(or) Let’s Talk About the Equo-Sized Elephant in the Room
Equo, the world’s first on-demand horse shipping App, with the lofty goal of revolutionizing horse transportation through technology. Naturally, as with any new way of doing things, you have questions. You probably a few concerns, too. You might even have suspicions.
Let’s talk about that.
Horse people are very particular about who drives their horses. How are Equo drivers screened?
Equo: Horses are a lifestyle. They are part of somebody’s family. Every driver that wants to sign up to use our App goes through an extensive background check so you can be sure of:
On top of that, each driver takes a Horse Knowledge Test before they’re allowed to get their Equo Id and use the Driver Application. Most of these drivers, they’ve been shipping horses for a long time. They’re horse people—they own a truck and a horse trailer.
In addition to background checks on the driver, we also do our research on their equipment. All prospective drivers must submit the most up-to-date insurance and registration forms on their truck, as well as information on any work that has been done to their rig so we know exactly what equipment they are working with; and their latest inspection report of both their trucks and trailers. The riders, in turn, can see that equipment through the App, so they know exactly what truck and trailer is coming to pick them up.
We’re doing everything that we can to make sure that we are giving every user out there the best possible driver and the best equipment.
Okay, but isn’t it essentially putting your horse on a random truck with a stranger?
Equo: If you look at the big picture, getting on the phone and finding a driver to pick up your horse, there’s really no difference to the current industry. Right now, people call around or they find drivers on Facebook. We’re adding our app to make it easier for everybody. Instead of calling, you’re clicking a few buttons. The same driver is showing up. The same trip is being made. It’s just an easier service. With the addition that we are actually running a screening process before the driver is allowed to pick your horse up. So at the end, its easier and safer than the current methods.
When you call a shipping company you speak with a human. How do you get a sense of the driver coming to get your horse through an App?
Equo: Some people have concerns about who the driver is, so within the App we have the driver profile. When a driver is assigned the trip, that rider gets a photo and information of the driver as well as of the truck and trailer, so it takes away the mystery about who is hauling their horse.
Riders can also see the ratings on that driver. On the App, we have a two-way rating system so drivers can rate the riders and the horses they pick up as well as the rider rates the experience with their assigned driver. That built-in rating system for each is kind of like a second opinion—they get to see how these drivers are doing out on the road.
Hear all about Equo straight from the horse’s mouth
How about Insurance? How does that work with Equo?
Equo: We are a technology platform that serves as a network and connects riders and drivers to facilitate the request, tracking and completion of horse shipping. That being said, it is the driver’s responsibility to check with their current insurance provider and state DOT office to better understand what’s required from them.
From the rider’s perspective, there is no auto or truck insurance that covers any damages on horses. The only way for a horse to be covered in the event of an accident on the road is for the horse to be insured with a third party horse insurance provider.
What happens if something does go wrong on the road?
Equo: Safety is always our number 1 priority. That’s why we have an around-the-clock team that’s here in case of an emergency while on the road. Say there’s an issue with a truck or a trailer, if it’s going to be down for a while, we’ll find a new driver to send out there to complete that shipment for the safety of the horse.
Horse people travel with a lot of stuff. Is there room for that?
Equo: The rider can send one trunk with their horse if space is available on the trailer. We also have a section on the App where you can send a person with your horse. Maybe you want to send a groom or go yourself. That’s built into the App. When you put in the dates and where you want to go, there’s also a section to inform the driver if someone will be transported with the horse.
Okay, let’s talk price? How much do I make being a driver? How much does it cost to be a rider?
Equo: We spent a year doing extensive rate reviewing. Our rates are competitive with every company out there. We wanted to make it as fair as possible for the riders and drivers. That means we have a rate index so as soon as the shipment is created you know exactly how much the shipment is going to cost and the driver knows exactly how much they are going to make.
How will you handle availability? Will there be surge pricing like Uber?
Equo: We have three types of shipments. There’s Equo Rush, which is within four days of the date of shipping. It’s a little bit of a premium rate, but it is built in for emergency situations and unplanned trips.
We also have Equo Planned, which is anything after five days. It’s for those who pre-schedule their trips and has no added premiums.
Then we have Equo Pool, where the owner can decide if they’re okay shipping with other horses and maybe making a few extra stops. Sharing a ride provides a bit of a discounted rate, but still offers the same guaranteed quality.
Can you follow your horse by GPS while they are on the trip?
Equo: We don’t live track the horses during the shipment. We do have a button on the driver’s screen where they can check in and in turn drops a pin on the horse owner’s map on the app. If the driver stops for gas, they can drop a pin that sends a push notification directly the owner telling them exactly where their horse is at that precise moment.
Huh. Is there anything else I should know about Equo?
Equo: A lot of riders are also drivers. If you’re going to a show, you can pick up a horse on your way and make some extra money while you’re doing it. We’re offering a $100 Bonus for drivers who sign up before December 31st, 2016.
It’s time to bring horse transportation into the 21st Century. We believe Equo is the safest and most effective way to do that.