How to Determine Horse Trailer Weight

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Horse trailer weights vary by size and material.
Horse trailer weights vary by size and material. (Image: red horse trailer image by studio vision1 from Fotolia.com)

Horse trailer owners know that the safety of their horses in transport depends on the trailer having the proper weight for the towing vehicle. Trailer weight is the combined total weight of the trailer, tack, and horses. A truck has a maximum towing capacity. The trailer must weigh below the towing capacity for the truck to tow the trailer safety. Trucks towing over capacity can damage crucial parts such as the transmission or have difficulty stopping. Determining the weight of the trailer before you put the truck into drive makes the roads safer for your horses and the cars sharing the road.

Check the title or Certificate of Origin for the weight for gross vehicle weight (GVW). Not all trailer titles or certificate note the weight of the trailer. Call the place where you purchased the trailer. It may have it on record. Contact the manufacturer or look on its website. Take the trailer to a scale—the kind that checks the weight of tracker trailers on the highway—and have it weighed.

Estimate the weight of the horses and tack. The average horse weighs 1,000 lbs.

Add the weight of the trailer, horses, and tack. To tow the trailer safety, ensure the combined weight is less than the towing capacity of the truck.

Tips & Warnings

  • When shopping for a truck, find the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating on the trailer’s sticker and use this number as the maximum weight the perspective vehicle will tow.

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