To pull some horses through long roads, bumpy paths, steep hills, and unpredictable routes, you need a vehicle that won’t disappoint. The smart move that we hope you’re making is to research the best trucks for towing horse trailers before you head out.
Whether this is going to be your first experience purchasing a tow vehicle or the tenth, you’ll find useful information that can potentially save your life and your horses’ too!
So, read our guide on how to find the best towing truck for horse hauling along with the top 3 available options to keep your towing experience from being disastrous!
Qualities to Look For in the Best Towing Vehicle
If you want the absolute best towing truck, you have to look for it with an eagle’s eye. To make things easy for you, here is a list of all the qualities that the best towing truck should have. Even if it’s your first time getting a truck of this sort, this guide will help you pinpoint the perfect vehicle for your needs.
The towing capacity of a truck is simply the maximum amount of weight it can tow. Here’s why it’s the most important factor to determine the ideal truck for your horse hauling needs:
You see a horse trailer on sale that has enough capacity to carry 4 horses. It seems to be the perfect trailer that you’ve been looking for. So, you start jumping up and down internally. That’s when you remember that the towing capacity of your tow truck restricts you to less than half a ton of towing weight.
When you’re getting a tow vehicle, keep a rough idea in mind of how extreme you can go in the future. The details of the maximum towing capacity are provided by the manufacturer in the vehicle manual. In this manual, you’ll find a mention of the following:
- GVWR is the gross vehicle weight rating. This is the maximum weight that can be loaded on the tow vehicle including the trailer’s tongue weight.
- GCVWR is the gross combined vehicle weight rating. This is the sum of the GVWR of the tow truck and the GVWR of the towed trailer.
- GVW is the gross vehicle weight. It refers to the total weight of the vehicle, once it is fully loaded.
- GAWR is the gross axle weight rating. This is the maximum weight the vehicle’s axles can bear.
Cars have three main driving systems. The first one is front-wheel drive in which only the front 2 wheels carry the weight of the vehicle. All-Wheel Drive (AWD) and 4 Wheel Drive (4WD), both, use all four wheels. However, AWD drive systems rely mostly on the front wheel only. The rear wheels have to use the support of rear axles.
60% of the power in a 4WD vehicle is used on the rear wheels and 40% on the front ones. 4WD vehicles also have the option to switch to two-wheel drive. 4WD is the best option for trucks used for towing horse trailers.
The transmission of the truck is mostly a personal preference. A manual transmission provides more control, especially on the downhill and uphill routes. An automatic transmission, on the other hand, keeps the driver’s attention on the trailer. Weigh your options against the kind of routes you’ll have to travel to finalize the transmission.
A vehicle’s stability depends majorly on the wheelbase. In simple words, a longer wheelbase is safer. It provides more control. The weight of the trailer distributes more evenly and so, it’s easier for the driver to maneuver the vehicle.
Do not ignore the chassis design of a tow truck. It is the foundation of the body frame so it plays a major role in keeping the truck from rolling over. A body-on-frame chassis design with a low center of gravity is recommended for trucks that have to be used for towing.
Trucks that are manufactured for towing purposes usually offer a tow package to the owners. This package basically includes some additional accessories that prove useful. These may include extended mirrors, a larger radiator, a stronger suspension, etc. Don’t forget to ask for a tow package as it boosts the vehicle’s performance and safety.
Top 3 Tow Trucks for Horse Trailers
Keeping all the aforementioned qualities in mind, we’ve put together a list of the top 3 trucks for towing horse trailers. These are the absolute best trucks for towing, especially for horse hauling.
The 2022 Ford F-350 XLT is a beast.
First off, the truck has BLIS. BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) is a great feature if you plan to tow long trailers. This system supports up to 33 feet long trailers. It also offers cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping alert, forward collision warning, and pre-collision assist.
