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Recently we asked the 3.5 tonne Horsebox Group on Facebook a question — “What are the most important concerns of the 3.5 tonne horsebox buyer?”

The group was very knowledgeable and extremely helpful. What we got back were 48 different answers, which gave us a broad spectrum of views and topics which concern the novice buyer.

We still need to try and understand the nuances of the detail a little better, however, on the major points of interest, they were very clear. So no big surprises there.

As you can see in the following chart, concerns over Safety, Build Quality, Rear Facing and Payload dominate, but perhaps surprisingly, we only had one answer that mentioned price as one of the buying criteria.

Annual 3.5 tonne Horsebox Survey

We’ve had so much interest in this survey we’ve decided to run the 3.5 tonne Horsebox Survey every year, but in future we are going to broaden the scope and do it a little differently.

To start off we simply asked “what’s important?”, and as a result we got back an interesting tick-list of general features and faults to look out for.  So, in future, instead of having everyone think up their own list, we will provide this base list to choose from, ask you to add anything you think is missing, and then get you to choose 10 of the items and rank them in order of importance.

By adding both focus and emphasis in this way we will be able to find out exactly what it is you think is important and how you rank 3.5 tonne horsebox issues and features, from the most to least important. At the same time we are going to look at each of the major 3.5 tonne horsebox manufacturers’ products and see how their products stack up against what you tell us is important. Then, by comparing the survey year on year we will be able to see how buyer focus changes, and how manufacturers are responding — or not responding — to the market.

In this survey, we’re also going to ask you to rate each of the major UK manufacturers and tell us whether you think they are reliable and meet your needs for safety, reliability, features etc.  So, for the first time ever, the 3.5 tonne horsebox buyer will have one place to go on the Internet and find out how we stack up against each other.

We feel this is a brave step and a large commitment for a small manufacturer, especially one as young as Fotheringham Horseboxes, but we hope you will see it as something which clearly defines us as a customer-driven builder, serving the owner and rider community in Scotland, and that it sets us apart from our competition.

As always, if you want to add a comment, I would be very happy to hear what you have to say about this, and anything else you want to add, or raise with us.