|American Colored Angora Goat Registry
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Trailering Your Goats
There are many options for transporting your goats, to shows, to the vet, when buying
or selling, etc. Many goat owners choose to use a trailer to do the job. Many times
the trailer gets parked after it has been used with no care or maintenance. Then the
next time it is needed it is simply hooked up and used. Trailers are like all mechanical
devices and need routine care and maintenance. Here are a few tips to make using
your trailer a pleasure instead of a nightmare. First, do a general inspection beginning
with the vehicle you will be towing your trailer with. Is it ready and up to the job?
Is your tow vehicle rated to pull the intended trailer? Check the owner’s manual to be
sure you are within the weight limits. Is the trailer hitch rated for your trailer? Is the
hitch ball the correct size for your trailer? Most hitches are marked with that
information. Is the light plug compatible with your trailers light plug? Next do a general
inspection of your trailer. What size hitch ball does it require? Is it compatible with the
ball on the tow vehicle? Does the trailer have good strong safety chains with hooks or
devices to connect them to the tow vehicle? Many states require 2 safety chains.
When attached to the tow vehicle they should be crossed under the trailer tongue, this
is required in many states. Crossing them allows the chains to catch the trailers
tongue if the hitch should fail. Is the light plug compatible with the plug on the tow
vehicle? It seems like lights on trailers always have a problem, burned out bulb,
broken wire, etc. Light problems almost always result from a poor installation.
It is well worth the cost to have a qualified automotive electrician repair or replace a
faulty system. How many times have we all seen someone stopped along the highway
at night holding a flashlight in their teeth trying to fix trailer lights! A complete light kit
for your trailer can be purchased on Ebay for under $25.
Check the tires on your trailer. They should have good tread and be properly inflated.
Do you have a good spare tire and the tools to change a flat?
If your trailer is parked in the sun it can help extend tire life by blocking the sun so it
doesn’t shine directly on them. Most tire stores will inspect tires for you at no cost.
Are the lug nuts all tight? When was the last time the wheel bearings were inspected
and repacked? If your trailer has brakes test them and have them inspected when you
pack the wheel bearings. Inspect all of the doors, gates, latches and mechanicals for
function and operation. Latches and locks can always use a little lubrication and when
working properly are pleasures to use and sure beat pinched fingers! While this all
sounds like a lot of work it really isn’t. A good inspection can be done in just a few
minutes and will pay off with the no hassle use of your trailer.
By: Pat Ross, South Texas Angora Goats