Category Archives: Livestock Hauling

Cleaning Your Livestock Trailer

Keeping your equipment clean and in good condition not only makes it last longer, but can also prevent disease transmission.  For a state-by-state map of livestock trailer washes, visit this website: The truck washes listed on the site that also accept livestock trailers do not necessarily clean the inside of the livestock trailer.  For that you will need:

  • Bucket
  • Sanitizer or commercial trailer wash solution
  • Scrub brushes (large one with a long handle, and smaller one for crevices and small nooks)
  • Running water (or pressure washer)
  • Flat shovel

Ideally you’ll park the trailer on some sort of slope with the rear doors at the lowest point.

  1. Begin by opening the trailer up – all doors, vents, windows.
  2. Using the flat shovel, remove all debris from the floor, scraping as much out as you can.
  3. Remove the floor mats and take them out to be washed separately.
  4. Hose down the inside of the trailer, ceiling to floor, spraying debris out of the trailer.
  5. Mix the sanitizer in the bucket and take your brushes and bucket into the trailer with you.
  6. Thoroughly clean the inside of the trailer with the scrub brushes.  Pay special attention to areas where animals feed (manger if there is one) or their faces come in close contact.  While cleaning, make note of any damage – jagged edges, rust, or other places where germs can collect or where an animal could be cut or injured.  If possible, repair them immediately.  Scrub all surfaces including ceiling, dividers, walls, and floors.
  7. Thoroughly rinse the inside of the trailer.
  8. Use the sanitizer and brushes on the mats, scrubbing both sides and rinsing thoroughly.
  9. Sanitize the scrub brushes, flat shovel, outside of the bucket, and any other tools you used to clean the trailer (i.e. mat-grabbers, rubber gloves, etc.)
  10. Rinse everything thoroughly.
  11. Allow the mats, tools, and inside of the trailer to dry before putting everything back.

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when mixing sanitizer.  If you have none available, vinegar or bleach are suitable alternatives, although bleach can cause respiratory problems.  If using bleach, follow the “three rinses” rule – rinsing the trailer, mats, and tools three times.  If you can still smell the bleach, rinse more.

Following these guidelines between loads will help prevent the transmission of disease between animals, and will keep your equipment in top condition.


What Items Are Couriers Not Allowed To Carry?

By: Paul McDuffy

The types of cargo that a Miami courier service can or cannot carry depend a great deal on the specifics of the courier company in question. There are permits and licenses which can be obtained which will allow a courier company to transport goods which they might otherwise not be allowed to move. This is important to inquire about if you are trying to ship anything which is governed by its own types of laws, such as medical material or pharmaceutical products. These both require special permits and designations on the part of the courier company because there are specialized requirements involved in shipping them, for example, in the way that extra security is required whenever moving drugs, because there is a high risk in moving cargo of this nature. The only blanket rule you can apply to all courier companies is that they will not move anything which it is illegal to possess, as this would obviously also leave them liable in regards to the illegality of the item or product in question.

Another type of product that most courier companies can’t transport is anything which is labeled or designated as toxic or hazardous. However, there are shipping companies which do have the permits and the vehicles necessary to move these types of products; you just have to look for one which specializes in moving hazardous goods.

Trade agreements further complicate the laws regarding what a courier can or cannot transport. This means that there are certain laws which dictate the movement of certain types of things across international borders. Anything being shipped to Canada, for example, must have the proper documents accompanying it, and must be cleared under any relevant trade agreements before a courier company could move it across those borders.

Some couriers can, and others cannot, also transport live goods, such as cattle. Usually there are shipping companies which specialize in livestock transportation, but some local larger couriers might have a specialized division which does this while also conduction regular courier duties.

If you’re trying to ship anything out of the ordinary it is simply best to call the courier company and discuss with them upfront what you’re going to try and ship with them. You don’t want to place an order for a shipment and realize that you have a problem when the driver comes to pick up your load, as that can cost you both time and money.

