• REMINDER

    Any content, information, or advice found on social media platforms and the wider Internet, including forums such as HHO, should NOT be acted upon unless checked against a reliable, authoritative source, and re-checked, particularly where personal health is at stake. Seek professional advice/confirmation before acting on such at all times.

Grrrr, lorry????

CLA85

Active Member
Joined
31 October 2016
Messages
39
Help!
Following another trip out today, in which the silly dressage pony has thrown another wobbly in the trailer, resulting in a ridiculously tense test about 6-8% lower than I know we are capable of, I’m yet again contemplating a lorry. (It is a tense pony anyway but know it travels better in a lorry.) My towing vehicle is also getting older, and as much as I love her, hubby is worried she is a ticking time bomb of giant bills to come (discovery, love em/hate em!)

But, I’ve always towed and know very little about lorries. I’m thinking 7.5t, as have 2 large horses so don’t think payload in a 3.5 would be enough, I’d also quite like the overnight living as are starting to do more stay away stuff. I know id need to do my test.

So what do you have to have? What do I avoid like the plague? And anything in between? What do i need to spend to get a good one/safe one etc? And any recommended companies? I’ve arranged to go and see an acquaintances lorry for a look round and her advice. But lots of help welcome, please!

Cake and gin all round for anyone who can be bothered to reply! 😀
 

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
3,996
I took the plunge 18 months ago for similar reasons. Amber was awful in a trailer. I was advised to go for a good engine so I chose Mercedez. My living is basic basic basic but that doesn't bother me. So I have a 1993 Mercedes 7.5tonne. A beast to drive, covered in dints, but has never ever let me down. And I've not needed to spend much money on it at all really. Passed MOT twice now with no advisories. It cost me £7k.
 

CLA85

Active Member
Joined
31 October 2016
Messages
39
Thanks AE, good for you, sounds like a bargain! Were you concerned about higher mileage? (All the lorrry drivers that come to the farm say not to worry too much about that as they do thousands of km, different concept to a car I guess) Where did you source it? If you don’t mind me asking?
 

Elf On A Shelf

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 February 2011
Messages
10,586
Lorry engines are designed to go round the clock a good few times. You can't go far wrong with a Mercedes engine but don't forget to look at the structural integrity of the horse area. This does not come under the MOT so any you go to look at make sure you have a good jump up and down on the floor - especially where the back feet go!
 

Ambers Echo

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 October 2017
Messages
3,996
Thanks AE, good for you, sounds like a bargain! Were you concerned about higher mileage? (All the lorrry drivers that come to the farm say not to worry too much about that as they do thousands of km, different concept to a car I guess) Where did you source it? If you don’t mind me asking?
I bought it off a friend. Not concerned about the mileage. Goodness knows how many times it's been round the clock.! I keep pondering trading it in for an easier drive and slightly better living but my friends are constantly having problems whereas mine just runs fine every time. Apart from it when I drained the battery leaving the lights on but that was my fault!!
 

cundlegreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 February 2009
Messages
2,224
Location
Suffolk
I would always go for a 7.5 ton. They are much more solid, and payload isn't a problem unless it's a heavy coachbuilt. I've built three conversions, and am currently driving another, and they've all been great. My latest is a MAN 163 and a lovely lorry to drive long distance although not so much a lady's drive like the Dafs. Never had problems with any of mine, and you can get one a lot cheaper than a 3.5 ton. Mileage wise, mine do approx 17 m to the gallon, and that's travelling at 55-60 mph.
 

