Me and flipping lorries yet again

Happy Bird

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 August 2003
Messages
579
Location
London/Kent border
community.webshots.com
As a lot of you know, I am finding driving my lorry really daunting. OK, I think my nerves improve each time I go out in it but I find the sheer size as well as the air brakes quite difficult to handle. It is mainly the brakes - they are very sharp and I find it really difficult to stop smoothly. It's a 7.5 tonne Ford Cargo.

Over the weekend I hired a lorry to collect furniture from Cornwall and bring back to Kent (long story). It was 3.5 tonnes and it was an absolute breeze to drive compared to the horsebox. It drove exactly like a car, no airbrakes, small steering wheel etc (it was an LDV).

I did look at 3.5 tonne horseboxes to start with but they all lacked sufficient headroom for my mare. Does anyone have a big horse in a 3.5 tonne lorry ? If so, which make/model it is ??

I am not bothered about living area. Would be nice to have a tiny bit in which just to get changed etc.

Should I go down the route of looking at a smaller lorry or just persevere with what I've got. Typically, I spent more than 6 months finding my lorry and now feel very stupid ! eek ! arghhh !
 

miamibear

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 December 2004
Messages
1,184
Location
East Yorkshire
Visit site
I always said if i could afford it i would have a3.5T box. I think they are ideal and i have seen ones that are 7foot something headroom to accomodate the larger horse. Sorry cant remember the makes but they are out there!
 

Ferdinase514

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 February 2006
Messages
8,066
Location
Stradbroke Suffolk
Visit site
I sympathise.

I had a 7.5ton Ford Cargo until recently. Was a pig to drive but thought that was just lorries. The brakes on both of the Cargos I have driven, were difficult either the truck is running away with you or you've gone throught the windscreen, because they've finally worked!

Anyway, sold it as was starting to rust and bought a Daf 130/45. Is soooo much better. Really does drive like a car (to use the cliche). Finni travels much better to.

Daf's are a bit more expensive but I can see why.
 

piebaldsparkle

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 July 2006
Messages
13,017
Visit site
Sometimes there is an issue with weight on 3.5t boxes, especially if you need to carry 2 x large horses. My Leyland DAF 400 combo will accomodate 2 x 16.2hh horses, but would be well over weight. There are some 5t lorries out there someone up the yard has a Highbarn Harrier on a Renault chasis which will take 2 x 17hh horses and has some day living.
 

Aleka81

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 February 2006
Messages
1,587
Location
Oxfordshire
Visit site
I have a 3.5 ton ford transit lorry and I travel my 16.2 TB in it with no problem head room wise. However I would only ever travel him in it due to weight. The way I have it partitioned gives me enough room to get changed and sit down etc.
However mine is not an IFor williams back mine was custom built by horsebox converters so its quite a one off. (its ancient though)
If you look around for one I'm sure you'll find something. Be prepared to pay a premium for 3.5 ton lorries though due to the license changes in 1997.

If I could drive a 7.5 ton lorry I would never have bought a 3.5 ton but I didn't have a spare £1k kicking around to do the test. If I were you I would persevere for a little longer.
Also if you do think about a 3.5 ton see if you can find someone with one and see how your horse travels as some don't seem to get on very well with them
Good Luck!
 

Rambo

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 September 2005
Messages
6,969
Location
South
Visit site
Persevere with the Cargo...the brakes are a bit sharp at first, until you get used to them. That's because they work
shocked.gif
In all other respects a Cargo is just like a car (albeit a large one
grin.gif
)to drive...power steering, 5 gears or more, and great visibility.
 

wanderersmelody

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 June 2003
Messages
166
Location
Essex
Visit site
before you start looking at smaller lorries, get your brakes checked. We had a 7.5 tonne Ford Cargo and it had EXACTLY the same problem. You would brake slowly and then all of a sudden the brakes would bite and the horses would nearly be sitting in the cab! We had them checked and it was something to do with a valve needing replacing. It was under £100 to do and the difference was amazing. Plus, we were told that the brakes could have 'gone' at any time....
 

