Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?  (Read 582 times)

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« on: October 25, 2020, 06:07:57 pm »
My worst nightmare came true today.

I was half way to the abattoir with half a tonne of sheep in tow when my clutch suddenly gave out. (Yes, I know, but honestly, there were no warning signs whatsoever). Thankfully I managed to limp off the motorway and phone a friend with a towbar, but if he hadn't been available, I'd have been well and truly stuffed.

I have RAC cover, but I'm not sure what happens if you say "er, I need to get my lambs to the abattoir before it closes". I mean, do they just offer to tow them to the nearest field or something? Can anyone advise?
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

sheeponthebrain

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Turriff
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2020, 07:21:32 pm »
i once asked the rac salesman that same question. his answer was. we cant move livestock at all, however for an extra membership fee of £ xx we can get you covered with a third party who will move your stock.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2020, 08:56:35 pm »
When we discovered that the AA and RAC would be unable to help , we asked the local garage that we use for suggestions. Simple reply, ring us and they would attend with a suitable vehicle, and yes even complete the trip to the slaughterhouse or show.
 :fc:  not had to call upon them , so far , but it is peace of mind.

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2020, 10:48:08 pm »
I've checked my RAC T&Cs now. If your trailer breaks down and they can't fix it at the roadside, you're basically on your own (i.e. they won't tow it). However, if your car breaks down, they will tow both the car and trailer (though the leaflet is hazy about whether that includes dropping off passengers at the abattoir  ;) )
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2020, 11:21:00 pm »
Just burst into tears at the roadside and help magically appears.  Or maybe that wouldn't work for you blokes .  There are some small advantages to being female.


Seriously, it is a very grey area and basically you are unlikely to make your slaughter slot.  Going home with your livestock shouldn't initiate a standstill as long as they didn't have to be unloaded.  No-one is going to want them in their field as it will give them a standstill.
Prevention being better than cure, make sure you have a plan in advance, carry out regular trailer maintenance and also carry a spare trailer wheel and the tools to change it.  We have been lucky but these days only one makes the abbatoir trip, so if the towing vehicle broke down then the other one could bring a different vehicle, but not everyone has that choice.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2020, 11:51:24 pm »
Just burst into tears at the roadside and help magically appears.

No, that worked for me too  ;D .
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2020, 11:58:36 pm »
Just burst into tears at the roadside and help magically appears.

No, that worked for me too  ;D .

 :roflanim: :roflanim:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 09:21:40 am »
Some years ago there was a roadside horse assistance service set up should people find themselves broken down or in an accident. I'm not sure who set it up but people were asked if they could be contacted if someone needed help near them. Not sure the police weren't involved. Maybe something similar would be helpful for livestock owners?


I guess if your roadside assistance provider can't/wont sort you out then you have to pay to be taken home by a garage. If the police attended they would get you towed away if you were a danger to other road users and charge you I suspect.


Many years ago I broke down on a winters evening in a small van. I managed to roll it back into a wide area on a country road. Pre mobile phone coverage I walked to the nearest village and got a lift home. In the middle of the night the police rang wanting me to move the van. I persuaded them to collect me, take me back to the vehicle and give me a tow, which started it. Not sure you could get that sort of service these days.

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2020, 06:22:11 pm »
Interesting topic:  however, beyond the very awkward matter of how to deal with live-stock with a broken-down tow vehicle, how to deal with a broken-down trailer ?


My Breakdown providers have confirmed they will recover broken-down vehicle and anything being towed (although I didn't ask about a live-stock trailer), but will NOT sort/recover a broken-down trailer/caravan.  So leaving aside the local garage recovery for very local breakdowns (as mentioned by Rtb), can anyone advise of a good option to repair/recover a broken-down trailer/caravan ?








« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 06:43:21 pm by arobwk »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2020, 06:33:36 pm »
Caravanners have caravan insurance.  Usually cheaper through the Camping & Caravanning Club or similar.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2020, 12:40:02 am »
I was once behind a caravan on the motorway when it got into a 'tank slapper' ie snaking from side to side out of control.  Suddenly it disintegrated into a cloud of millions of shards.  Recovery from that would have consisted of using a dust pan and brush. I instantly understood the law that says no-one may travel inside a caravan  :o
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

arobwk

  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow. Some like to think it's in England.
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2020, 12:55:22 am »
I was once behind a caravan on the motorway when it got into a 'tank slapper' ie snaking from side to side out of control.  Suddenly it disintegrated into a cloud of millions of shards.  Recovery from that would have consisted of using a dust pan and brush. I instantly understood the law that says no-one may travel inside a caravan  :o

Easier to recover with a road sweeper though !!! 

I will investigate the caravan option mentioned by SiN, but I also have a trailer.  If I got a puncture, say, on some back-road I would get out the jack and sort it myself with the trailer spare tyre/wheel, but I really wouldn't want to do that on a dual c/way or motorway without assistance. Defunct trailer recovery/rescue options any-one ???
« Last Edit: October 27, 2020, 02:22:33 am by arobwk »

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2020, 06:59:02 am »
These days most caravans are fitted with the anti-skid thingies on the hitch, which keeps them smoothly in line.   

Scariest moment I ever had with a trailer was taking one big beast to the mart.  We had left him too much room to move around and he decided to wander about.  Ex-BH was driving, his big Mitsubishi Animal, so a very powerful tow vehicle.  He kept his cool but at he point he simply said, "I am not steering this car, the trailer is." 

We were lucky there was no traffic coming towards us so our weaving across the road caused no harm (except to our hearts!)

So I always take trailer safety seriously, check towing weights, get the weight distribution right, etc.  A

One eye-opener, since I bought an unbraked sheep trailer, has been the unbraked towing weights of the various cars.  We have only one vehicle can tow it legally with 3 big pigs or 7 large sheep on board.  And the most powerful towing car (aside from the Mitsubishi we now thankfully have on site) when the trailer is braked is the least capable when towing unbraked.  Everyone thinks I'm a terrible fussbudget, but there's an extremely steep hill down to our abattoir, you don't want to find your brakes can't stop the combined weight of your car, the trailer and the livestock...
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2020, 08:11:02 am »
These days most caravans are fitted with the anti-skid thingies on the hitch, which keeps them smoothly in line.   

Scariest moment I ever had with a trailer was taking one big beast to the mart.  We had left him too much room to move around and he decided to wander about.  Ex-BH was driving, his big Mitsubishi Animal, so a very powerful tow vehicle.  He kept his cool but at he point he simply said, "I am not steering this car, the trailer is." 

We were lucky there was no traffic coming towards us so our weaving across the road caused no harm (except to our hearts!)

So I always take trailer safety seriously, check towing weights, get the weight distribution right, etc.  A

One eye-opener, since I bought an unbraked sheep trailer, has been the unbraked towing weights of the various cars.  We have only one vehicle can tow it legally with 3 big pigs or 7 large sheep on board.  And the most powerful towing car (aside from the Mitsubishi we now thankfully have on site) when the trailer is braked is the least capable when towing unbraked.  Everyone thinks I'm a terrible fussbudget, but there's an extremely steep hill down to our abattoir, you don't want to find your brakes can't stop the combined weight of your car, the trailer and the livestock...


Same here Sally. Only once had a problem with a "badly packed" trailer when I was asked to bring back some dexters someone from a sale. Made for a long. slow journey. The initial cow and calf turned into a small herd and the weight distribution wasn't right.


The other two bad experiences were ice and snow. One taking ewes for scanning. Main road ok but short, sharp hill into farm yard was black ice. I sorted of just arrived at their front door! The other time I had collected two bales of haylage and the snow had started to settle on the way back on an ungritted road. I unhitched and went back for it when it melted.


You can't be too careful how you distribute weight and also too many people don't make use of partitions to keep stock secure.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: What do you do if you break down whilst towing livestock?
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2020, 08:05:27 pm »
NFU car insurance offers assistance with livestock if you break down whole towing/transporting. Not had to call on it (yet), though the clutch on our van also decided to give up the ghost beginning of March (yes just before lockdown), which meant we had a 2.5k repair bill as there was no way to get a new van organised quickly...

 

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