only I had the budget. You are right about the safety features on them - just need to find one in my budget:)
 

Seville

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Thorpe horse boxes, every time. They will listen to EXACTLY what you want and give sound advice If you are unsure.
 
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