Horse Trailer Air Ride Suspension
Ride in your trailer some time on an Interstate, (of course have your seat belt on.) Get a feel of the bridge and overpass expansion joints, brace your legs and hang on. Feel the vibration, pounding and horrible noise that your animals put up with. It’s night and day with air suspension how much better your horses or cattle feel unloading after a day on the decrepit roads we have in any state.
I spent a day with Transwest Truck Trailer RV near Fredrick testing their air suspension on a Cimarron horse trailer. This was a certified test with an engineer riding in the trailer using a laptop wired to a motion detector that reads 4 axis from the center of the trailer floor. I used 4 camera’s to record the action. 75 mph on I-25 finding all the bridge seams had me bouncing off the floor trying to hold a video camera watching the 3 quarter horses brace themselves in their stalls. We’ll have all the data from the tests in later articles but the improvement is 96.7% on dirt roads and 80.2% improvement on highways !
Bridge seams are hard on torsion axles (95% of horse trailers use torsion axles) as both tires hit them at the same time making a shock that makes you want to kick the trailer. After getting beat up by the pounding and vibration of the road, the noise just makes you tense.
Cimarron is one of the quieter horse trailers using quiet steel and 3M tape to lower noise in a trailer. Torsion axles are great for being independent left-right, front-back but they only have about 2.5 in. of travel. So the axles don’t work together and will not all support weight over pot-holes at highway speeds.
Now add air suspension like big rigs have done 40 years ago on tractor-trailers. Wheel travel doubles to 5 in. both axles work together equalizing the load between axles. And the best of both worlds, add the air suspension to a torsion axle. The torsion axles gives you independent left and right action and the air does most of the work all in a small area to fit under a stock/horse trailer. This system even has shock absorbers to control rebound just like on your truck.
With this hybrid floating air suspension, weight is carried by all your axles and bearings, the ride is dramatically improved, noise level drops, horse and cattle fatigue is lowered. Ever see a horse smile? Now at the end of the trailer ride, your animals are ready to perform as athletes.
Another benefit, the air bags can dump and lower the trailer to load your animals without ramps. We show on our video’s how much less the horses moved around with the air ride. I predict air ride on trailers will be the next big thing folks will be ordering. Over-the-road trucks get paid more per mile with air ride on their trailers. Smart guys those truckers.
Check out the new air bag-torsion trailer suspension demonstration and video at the Transwest new booth at the National Western Stock Show. They have an info booth where they’ve been for years and the new booth is in the SW corner of the Hall of Education where the other trailer booths are. I’ll be there watching the video’s between rodeo’s.