Tag Archives: Trailer Safety

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:  http://www.biosecuritycenter.org/truckwash.php 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.