CLA85

Active Member
Joined
31 October 2016
Messages
39
Thanks all. I think I’ve pretty much decided it’s time to bite the bullet and go for a 7.5t. Exciting, but pretty sad as not sure I can justify keeping my lovely disco without a towing job. (Pretty pricey way to drive to work, but I do love her!) I think pony will be happier and hopefully be less tense and we might manage a better test. Unfortunately first off will be c1 driving test! Anyone had to do it?
 

windand rain

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 November 2012
Messages
5,575
Just bought an Iveco 2004 needs a bit of work in the living but the lorry without the back is worth the 3500 we paid for it as it has only done 89,000 miles MOT til July. We are doing the living the horse area has been done and it had a new ramp just before we bought it. Will get the floor checked before we put the ponies in but all looks good underneath. There are bargains out there if you dont mind a bit of cosmetic work
 

Toby_Zaphod

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 August 2005
Messages
8,817
Location
Midlands
I had a Bateson Trailer which I towed with a Shogun/Pajero. It was a lovely trailer & I travelled our pony in it. We then moved on to horses & it was fine for the one horse but when we got a second horse & decided to get a lorry. Mu first lorry was a DAF FA 45 130 built by Tristar. It was a nice lorry & I ran it for a few years but it was vastly under powered. Going up some hills we were in 2nd gear when we reached the top. With all the constant gear changes it was not very nice to drive. I decided to change vehicles, placed the lorry on Facebook at a competitive price & it sold in 48 hours, buyers were queuing up to buy it. I searched for another lorry & saw one on Ebay. It was posted there a couple of times & when I saw it I wasn't ready to buy so I just took details of it. When I was ready to buy I phoned the seller & found it was still available. He told me someone had viewed & offered a price, left no deposit & had gone on holiday for a week. I asked if I could come & view & if I liked it could I better the price & have it. The guy said yes so I went to see it. When I saw it I knew it was for me. It was a 7.5 ton Tristar with an alloy body on it. It had a pay load of 2.2 tons, with that payload I could legally carry all my three horses if I wanted to. There was a small living/tack/changing area with 2 burners, some cupboards & sleeping for 2/3, all very basic. I don't stay away now so living didn't matter. So I'd got great payload & it was on a MAN chassis with a 180hp engine so loads of power, cruise control etc. It was great. I bought it & drove it home. I still have it 3 years later, it's still going great, never failed an MOT U& never let me down. It wasn't a lot of money & I think I could probably get the same for it now as I paid 3 years ago, it's that good.

When buying a lorry be sure it's in good order, get a mechanic to check it over. Steer clear of boxes with rusty cabs, ensure it drives well, changes gear well & has sufficient power to climb hills with your horses on board. Good Luck.
 

luckyoldme

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 October 2010
Messages
3,846
I would say look for a tilt cab..its easier and cheaper for maintenance.
A commercial will do between 100000 to 130000km a year so horse boxes tend to be low mileage and have an easier life than most wagons.
Familiarize yourself with the basic checks or evan have an inspection sheet drawn up to keep on top of the maintenance...and get a tyre gauge to kerp an eye on the treads.
Hope im not teaching you to suck eggs ..its just things i do with my work wagon.
 

milliepops

Wears headscarf aggressively
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
17,162
Unfortunately first off will be c1 driving test! Anyone had to do it?
I did my cat C in December. I went for that as it's a similar price to the C1 so firstly gave me some future proofing in case I eventually have a really big truck, and secondly the test was in a similar size vehicle to what I'd be driving (many places do the C1 in a van). I wanted to feel super confident with the size.

Actually it wasnt as bad as I expected. I had 1:1 training (most places you share with someone else) and had it done in 3 days. Just sold my little box so will finally be driving the big one this week 🤪
 

Asha

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 February 2012
Messages
3,647
Location
Cheshire
I bought an old Mercedes 814 about 5 years ago, only time he's ever let me down was when I left the isolator on for 2 months:p
Hes cracking, small but ok living. Takes my 2 big IDs no problem, and they always arrive happy. So id say , go for it . You get far more for your money than if you get a 3.5t, and no worries about payload. Just get a mechanic who is used to horseboxes to inspect it before you buy.
 

cundlegreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 February 2009
Messages
2,224
Location
Suffolk
I would say look for a tilt cab..its easier and cheaper for maintenance.
A commercial will do between 100000 to 130000km a year so horse boxes tend to be low mileage and have an easier life than most wagons.
Familiarize yourself with the basic checks or evan have an inspection sheet drawn up to keep on top of the maintenance...and get a tyre gauge to kerp an eye on the treads.
Hope im not teaching you to suck eggs ..its just things i do with my work wagon.
A lot of fitters won't work on a horsebox that doesn't have a tilt cab. That is why I would never have a coachbuilt. Because of the skirts on them, you can't get underneath to check things which is a pain.
 

