Olympic vs Imperial

Discussion in 'Horse and Rider Safety' started by Skittled, Jul 15, 2013.

  1. Skittled

    Skittled Well-known Member

    I'm looking at buy a float and I've narrowed it down to the olympic royal or imperial 2 horse straight load extended :D

    Who has got one and has opinions that want to share? (really critical ones can be pmed :))
  2. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    What I appreciate most in my Olympic Royal:
    The ramp is easy to lift with an inviting smooth but non-slip rubber surface.
    Quick and simple to close self-latching bum bars.
    Big access doors on each side.
    Lockable tackbox.
    Interior float light.
    Safe, solid, well-padded adjustable and removable dividers inside.
    Smooth towing.
    The heavy duty solid wooden floor covered in non-slip good quality rubber.

    My main complaint is trivial - a leaky front window. Had it resealed several times with mixed failures. I don't know if they all do..?
  3. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

  4. Skittled

    Skittled Well-known Member

    Thanks guys.

    NaeNae, how do you find the fibreglass floor? I can see the advantages over wood in that it wont rot out, but is it just as tough and durable? And did you need to pay any freight costs for the imperial? I know that Olympics are built in SA, so it's just under two grand to get the float here ontop of the cost for the float.
  5. Donski

    Donski Active Member

    I can't comment on the Olympics, having never having had one. They seem like very good floats and if it hadn't been a case of dollars I'd have preferred an Olympic instead purely because of the fact they are Aussie made.

    I can say though that I'm very happy with my Imperial. Good service, good design and construction. I am in Perth though so didn't have to pay any freight to get it. Perhaps they have a distributor there?
  6. NaeNae87

    NaeNae87 Well-known Member

    I haven't had any problems with it. I like the fact that it won't rot and is lighter than a hardwood floor.
    I have had everything from a 12hh pony to a super solid 16.3hh TB (who looks more like a warmblood than a TB) and never had problems with them being squished in. :)

    There were no freight costs as I bought it from Trevor at Jesse Creek. They are the Imperial dealer in WA. He is located in Oakford.
  7. maxntaz

    maxntaz Well-known Member

    Ive had a couple of Olympics now. I have an Olympic Royal currently. Like trojane, my front window leaks. I think I have managed to fix it!

    Other than that, its been a brilliant float, i bought mine second hand, but it hasnt missed a beat (its a 2006 model). Previous to this float I had an Olympic, it was 30years old when i sold it. It had been refurbished, but still ran like a dream.

    I havent owned an imperial. Im not completely sold on them, but I would never rule one out. I have a couple of good friends that have them. The general wear and tear that they have had on their float (which is younger than mine) has included bent bum bars, padding falling off (bum bars) etc. They have carried some big horses too, but i have also seen the padding fall off in a float that didnt carry big horses. Yep, they were serviced and fixed immediately, but this is something that hasnt happened in many other brands of float?

    Im also not convinced on the fibreglass floors either. I have a wooden floor in my float which i check reguarly, if required I can replace, one or all the floor boards (which to date I havent had too). I have seen what damage the sun can do to fibreglass canopies on utes and float rooves, so Im just not convinced (yet) that the fibreglass floor is a good thing.

    Like i say though, Im not against the float, I would definately consider them, if i was in the market.

    My Olympic is not as big as some of the imperials, and i find that the olympics full size door is narrower than the imperials, so sometimes that is annoying.

    Hmm trying to thing of other things 'bad" in my float. My storm door got bent so I had to have it fixed. It was how I purchased the float (2nd hand) so Im not sure what bent it, but once i had it fixed its never missed a beat.

    Oh I like to that the Olympic you can shift the divider to one wall (sort of turn it into an angle or a wide bay for a bad floater) and the two bum bars can be used as a single bum bar. That probably doesnt make sense. Let me know and i will try and explain it better LOL.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2013
  8. Skittled

    Skittled Well-known Member

    Cheers guys.

    If padding falling off is the biggest problem, I think I can manage that :) There is aways going to be one or two small (hopefully) manufacture issues with any brand of float that happen for no reason. It's just trying to make sure its not a major issue like weak chassis or similar.

    I get what you mean maxntaz about the bum bar. The centre divider does move on the imperial. I don't know if the bum bars can make one big bum bar. It's not on my criteria anyway. I just dont want the centre divider to have a supporting post at the back, which neither of the floats have.

    Once I get a bit more money together, I'll be going to both lakeside float and Jesse Creek and further inspecting. At the moment, imperial is winning my preference. It's looking that olympic are going to be $4,000 more expensive (thats without any differences in extras such as paint and yards) and I'm not really seeing value in that extra money for my particular situtation.
  9. Nikiwink

    Nikiwink Well-known Member

    Ive had both. The olypmic was about 15yrs old and the imperial was its replacement. For me the imperial is a better float for the price
  10. Trojane

    Trojane Well-known Member

    But have you had 15 years of use out of the Imperial yet? :)
  11. Skittled

    Skittled Well-known Member

    Lol. I would be looking at around 5 years for the float, I would want to upgrade to a camper or gooseneck as I get older!

    Does the imperial have the roller rocker suspension? How does this go?
  12. beaudacious

    beaudacious Well-known Member

    I've never checked an original olympic (all the olympic ive seen have been old restored floats) but i know that all the imperials i've seen have a rediculously small number of cross braces running underneath the flooring. This isnt an issue most people care about unless of course one of the braces happens to break or your flooring gives way ;)

    I'm also not a fan of the imperials tie up points or storm door latches. All the ones i've seen are attatched to the sheet metal rather than an upright support beam which seems a bit silly to me given the ammount of strain these fittings can be placed under.
  13. Dusty Road

    Dusty Road Well-known Member

    I've had both an Olympic and I now have a Imperial.

