Horse Transporter – Tragedy to Triumph

This ultra-modern, beautifully appointed horse trailer was used to transport all manner of thoroughbreds. Unfortunately it suffered massive accident damage and was all but written off – a sad day for the two lady owners who relied on this impeccable trailer. To restore the pride and joy of their fleet required massive repair, rebuild and reconstruction – and the attention to detail of a family run business like Nathan’s.

A detailed look at the repair.

Nathan’s arranged for the trailer to be carried in and began the process of assessment. We always assess and estimate before beginning work, and have established a project management system for the repair so that each part that needs purchasing is available as it’s needed.

HIno horse float remove cabin after smash

The first step for repair, after the smash, is lifting off the cabin  and dismantling. The cabin is stripped back to its shell. Then it has an initial straightening and squaring up to original Hino specs. Each component is repaired, and apertures are reset and measured to restore the original condition.

hino horse float door pillar and floor structure repair

Its a time consuming and detailed process – each component of the door, floor, cabin, structure, pillars, had to be separately dismantled and repaired for structural integrity.

hino horse float side cabin trial fit

Multiple trial fits were applied to external panels, before welding in place. This is essentially a rebuild of the cabin and all of its structure and integrity.

Prior to trial fit, this roof panel is in the process of being prepared. Even though it’s a new piece it needs to be fitted accordingly for the rebuild.

Next up is a trial fitting of the roof and cabin panels. This is the final trial fit of the new supplied panels to the straightened pillars and firewall panels.

hino horse float protective spray coating anti corrosion

After trial fit the structural parts of the cabin are given an anti corrosion treatment – a protective spray coating. This ensures longevity of the repairs and vehicle itself.

hino horse float welding cabin after anti corrosion treatment

After final fit and anti corrosion treatment the welding process begins. The extensive MIG and spot welding process is carried out by expert technicians – we follow as closely as possible the manufacturers sequence of welding. For instance the size and spacing of welds are matched and reproduced. This provides as closely as practical the original vehicle’s strength. Essentially we are aiming to re-manufacture the vehicle to original condition, after a major accident, to ensure safety and longevity.

hino horse float quality check after weld

This is the completely welded and re-manufactured unit, ready for the priming process. It’s moved into the paint area where it’s cleaned and quality checked. Once again it’s measured and all the seams are checked for tightness. Removable panels are refitted and then removed prior to painting.

hino horse float undercoat primercoat baked

A look at the cabin after applying undercoat paint – and baking at temperatures around 50C, as per modern paint requirements.

This is now ready for the preparation for application of colour paint coats. We check for any minor damage or imperfections on the panels. Specialised sanding machines with dust extraction prepare the surface and protect the health of the technicians and the environment in our state of the art paint department.

hino horse float colour coats PPG

After preparation the cabin goes back into the spray booth for multiple top colour coats, in this case we used PPG Deltron two-pack enamel, which is a highly durable, hard wearing, paint product that retains it’s colour and gloss.

hino horse float reassembly with doors and glass

The vehicle, after painting, now enters the reassembly phase. The body technician, mechanics and auto electricians in our team replace, part by part, every piece of the vehicle. As with the welding process, the vehicle is reassembled in the same order as manufacturing. There are many mechanical parts that have been dismantled and tested prior to reassembly. Nathan’s were instrumental in passing the WOHVR legislation, and as such we ensure that every mechanical and auto part that is replaced or repaired for each vehicle is roadworthy and safe.

A real show piece

The final product is a stunning example of a vehicle restored to original condition, that we are proud to present to the owner. The owners were back in business within a month of their serious road accident, vehicle as new and loaded with their prized show and race horses transported in style from Richmond to Rosehill, Randwick and beyond.


For all your horse float smash repairs, respray and protection – talk to Nathan’s.