Is “Rumber” worth it?
*Note: As of 7/2017 Rumber brand composite floor is no longer offered / Composite flooring is available from another brand name*
Lets look at “Rumber” compared to Hawk’s #1 grade treated wood floor with stall mats
Benefits of “Rumber“ according to it’s manufacturer:
*Will not rot, crack, splinter
• Serves as a cushioning surface
• Reduces stress on joints and soft tissue
• Easy to clean
• UV and water resistant
• Extremely tough and durable
• Most cost effective option over time
Benefits of Hawks standard #1 Grade ” Treated wood floor
*long lasting with minimal maintenence
* stall mats likely provide a greater cushioning surface, less road vibration, less heat
*easy to clean
*easy to repair or replace if necessary
My personal view, opinion and experience:
It appears to me that either the standard wood floor or the Rumber floor should have a life span that is equal to the life span of the trailer, in other words, either should last as long as I need it to.
In the event of a broken or rotted wood board it would be simple and inexpensive to replace with a board from a local lumber yard.
With Rumber, a replacement piece would be ordered and shipped, you would remove some of the floor and install the new piece tongue and groove.
Because Rumber is tongue and groove I find that manure gets stomped into the grooves, making it more difficult to get the trailer cleaned out compared to stall mats where I tend to let the manure piles dry out, then pitch them out. Rumber is routed in the middle of each board to make it less smooth so the Rumber floor is wavy side to side.
Shavings can be used on Rumber to help prevent manure from packing into the grooves. I personally prefer a minimal amount of shavings either way due to dust.
Urine cannot drain with a Rumber floor because it is tongue and groove, so some shavings should be used.
In comparing both floors, stall mats are a softer material so it stands to reason that vibration would be reduced with the standard floor and mats. There have been no concussion / vibration studies to compare the two that I know of, and I suppose there is no way to know whether or how much difference it makes to your horse. When I stomp my own foor on a Rumber floor I can feel vibration through my foot. I also wonder about heat from the road transferred up through the trailer floor, it seems it should be greater with Rumber, but again, that is something that has not been studied as far as I know.
Rumber is not a strong material, because of this it is critical to have more floor supports so the Rumber does not sag between the floor supports.
If your horse seriously paws / digs with its hoof I DO NOT recommend Rumber unless you add mats on top. Though there is a 20 year wear warranty I would rather not have a horse paw through a floor or paw a divet. For vibration I also suggest mats on top.
Rumber is much heavier than the wood floor but with the addition of stall mats on wood the weight difference is negligible.
On a retail basis the additional cost of Rumber is currently between $65 and $80 per foot For a standard 2 horse trailer with a 10′ stall length this to me is significant. On the resale market it does not appear to make a difference in price for a well maintained used trailer.
It is important to note that I have not had any complaints from clients that have ordered trailers with Rumber other than Rumber being more difficult to clean and 2 complaints of slippery floors. Using shavings can be helpful in preventing manure from getting squished down into the grooves of a Rumber floor, and a pressure washer or strong flowing hose and brush can be used if you want a really clean looking floor.
At the end of the day, it is your trailer and your choice.