Author Resource:-> Paul McDuffy is an International Consultant for courier service in Miami and courier service companies. Additionally, Paul is a seasoned human resources consultant for Nurse Jobs.

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Returning to Basics – Safety Begins Before the Key is turned

Whether you have hauled animals for years or are new to hauling it pays to keep the basics in mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re hauling cattle to the next state, horses to a show, pigs to market or sheep and goats to sales these basics can help save money, time and animals.

This can boil down to 7 check points and 5 considerations which, if done every time you slide into the rig, can reduce the problems and increase the safety.

Check lights: Make sure headlights, tail lights, turn signals, running lights and brake lights are working. This might be as simple as a loose connection or a blown light but checking these things, and repairing if needed as soon as possible, makes for a safer time on the road.

Check brakes: Make sure brakes and emergency brakes are in working order every time. With a load behind you pushing the brakes are critical. Don’t risk your safety or that of the load by neglecting the brakes.

Check hitch, chains: This can take just a moment but it’s not unheard of for a hitch to come loose, with disastrous results. If you have stopped for fuel or a meal or even just for a short break always check before you take off.

Check door: This seems obvious but having seen a livestock trailer with horses inside and the sliding door open perhaps it’s not! Again – any time you stop gives activists or pranksters a chance to release the latch on the door. Make sure it’s secured every time.

Check tires: Check tires regularly for wear and for damage. Sometimes a bad tire with pieces missing or damage to it can be replaced before it leaves you stranded along the highway with a loaded trailer.

Check animals: This is easier with a handful of animals than a semi-trailer, but take a peek at the animals. If there are injuries give the receiving end warning or deal with the situation there, depending on the situation. Make sure the animals are comfortable as much as can be during transport.

Check attitude: We cannot change other drivers but can change how we approach it. We don’t know who or what that other driver is. It may be a tired single mom heading home after working 12 hours but it might also be someone who is reckless and has less regard for you than the animals you’re hauling. Use safety precautions, be rested and alert and remember that your load is alive and shifts much differently than ‘dead weight’ tied down.

Consider weather: Snowy, sunny (especially driving into the sun), hot and cold can all make a difference not only in the road conditions but the comfort and safety of the animals aboard.

Consider temperature: Very hot or very cold temperatures can affect the animals on board. In hot weather don’t rely on moving in order to maintain a safe temperature for the animals you have on. Pigs, for example, cannot tolerate heat and often are hauled at night for this reason.

Consider distance: While there are many safety issues the same whether you’re driving 100 miles or 1000 there are generally longer days with longer trips. Consider whether at any point you will need to unload animals to rest and drink and where that would best be done.

Consider animals: Keeping the animals safe in transport is important for them to arrive in good condition. With horses use extra care in hauling stallions especially if mares are also on board. With fuel and transportation costs there sometimes can be a conflict between getting as many as possible on board with not overcrowding or endangering the animals on board. Animals that are pressed in so tightly they can’t stand normally often mean the possibility of animals falling and getting trampled.

Consider documentation: Have a dashboard camera, a good digital camera and accurate records that are kept up to date. Keep equipment maintained and document it. Keep documentation of how many shipped, how many arrived safely and other factors that establishes a good record as well as pointing out in what areas you need to improve.

These things take but a couple minutes to do but can save you time and money. Be safe!

Tips for Loading Donkeys

DonkeysHorses aren’t the only equines that need to be transported from place to place.  Donkeys are often hauled whether it is across the country or to a local show.  However, few transporters take into consideration the special attention that donkeys require.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that you can’t rush a donkey.  If you try to hurry along a hesitant donkey, you’re only asking for trouble.  Most of the tricks that work well on a stubborn horse do nothing on a stubborn donkey.  The best method that works for a donkey is a long lead rope that will reach a secure ring located in the front of the trailer.