Happy Bird

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 August 2003
Messages
579
Location
London/Kent border
community.webshots.com
The brakes were completely redone about a year ago, new drums etc. I just had a full service and plating last month so I think the brakes are mechanically sound. The lorry runs away until the last moment then I nearly go through the windscreen. Through practice I have been managing not to jolt the horses, but
it makes me sick with worry in case something pulls out in front of me and I have to stop suddenly that the horses would be thrown about....
 

Madam_max

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 February 2005
Messages
7,948
Location
The Shroom
Visit site
My old D reg Cargo was the same. We used to run it round the block before putting horses on as the breaks were so sharp. I've got a newer one now K reg and it's completely different.
 

Rambo

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 September 2005
Messages
6,969
Location
South
Visit site
Hmmmmm....they did change the brakes on Cargo's after about E reg ('88) I think
crazy.gif
Yours has probably got the older system....don't know if there'd be much they could do to improve them
frown.gif
 

Rambo

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 September 2005
Messages
6,969
Location
South
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
<img src="http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> How come you know so much about lorries? Your always the 1st person I think of on here for advice. <img src="http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

[/ QUOTE ]

I don't know much about lorries
shocked.gif
I do own two though (long story !), one of which is a Ford Cargo, and my YO has a Ford Cargo too....which had problems with the brakes. Having driven both I know my brakes are much less on/off than hers , but hers is a year older than mine
smirk.gif
When it went in to the commercial yard for some work, they mentioned the different brakes then
tongue.gif


PeterNatt on the other hand...he DOES know a thing or two about lorries....
 

juliehannah58

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 July 2005
Messages
1,793
Location
East Sussex
Visit site
Hiya

I have a renault master 3.5tonne horsebox, it's has an extra high roof and 7'10" of headroom, which is just 2"'s shorter than an Oakley box! It will easily take 17.2hh plus. It is 1997 chasis although we had it converted to a horsebox to our specs 6 months ago.

It's soooooo easy to drive! I am 21 and drive it easy peasy. More importantly, the horses all travel like a dream in it, even ones who are usual bad travellers. I am so made up with it and I would recommend to everyone! It has a small bit in the back with tack storage and benches, aslo a little jockey door through to horse bit. We also opted for a hay shelf so the horses don't get their hay all over your stuff, which works well! It also has loads of space for rugs above the cab area. Everywhere we go people ask to look round it and ask questions. It one of the best things we've ever done!

Here it is, sorry pics are so dark!

lorry44.jpg

lorry33.jpg

lorry22.jpg


If you need any more info or pics let me know!
smile.gif
 

OWLIE185

Well-Known Member
Joined
21 June 2005
Messages
3,535
Visit site
You would love my Bedford TK it is only 12 feet from the rear of the cab to the rear of the container and takes 3 full sized horses on the diagonal with plenty of payload to spare. It is like a nippy little car - I even take it to tesco's for the large weekly shop!

I would suspect that your master cylinder is wearing out as is the compressed air governing unit. You should be able to brake gradually. The test only checks when the brakes are fully applied not anything else apart from a visual check of pipework etc for corrosion etc.


What you want is a good old Bedford TK or the newer ISUZU as they both have traditional braking systems where you can very gradually apply pressure.

3.5 Ton are fine if you have a pony (not a cob!) but otherwise you will be near the limit if not over it and in an emergency situation it will not react as it should because you are exceeding it's specification.

Also these smaller vehicles have a narrower wheel base which makes them less stable in the wind and round corners.
 

Aleka81

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 February 2006
Messages
1,587
Location
Oxfordshire
Visit site
I have a 3.5 ton lorry and with 30 litres water, 1x16.2hh TB and all of his stuff plus mine and two passengers I am underweight. So not all 3.5 tonnes are only suitable for ponies.
Please do not tarnish all 3.5 ton lorries with the same brush.
 

juliehannah58

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 July 2005
Messages
1,793
Location
East Sussex
Visit site
[ QUOTE ]
3.5 Ton are fine if you have a pony (not a cob!) but otherwise you will be near the limit if not over it and in an emergency situation it will not react as it should because you are exceeding it's specification.

