Today's post is about common safety practices before hauling. Every single time I haul my horses, I do a super quick safety check which includes the following:
- I walk around the truck and trailer and visually check the tires to see if any look flat (it's happened!).
- I check for any broken running lights, and I turn on my truck lights just to make sure the trailer lights are working correctly. It's time consuming, but I also check to see that both trailer blinkers are working as well.
- I also peek into the bed of the truck to be sure that my hitch is still correctly connected and that the safety chains are in place. I have a gooseneck trailer so the hitch isn't easily visible while walking around.
- After loading my horses, I do another "walk around" to check that the living quarters door is firmly closed and locked and that both back doors are firmly latched with the cotter pins in place.
- I check my drop-down windows to make sure that they are either firmly closed, or if they are in the down position, I make sure they are locked into the keepers that hold them down.
- After an event, I do the same thing for the trip home, except that I am extra careful to check for things that I may have hanging from the trailer, like buckets and hay bags. I also do another "walk around" to look for things like my step stool, feed pan, scissors, brushes, or other dropped items.
The more routine we can make our hauling experience, the less likely we are to forget something. Every once in a while I'll hit the brakes and think, did I put Speedy in the trailer? So far I haven't made that mistake! There have been others but not that particular one. Just last month I lost a pocket knife because my "walk around" wasn't as thorough as it should have been. Another time I drove off with my bale of hay sitting beside the trailer. I was quite surprised when I got to the endurance ride we were doing, and I had no hay!
Safety Tip #1: Always do a walk around.