Leandy

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 October 2018
Messages
514
A lot of fitters won't work on a horsebox that doesn't have a tilt cab. That is why I would never have a coachbuilt. Because of the skirts on them, you can't get underneath to check things which is a pain.
Never had this problem. Nor do I have extortionate bills for not having a tilt cab. It has never even been mentioned.
 

Hollychops

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 July 2017
Messages
603
I have a Ford Iveco 7.5 tonne, lots of space in horse area and living. As others have said a tilt cab makes life easier for your mechanic. the living doesnt have lots of mod cons and although i do have a water tank i have never used it as ive never bothered getting the pump sorted, i dont miss it. Make sure you have a good look around and if poss take someone knowledgeable with you. Cost wise its probably slightly cheaper than a trailer and towing vehicle for insurance and recovery, but the test costs i have found are more.

I wouldnt go back to having a trailer now, even if only for the luxury of being able to get changed in privacy and not having to repeatedly buy cups of tea! :D
 

oldie48

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 April 2013
Messages
5,283
Location
South Worcestershire
I've had a couple of 7.5s, both were Ivecos first one was a real cheapo conversion but it actually ran OK, the second was a newer chassis with a very decent build, which I loved. Cost me a fortune though, plating was always around the £1K mark. I sold it locally and still see it from time to time. I think all the money I paid out on it meant there was little to go wrong! So, I do think it's pot luck really. All I would suggest is to have a good mechanic look it over before you buy and check it's maintenance history. I had to pay for a new gearbox which was rather expensive but I guess would never need replacing! Good luck with finding something suitable, I never regretted selling my trailer.
 

gallopingby

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 January 2009
Messages
384
DAF, MAN or Merc were the engines l was advised to look at, and not worry about high mileage as go on for ever. you do need a reliable mechanic to keep them well serviced. I changed to an easier more economical 4,5 which has a pay load of 1.6. Much cheaper on fuel and lovely to drive but sadly you’d maybe have to swop your disco as the smaller ones are eye watering ly expensive compared to the bigger ones.
 

CLA85

Active Member
Joined
31 October 2016
Messages
39
Thanks all, super helpful and thank you for taking the time to reply. I’m fairly used to driving big-ish vehicles, tractor/trailer on the farm, and used to drive an old army truck as a beaters wagon (but obviously none of it on road). So hopefully test won’t be too bad. You’ve given me hope milliepops! I did see the prices were similar for c and c1, but not sure I’m up for a 29ton practice in! Will give the local lgv/hgv training place a call and see what they think.

I think it will have to be done. Sounds like pony will be happier and maybe I will be too. Certainly not enjoying travelling a wobbly throwing tense dressage wolly at the moment! And ours tests reflect this.

I fear you are right gallopingby, I think my beloved disco is probably not justifiable as well as a lorry. Definately an expensive way to go to work! She’s just so lovely........sob! God knows what on earth to replace her with!
 

Louby

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 July 2005
Messages
6,300
Location
Manchester
I loved having a 7.5t but it just wasnt getting the use it needed and my horse then got injured so we sold it. Over the years Ive had Merc, Daf and Iveco's, I found the Daf the nicest to drive, the Iveco the most powerful and the Merc a proper bulletproof workhorse but I hated driving it. The back to front gearbox really messed with my head, that was another reason I parted with it tbh as it was a cracking box. Daf and Iveco are well known to rust so check the cab on the older ones. My mechanic said they need driving, let them stand and your asking for problems. Ive been quite lucky with running costs but when they go wrong, they cost. It was always a massive relief when they went through the plate lol.
 