Before asking a donkey to enter a trailer, run the end of the rope through the ring.  This is typically a two person job, as one person needs to keep the donkey from backing up when the other asks it to load.

Remember, donkeys are very strong and when they decide to go back, they’re going back and you can’t hold them without a wrap or two around the ring with the lead rope.  This is a slow process, but as long as you don’t allow them to back away at all they will begin to figure out that they don’t have very many options.  Many donkeys will load this way without any fussing.

A common problem when loading a donkey is that they may decide to enter the trailer with their front feet and then freeze.  This can be frustrating because you know they’re almost there, just two more feet to go.  However, don’t make a big deal out of it.  Just move around in a very relaxed manner.  Avoid opening dividers or doors, as this can cause them to become uneasy and then they definitely won’t enter the trailer.  They will simply become suspicious of you and the trailer.

Try to avoid using food as a bribe for loading into the trailer, but there is nothing wrong with a little treat after they have successfully loaded.  However, if you do have a donkey that seems to be motivated by food and you don’t really know the donkey and he doesn’t know you, then a little alfalfa or grain may be a good tool for developing trust between you and the donkey.

Finally, remember that patience is key.  It’s also a good idea to make the trailer an inviting place to be by putting down shavings, cleaning out strange manure and eliminating flies.  If you have lights, turn on the interior lights and open any feeder doors or windows that will increase the light.  If it’s a warm day, have as many windows and vents open as possible to avoid the trailer feeling like an oven.

Reducing Fuel Costs When Transporting Livestock

Many horse and livestock owners are affected by the rising costs of fuel and the added cost of fuel prices have forced some horse owners to reduce some of their summer activities, like hauling to horse shows and participating in trail rides. However, there are several things that horse owners can do to help maximize their vehicles fuel efficiency. By properly maintaining the tow vehicle and carefully planning ahead, horse owners will still be able to participate in many different horse related activities.

One of the most important aspects of maximizing the fuel efficiency and reducing the costs associated with hauling horses is to properly maintain the vehicle that is used to haul the horses. One of the most important aspects of maintaining the tow vehicle is to keep the engine tuned. Research has shown that a properly tuned engine can result in as much as a four percent increase in fuel efficiency.

Another important maintenance area is to replace the air filter on a regular basis. The air filter is used to remove particles and impurities from the air that enters the engine. By keeping the air filter replaced, horse owners can increase the mileage in their tow vehicle by as much as ten percent.

It is important to allow time for horses to rest when they are being hauled long distances; however owners should not let their tow vehicle idle while the horses are resting. When a tow vehicle is idling, it is getting zero miles to the gallon and as a general rule; larger tow vehicles will waste a great deal of more gasoline than a smaller passenger vehicle.

Horse owners should also use the cruise control on their vehicle as much as possible when hauling their horses and other livestock. This is because the cruise control will maintain a constant speed on the highway, which will result in great fuel efficiency.

Horse owners should also only pack the necessary supplies that they will need when traveling. This means that owners should carefully plan ahead and leave any extra supplies that will not be required at home. The Department of Energy has estimated that even an extra one hundred pounds in the tow vehicle or the trailer can result in a two percent reduction in miles per gallon. This amount will increase even more as the amount of excess weight that is being hauled increases.

Avoiding Tire Troubles on the Road

Horse TrailerPlanning a simple vacation can be a challenging task because there are many things that people will need to do before they leave their homes. Equine lovers that plan their vacations with their horses have many other things to plan for before leaving including preparing the horse for a long trip and ensuring that both the truck and trailer are in pristine condition.

One of the most commonly ignored areas of maintenance is the tires on the trailer. Horse owners do not blatantly choose to ignore this area of the trailer, they usually simply forget because they are more focused on making sure that the horse is comfortable during the trip. Data collected from a roadside assistance agency proves that the main reason why horse owners are forced to pull off the side of the side of the road is due to some sort of issue with their tires. Luckily, there are several things that people can do to lessen the chance of having an accident due to flat tire or blowout.

