Slippery trailer ramp, coco mats

As far as I can tell it’s been a little while since anyone posted about slippery trailer ramps. Are there any new ingenious solutions?

Has anyone permanently affixed a coco mat to their ramp? I’m sure it would make a ramp a heavy bastard, but just how bad? I would also worry about possibly voiding a warranty? Though seems like the most intriguing solution to having to roll up a poopy mat each time and store it.

I have read several threads where people suggested a rubber ramp mat from Hawk. Is it this one?
It looks just like the rubber on all the ramps I’ve seen on Cimarron and 4 Star trailers, both of which I’ve seen horses slide down the ramps on. Are the Hawk ramp mats really that special compared to factory installed ramp mats from other manufacturers?

I got a sample of the Hawk rubber mat from Hawk. It is the exact same rubber mat. I’m not sure what the problem is. My horse NEVER slipped on my old 4 Star ramp. When I bought my new one, he slid down it like a kid in socks on a bare floor. The dealer offered to add cleats. I wound up trading that trailer back and asking them to make one w a longer ramp. After the fact, I wondered if trailer manufacturers raised the trailers (thus making the ramp steeper) when compensating for the newer, high truck rails. Cleats might be an option to try.

1 Like

I did not go the coco mat route as I was afraid he’d drag his toes and get tangled up/roll it up under his feet. I have a friend who uses one w no problem.

What do dealer-installed cleats look like? Rubber or wood?

I have a coco mat because the tread is worn on my side ramp. It was cheaper to buy the coco mat than replace the rubber on the ramp and I think it is nicer. Definitely lighter and easier to manuever than a rubber mat too.

1 Like

I think they were wood…they put them under the rubber on the ramp, so I can’t answer that. The dealer took the trailer back, installed them, and then I decided to get a longer ramp. So, I never loaded him in the trailer again. I traded it for one w a longer 6’ ramp. He’d fallen to his knees once and that was it for me. I’ve had 4 Stars for over 30 years and never had one slip before, even in rain. I asked about just redoing the ramp; this dealer thought it would be easier to just order one w a longer ramp.

My ramp is carpeted. Reduces the noise too, so helpful for teaching the skeptical.

1 Like

Check out rubber ramp mats with ridged cleats. These are regularly spaced ridges which are part of the rubber molding process and not to be confused with wood or metal cleats added on top of a rubber mat.

As said already, added cleats are strips of wood or metal attached above and across a ramp surface. You see them on cattle and hog trucks. The cleat spacing is critical. Horse, hog and cattle cleats are different spacings.

1 Like

I went with a coco mat that is just a bit wider than one stall in my trailer. I slide it back and forth for the horses to load. Makes it lighter, and easier to roll up and slide in front under the hay bags after loading.

1 Like

The stuff we worry about with these ding-dongs. I dropped a halter and lead on the floor the other day and, without a second thought, kicked it beneath a stairway for safety, because if I’d left it there, someone would have escaped his stall and come clattering down that particular hallway to get all four feet tied up.


My trainer uses coco mats and to my knowledge, no issues with them rolling up. But I do know from hauling horses for her that the things are a bit cumbersome. My mom does some hauling and isn’t exactly a spry young chicken. So how long before my tolerance for the things wears thin?

We use the wood cleats, husband installed. They work beautifully. When worn, broken, we just unscrew them and put on a new cleat. Ready to use any time. They are installed over screwed down rubber matting. The wood is grippy in rain or snow, when the rubber might be slippery. Hoof can only slide a couple inches before snagging on a cleat for grip. There are 3 cleats on the 4ft ramp.

Our horses like and use the cleats. All are easy to load and unload.

Our cleats get worn because most of the horses are shod with drive-in studs for traction going down the road. Studs are very tiny but do grab the cleats.


Hmmmm…I have a 2006 Hawk 2 horse straight load gooseneck and the ramp mat is not at all slippery. In fact it has an aggressive tread that makes it a challenge to sweep it clean of shavings…I always have to the hose with the power nozzle. Has Hawk changed their mats? I should add that mine has the Rumber floor is that matters

My friend has this same problem with her Trailers USA trailer.

I wondered if it makes a difference which way the nap is going, but I experimented and couldn’t see a difference. Someone mentioned their ramp was hard to sweep. So was mine but that had nothing to do w the slide factor. The new trailer I reordered has a 6’ ramp so the pitch is less steep. No slide.

1 Like

I screwed a coco mat directly into my ramp rubber mat using self tapper screws. I’m 2 years in and it’s still good as new. The horses love it, it provides so much grip even if it’s rainy or poopy or anything. The ramp is heavy but my spring is broken so it’s heavy no matter what.



I recently replaced the mat on my Hawk trailer from Hawk. It’s a two horse bumper pull though and not really that high off the ground. I don’t really think it’s the mat, I think it’s the steepness and shortness of the ramp on the newer gooseneck trailers that are built to be pulled by newer trucks.

I am trailer shopping and really puzzled about what to do with this. Is the side load ramp as short and steep as the rear ramp on these trailers? If you want Air Ride, do you have to pump it up after the horses are loaded and let the air out before you unload to avoid extra steepness?

Ah thank you! I was like surely I’m not the only person that has thought of this. Did you use any screws throughout the body of the mat? Or just along the edges?

This is what my trainer does but even when the trailer is lowered, the side ramp is still pretty steep. She uses a coco mat and 4X4 blocks on the corners of the ramp to level it some.

I’ve found the side ramps to be steeper than the rear ramps.