Horse trailer refurbishment

horse trailer

We currently have two horses, both thoroughbreds. One was supposed to be a race horse, but was too slow or so goes the story. The other was a race horse who won or placed in every race until he was injured. They are both would not fit in the bumper pull two horse trailer we had, as they are 16.1 and 17.1 hands. The trailer was from 1978 and had been sitting out in the desert sun most of its existence.  So the task fell upon me to refurbish it so it could be sold.

  1. Replacing the floors. The floors were in bad shape, someone (not me) put flooring in that was not up to the task, then put plywood on top of that with a bunch of screws to hold it all together. Not something I would want to put my horse on, so it came out and was replaced with treated wood planks.
  2. The inside walls and back doors are covered thin plywood but the edging is welded in place. I was not going to go so far as to cut all that out and have to re-weld all that metal. So the inside got new rubber panels to cover the areas where a horse might hit or rub.
  3. The floor mats looked like an old door mat from my childhood. Those found their way into the trash and new rubber mats were installed.
  4. The lights and wiring were in a bad state, patch work had been done multiple times. All the wiring was torn out and fresh wire installed. Lighting fixture both inside and out were replaced with new units. Also, a connection box for the wiring was put into place for future needs and ease of maintenance.
  5. The hitch had been “broken for years” along with the foot. The old hitch was cut off and a direct replacement was welded on. This was done by a friend that is a certified welder, I wanted it to be safe for live animals and wasn’t taking the chance on my skills along. The new hitch came with a primer coat, so a new base coat was put on the clear coated. Not a bad job.
  6. The windows were all intact but badly weathered. A good cleaning and polish and they were clear again. Well as clear as the old blue plastic could be, ah the seventies designs.
  7. The vents were non-existent. The downside to this is that they do not make them in the right size anymore. Not to mention that the surface they are mounted to is curved. So, adapter plates were made to secure them to the curved surface.
  8. The bright work was damaged and loose in some places. So they were re-attached and polished. Some of the damage could not be repaired but was only superficial.
  9. The paint had suffered the most. So three days of rubbing and buffing and the lacquer finish brightened up. It still had some patina, but would bead water easily and would reflect the sun. Looked like some of the “vintage” paint jobs that are so popular now a days.
  10. The tires were not road worthy with a load and the wheels were sad. I was able to find a set of four new bias ply trailer tires at the shop that would match the setup of the trailer based on its build time. The wheels were painted after a good run over with a wire brush.

In all it took about a month to get the trailer ready for use by horses. While I was glad to see it go to a new home where it would be used, I was sad that we could not use it ourselves. Next time we should get smaller horses.

Harbor Freight Quick Hitch

Harbor Freight had their version of the 3 point Quick Hitch on sale again, so I stopped by to pick one up. They are relatively simple pieces of equipment and are suitable for tractors with up to a Cat 1 3 point system.

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However they are not without their flaws. First of which, it the size of the top hook. These are cut from inch plate, but not to an acceptable tolerance, so some fgrinding and filing was in order. Second, the retaining bolts for the top hook interfere with connecting equipment that are Quick Hitch Ready. Fixing this was not much of an issue, only the time a a few materials were requied. i found some other solutions for this issue after a quick search, but choose my own solution.

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I solved my problem by replacing the bolts with 7/16″ steel dowel pins and 5/16″-24 bolts. I took the top hook drilled and tapped 2 holes in the front of the hook for the retaining bolts. A little thread locking gel, and the top hook was in place with no interference with the implements. Now the third issue, how to mount the stabilizer bar.

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A standard 7/8″ pin fit nicely, so I used it, a self locking nut, and a couple of washers to mount the stabilizer bar to the Quick Hitch.

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New hydraulics for the 8N

After many years of service then hydraulics on the ’51 8N needed some help. When the lift arms are raised and the PTO is then disengaged, the arms drop slowly. Since using an auger that is PTO driven is made very difficult due to the inability of the lift arms to stay up without the PTO engaged, some thing would have to be done. Rebuilding the lift assembly and pump were in order. So with rebuild kits in hand, disassembly commenced. The lift cover is quite a heavy piece, so an engine hoist was used to lift the cover to protect the arm from being damaged. It was also discovered that water had been introduced to the oil, which had turned a nice milky color since the last service. Investigation showed that the gaskets were not seal properly by whomever last serviced the unit. Also, the gaskets that should have been between the cylider and the lift cover were missing causing some leakage. It was also noted that the pump was leaking from multiple locations, including the safety valve. There was a large layer of goop at the bottom of the pump/PTO space which took some time to clean out by hand. I could have used a vacuum, but it was so thick that it would have taken some time to clean with that method. The scoop by hand method worked out well, then a bit of mineral spirits and some shop towels did the trick.
While at the parts store getting another batch of gakset sealer, a varient designed for gear oil was selected as a test. The downside is that a setting period of 24 hours is required before introducing oil. We will see how well it seals. There was a lot of build-up of dirt and oil (dried) caked on the axel and transmission housing that has to be removed by scraping. Pressure washing removed only the surface of the cake. Hopefully the leaks have been taken care of with new gaskets, although the left side cover was not removed, so that could be a future fix.
Re-assembly was tight as the pump requires precise positioning to get it back into the housing, a little wiggling and a pry bar moved it into the correct position without any damage. The casting of the pump assembly is a work of art, given the time that it was created and cast in aluminum, so care was taken to not damage it during re-assembly. Getting the lift cover back into place was not as easy due to its weight and awkward shape. Additionally the arm can be damaged if you are not careful and it has to be engaged to the pump properly before the cover comes to rest on the housing. Once all is back into place and bolted, adjustments can be made to ensure proper operation. Come to find out that the quadrant was seriously out of alignment, so loosening the four bolts for the adjustment and some nudging with a deadblow hammer got things lined up and moving per the manuals specifications.

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World’s First Autonomous Truck Goes Into Operation – NBC News.com

Source: World’s First Autonomous Truck Goes Into Operation – NBC News.com

 

I am all for technology that makes it safer to traverse the road, but as a CDL holder I feel for the other drivers who will have to find another lively hood once this technology takes hold. It is still early in the game and not fully autonomous as a driver is still required for some operations and for emergencies. Which means that the very driver that may fall asleep while driving may fall asleep while monitoring. I guess time will tell.