The first thing that horse owners should do is check the pressure in all of the tires on both the truck and the trailer. This is especially important in cold temperatures because the tire pressure will change as the tire heats up on the road. Tires that are underinflated will have more resistance to the road and will overheat more readily than tires that are properly inflated, which can lead to a blow out. One tire that many horse owners forget to check is the spare.

It is also important to make sure that tires are in good condition and are road worthy. All of the tires should have a good amount of tread and look like they are in very good condition. Tires that are old and rotted are very dangerous because they will not be able to withstand the stress placed on them when on the road and will not only be unsafe; they will affect the performance of both the truck and the trailer.

It is also important to use the correct type of tire on a horse trailer. All horse trailer tires are required to have an adequate load rating to ensure that they are safe for use. It is also important to not use retreaded tires on a horse trailer or the vehicle that will be pulling the trailer.

Providing Training to Livestock Haulers

Livestock is one of the most difficult types of item to transport. Unlike other types of cargo, each different species of livestock will have their own special requirements that must be met to insure that each animal arrives at it destination in pristine condition. One thing that the shipping industry is doing to make sure that all of the standards are met is to have training seminars for livestock transporters.

January 25, 2008 was the second time that Alberta Farm Animal Care hosted a training course for livestock transporters. This second training course was held due to the high response from people in the livestock transportation industry. There were many companies that were not able to attend the first training session that was held May 18, 2008.

According to a statement from Alberta Farm Animal Care, the Certified Livestock Transporter (CLT) course is a comprehensive course that focuses on many different aspects of the livestock transporting industry. One of the main focuses of the training program is to focus on animal safety. The program is able to offer advice to anyone who will be in contact with the animals during the shipping process including truckers, receivers and shippers.

One of the great things about the training course is that there are breakout sessions that will focus on each individual species and the different factors that are involved with transporting each individual species. Each of the breakout sessions will focus on either cattle, horses, hogs, sheep or poultry. The great thing about having individual sessions for each species is that haulers and transporters who only deal with one species of animal will not have to spend several hours listening to information that does not pertain to their business.

It is estimated that on any given day, there are about 480 trucks hauling pigs, sheep, bison, elk, cattle, horses and poultry in Canada. One can only assume that these numbers are even higher in other parts of the world. By providing training and certification classes, Alberta Farm Animal Care is helping to create a higher standard that is sure to be seen not only in Canada, but in other areas of the world as well. By providing the necessary training to every sector of the Canadian livestock industry, the CLT program will be helping to ensure that everyone involved in the livestock industry has the necessary skills to safely transport animals.

Handling Livestock Safely

Most transporters know that no matter how gentle an animal may appear, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will continue to act like this while you’re handling them and on the road.  It’s important to understand how all livestock animals think and what their natural behaviors are so that you can be safe when loading, unloading and transporting these animals.

All livestock animals were once a prey of some sort.  All predators have their eyes on the front of their head and have sharp teeth.  All prey have eyes on the sides of their head and have blunt teeth.  You, to a prey animal, are a predator so it is important to remember that when you are handling livestock.

All livestock animals have a point of balance at their shoulder.  When you stand behind their shoulder, it encourages them to move forward.  When you stand in front of the shoulder, they will either stop or they will back away.  Many handlers will make the mistake of standing in front of the shoulders of those animals that they are trying to load.  This is the case with horses often as you try to lead their head into the trailer rather than giving them a driving force from behind.  Groups of cattle or pigs will often move easily into a chute if you don’t stand in front of their shoulder but encourage them from behind.  Because of this, it is often not necessary to prod every animal to get them to the chute and onto a trailer. In fact, if you can stand behind their shoulders and motivate them to move forward they will often move quite easily through a chute and into a trailer without being prodded at all.

