Buying a Used Horse-Drawn Vehicle
by Herb Andler
When buying a used horse-drawn vehicle, take an especially hard look
at these 12 things:
- WoodDoes the wood have cracks or dry rot? Be especially wary of heavy
paint, which can cover a lot of rot.
- SpringsAre they broken or sagging?
- Spring end boltsAre they worn?
- SeatDoes the seat need reupholstering? If the seat is wood, be sure
to check underneath for dry rot.
- IronAre moving parts rusty, pitted, or overworn?
- HubsPull off the wheels and check the bearings and spindles for
- Fifth wheelDoes it have cracks or show excessive wear?
- AxlesAre they bent, causing the wheels to be out of alignment?
- Top bows and socketsRusted sockets above the hinge may be weak.
- Shafts/tongueOld wood may appear sound, but if it has no life it can
- TiresDoes the iron show a lot of wear? A tire with cupping (worn down
at both sides) has no value.
- WheelsRap the tire with a hammer and listen to how solid it sounds.
If it makes a "chuck" sound instead of ringing, the wheel has shrunk
and the tire needs resetting.
Herb Andler owns and operates
Justin Carriage Works. This
article appeared in the
1997 issue of
PO Box 2067, Cedar Rapids IA 52406-2067
Phone: 319-362-3027 Fax: 319-362-3046
29 April 2012 last revision