When looking at making changes in a shoeing rig, Brent Chidsey says there are a half-dozen critical considerations. The owner of Stone Well Bodies & Equipment in Genoa, N.Y., says the process starts with determining how much of each product you need to carry in your rig and then finding a design that can provide the most efficient inventory control.
Chidsey says knowing whether a farrier works alone or with other farriers or apprentices is important in laying out a rig. A rig will be laid out differently when more than one person is involved. You also want to consider both farrier and horse safety when designing a truck or trailer for shoeing.
Last but not least, think about how the rig will provide a favorable professional business image to our clients and prospects.
Chidsey also outlined a number of other essential rig management tips and tricks to consider.
1. Every tool should have a permanent storage area in your truck and you should be able to reach it easily.
2. Store tools and equipment that are frequently used together in the same area.
3. Mount a fan in your rig to keep cool in hot weather instead of relying on portable fans.
4. When deciding on shoe and pad storage, determine how many kinds and sizes you need. If you need 20 different size and style pads, you'll need a more complicated storage setup than for only five types of pads.
5. If a drill press is too tall for your ceiling height, cut down the posts.
6. In rigs with caps, fully utilize available ceiling space.
7. In rigs with caps, install forge and anvil swing-outs for maximum equipment efficiency.
8. Anvils should be secured safely in trucks as a loose anvil in the back of a truck can be extremely dangerous.
9. Stack equipment, such as two grinders, to fully utilize limited rig space.
10. Place a bin under your tapper with a small hole on the top so metal shavings from tapped shoes drop into the bin. That way, you don't have to spend time cleaning up the junk.
11. Carry a fire extinguisher in your rig.
12. Install propane tanks along the side of a rig so you don't need to move equipment to reach them
13. Consider storing a propane tank in the ceiling with the proper brackets.
14. Secure propane tanks so they can't bounce around in the back of a rig in case of an accident.
15. Take safety precautions with propane by shutting off the tank valve every time you move to another shoeing site.
16. Tool carts are becoming more popular, especially in northern areas where they can easily be wheeled into barns in cold weather.
17. More farriers are switching to trailers for efficiency and convenience.
18. Be sure you can easily maneuver a truck and trailer at the barns where you work.
19. Purchase a trailer with a flexible axle for easier highway travel.
20. Consider a dual axle trailer since single axle trailers tend to be hard on equipment during transportation.
21. Bolt workbenches to both the side and bottom of a trailer to reduce vibration concerns.
22. Add trailer windows to provide needed light and summer ventilation.
23. Add a slide-out floor to a van to make it easier to reach tools and work at the anvil or forge.
24. Several shoers in Quebec have installed a pit in the bottom of their rigs so that they can stand and work inside their trucks during extremely cold weather conditions.
25. Inverters are becoming more popular for generating electrical power in shoeing rigs.
26. Install brackets on the inside of swing-out van doors to keep hammers and other commonly used tools in easy reach.
27. Keep your rig clean and organized to boost your professional image with both clients and prospects.
28. Secure a lower interest rate when financing a rig by working with your local bank or credit union rather than a national financial group.
29. Firms that insure a rig will also normally add coverage for shoeing equipment at a reasonable rate.
30. Depending on the specific brand and model truck, there may be a $200 to $300 per year variance in insurance costs.