[/ QUOTE ]

Not really true I'm afraid.....We had ours weighed once it was finished, empty but with fuel it weighs 2150kg, that gives me 1350kg of spare weight. That will EASILY cover a large horse (600kg) plus people and tack. You could even get two average horses in there OK as long as you didn't go overboard on tack and accessories. People who make these lorries know the score, and so they are producing 3.5 tonne lorries with lower weights to accomodate peoples needs.
 

marion95

Well-Known Member
Joined
22 August 2005
Messages
247
Location
Bristol
Visit site
I have a 3.5 tonner and it is a Bedford CF - old but still chugging along fine. My mare is 16.1hh and she fits in fine. Not sure of the exact height though. It's very easy to drive although the gear box is a bit clunky.
 

ajb

Well-Known Member
Joined
31 October 2003
Messages
381
Location
south-east
Visit site
Hi HB..I have as you know a Leyland Daf S reg and its got air brakes and its lovely you can ease to a stop with 2 large lads on no problem...I think its the age of the lorry or as said a problem with them..Pm me if you want the chap who does my lorry, hes localish and will coem collect and advise..very nice guy..if you want to come drive mine over the BH let me know..im at EGB ride Sat and Edenbridge and Ox on the Monday but happy to pop down and let you have a go if that helps...wouldnt go along the 3.5 tonne route..two big horses and you will find the hills in our area will kill your clutch (if you pardon the phrase!!)...anyway let me know if I can help im only just up the road!!
 

Ferdinase514

Well-Known Member
Joined
4 February 2006
Messages
8,066
Location
Stradbroke Suffolk
Visit site
I have to agree with ajb. 3.5 ton lorries are dodgy with big horses. Had a really nasty experience with Finni in a transit.

He freaked out and put his leg through partition. Police had to come and close the road for him to be disentangled and unloaded.

It took ages to get him travelling again and is why I have a big truck for only one horse. 3.5ton never felt safe.

I'm a 7.5ton convert!
 

AlexThe Arab

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 November 2002
Messages
392
Location
East Anglia
Visit site
Sorry to hear that you are not enjoying your lorry, but if it is mechanically sound and it is more a case of your nerves making it such a daunting experience to drive would it be worthwhile booking a days instruction with a HGV driving instructor? This would really boost your confidence and driving skills - lorries are different to cars and can take a while to get used to. Don't give up,
smile.gif
you will soon get the hang of it.
 

Fiona

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 July 2001
Messages
10,150
Location
N. Ireland
Visit site
Can't comment on you cargo brakes, but I was very nervous of driving our 6.5t Iveco until I was forced to drive it home from the vets the other day (as hubby abandoned me to go back to work). I was far better being thrown in at the deep end and having to drive it. I felt I was better on my own, but had also considered getting one or two lessons just to hopefully get some handy tips from instructor.
If you fel that your brakes are then the only prob, then my advice would be to persevere after you have had them checked.

God luck

Fiona
 

Happy Bird

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 August 2003
Messages
579
Location
London/Kent border
community.webshots.com
JH58 - that looks like a seriously nice little lorry .... not sure if I could fit all my stuff into it AND my very fat horses too and be under the legal weight. Do you find it very sturdy in the wind/round bends etc ??

It would appear from everyone's answers that my lorry is simply OLD.
frown.gif
All I can do is persevere with it for the time being until I can afford something newer or remortgage the house (AGAIN) ha ha - think that may instigate divorce proceedings
ooo.gif


I was going to get the lorry tarted up/resprayed but I should save that money instead towards a newer one.

The problem is there is so much rubbish out there ! I spent months looking for this one. About 10 people said 'there's no rust on the cab at all' only to get there (after driving 200 miles plus on a few occasions) to find out the lorry is nothing like what they described..... same as buying horses I guess.
 
Top