Mark Devaney saddles up with Sooner Trailer, a company that's lengths ahead of other horse trailer manufacturers.
In 1983, the then 13-year-old company, Sooner Trailer, recognized an important change in its industry and subsequently changed its manufacturing process. A manufacturer of a wide variety of trailers – including horse, livestock, race car, utility, boat and snowmobiles – Sooner Trailer switched from steel manufacturing to aluminum.
Easier to pull because of their aluminum construction and aerodynamic design, Sooner trailers save fuel and wear and tear on tow vehicles. The transition to aluminum enabled the Duncan, Okla., company to become a leader in safety, fuel efficiency and technology. Sooner products are built in strict compliance with Department of Transportation requirements. “It has always been a priority of Sooner Trailer to follow strict standards and to set them,” said Clint Gann, marketing manager, Sooner Trailer. “In fact, Sooner Trailer is a founding member of the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers.”
Safety and Style
Not only structurally superior, Sooner Trailers are also cosmetically desirable. Their sleek, straight lines set them apart from their competitors, and the aluminum design is corrosion resistant and won’t rust or deteriorate the way a steel trailer might following exposure to weather conditions. Baked-on enamel sheets offer flexibility in colors, designer sides and a clean, sharp appearance. The combination of structural superiority and aesthetic appeal has helped Sooner rank highest in resale in the industry, according to Gann. Sooner manufactures a variety of trailers available in either bumper-hitch or gooseneck, offering a trailer to fit everyone’s budget and needs. Some popular options offered on the horse stalls include stall escape doors, side or rear ramps, air conditioners, hayracks, rear feeds or radial tires.
“Sooner Trailer recognizes that not everyone’s needs, wants, and uses of a trailer are the same, so we offer the option of custom building, giving consumers the opportunity to choose from a variety of features and options,” says Gann. “We also have more than 100 dealers nationwide who offer financing or leasing.”
In the event that a trailer may need to have a part replaced or a new accessory, Sooner Trailer dealers have access to a wide array of replacement parts and accessories from lights, reflectors and brakes to feed bags, awnings and air conditioners.
Sooner Trailer’s Tradition horse trailer is the horseman’s trailer. Extruded aluminum panel sides provide the visual character of this trailer, while its heavy- duty frame and reinforced doors are constructed to withstand years of hard working punishment. The fully matted trailer features smooth rounded dividers and sliding windows for superior ventilation.
“The Tradition is designed to efficiently move horses as comfortably and safely as possible without paying for the bells and whistles of the more expensive trailers,” says Gann. The Sooner Trailer Saratoga horse trailer is the pinnacle of horse transportation. A smooth and sleek aluminum skin exterior of either baked enamel or bright aluminum finish attracts attention in any environment. The doors are double-lined and shut with a leak-resistant automotive fit. All walls and the roof are also double-lined in the stall area for maximum comfort on all gooseneck models.
For those who like to live comfortably with their horses while traveling, the company offers Sooner Living Quarters, a vehicle that combines the comfort of a recreational vehicle with the utility of the safest horse trailer available. Each trailer is custom-designed to meet everyone’s lifestyle, whether they have show horses, racehorses, rodeo or ride for pleasure.
“This is the best choice for long-distance traveling and extended trips,” says Gann, pointing out that as a member of the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) and TR Arnold, the Sooner Living Quarters series is manufactured with safety in mind. “A third party oversees all Sooner designs, electrical appliances, construction, and wiring, and all Sooner Living Quarters pass certification in all 50 states.”
The Chisholm Sooner Aluminum Horse Trailer is designed to transport horses or both horses and cattle safely, conveniently and economically. Available in two-, three- and four-horse bumper pull or two through nine-horse Gooseneck versions, this unique trailer can be equipped with either an open side for extremely hot areas, or enclosed with easily removable tinted Plexiglas for use in cooler climates. Built with many of the same quality features that have made Sooner a leader in horse and livestock transportation, the Chisholm is a balanced blend of rugged, long-lasting durability and application versatility.
The Revolution series is a well-equipped line of trailers designed to be an economical high quality horse trailer. “The Sooner All Aluminum Revolution series is better equipped than comparably priced trailers, but their standard equipment is set and cannot be modified,” says Gann. This series includes all the most popular features, such as five-foot tapered nose, drop down head side feed doors, removable two-position saddle rack, removable tack room with padded butt bar and a dressing room with 10 bridle hooks, brush tray, blanket and clothes bar. With this series, Sooner has been able to standardize construction and eliminate many of the costs associated with building customer-specified trailers, which means passed savings to consumers.
Pulling into New Markets
Traditionally a maker of horse and livestock trailers, Sooner Trailer is pursuing a new motor sports line that includes race cars and racing boats. “There are few players in this market that has the sustainable, competitive advantage that Sooner Trailer possesses,” says Gann. “We’re confident that we can leverage the high-quality reputation and brand equity of our horse trailers to make inroads into relevant, complementary markets.”
Additional future plans for Sooner Trailer include provisioning the US Equestrian Team, the American Quarter Horse Association and the National Cutting Horse Association. (It has already partnered with each of these organizations)