Thermal environment in a four-horse slant-load trailer

Joseph L. Purswell, Richard S. Gates, Laurie M. Lawrence, Jeremiah D. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Little information has been published describing thermal conditions in horse trailers while in transit. Dry bulb temperature (T db), globe temperature (T g), and relative humidity (RH) were measured in ten locations within a fully enclosed four-horse slant-load trailer with and without animals to assess the thermal environment during transport as influenced by vehicle speed and vent configuration. Wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) was calculated to assess thermal comfort. Interior-exterior temperature differences were analyzed to account for effects of changing weather conditions. Temperature differences between the interior of the trailer and ambient conditions for T db ranged from 5.1°C to 9.5°C, dew point (T dp) ranged from 4.4°C to 13°C, and WBGT ranged from 2.9°C to 7.9°C. Temperature differences decreased with increasing vehicle speed and open vent area and increased with animals present. Heat stress conditions are likely to occur in horse trailers of similar design given their limited ventilation and the temperature increases measured in this study, and warrant improvements in trailer design to increase ventilation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1885-1894
Number of pages10
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2010


  • Animal transport
  • Horses
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal environment
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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