    I prefer the Imperial. My Olympic rusted within 6 months, it didn't pass the pit inspection either.

    I am in love with my Imperial. I went for the 2 horse angle. I love it. It has a tack box at the front and a swing out tack box out the back, as well as a side tool box and float yards.
  14. Nikiwink

    Nikiwink Well-known Member

    Lol obviosly not :) however I did know the full history of the oympic as I bought it off friends. I saw photos of it in its early days and it didnt appear to hold up better than the imperial at the same age.

    Personally from what ive seen it still comes down to how well they are looked after, serviced etc.
  15. mirawee

    mirawee Gold Member

    I have never owned an Olympic but towed with one a few times and would never choose to own one. Maybe the extended models are ok but the standard with out tack box was not really big enough for 15.2hh horses.

    I plan on going down and checking out the Imperials later this year with the aim of getting a 3 horse angle load if the bays are big enough or a 2 horse extended. I have not heard any negatives about the after care service which is a massive selling point.
  16. cleo

    cleo Well-known Member

    I have towed both the Olympic Royal and the Imperial extended with tack box so will share my thoughts some of which are really picky.

    The Olympic is 60kg heavier but the Imperial tows heavier(same horses same gear).
    The park brake on the Olympic sits up a lot higher than the imperial which means that if you have a car that's back door swings out you can't get it open. Both floats I have towed have electric brakes and the brakes on the Olympic are really touchy. This could just be down to the adjustment on the brakes.
    I like the rubber flooring on the imperial but can't stand the fact that it is stapled on(well on the tailgate I didn't take much notice of inside). The tailgate on the Olympic is very slippery. Prefer hardwood floor of the Olympic than fibreglass at least if one slat goes you can replace it rather than the whole floor.
    Adjustable chest bars on the imperial are either really high or really low. Wasn't happy with either height for a 14.3hh. Other than that not a lot of difference inside.
    The storm doors being able to be locked open while driving is a great feature on the imperial that the Olympic doesn't have although seeing as the doors attach on to sheet metal not sure I would be using it.
    General finish on the Olympic is much better, some of the striping on the imperial is what looks like electrical tape.

    Now the couple of bits that I couldn't live with on the imperial. The latches for the windows are higher and I couldn't reach them(yes I am vertically challenged), it has two latches to close the storm doors one which is inside the float which I couldn't find or reach and finally hope I can explain this the hinges on the Olympic all the doors stay where you leave them. So if you are not parked on flat ground the bum bars will stay open or the same for the tack box doors, on the imperial if the float is not flat they either swing shut or open depending on which way the ground slopes now lets face it how often do we have flat ground to park on at shows etc? Makes it really hard to get your horse on or off the float on your own when a bum bar wont stay open.

    Sorry about the novel and as I said I was being really picky.
  17. Bella85

    Bella85 New Member

    Being the sort of person who has to investigate 'everything' when making a huge purchase - like a brand new float I looked at Olympic, Imperial, Millsy, Rowville & JR Easy Traveller - they are all available in WA.
    I ended up getting an Olympic as my closest horse friends had them & I had borrowed on occasion.
    I liked the JR Easy Travellers - due to the standing width floor level - it makes sense to me that horses would 'ride' better being able to stabilise themselves. I also liked the Imperial & the Rowville but both had features that weren't what I wanted in regards to safety with my horses.
    In the end I had a custom made Olympic Royal (extended front straight load) built in SA and I was lucky enough to be coming home via SA and towed the float home which saved on freight costs. I can't fault the float or the service from Candice at Olympic Floats. The float is sturdy and tows well. It has more than enough room for horses & gear. I liked the fact that all the handles are 'flat' - a horse can't get caught on them whilst tied to the float. I believe it was money well spent!
    My only grievance is the float panels - I had mine made as I wasn't happy with the Olympic ones and how they fitted to the float.
    Before purchasing a float check out this website : horseproblems.com.au - read the sections on floats - could make your decision alot simpler!
    Good luck!
  18. taeliesyn

    taeliesyn Well-known Member

    We've had our imperial for going on 5 years now. Thus it's one of the early models, and they have improved since we bought ours.
    Those that are concerned about the tie up points and storm door latches/holders being on the sheet metal really don't need to worry. Nearly all the towing we do is with the storm doors open, as I prefer the air flow when they are open, and there is no issue with them.
    The tie up points, well we've had a tandem pull back and a few other attempts from some not so small horses and there hasn't been any issue there either.
  19. Donski

    Donski Active Member

    Yes, the imperial bum bars swing too easily and swing shut just as you are about to load depending on the ground level. This has been frustrating. I have just taken my float in tho for its 1st service and mentioned this Trevor. He is going to put a little hook on the side which will alleviate this problem. If you do get an Imperial ask for this to be added. He's changing mine for free, so very happy about that.
  20. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    I have an extended Olympic Windsor, bought from new and Ive had it 7 years. Spent 5 of those years out in the weather until we built a float shed. No problems with it at all, timber flooring is like new. Tows really well with one or two horses, love the easy tailgate. Cant fault it really. Oh and has held its price really well, I can sell it for a $1000 less than what I paid for it ! Not selling it though :))

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