First Aid Kit Basics

Be prepared! The list below is my recommended minimum number of items to keep in your horse trailer at all times. The list could be expanded into a seemingly unlimited number of items. Probably there is no way to be totally prepared for any and all potential accidents, injury or illness but we can try to be as prepared as possible. Keep these items in a water proof case if possible. Keep a lamenated waterproof card prominently displayed in your trailer with your contact information, your "in case of emergency" contact numbers, your veterinarians contact information.

* quilted bandage, disposable diapers or maxi pads
* wet wipes
* antibiotic cream or ointment
* roll of vet wrap / stretch bandage
* eye wash / skin wash
* PVP iodine solution
* rubber gloves
* adhesive tape / duct tape
* scissors / bandage cutter
* gauze bandage / gauze wound pads
* hoof boot correctly sized for your horse / horses

It seems a good idea to keep a horse health care / first aid hand book as well and to familiarize yourself with normal vital signs for horses. Consider:
Dr. Kellon's Guide to First Aid for Horses by Eleanor Kellon


Exterior Care

Your new Hawk trailer has a beautiful poly coated UV protected finish. Because of this there is little to do for exterior care. I recommend:

* Wash with a mild car wash detergent or Simple Green diluted as per label. I like to use a long
handled soft car wash type brush so I can reach the top. Clean one section or area at a time and
rinse well before moving on to the next section.

* When your new trailer is about 3 months old it is a good idea to give it a wax job. ( or let a neighbors kid, your kid or auto detail shop! ) wax the trailer with a good quality auto wax. Be sure to wax the top of the roof as well as the body.

*All trailers of all types get black streaks, this is caused in part from the aluminum top rail strip and the rubber window seals. It is best to wipe these streaks off with a cloth as they appear, if you leave the trailer dirty with black streaks for a prolonged period of time you will have to use a product such as "Streak Master" or other black streak remover and elbow grease to remove them. If you want your trailer to keep it's new appearance over the long haul I think it is best to keep it clean and give it a wax job once in a while! Streaking will lesson as the trailer ages.

*Lubricate all moving parts IE hinges and coupler latch with a light spray of WD 40. This will help keep things moving freely and provide a liight protective coating.

That is it for exterior body care!

Time for Service?

Spring has sprung! Most folks use this time of the year for trailer service and maintenance. Really, your maintenance should be based on months and mileage. Though we rarely keep track of mileage! Here is the suggested service from Dexter Axle.

Weekly or at every use - check your tire pressure or prior to each use. Look on your trailer tire side wall for the recommended PSI and check pressure when the tire is cold - check your break away battery charge & inspect the connection - make sure your brakes are working - make sure all lights are working properly

3 Months - when your trailer is new at 3 months - have your trailer brakes checked for adjustment - we would like all 4 brakes to be equal - double check your lug nuts - inspect your tires for signs of wear or un even wear

6 months - or 6000 miles - check brake magnets, make sure your brake controller is working properly, have your suspension parts checked, IE inspect the axle mounts - check for wear or bending - check your wheels, looking for any cracks / dents / distortions

12 months - 12000 miles - the big service for the year
* check brake linings for wear or contamination
* check brake cylinders for for leaks or sticking
* check wiring for bare spots / fray etc
* check brake lines for wear / cracks
* check hub/drum for abnormal wear / sticking
* check wheel bearings & cups for corrosion / wear, clean and repack
* check seals, inspect for leakage, replace if removed
* check springs, inspect for wear, loss of arch
* check hangers, inspect welds

It is prudent in my experience to re check your lug nuts after you or someone else has changed a tire or removed a wheel/tire for service. On a new trailer check your lug nuts at 25/50/100 miles - this is important. If you have aluminum wheels, please check your lug nuts frequently.

If you do not know of a reputable trailer service company, ask around among your riding friends. The how to of servicing your trailer in detail is shown in your Dexter Axle manual included with your trailer paper work. For most of us though, it is best to have the service done at a trailer service or RV shop.