Horse Floats For Sale - Tips On Buying a Horse Float


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An Equus 14 foot straight load float. An Equus 14 foot straight load float.
Researching horse floats for sale is always exciting...right up there with buying a new car!

You need to consider your budget and whether you plan to buy a new or used horse float, your tow vehicle (which should be able to handle the capacity of the float you buy), the size of your horse, how often you will use the float and how far will your horse be travelling in it.

You wouldn't compromise on safety in a car, and the same can be said for horse floats, but where to start looking? Top Horse has a huge range of new and used horse floats for sale, from regular floats, to two, three and four horse angle load, including floats with living areas.

Horse Floats at Mornington are agents for Australian-made floats including trusted brands such as Kara Kar, Equus, Stallion, Tender Deluxe, Chrisfloat, Strathbogie and Discovery. The company is operated by Mark, a specialist mechanic, and Vivienne, who has been involved with horses for over 40 years.

Other places to look are larger horse events such as Equitana, Barastoc Horse of the Year or agricultural shows, which usually have a new float display area, allowing you to compare brands, models and talk to the manufacturers.

Interior of a Stallion three horse angle float available through Horse Floats at Mornington. Interior of a Stallion three horse angle float available through Horse Floats at Mornington.

HINTS FOR BUYING A NEW HORSE FLOAT

• If you have a horse over 16hh, you may need to get a larger float. Equus Trailers recommends an 18 inch extension so the horse can lower his head.

• When buying a new horse float, check the warranty–a three year structural warranty is desirable.

• Keep in mind that floats with a Gross Trailer Mass (the weight of the fully loaded float when attached to the towing vehicle) over 750kg must have an efficient braking system of two wheels on one axle. If the GTM exceeds 2000kg, Australian regulations stipulate brakes must be fitted to all wheels plus have a Break Away system fitted (this automatically holds the float brakes on for a minimum of 15 minutes if the float breaks away from the towing vehicle.

Chrisfloat Chrisfloat 'The Grand National' (www.chrisfloat.com).

HINTS FOR BUYING A SECONDHAND HORSE FLOAT

When looking at a secondhand float for sale, consider the following:

• Have the float thoroughly checked by a reputable float manufacturer. If you are unable to have it checked by the float's original manufacturer, then choose one who offers a guaranteed repair and restoration service.

• Ask the float be hooked up to a car and then check the float's indicator, brake and parking lights.

• Check the tyres, which should be in reasonable condition and not showing any unusual wear patterns. Is the wear equal on both sides of the float? Also check the spare tyre and jack.

The suspension should also be in good condition...check beneath the float.

• Check everything for tightness...nuts and bolts, check the coupling.

• Closely examine the floor for signs of stress. Jump on it, pull back the matting and search for signs of decay, holes or sponginess. Especially check the rear corners, which will be the first areas to show signs of deterioration.

• Inspect tailgate latches and door handles for any weakness.

• Check for any protruding sharp objects.

• Look for any signs of rust on metalwork.

• Does the float have good ventilation? Studies have shown when stuck in traffic, the inside of a horse float can be up to 7C warmer that the outside temperature, and also be more humid making it difficult for horse sweat to evaporate.

• Check the float has been serviced regularly and ask to see the service records.

• Has the float been stored in a shed, under a float cover, or left exposed to the elements?

• If possible, take someone along who has experience with the mechanics of horse floats, or at least a mechanic who can check the brakes.

• Is the rubber matting in good condition? Worn or torn matting can be expensive to replace.

• Check the float isn't too big for your towing vehicle's capacity.

• Take the float for a test drive to see how it tows, does it tow and brake smoothly? Are there any rattles?

• Don't buy a horse float just because it looks nice! Go beyond the surface appearance and make sure all the important safety features (brakes, flooring, coupling etc) are in tip-top condition.

BEWARE SCAMMERS

When considering any horse float for sale, beware of potential scammers, which are unfortunately rife. They have their spiel down to a fine art and will come across as friendly and trustworthy, luring unsuspecting victims into parting with considerable sums of money with nothing to show for it.

Keep in mind the saying, "if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". If you suspect a scammer, Google his or her name, or ask on equestrian forums about current active scammers. Chances are someone will know of the name, although these are frequently changed with most scammers using several aliases.

You can suspect a scam if the float for sale is advertised at way below market value (ie. too good to be true) and the email badly worded or in broken English. One way to check if a seller is legitimate is to ask for the registration number and see if it checks out. If it doesn't, don't accept any excuses...report it to the police immediately. If the scammer asks why you need registration details, tell them it's to organise a cover note for insurance.

If you are legitimately selling a float and someone asks to be emailed a copy of the registration papers, supply the registration number only...not a copy of the actual paperwork, which could be fraudulently used by a scammer.

If you are considering buying a float, don't part with a cent until you have personally viewed the float, or had a trusted friend check it for you. Never deposit funds into a bank account/PayPal account before taking delivery of the float.

Some other points to consider include:

• Never deal with a seller based overseas or interstate who is offering to buy your float sight unseen.

• Do not deal with a seller whose float is based overseas.

• Do not respond to SMS messages from international numbers.

• Scammers always use a free online email address; gmail, yahoo, hotmail, zoho etc. so their IP address can't be traced.

• Scammers often try to pressure you into buying a float sight unseen, and could also offer to have the float delivered to you for free by a 'friend'.

• Scammers will also often pressure you into buying the float by saying they have someone else who is interested.

• If you are selling a float to a scammer, you will receive a bogus PayPal email showing money has deposited into your account but can't be released until funds are wired to a (fake) freight company.

• Do not deal with someone who wants you to transfer money through Western Union, which offers no protection once your money has been sent..

• Never deal with a buyer or seller who insists on communicating only through email.

• Never give out personal information, such as your work or home address, banking details, date of birth or (of course!) passwords, especially by email.

• Be suspicious if a buyer or seller begins making excuses, eg. claims to be overseas, hearing impaired, a death in the family etc.

• Scammers frequently lift photos and details from genuine float for sale adverts and post them elsewhere. Do a Google search on the float you are interested in and check if it has been listed multiple times.

• If you are unable to contact a seller, report it to Top Horse.

The bottom line is...if you can't view the horse float for sale in person, or have a trusted friend view it for you, then walk away.

USEFUL WEBSITES

SCAMwatch

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Protecting Yourself Online

ACCC Protecting Yourself From Scams

With some forward planning, you can find the perfect horse float for sale, one that suits the needs of both you and your horse.

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