What You Need If You Use A Semi To Haul Horses To Shows

Posted on: 7 October 2015

If you are purchasing a semi truck to tow a large horse trailer to shows, you'll need to make sure you meet the legal requirements. Any activity that that is done for profit can be considered a business, according to the IRS. In addition to tax implications, this means that you will need to meet different requirements for towing your horses.

If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer who wants to see your credentials, you may need to prove whether you are a hobbyist or a business owner, which can be somewhat tricky for equestrians who routinely enter shows in hopes of earning monetary awards even though they only consider themselves to be hobbyists. Therefore, even if your equine activities are not done for profit, it's still a good idea to meet Department of Transportation requirements for transporting your horses with a semi. That way, you won't inadvertently step over that fine line between hobbyist and for-profit business owner and end up with huge fines. Here's what you should have.


You'll need an EIN, which stands for employer identification number. This is a number that you can obtain through the IRS. Having an EIN doesn't mean that you have to hire employees. It just means that you conduct your equine activities as a business owner. This is beneficial because you can get deductions when you file taxes, which can be a substantial amount with the purchase of a semi truck and large horse trailer. 

USDOT Number

Businesses are required to have USDOT numbers. This is a numbering system that is used by the Department of Transportation to keep track of all the commercial vehicles on the roadways. Having a USDOT number means you will be required to keep records of various things such as mileage, vehicle inspections, safety training, and log reviews. It also means you will be required to stop at highway weighing stations when instructed. 


To operate your semi truck to haul your horses to and from shows and over state lines, you'll need a commercial driver's license (CDL). To get a CDL, you may need to have a health physical to show that you do not have any diseases or conditions that could cause you to have an accident, such as a seizure disorder, which could cause a catastrophic accident when operating a semi truck. However, this requirement depends on the state where you will receive your CDL. 

Commercial insurance

Since you'll be operating your semi as part of your business, you'll need commercial insurance. Some insurance companies have specific policies for businesses in the equine industry such as yours. These typically include stipulations regarding injuries to horses as well as humans and property. Don't forget to include your commercial insurance premiums on your list of itemized deductions when you file your taxes. 

Equine health documents

You will need to have health documents for your horses with you when you transport them, especially if you cross state lines. You'll need to take your horses to a veterinarian for a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI) and have Coggins tests performed. The horses need to have negative Coggins tests in order to be transported in a trailer. Depending on the laws of your state, these documents may have date limitations. 

For example, in Arizona, CVIs must be performed within 30 days of transporting horses. Since each state has it's own requirements for health documentation, it is crucial that you check the states you will be traveling in or through when you haul your horses to each show. It's a good idea to keep these documents in the cab of your semi for easy access in case you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer.

For more information on purchasing a semi truck, contact a professional business like those at http://www.arrowtruck.com/.