7 June 1996

Would your trailer pass the safety test?

Welfare legislation concerning the transport of farm animals will have an increasing impact on smaller, towed livestock trailers. Jeremy Hunt reports

HOME-MADE livestock trailers used for short trips to the auction mart or local show need to undergo close scrutiny to ensure they meet new welfare and safety codes – codes which are now being rigidly enforced.

North Wales-based Ifor Williams, the countrys leading manufacturer of trailers under 3.5t and with a weekly output of 300-400 trailers, stresses the need for users to comply with new transport regulations.

"When transporting animals, full use should be made of partitions to ensure stock isnt thrown about by the motion of the vehicle," says Peter Leslie, the firms marketing manager.

"This is one of the provisions of the Transit of Animals Order – to ensure protection of the stock being carried, as well as being an important for safe trailer towing."

The company has five models in its livestock trailer range, not including horsebox trailers.

The P6e is the smallest being a lightweight single-axle, un-braked trailer. Measuring 1.98m (6ft 6in) long x 1.22m (4ft) wide, the livestock version is now available with flotation tyres for improved off-road performance. This model has a gross weight of 750kg, compared with the 500kg weight of the standard version on 145R10 tyres.

For use up to 60mph, the P6e can carry ATVs and can be towed by them. The livestock version has aluminium ramp gates, hardwood floor slats and ventilation louvres in the canopy. As in all the companys livestock trailers, cross divisions are available but are not provided as standard.

Basic price of the P6e livestock version is £735 with 145R10 tyres and £800 on flotation tyres.

"Anyone moving stock must be aware of the regulations and the maximum pen lengths permitted, depending on the type of livestock being carried. If only a part load is being moved, or just one or two calves in a small trailer, then the pen size may need to be reduced," Mr Leslie says.

The heavier duty Ifor Williams range comprises the P6G and P8G single axle – 1.22m (4ft) x 1.83m (6ft) and 1.22m x 2.44m (8ft) respectively – at a cost of £1045 and £1110. The TA5G version – 1.52m (5ft) wide x 2.44m (8ft), 3.05m (10ft) or 3.66m (12ft) – costs £1780-£2260. The TA510G – 1.77m (5ft 10in) wide x 3.05m (10ft), or 3.66m (12ft) – twin-axle with fixed body costs £2230-£2420. The DP120G dual-purpose – 1.98m (6ft 6in) wide x 3.05m (10ft), or 3.66m (12ft) – which is a flat-bed trailer with a removable livestock body, is priced at £2560-£2705.

The Bateson Trailers range of twin-axle models with 400mm (16in) Land Rover wheels comprises four versions 43LT, 45LT, 47LT and 48LT to cover sizes from 3.05m (10ft) to 3.66m (12ft). Price range is £2175 to £2575. The 50LT and 60LT are demountable container models to convert the trailer to a flat platform type with a one-piece aluminium tread plate floor. Price range is from £2750 to £2900.

The Bateson Eurostock models – 315 and 316 – have been designed to incorporate optional integral folding decks, which the manufacturer claims can be folded for storage within 30sec. The 3.05m (10ft) and 3.66m (12ft) versions with twin side inspection doors, roof rack and ladder and sliding ventilators cost £2750 and £2900.

Reputable, small-scale manufacturers, able to build trailers to meet specific requirements, are also worth consideration. Typical is Nigel Elston who runs his business from Garsdale, near Sedbergh on the Cumbria/North Yorks border.

Mr Elstons basic 1.98m x 1.07m (6ft 6in x 3ft 6in) small, open-topped livestock trailer, made from a steel frame with resin-coated plywood sides, costs £450. Another 1.83m (6ft x 6ft) version with galvanised steel sides costs £500. Both are single axle and un-braked, and PVC tops are available as an extra. &#42

New welfare and safety codes are being strictly enforced, so the old home-built wagon may no longer do. Specialist stock trailers, such as this Ifor Williams TA5G, cost from £1000 to £3000, depending on size and spec.