When it comes to transporting horses, we all put safety first. However, most of us have so much space in the driveway, which usually means a “towing vehicle.” Such can also be used for trips to the supermarket, commuting, and even errands. A full size dually seems like too much for these tasks, especially if you haul horses just a few times every year.
So whether or not you can get by with a smaller towing vehicle is a wonder. After all, the numerous sport utility vehicles (SUVs) seem rugged and sturdy, plus they offer attractive flexibility. But could an SUV safely pull a two-horse trailer? You’ll discover lots of purists who will say “no” and do they have their reasons. However, in reality, it is debatable, and today several SUVs are engineered, for example, trucks for towing heavy loads and even horse trailers.
If you’re familiar or have experience transporting horses, you would know that the total weight of the horses matters the most. Hence, when searching for the best truck for hauling horses, your requirements will be very different if you are towing Ponies, Percherons, Warmbloods, or Arabians.
Determined by the vehicle’s manufacturer, the very first thing you look at in a tow car is to make sure that the capacity is sufficient to handle the maximum loaded weight of the trailer you will be towing. In case you think that the capacity of a specific truck is not enough to tow your trailer along with its weight, try looking for a better option.
The Curb Weight
The curb weight measures what the tow vehicle weighs when fully fueled but vacant – carrying no passengers or cargo. It is believed that the tow car should be heavier than the trailer load it had been pulling. However, keep in mind that the trucks and SUVs engineered to modern standards can weigh lighter for better fuel efficiency yet be powerful enough to tow loads heavier than them securely.
Critical to the stability and maneuverability of a vehicle, the wheelbase is the distance from the rear axle to the front axle of the tow vehicle. Simply put, the longer the wheelbase, the more powerful the tow vehicle. The more this distance, the less likely are the chances of the tongue weight of the horse trailer pushing down behind the rear axle will cause the front to be lifted, developing a teeter-totter effect. Also, the more the wheelbase, the more control you may have of the rig, and the better it will track.
Many of the pickup trucks come with rear-wheel drive, as do the SUVs. This design directs the engine’s power toward the axle that’s bearing the burden when carrying heavy cargo or towing. However, many midsize and smaller SUVs, do come with front-wheel driveway but provides less control over the rear of the vehicle, which can be critical for towing. When a trailer is connected to a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the majority of the burden is placed on the wheels that are usually less powerful.
One primary difference between the SUVs and trucks and their smaller counterparts is the design of the chassis. Chassis is the framework that mounts all the other systems and supplies the structural strength of a motor vehicle.
Large SUVs and Full-size Trucks often have a “body-on-frame” design. The chassis design includes a rigid, steel “ladder-like” shape that forms the base for the rest of the body. In a tow vehicle with this design, the hitch is attached directly to the framework, as are both axles. When it comes to horse hauling and carrying heavy cargo, the body-on-frame construction usually provides more stability and capacity when towing since its structure doesn’t stress the panel and engine components when carrying the load.
There are various factors that you should consider when choosing the best trucks for hauling horses. In the end, you have to choose a tow vehicle that you’re comfortable driving and can control easily. Although the details, such as a driver’s seat that supports your spine and fits your body nicely, can make a significant difference over the long haul.