A Buyer’s Guide to Livestock Trailers | Livestock

When shopping for a livestock trailer, there are a few things you’ll need to take into consideration to ensure that you get the most for your money. The first thing you’ll want to consider is the style of trailer that you’re shopping for. What type of livestock will you be transporting? What is the total weight of the livestock? Will you be traveling on the highway with it, or is this solely for use on back roads?Once you’ve decided these things, you’ll need to make sure that your designated tow vehicle is properly set up to handle a trailer. This involves a hitch that’s attached securely to the frame of the vehicle. If your vehicle is already equipped with a hitch, make sure it is in good condition and firmly attached. If you’re adding a hitch to a vehicle that is not equipped with one, contact your local automotive shop or truck equipment retailer. You will also need to have your vehicle wired to accept the trailer’s wiring harness. This allows your vehicle’s lighting system to communicate with the brake lights and blinkers on the trailer.When shopping for a trailer, you should first ask the seller for the inspection history of the trailer. Many states require that trailers undergo yearly inspection, just like a car. See if the trailer has recently passed. If it has not, this could mean additional money that you’ll have to put into the trailer in order to get it to pass inspection, which can be quite rigorous in some states.Be sure to inspect the trailer’s tires. Since many trailers are only used occasionally, they often times suffer from poor tire maintenance. Even though a tire has ample tread remaining, it is still important to inspect the sidewalls of the tire for cracking or dry rot. Trailers are prone to this because they frequently are stored outside and overlooked when it comes time for maintenance.Be sure that the lighting equipment on the trailer functions as well. This includes brake lights, tail lights, and blinkers. If possible, hook the trailer up to a tow vehicle and have a friend operate each of the lighting systems in sequence so they can be inspected. Make sure the wiring harness is present and has no visual defects or loose connections. The final step is to inspect the hitch and the safety latches. Make sure they all function properly before attempting to operate the trailer. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be sure to avoid a bad experience when shopping for a livestock trailer. Safety should always come first, so take your time when shopping, and do a thorough inspection before purchasing.

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