Charles Oakley from Oakley Horseboxes recommends that all lorries have their mechanics and bodywork serviced, as many will have been left idle for the past six months.
“Horseboxes have numerous moving parts, and over time with no use they can seize up,” says Charles. “But this can be rectified with a body service. We check everything from ramp and partition operations to horse area floor safety. We check all appliance operations such as electrical, heating and hot water systems, batteries and generator. If your box is made of a higher quality material – such as stainless steel, which doesn’t corrode – things might not have deteriorated as much as they might do on a more economical build.”
Brian Burton from Essex Vehicle Inspection agrees that when a lorry has been left idle for a long period of time without maintenance, some of the parts can start to stick.
“The main things to check are the tyres, tyre sidewalls for cracking, and brakes for binding,” says Brian. “Check the handbrake, too, as this can get sticky, though moving the vehicle every couple of weeks should stop this. If you are unable to move the box then run a trickle charge on the battery to stop it going flat.
“When I go to inspect boxes, one thing I always find is that the gas appliances and pipe work have never been checked by a qualified gas engineer and have not been issued a safety certificate. Over a period of time the flexible pipes and joints can become leaky; a check is relatively inexpensive and will improve the safety of the box. The same goes for the hook-up system; I would also have this checked by an electrician who should issue a safety certificate.”
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