Different variants offer a fuel tank capacity of 29 gallons, 34 gallons, and 48 gallons. Each one has a wheelbase of 142 to 148 inches, 160 to 164 inches, and 176 inches respectively. You also have the option to choose between 4×2 or 4×4 drive types. It is an automatic transmission truck with 10 speeds. You also get an ABS brake system.
When it comes to the option of additional features, there’s plenty to choose from. But, even with the most basic variant, the vehicle offers a safe towing experience.
2. GMC Sierra
Next up is GMC Sierra. With a maximum towing capacity of over 36,000 pounds, the vehicle comes in 3 variants for you to choose what suits your requirements and budget the best:
- Pro Sierra HD
- SLE Sierra HD
- Sierra HD SLT
This strong vehicle is tailored perfectly for towing needs. With lane departure warning, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, front and rear park assist, and other features, there is no risk on a long towing journey. HD Surround Vision and Bed View Camera provide a clear view of the truck and trailer.
The interior doesn’t compromise luxury at all. Heating and ventilation are all taken care of to keep the journey as comfortable as possible. Moving to the exterior, the GMC six-function tailgate makes loading and unloading easier than ever. Mirrors and lighting are designed ideally for a long journey with towed horse trailers.
3. Ram 3500
The Ram 3500 truck can tow over 37,000 pounds easily.
The manufacturers promise that the 6.7L Cummins turbo-diesel engine in this truck will never disappoint you, no matter what kind of towing job.
Other than its remarkable pull power, the interior and exterior are also up to the mark. The heavy-duty headlight will brighten up the darkest routes.
Its digital rearview mirror allows you to see a real-time video of what’s going on behind the vehicle so you can keep an eye on your towed horse trailer. There is another 360-degree camera that helps you keep an eye all around the vehicle.
The trailer monitoring allows you to keep check of the tire pressure of the trailer. Moreover, features like Auto-Level Rear Air Suspension make the attaching and detaching of the trailer extremely quick and simple.
FAQs about Tow Vehicles for Horse Hauling
Here, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding towing horse trailers. You will find the clarification of all your confusions.
You need a heavy-duty truck to pull a horse trailer. The appropriate vehicle for a job like this is a truck that can pull three-quarters of a ton easily. This is the minimum capacity required to pull four horses with a gooseneck hitch. For a two-horse tagalong trailer, half a ton of towing capacity is the bare minimum.
You have to calculate the exact towing capacity you need using the details of the horse trailer you plan to tow. Details like the heights of the horses above the center of gravity and their weights will also be needed. It is easy math to figure this part out. But, you must add an extra 1000 pounds to cover for the movement of the horses.
Regular vehicle insurance covers the insurance of towing a horse trailer too. Even though there is no legal constraint, it is recommended to get separate insurance for horse hauling. This will benefit you not only in the case of theft but also if the horsebox or any contents inside are damaged.
Towing puts a lot of strain on a truck. It heats up the overall vehicle but most importantly, the fluids in the engine may quickly overheat. In case these fluids aren’t filled to the recommended levels, it will severely damage your truck.
Moreover, towing can also damage other parts of your truck if the towed trailer exerts uneven pressure due to uneven weight distribution.
Longer trailers tend to do a better job of towing than shorter ones. It is pure physics that makes a longer trailer more efficient. In easy words, the rear-most wheels of a long trail and the foremost wheels of the trailer have the least possible distance in between them.
There is a minimal impact of bumps or muddled movement. This makes the overall movement of the vehicle smoother as the trailer travels as part of the vehicle.
You can easily increase the towing capacity of your truck. Upgrade the hitch if you only want a slight increase in your towing capacity. However, for a bigger boost, you will have to upgrade all the aspects of your truck that are affected by towing. This includes upgrading the braking system, axles, exhaust, radiator, and suspension.
Whether you were looking for a truck with the maximum towing capacity, highest safety, or guaranteed comfort, you must have found the right option for yourself. However, before you seal the deal, double-check the vehicle’s features against the quality checkmarks we recommended.
You will make the best decision and purchase if you follow these steps correctly!