The Truth About Uprating Horseboxes

Our phone lines are always busy with enquiries to do with all manner of build aspects and one of the popular areas for concern (understandably) is payload. Realistically on a 3.5t horsebox you are only ever going to get approximately 1250kg payload maximum whilst still ensuring that the build is safely constructed with suitable materials and reinforcements to carry horses. To make a horsebox any lighter you would have to sacrifice some of the heavier items such as reinforced bulkheads, sturdy partitions, impact protection, etc. Clearly, that’s not a sacrifice worth taking! For many owners, this means they cannot travel two large horses at the same time.

Providing you have the correct driving license type, the solution would be to opt for a 3.9t, 4.5t, or larger GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight). At Owens Horseboxes we offer our customers the option to either have their newly built horsebox on a brand new or a secondhand chassis. There are pros and cons to both options but by working closely with our commercial vehicle suppliers and manufacturers we can always guarantee the right chassis at the right price.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there which causes confusion for our customers so here we aim to give all the facts regarding uprating so that you can make an informed decision.

We work directly with specialist vehicle services company SV Tech who are the UK’s leading authority on re-rating vehicles, including uprating to give you more payload capacity. Uprating offers greater flexibility for owners wishing to carry two horses and/or tack and equipment for that extra peace of mind. The uprate itself requires modifications to the vehicle’s suspension after which it is put forwards for a formal inspection and then plating. There’s misinformation to suggest that uprating a vehicle is unsafe as it is beyond the vehicle’s ability / capacity which put simply is completely untrue and unfortunately nothing more than a sales ploy. Providing that the uprating has been completed correctly with the proper chassis modifications made, there is no difference to the safety of the vehicle either in terms of its load carrying or engine pulling ability. The GVW is essentially a legality in terms of its vehicle classification in this country, the actual vehicle itself is manufactured from the beginning with the maximum GVW in mind (which will vary depending on the chassis) with the exception of the more heavy duty suspension alteration which has to be added later on if you wish to uprate the chassis.

We work closely with all the main base manufacturers who state that uprating the vehicle does not affect the manufacturers warranty, nor our Extended Warranty policy. Your warranty will still be valid at the uprated GVW.

Once uprated, the vehicle will then need to be presented at a VOSA test station annually for plating as it will no longer fall under the standard car MOT bracket. You should also have a tachograph fitted, although for private use you can apply for tacho exemption.