Every Hitch, Every Trailer, Every Hitch Pin and Every R Clip Has NEVER BEEN TESTED TO A NATIONAL STANDARD!


    This is what a good inspection could have prevented!!! NOTE THE SAFETY CHAINS ARE WELDED NOT BOLTED!!! THE WEAR ON THE HITCH IS EXCESSIVE AND THE BALL IS NOT SEEDED CORRECTLY IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    AGAIN WE STRESS THAT NO STANDARDS ARE IN PLACE FOR ALL OF THESE TOWING SYSTEMS...ANYTHING GOES!! See the bottom after this report.


    A tale about towing


       This something we all hope we never have to experience
       Let's hope this story will help to stop others going through a similar floating accident 

    Sometimes I feel the need to put pen to paper on a sober subject. This one is floating and before I go too far I have to let you know that everybody, human and equine, was fortunately fine after this terrible ordeal.

    My good friend Jackie Sept who so often takes my young horses and shows them a bit about life in Perth was recently down in Albany with her float and horses.

    Three weeks earlier she had taken her towing vehicle to have its towing hitch serviced where all was pronounced fine.

    So one Sunday morning Jackie heads off to a competition and fortunately was going very slowly, thanks to the appalling road we live on, when the float started swaying badly. Somehow Jackie kept her ute upright but the float landed on its side, with two horses in it - one was Jackie’s, one was mine. Thankfully Jackie had put a spare bay between the horses, which turned out to be a real blessing. My horse was at the back and somehow she struggled to her feet and was able to be lead out the back of the float with just some superficial stitching required.



    Jackie’s horse meanwhile was upside down and stuck with her head out the front window. Full credit to the makers of the float that it was built well enough to allow the dividers to be pulled out, despite the situation and once the horse was sedated she was able to be dragged out. She was sore and bruised but otherwise basically ok.

    So what had happened?

    Even though the hitch had just been serviced the ‘R’ clip that holds the pin in, that holds the drawbar in place, had come out. We will never know if it rattled loose on our terrible roads or simply failed.

    What we do know is each and every time we hook up a float from now on it will not be a cursory glance we give the the pin. It will be grabbed and rattled. We were so lucky that everyone walked away. So please before you load up those wonderful trusting creatures and take them out so we can all have fun please, please always check your float hitch.

    And the most amazing bit of the whole story for me was when we asked my horse to go back on a truck to come home she just walked on. How amazing are horses?


    July teleconference, horse trailer standards
     Canadian
    Standards Association. The CSA is interested in the possibility of
    establishing standards for horse trailers.
    
    As noted at the Animal Transportation Association Vancouver 2012
    international conference on horse transport, the lack of standards in
    the manufacture of non-commercial horse trailers contributes to injury
    and death of horses and humans. Your USRider on-going study of over 800
    known trailer incidents reveals poor quality materials including tires,
    wiring, braking performance, instability at highway speeds, poor welds,
    trailer skin so thin it can be punched through with a fist, shifting
    loads, mismatch between trailer and tow vehicle, tow vehicle and trailer
    separation, overloading, no mandatory recall on defective parts, and
    horses thrown or falling from the trailer and posing an additional road
    hazard.
    
    As well, few trailers meet the Five Freedoms endorsed by animal welfare
    interests: providing an environment conducive to normal behavior, rest,
    drinking and eating, and which minimizes the risk of injury, mental or
    physical distress, or disease.
    
    Currently, there are no standards in North America for manufacturing
    horse trailers. To the best of my knowledge, standards are also
    non-existent in New Zealand, Australia, and Europe.
    
    With your help, the CSA will explore the level of interest among
    stakeholders for supporting a research effort into establishing
    standards for horse trailer design and structure. Part of the effort
    might include minimum braking performance, minimum wiring standards and
    protection of horse and human life during typical highway incidents such
    as occur at intersections, collisions, and roll-overs.
    
    These Standards would provide an informed basis for manufacturing,
    insurance, regulatory, animal welfare and public interests to compare
    trailer quality and engineering. They would level the playing field
    among manufacturers. No longer would a trailer dealer be able to tell
    the naive buyer that the reason the trailer top is so flimsy is because
    "It is better for horses to be thrown from a trailer in an accident."
    
    Should the project to develop a Standard proceed following the
    feasibility study, the Standard will not become enforceable until it is
    referenced in a contract, in legislation, by being adopted by insurance
    issuers or underwriters or by Transport Canada or a similar authority.
    
    Your participation is vital. Before the CSA can become involved with a
    feasibility study, it needs to determine in this conference call the
    level of support, both volunteer and monetary, from the stakeholders.
    
    If the feasibility study is approved and indicates that there is a need,
    the next step will be to set up a standards development project. The CSA
    is the project manager but only the expert technical committee decides
    on the content of the Standard. If further applied research is required
    the work may contracted to a qualified test facility.
    
    Those few trailer manufacturers who have already applied testing
    standards to their product could likely save the technical committee
    much time. But the committee would need to judge the validity of the tests.
    
    We look forward to consulting with you. This is followed by
    further details of the CSA's role and the equipment required for your
    participation in the teleconference.
    
    
     An agenda will be circulated to confirmed
    participants prior to the teleconference. Confirmed participants will
    also receive a biographical sketch of each of the participants prior to
    the teleconference.

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