Float experts in here please!

Discussion in 'Horse and Rider Safety' started by Nicola, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Nicola

    Nicola Active Member

    I put up a thread a while ago about single floats and the overwhelming response was no.

    Now, I took all that on board, but since moving to a property and my horse having an accident, I have decided that I need a float ASAP in case of emergencies.

    My finances are very limited, but I have been offered a float from a retired trainer I know well for a VERY cheap price. I would jump on it but it is a single. However, it is a dual axel, very wide (almost as wide as a double), braked single with a new floor. I believe it may actually been custom made from a double base for a bad floater.

    So my question is, at what point does a float become stable? I'm hoping to get past that knee jerk 'single float' reaction and get some actual dimensions. The horse is a 16hh tb who is an excellent floater.

    Thanks everyone :)
  2. Jacky Y

    Jacky Y New Member

    Singlr float

    I'm not a float expert however when the budget is limited, a single that has duel axles and is wide is a good option. Does it have drop axles? Is it fairly low to the ground.
    The main risk with single floats are the single axles and blowing a tyre and the weight with one horse is quite high and therefore unstable.
    Driving a little slower will also lower the risk.
  3. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    I started off with a single, with single axle. I did get a blow out once, but all was fine.

    When I could afford it, I up graded to an old olympic double, then finally a new olympic double extended.

    You have to walk before you can run.

    If you want, I can pop outside and measure the width of my double for a comparison?

    I say go for it if it is in good condition.:)*
  4. Nicola

    Nicola Active Member

    I'm really not sure about whether it has drop axels, I'll try to find out.

    Thanks Deb, I'd appreciate you checking if you don't mind.

    The float would only be used for short trips around the metro area. I drive so slowly when I float that I have been overtaken by other floats, so driving carefully isn't an issue
  5. Faxie

    Faxie Well-known Member

    I started out with a single float when I was a teen but it was 3/4 width of a double.. Single axle though bah! Never had a problem with it until my dad burnt it to the ground in a burning off fiasco gone wrong lol!

    So if that one has dual axle sounds good. Get a reputable person to look at it for piece of mind. I can recommend HD&L Mechanical (paid advertiser) ;)
  6. Nicola

    Nicola Active Member

    Thanks Faxie, a friend has also recommended them to me, so I'll take it there for an inspection. This one is very wide too :)
  7. fuddles

    fuddles Well-known Member

    A single that has been well maintained is better than a double that hasn't
  8. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    Talk to the mechanic (HD&L is mine too) about it, a backyard built float can have non standard features like axles being too far forward (increasing your risk of swaying or fishtailing then flipping over). But dual axle, brakes and new floor are in it's favour.

    My first float as a kid was a freebee, 3/4 wide open top homemade job. It had car tyres (?) attached to the inside walls as padding- pretty sound practice now I think of it. Low to the ground, carpet tiles on the tailgate, painted pink and cream :) we only used it to go the beach, horse loved loading and traveling in it.
  9. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Cheap and a single?

    I'd be running.

    Put your safety FIRST rather then convenience.
  10. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    I wouldn't have a problem with a single with a double axle.

    Make sure it is still structurally sound with excellent electrics.

    We all have to start somewhere.

    Any cheap float is going to need something done to it and extra maintenance which is a trade off to spending bigger money on a better float. You will find many people that have bought a cheap float often say it wasnt worth it and they should just have saved and bought a better one to begin with.

    Think of all the possible scenarios that could and do happen. It is not always about your driving but the others on the road.
    Float Accidents no matter how small are extremely traumatic both for the horse and driver.

    There is no difference in driving metro or country for what its worth. Dont let that make you think differently.
  11. beaudacious

    beaudacious Well-known Member

    I'm not a fan of singles at all but if its got dual axles and is the safest float within your price range then go for it! You can always upgrade later **)

    IMO you really cannot afford to be without a float during bushfire/snake season.
  12. Mad on Horses

    Mad on Horses Active Member

    We had a dual axle single that was extra width, when I had one of the larger horses in it I would just be that bit more careful with my driving going around corners or if it was very windy we never had a problem.

    While I would not like to use a regular (single axle normal width) single float I do not have problems with the larger ones.
  13. Nicola

    Nicola Active Member

    Thanks everyone. The reason that it is so cheap is that it belongs to a friend who's a retired trainer. I mentioned that I needed a float and he said he had his still in the garage and it was mine if I wanted it. So it's not one that's being advertised cheaply, he's just trying to do me a favour.

    Beaudacious, that's exactly the reason why I'm considering this one. I've been quite happy without a float, I'm too busy to compete atm and my horse has some lameness issues, but he was hurt the other day and it was so difficult to get hold of a float to take him to the vet. It made me wonder about what would happen if he was more severely hurt or a bush fire came through. Realistically, I may use it for the odd beach trip too but it would mostly be for emergency use.

    Nannygoat, by metro driving I meant short trips at low speed. I wouldn't be floating him 2 hours down the freeway to a competition, just 20 mins up the road to my vet or possibly the beach.

    Like I say, I was quite happy without a float, but not having any transport for my horse worries me. It'll only be for a year, by the end of next year I will have graduated and be on the payroll :)
  14. Dusty Road

    Dusty Road Well-known Member

    I would go for it. We all have to start somewhere. My first float was a single float, with a single axle (gasp!). I never had any dramas with it, and it was very stead on the road.

    People get their knickers in a knot with single floats, and I think in many cases it is unwarrented. A single float is better than no float in an emergency and everyone has a story about a friend of a friend who has a single float and it fell over, just like everyone has a story about a friend of a friend who had a chinese made float and the tail gate fell off.
  15. Ridelikeyoumeanit

    Ridelikeyoumeanit Active Member

    i say go for it.

    we had a single float for years. single axle old corrogated iron type. we used it for all the ag shows it did hundreds of kilometres a year. never had a problem with it. in saying that tho, it had the thickest floor boards you could ever imagine and would hazard a guess that it would have been very bottom heavy. even with a large horse in it.

Share This Page