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2017 Böckmann Portax E – Lightly Used, Easy-to-Tow and Well Equipped!


As we said in the teaser, this 2017 Portax E just came in for us to display as a private sale. The owner said it’s been lightly used and she wasn’t kidding. It’s carried a horse about 5 times.

We’ll say a few words about a Böckmann’s ease of towing and then we’ll talk about Portax features in particular. Böckmann trailers can be towed safely by smaller-than-typical vehicles. Per Böckmann’s minimum vehicle requirements, the tow vehicle must have at least 125 horsepower (easily exceeded by most vehicles of the last several years), a wheelbase in excess of 100 inches (also exceeded by the smaller SUVs and trucks typically used as Böckmann tow vehicles in the States) and the ability to handle a Böckmann’s loaded tongue weight, which for most Böckmann models is less than 215 lbs.

A Böckmann carries less than 4% on the hitch when loaded. By comparison, most domestically-produced horse trailers carry 10-15% of their load on the hitch. That is, the domestics typically have a loaded tongue weight in the 600 to 800 lb. range compared to the typical Böckmann’s loaded tongue weight of less than 215 lbs. This lower tongue weight helps a smaller vehicle remain more level for more predictable handling while towing. If you’ve ever pulled a trailer that has a heavy tongue weight, you’ve probably noticed how the tow vehicle bounces up and down uncomfortably on uneven road surfaces. With the lighter tongue weight of a Böckmann, the tow vehicle’s ride doesn’t feel much different from when it’s not towing. Böckmann’s been producing high quality horse trailers for over 60 years. Their designs are well proven on roads all over the world and Böckmann has won numerous awards for their innovative and practical designs.


The Portax series is for horses to 18 hands, but the adjustable butt & chest bars make the Portax suitable for smaller horses as well. The chest bars offer 2 height positions and the butt bars offer 3 positions. The butt bar mounts are angled so that as you lower a butt bar, it also shortens the stall to suit the smaller horse. The butt & chest bars have knob & slot latches that are quick & easy to use and fit snugly for a quiet interior during travel. As with other Böckmann models, the Portax E has the Multi Safe System emergency release stall bars. If a horse gets caught under or over a chest or butt bar, you unscrew an exterior tie loop and that releases the wall mount for the appropriate bar. Your horse is freed without someone having to get in the trailer. You hope you never need to use this feature, but it’s nice to know Böckmann has given thought to your safety and that of your horses.


Many European trailers have partial-height groom doors, but the Portax E has a standing-height groom door on each side. The Portax E also has a 2-door saddle chest that features Böckmann’s award-winning saddle carousel with telescoping racks. You can access the saddles through either groom door opening. In that saddle chest, you’ll also find a telescoping broom & shovel. You’ll also find a mirror, storage net and bridle hooks on each door.


A standard feature of the Portax series is the 2-mode ramp/door that may be lowered as a ramp or swung aside for step-up loading. As far as we know, Böckmann is the only manufacturer to offer a 2-mode ramp/door in North America. The ramp is 5’ tall for a comfortable incline and that extra tall ramp has a very reasonable lift effort thanks to dual gas springs.


With the Portax’s center-post stall divider, you can swing aside the forward or rear half of the divider to get it out of the way. The stall divider and walls are padded and there are kick panels as well. The Portax E interior receives good natural light and ventilation from a large front window, a sliding window on each side and an overhead feature that’s officially called the “roof vent,” but we call it the “roof vent/skylight” because it lets in plenty of light as well as providing additional ventilation. Most folks run with the self-furling rear curtain up, providing additional light and ventilation.

Portax walls are of stacked anodized aluminum tubes. They’re strong, and because it’s a double-wall design, the walls contribute to a quiet and comfortable interior. And please note we said it’s anodized aluminum. Anodizing is common in the marine industry for its resistance to corrosion. The Portax sits on a durable galvanized (corrosion-protected) steel chassis and rides on Böckmann’s WCFPlus coil spring suspension with shock absorbers. That’s right, coil spring suspension as on a quality automobile!


The Portax floor consists of interlocking aluminum planks, reinforced in high load areas. The rubber mat is bonded to the floor and the edges are sealed, so animal wastes don’t reach the aluminum floor surface. It’s a very durable design and clean-up is a snap. Just sweep or hose it out. No need to lift mats! This trailer even comes with some owner-added accessories – a TrailerAid, a dish for the tongue wheel, some trailer ties and a pair of wheel chocks (actually, the chocks are standard with the trailer, but the words weren’t flowing to write a new sentence just for those).

Another noteworthy aspect of Böckmann trailers is their mechanical inertia-operated brakes. There’s no need for a brake controller in the tow vehicle and because there’s no brake controller, there’s no need to fiddle with adjusting a power level. As the tow vehicle decelerates, a Böckmann’s brakes apply automatically in proportion to the load in the trailer. The brakes are not hydraulic and there are no electronics. This brake design has been used for decades on roads worldwide. Simple, reliable and well-proven.

We invite you to stop by and check out this very nice Portax E. Used Böckmanns don’t often come on the market and this one’s barely used. Asking $16,900. Private Sale on display at Traveled Lane.


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