Trails West horse trailers are constructed of high quality electro-galvanized steel that is far superior to aluminum in overall structural integrity. All metals have stress limits called yield strength and ultimate strength. When metal is stressed at a level below the yield strength, it will return to its normal shape after the stress is released. If the metal is stressed above its yield strength but below its ultimate strength, it will deform or bend but will not break. When stresses are applied that exceed a metal's ultimate strength, the metal will break.
When metals are repeatedly stressed or flexed, even at levels well below their yield limits, they often fail. This is known as fatigue failure. Ferrous metals such as steel possess another stress limit known as fatigue strength. When the stresses from repeated flexing are kept below this fatigue strength, steel will not fail regardless of the number of times the steel is flexed. Non-ferrous metals such as aluminum do not have fatigue strength: therefore, when aluminum is repeatedly flexed and stressed even at very low limits, it will eventually break. This is why aluminum trailers are reinforced with steel in critical areas, such as axle hangers, rear corners where gates hang, and hitch attachment points.
Properly engineered steel horse trailers are much stronger and more durable to the flex and stress caused by the road. Trails West uses properly prepared Electro-galvanized sheet steel with Dupont®. automotive primer and polyurethane paint, to produce a high quality, structurally superior horse trailer for less cost than aluminum trailers while providing the most value and wide range of options in the undustry.
A common misconception is that aluminum horse trailers weigh 40 to 50 percent less than steel trailers. A Trails West horse trailer is engineered to use heavier steel in high stress areas and lighter steel in lower stress areas. We use heavier wood in the floor area of the horse compartment while using lighter wood in the tack floor area. Trails West horse trailers are triple-wall constructed which protects the outside skin from damaging kicks coming from the horse area while providing a smooth sleek outside appearance. A triple-wall constructed Trails West horse trailer will typically weigh only 10 to 15 percent more than a comparably equipped aluminum trailer.
Trails West high-end steel horse trailers typically hold their value better than an aluminum trailer. A Trails West horse trailer will depreciate on average of 5.5% per year, with most of the depreciation being experienced during the first two years of the trailer's life.Because of superior strength, greater paint durability, excellent towability, a wide variety of options, lower initial cost and high resale value compared to aluminum trailers, Trails West steel horse trailers are the best value in the industry today.