Horse Owners Encouraged to Invest in GPS Unit for Hauling

You're on your way to a horse show when your truck breaks down. You know that you are on a main road, but you are not exactly sure where. You did not pay attention to the signs at the last town you passed. How do you give directions so help can find you?

"We highly recommend purchasing a GPS [Global Positioning System] tracking device to use when traveling in unfamiliar areas, as these devices have seen significant price reductions recently," said Mark Cole, managing member for USRider, a roadside assistance plan designed for horse owners.

"We have had members who have been as much as 75 miles away from where they thought they were when they called for assistance," Cole said. "The miles click by pretty quickly on major highways, and on a long trip it is difficult to keep up with exactly where you are."

Having a GPS unit along makes it much easier for travelers to give their location and direct help their way. Most GPS units have a "locate" feature that provides a driver's location, highway, city, state, and latitude and longitude.

With more competition, the prices for portable GPS units have dropped in recent years. When they first went on the market a few years ago, prices exceeded $1,200. A reliable GPS unit can now be purchased for under $200.

USRider has a few recommendations for purchasing a GPS unit:

"We especially like the units that 'talk' to you," said Cole. "These models convert text into speech to announce street names and instructions such as turns. This lets you keep your focus on the road, rather than having to concentrate on reading the unit."

Cole also recommended buying a unit that has a built-in antenna, as an external antenna can get in the driver's way. He also recommended that horse haulers buy a unit with relevant maps already uploaded.

For more information about USRider and more equine trailer safety tips, visit the USRider Web site.

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