If you have even a passing interest in Equestrian sports: Horse Racing, Polo, Show Jumping, Dressage or Point to Point, you will know that in order to compete in international events, both Horse and Rider need to arrive in tip-top condition. Horse Truck Ltd. is a bespoke transport maker – helping them do just that.
The company was founded in 2003 by Josef Toth – himself an experience rider. Josef grew up and used to ride competitively in Hungary when it was under communist rule. In those days sport horses didn’t travel in such luxury – that was one of the reasons he began building superb horse transports – taking them to another level – and using his first-hand experience of taking valuable thoroughbreds hundreds – or thousands – of miles away, and delivering them ‘keen’ to the start line.
Josef employs 22 staff in a modern purpose-built factory building of 1000m2 where they build around a dozen luxury trucks a year …for discerning owners across Europe.
The conversions are available on a chassis of your choice – which could be the 3-axle MAN TGX 26.460 with its flat-profile coachwork, for example. It offers a 460hp power unit, together with a number of automatic driver assistants such as lane deviation warning, distance regulation, and hill start – plus leather cockpit, wraparound display and multifunction steering wheel with optional Bose sound system!
The accommodation for up to six horses air conditioned – and they can be video-monitored day and night thanks to the stabling’s dual day/night-lighting systems. The box includes storage for tack, feed, and health products – together with a horse shower and box hose-down facility. And to help overcome the fear of ‘loading’ which is quite common in horses – the ramps (situated to the vehicle’s side and rear) are of solid no-slip design, and incorporate aluminium barriers on either side of the gangway.
The owner’s accommodation, as you might expect, has the appearance of a luxury apartment – with sumptuous leather upholstery adorning cleverly-designed seating – all of which can be built according to the owner’s specification. Together with a range of luxurious entertainment appliances …it really feels like a home-from-home: accommodating six or seven, beds automatically lift-out when needed; bedrooms feature en-suite toilets. The kitchen has all the fitted appliances you would expect: including ceramic hob, fridge freezer and micro-wave – for those whose second hobby is creating haute cuisine.
All these appliances: 2.5kW air conditioning under floor heating pumps; ceramic hob cooking, and the luxury of home entertainment, place substantial energy requirements on the on-board electricity installation. Josef meets this requirement by choosing to equip his luxury horse trucks with Victron energy systems – so that demanding owners will not be let down. He says what he likes about Victron products is that they are easy to use, and easy to install; they integrate well with each other, and with the electrical provision already installed on the base truck.
A typical system comprises a 5kVA Quattro which provides all the power you might need in a small household, and can be connected to two AC power sources at the same time – a diesel generator and the electricity grid, for example …automatically taking power from which ever source is active. The Victron system provides for automatic generator start-up, triggered by low voltage / high demand. And its unique Power Assist feature will meet power demands which are greater than the rated output of the generator (or grid) by adding inverted battery power to the AC supply.
On board one of Josef’s Horse trucks the Quattro typically charges a 440Ah Lithium battery bank. Lithium batteries can be cycled between 20% and 100% state of charge – allowing much more of the stored energy to be used in comparison with lead/acid battery storage …without reducing the service life of the battery.
Inside the accommodation the switch panel is equipped with a BMV battery monitor to provide accurate start-of-charge and voltage information; and a CCGX – from which the entire installation can be controlled and monitored …even remotely. The CCGX provides status information – such as how much power us being consumed; how much provided by the generator; and historical information – which provides an overview of how the system is coping with demand, and whether a change of regime or supplementary equipment is needed. If you are interested in knowing more about remote monitoring your power installation, take a look at the Victron Remote monitoring app which includes a ‘demo’ mode.