Horsebox and trailer owners must check the condition and age of their tyres before travelling to shows this summer in order to avoid tyre-related accidents, according to a report in Horse and Hound magazine.
Tyres are a vehicles only point of contact with the road, which makes them vital for safety, and TyreSafe, the UK’s leading tyre safety group, warned that 78% of owners risk harming their horses by driving with under-inflated tyres.
And while the summer is a popular time for horse shows, the warm temperatures can aggravate any existing damage to tyres and under-inflation also increases the risk of suffering a blowout at high speed.
Alison Cox, speaking on behalf of rural insurers NFU Mutual, which has seen several accidents of this nature in the past two months, warned: “Under-inflated tyres are a major cause of incidents as they flex when they overheat, which can lead to blowouts.
“Owners also need to avoid overloading their vehicle, as an overloaded horsebox or trailer is less stable, more difficult to steer and will take longer to stop. Overloading is another reason for tyres overheating, which again increases the chances of a tyre blowing out.”
A worrying number of horse owners seem unaware of the potential danger of failing to carry out basic checks. According to a survey in 2012 by the British Horse Society, 28% did not know the legal minimum tyre tread, while 7% never check their tyre pressure, oil levels, indicators and water levels.
One horse owner revealed she had a very lucky escape when her lorry suffered a blowout while transporting her Clydesdale, Molly, to a show recently. Julia Hyslop said: “We were on the M73 [in Scotland], but luckily we were travelling in the slow lane so we could pull over,” she said.
“Fortunately, the tyre could be replaced with Molly still in the box, and she was very good — especially as it was her first time in the lorry.”
According to the Horse and House report, the tyres had been checked, but Ms Hyslop warned that other owners should find out the age of theirs. “We don’t do a huge amount of miles so they wouldn’t wear out, but the tyres were older than I thought — about eight years old,” she said.
etyres supply and fit a wide range of tyres to suit all budgets and vehicles – including horseboxes and trailers. Its mobile tyre fitting service also means customers do not have the hassle of manoeuvring their vehicle into a cramped tyre depot.
Denna Bowman, Head Office