All livestock animals also have a “flight zone.”  This is the distance that they feel safe from you and if you move into that space they will move away.  The size of an animal’s flight zone will depend on how tame the animals are.  You can think of this as their “personal bubble.” The size of the flight zone also depends on how excited the animals are, the more excited they are the large the zone becomes.  For cattle, it’s important to remember they are easier to move if they are calm and if they do get excited it will take about 20 to 30 minutes for them to calm down.

If you understand this concept of flight zones and point of balance, you will be much more successful in moving animals and working with them while you are traveling.

Tips for Choosing a Livestock Hauler

The decision to ship livestock is also an important one as you want to make sure that your livestock are shipped safely and securely. Therefore it is important to make sure that you fine a reliable livestock shipper whom you can depend upon to ship your livestock in a safe and secure manner.

When considering livestock shipping companies there are several questions you should ask in order to choose the best shipping company for your needs.

First, always make sure you ask the shipping company whether they have mover insurance. This is absolutely essential. You should also ask the company how things are handled in the even there should be an accident.

Find out whether the company has the proper Department of Transportation permits as well as required licenses in order to be a commercial animal hauler. Keep in mind that it is illegal to ship livestock across state lines without an Interstate Commerce Commission license number.

You should also find out the schedule for your livestock’s journey. Ask the hauler whether they plan to drive straight through or whether there may be a layover in a different location.

In addition ask about the size of the trailers that will be used. How many other animals will be traveling in the same trailer?

Find out as well who exactly will be looking after your livestock during the journey. Does this person have the proper expertise to take care of your livestock?

Always make sure you find out what kinds of information the company as well as the specific driver should have in order to ship your livestock. For example, find out whether you will need to provide copies of health certificates and veterinarian records. To make sure that the journey is as safe and easy as possible for your livestock, you should also make sure that you provide any imperative information about your livestock to the company. For example, if you are planning to ship a horse then you will need to let the company know if the horse is difficult to handle or if he is the nervous type.

You should also find out if you need to provide hay, feed and any other things your livestock may need during the journey. Along those same lines, ask the company directly whether your livestock will have access to water and feed at all times.

Finally, make sure you ask questions about the company’s cancellation and refund policy.

Selecting and Caring for Stock before Transport

Transporting livestock can be a very stressful time period for both the owners and the animals. It is very easy for livestock to become stressed. One of the most stressful times on livestock is during the gathering process. The animals that are going to have the most stress during this time are the ones that are not accustomed to being handled, pregnant females, very young or very old animals and there are also certain breeds who just do not handle stressful situations very well. The best thing to reduce the stress in these animals is to allow them to rest for at least 24 hours before they are transported. This will give them an opportunity to calm down and this will also reduce their stress level during transport.

When you are preparing to transport livestock over long distances, they should be gathered and transported to their loading destination as quickly as possible. They should then be allowed to rest and eat and drink plenty of water. This will ensure that they are in good physical condition for the long ride. If you are not able to load your livestock immediately after the resting period, you should make sure that they will have sufficient food and water to maintain them until they are loaded onto the trailer. It is also important that animals are provided shelter. Livestock such as horses, cattle, sheep and goats usually do not require shelter except in extreme weather conditions; however, pigs are very susceptible to temperature stress and they should always be provided with shelter from the heat and a cool supply of drinking water.

When it is time to load the animals, only the ones that are fit and healthy should be loaded for transport. Animals that are sick, injured, weak, or females in the late stages of pregnancy should not be loaded. The only time sick animals should be transported is when they are only traveling a short distance to receive veterinary treatment. It is also important to remember that certain classes of livestock should be transported in different trailers, or if this is not possible, there should be a partition separating the animals. For example, calves should be transported separately from adult cattle, cattle that are greatly different in size should be separated, and adult bulls should always be separated from any other cattle.

If you take good care of your livestock before they are transported, you will greatly reduce their stress and have a healthier animal at the end of the ride.