If you are travelling with your horse for any appreciable distance, keeping your horse float in good condition is vital, both for the comfort and safety of your horses and for your own comfort during overnight stops. This involves keeping the various components of your float in good condition and repairing or replacing them as necessary, and one of the most frequently replaced parts of many horse floats is the floor beneath your feet (and hooves).
As you can imagine, the floor of your horse float takes a severe beating, both from the weight of your horses and the urine and manure they create on the road, and the traditional choice of timber flooring can be particularly vulnerable to these deleterious influences. Consequently, many horse float owners have their damaged timber floors replaced with ones made of durable sheet metal, and sheet aluminium is one of the very best materials for horse float flooring.
What are the advantages of using sheet aluminium to floor my horse box?
The moisture created by horse manure, urine and even the vapour in their breath can have a nasty affect on many factory-fitted horse float floors -- timber floors are particularly vulnerable to mould and fungal rot provoked by the moisture, while floors made of sheet steel can quickly fall victim to rust, particularly if not properly protected with rustproofing coatings such as paint or powder coatings.
Aluminium, on the other hand, is immune to both rot and rust, and requires no special protection to keep it safe from the varying forms of moisture produced by your horses. This makes it an excellent long-term investment, and an aluminium replacement floor may well outlast most of the original components of your float.
While aluminium sheeting lacks the raw load bearing strength of sheet steel, it still packs far more strength into a much slimmer profile than timber flooring, and is therefore well-suited to horse floats carrying heavy draft and stud horses. Sheet metal fabrication services generally offer a wide range of aluminium sheeting thicknesses, so you should be able to find a thickness capable of carrying the largest of your mounts.
Easy to fit
Despite its creditable strength, aluminium is relatively light compared to other metals, and replacement floors made of sheet aluminium can generally be fitted into your float without any specialised lifting equipment. This makes replacing your float floor much quicker and easier than it would be if you chose heavy timber floorboards (or even heavier steel sheets). It also allows damaged sections of your floor to be removed and replaced easily while on the road.
Takes well to coatings
Although aluminium does not require rustproof coatings, it still takes well to various coatings designed to provide your horses with more comfort and safety. Textured rubber coatings designed to provide your horses with steady footing while moving take well to aluminium sheeting, as do insulated coatings intended to reduce the amount of heat conducted from the road into the float.