In order maintain road safety it is important that drivers know how to handle the vehicle they are driving or towing and that the vehicle or trailer is in roadworthy condition.
Horseboxes and horse trailers are often only used infrequently and can spend long periods sitting idle. Defects can develop while a vehicle or trailer is unused. So it is important that driver’s maintain their skills and suitable maintenance and checks are carried out.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recently updated their guidance for transporting horses in horseboxes and trailers, moving the guidance from the previous PDF format to a web layout with links to further supporting information.
The guidance covers such topics as:
- The type of licence required
- Whether or not an Operator licence is required and if so what type. A licence will be required where horses are being transported commercially.
- Drivers’ hours regulations, which will apply to heavier vehicles or vehicle and trailer combinations
- Safety of both the vehicle and horses, a particular issue can be floors deteriorating unnoticed when they are covered with straw or plates.
- The documents required for transporting horses, both in the UK and abroad
Heavy goods vehicle type daily walkaround checks are recommended for large horseboxes, but safety checks should be carried out for all types of vehicle.
The revised guidance can be found on the Gov.UK website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-horsebox-and-trailer-owners