Tom's Trailer TalkQUICK TIP

WHAT'S IN YOUR TRAILER? - Your trailer’s construction material is critical to your horses’ survival in an accident. Here’s what you need to know:


  • Your tow vehicle, like most all cars and trucks, has a steel structure around the cab to protect you from front, side, and rear impact.
  • steel Car Frame

  • A horse trailer should have a similar steel structure surrounding your horses to provide the same protection
  • Steel structure on the roof will hold the trailer together if is flips.
  • Steel structure on the sides will protect against lateral impact.
  • Steel in the back protects against rear impact
  • Steel has great formability, durability, toughness, and weldability.
  • Steel is easier to repair, making steel the preferred material in the auto industry.
  • A steel weld can be made as strong as the parent material.

Trailer Frame


  • Pound for pound, aluminum is only 1/3rd the strength of steel.
  • Aluminum sheers and tears when impact exceeds its stress point, greatly increasing the possibility of lacerations.
  • Weld in an aluminum alloy is always weaker than the alloy being welded.
  • Aluminum is rigid, conducts heat, difficult to weld, difficult to maintain strength, and costs more than steel.
  • Rust is to steel as aluminum is to corrosion. Galvanized, Galvaneal, and powder-coated steels eliminate rust. Aluminum corrodes and is highly susceptible to alkaline in urine and manure, creating damage to trailer floors.
  • Trailer Frame

  • Lighter weight aluminum trailers crush and fold from impact giving little protection to horses.
  • Heavier weight aluminum trailers hold up better because of the use of more aluminum for added strength.
  • Heavier aluminum trailers are more durable but more expensive.

Tom's Trailer Talk "Quick Tips" are provided by EquiSpirit Trailer Co.

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