Muddywellies

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 July 2007
Messages
607
We got our SWB 7.5t iveco for £2700 knowing it needed a new floor. It had best part of a year's Mot on it. We put a new floor in and merrily used it. Then at mot time it failed horrendously and needed new brakes. £1500 later we now have a lorry with a new floor and brakes and whilst it's not pretty, we trust it and tbh wouldnt swap it for a fancy one. We love out little lorry and would be very sad to go back to a trailer.
 

Hollychops

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 July 2017
Messages
603
That sounds steep just for a test!!! My actual test last year was £160 + vat. My mechanic has it a week before to do whats needed so when it goes for testing there shouldnt be any gotchas. It is expensive, usually around the £500-£800 mark but it gives me the confidence that it has had a check over. Plus, he will check the flooring in the horse box and that it is safe to put the horses in etc and if he sees anything that needs doing he lets me know before hand.

I used to take it for its test myself and if something was wrong the garage would sort it for me and then retest it. I find this latest way much easier and gives me the peace of mind that its had a once over as well.

Maybe, they do a service as well, be worth asking the question before parting with the money.
 

timbobs

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 November 2014
Messages
916
I had a Mercedes 814 for a few years. It was a 1988 model which was converted into a horsebox in 1990 and I loved it! Only sold it when I lost my most recent horse.

I paid £3250 for it and it never let me down. I'd second other recommendations to get a tilt cab as my mechanic wouldn't work on non-tilt cabs.

I’m considering getting a lorry too. I just rang one place about the test though and it was £1200!! 😱 is this normal!!??
Yes that's normal! I paid slightly more than that for my training, medical and test.
 

milliepops

Wears headscarf aggressively
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
17,162
I’m considering getting a lorry too. I just rang one place about the test though and it was £1200!! 😱 is this normal!!??
i'd say that must be including training? I paid about that for my lessons and test. (medical and theory/hazard perception also needed)
 

eggs

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 February 2009
Messages
4,421
I budget £1,000 to get the lorry through the test. This covers the pre-test service and the test itself.

I did my 'C' test abut 15 years ago and from memory it was about £750 for the training and the test.

If you do get a lorry I would always recommend getting the largest engine you can. I had a DAF 45 130 which was powerful enough as it is very flat round here but now drive a DAF 45 160 and it is nicer to drive. Iveco has the reputation for rusting.

If you do get a tilt cab ask it see it tilted when you view the lorry. Friend of mine bought one but when they broke down it turned out that the flipping thing had locked up and couldn't be tilted. Mechanics will always say they prefer it to be a tilt cab but I have not found a problem getting mine serviced and it is non-tilt.
 

Rowreach

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 May 2007
Messages
10,562
Location
Northern Ireland
Lots of good advice on here, only thing I'd add is to make sure that whatever you buy still has spare parts easily available - the older the chassis the more chance you'll struggle to get bits for it, and because horseboxes go on and on and on, they outlive the manufacturers' interest in making the parts for them.
 

CLA85

Active Member
Joined
31 October 2016
Messages
39
Right I’m back again for help guys.
Spent the weekend viewing some boxes.....and I’m already confused, brain addled and fed up and considering hitting the gin!

Anyway current question is, what is ‘better’? Or perhaps which would you pick?

Choice 1 - Man lorry, 2004 with 500,000km on it, but full service history, air suspension. Lovely living, tack lockers not in the horse area. Immaculate everywhere.

Choice 2 - Iveco lorry, 2000, with 250km on it, part service history, living fine but dated, gears were a bit stiff, tack lockers in the horse area, needs a few bits doing, nothing we aren’t incapable of doing, but I do have a lot of other building projects on, so who knows when it would get done.

Choice 3 - Iveco lorry, 2002, (converted 2006), by the same people as choice 2, 160,000km, part service history, living looks better than choice 2, but still a bit dated. Set up the same.

Obviously the prices for all three are quite different, I Guess what I’m asking is is a higher mileage but on better engine and with air suspension worth the bit extra?

We are likely use it as a bit of a ‘motor home’ for country shows/game fairs even when don’t have the horses with us.

Thanks in advance!
 
Top