Ford transit horse boxes?

widget

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Does anyone have one? Have experience of one? I mean the ones with the ifor Williams type back on the 3.5 ton ones. I've seen a few for sale and obviously transit parts are easy to come by but te centre of gravity looks high to me. Will have to drive one to try but wondered if any hho wisdom on subject?
 

1rocky1

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i had one , the ifor bodys are good , but they do sway a bit ! make sure the transit has anti roll bars fitted they help a bit to keep it level ! would not recommend for big horses though .
 

widget

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I only have a 14hh cob so should be ok! Are they any less stable than a trailer I will be driving very slowly and just pootling to local shows but I really hate towing so this is plan b! I've been looking at other makes but they are really pricey in comparison
 

widget

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Ps rocky what do you mean by anti roll bars? Sorry for daft question!
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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They roll because the transit has a much higher load area (the back of the chassis).
This is why they are not used by any of the builders or conversion firms, hence the price difference.
The ramp(s) will be much steeper than a trailer or the other 3.5t boxes too.

Sorry OP, but I would not put my mini in one :(
 

widget

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Why do ifor make them then? I like the Renault masters but the person helping me search (mechanic) wants me to avoid any French vehicles! Will keep searching : /
 

1rocky1

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they are less stable than a trailer becourse they are higher ! but like i said make sure it has anti roll bars fitted to the rear axle , allso be double sure the floor is ok , i have been ask't to look at 2 lorry floors in the last few weeks they was totaly rotten under the rubber .
 

widget

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That's fair enough that's why I came on here for opinions I guess I'm back looking at the renaults again and going a bit older.
 

widget

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I will def be checking floors and ramps as my boy is a fatty! Don't want him disappearing through floor.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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Why do ifor make them then? I like the Renault masters but the person helping me search (mechanic) wants me to avoid any French vehicles! Will keep searching : /

to be honest, my DH hates anything french with a vengance.... to put in mildly.
However, we are both running Vauxhall Movano's, which of course are exactly the same as the Renault masters...

1rocky1 has hit nail on the head - many of the older ones are not at all well looked after and for the unaware, will be a money pit.

Most older mechanics prefer the easier models such as the older transits, but as I said before, with their higher loading height on the body most people wont use them for horseboxes.
I followed 1 on Friday and it scared the bejasus out of me, trundling along at 25mph (no problem in them doing that (but it was a national - 60pmh limit) so holding up everyone and not pulling over during the 11 mile long stretch) but the rolling on the bends when they were only going 20mph, made me clench not just my hands on the wheel, but my buttocks on the seat!
 
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1rocky1

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no its not a daft question , anti roll bars are fitted between the rear wheels on the axle ! it looks a bit like a u shaped bracket with bushers on , google truck anti roll bars to give you some idear , if you look under transit tippers they mostly have them to ! ask a freindly builder to have a look under is truck ! bet he will know wot they are ! allso all the big horseboxers have them fitted for the same reason to help stop them rocking about .
 

widget

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Thanks tff I've seen a master that I like it's older but with low mileage so may go see. Mechanic isn't old just stuck in his ways! Plus I like simpler vehicles and my oh has a transit so I'm used to driving one. Will keep searching but def want a small box rather than a trailer I think it's the way forward!
 

minigal

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I had one which had a proper racehorse box on the back. Had it for 4 years, travelled the length and breadth of the country in it with many different horses. Never once had a horse travel anything but beautifully in it, never once had any stability issues but it had some suspension up rating done or something. Loved it to bits but swapped it for pick up and trailer for practical reasons. It was very slow though!! I wouldn't not have another.
 

L&M

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I had one for several years. It had a lot of plus points as was economical to run and easy to maintain and drive.

However from the horse side I found it quite unstable as so high up, so had to be careful on a windy day and cornering. The other downside was the ramp which was very steep - again as the body of the box was high off the ground.

I would also be careful re payload as tend to be heavy little boxes, and although the Ifor Williams body can take two, would be reluctant to travel more than 1 horse or 2 small ponies.

And finally, transits are very prone to rust.....

I now have a renault master conversion which wins hands down from the horses pov, so if I had a chioce, this is what I would choose.
 

YorksG

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We hired one to take the Appy to a show, all Motorway driving and I did not like the height of it at all, long bends with odd camber was nasty! I wouldn't have put two horses in either. There was no living, so no where dry to get changed either. The storage was over the cab, so difficult to put water containers in and I did worry about stuff falling out and landing on her. When we got our own, got a Leyland Daf Roadrunner 7.5 with a bit of living and 2.4 tonnes payload.
 

widget

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I love this forum! You have been a great help thank you all for taking the time to reply. I've showed this thread to my mechanic and he knows how precious my neds are so now we are looking at Renaults now (hurrah!) apologies in advance there will no doubt be more questions coming!
 

trojanpony

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Drove one for twenty years and it was fab! Reliable and drove like a dream. It was not unstable but I think it did have something done to the suspension. Thoroughly recommend.
 

trojanpony

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Ps having been in a trailer accident, got stuck in mud etc etc I would chose the transit over the trailer every time!
 

Mudfukkle

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I've had my 3.5 tonne Ifor Williams Transit for years now and have driven many miles in it up and down the country.
I would say it's fine for up to 15hh bit any bigger and it's scary!

We've had the suspension upgraded and put in rubber buffers (act like anti-roll bars), but when I had to take my 16hh warmblood to horse hospital, it was terrifying on steep cambers!

I tend to only use it to take the ponies to off road hacking now, as the poor tranny is getting on a bit and I'm worried about it breaking down en-route - bless it.

The ponies cope fine with the steep ramps, I've never had an issue with that one, but if I can ever afford to upgrade, I will invest in a Renault Master conversion with the lower centre of gravity - although some of these have been featured on "Real Life Rescues" with Nick Knowles and have been slated by the Fire Brigade - I think the backward facing ones?

I too would favour a Transit over a Trailer though, as I have seen too many trailer accidents both on the road and in the media.

As for people who drive too fast whilst towing a trailer with their powerful 4 wheel drive.......... makes my blood boil!
 

Pinkvboots

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I looked at a few but didnt like them, The ramp seemed really high and I was not keen on the sway factor we only drove one empty and it felt awful, I now have a renault master coachbuilt Equipe lorry N reg and it is brilliant, it was the cheapest horsebox we looked at and was half of the budget we had decided on but the inside was far more superior than any of the others we looked at that were double the money, I certainly wouldnt rule out the Renaults we have had a new starter motor and a few bits done to it but its really wasnt that costly, and our mechanic managed to get all the parts no problem.

One thing I will say ours is rear facing and if you want extra safety you can have grills put up to stop a horse from going over the top, I think with the grooms door being at the back some horses can see it as an escape route.
 
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EmmaB

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I had one and I did love it, but yes they are high and so you do have to go slow around corners. I had an old one but had to sell it as I ended up not being able to afford to repair it as well as run it. Was gutted to have to get rid of it, my horse loaded and travelled fine on it, and it was solid and sturdy.

If I was going to buy another though is probably save up more and buy a newer box rather than go for an old one again, purely because of maintenance. What about those side loading van conversions? Cheaper than the expensive 3.5s
 
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