yes, no, maybe? Custom floats

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by odway, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. odway

    odway Guest

    Hey guys I need some advice about floats. We're looking to get a float (hopefully by March/April this year) and I've gone through our options and need some help. Basically, orginally we thought we could get one from over east and bring it over, but with the whole EI and quarantine thing I don't think it's worth the hassel or the risk. I've been looking at the second hand floats that have been coming up in W.A. and I think all in all they're overpriced and a little bit too old and risky for my liking... and if a good one comes up it seems to sell pretty much instantly. I havent seen a second hand one in my price range that I didnt think needed work (not to mention all the things I've overlooked and that someone like floatsafe could pick up on), quite honestly I don't hold much hope in getting a secondhand one anymore (not to say I wont keep looking though!).

    So that sort of leaves buying a new float. Where do I go to get a float built to my specifications? Safety is number one priority, I dont need anything fancy like tackboxes, a standard would do fine... I just have no idea where to go! I'm a bit scared about those dodgy backyard jobs, does anyone know someone reputable who could make me a float to my budget (about $7K but could be stretched a bit further). Has anyone got a custom float or had one made? What kind of things did it have and what can you recommend is really important to get? Help please :eek:
  2. odway

    odway Guest

  3. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    We custom built our own horse truck as we cart big horses and nothing I found was suitable. We repair floats and trucks.

    A good rubber floor is really important - you don't want the floor to become slippery when wet, we use the pour on rubber flooring made from recycled tyres, there is a company in perth that does it.

    Padding on the walls, dividers, chest and bum bars are a good idea

    Air vents are a must have.

    Stallion dividers (head dividers) are an excellent idea and I would not cart horses without them.

    Ensure the float is roomy enough for the horses, unfortunatly in a float you have a limited space to accomodate different size horses.

    Make sure the float is easy to clean, as you will be forever cleaning it out.

    Check that there is no sharp bits or anything else that is liable to cause injuries.

    If you want to talk more just pm me.

    If you can get a float for a reasonable price even if is needs repairs you will probably find that this is the cheaper option.
  4. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Gidge Floats can custom make you a float and his starting prices and really good.

    When I bought mine about 12 months ago his started at $8800 (inc GST) but I think it might be a bit more than this now.

    I'm not sure of anyone else who makes them in WA though someone mentioned on here a while ago about the Albany Prison building them so maybe investigate that.

    But I honestly think you'd be pushing it to get a brand new float for $7k - $8k, I would think that you'd be looking closer to $10k.

    You'd be better off looking for a 2nd hand float that needs some work and doing it up a bit for the sort of money that you've mentioned.
  5. maxntaz

    maxntaz Well-known Member

    Mustang Floats, down at Bridgetown, not sure of prices (i think they are pricy but very good quality). I had a Discovery float built 12 months ago, which came from Victoria, thru a guy that advertises on here (he also sells other brands). Olympic floats are made is S.A. i think, but can be made to order...... its really a matter of contacting these people and getting quotes. They all do very flash floats or the simple plain ones.... i would start making enquiries! Goodluck!:)*
  6. proud mum

    proud mum Well-known Member

    My dad had a custom float built a couple of years ago and he was really happy with it. If he had the time he would have built his own so he knows what he was looking for in quality and he was more than happy. They would travel from Dongara to the SEC every weekend so they needed something good.
  7. odway

    odway Guest

    Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated. Bethy I love the look of gidgy floats, I've seen a few around the place now :) The reason I said $7K was because a friend of ours had a custom one made up last year (oops, make that 2 years ago now!) for $5500 and it was a stunner. Unfortunately I've lost contact with her now so I can't get the name of who did it. We could stretch our budget up to $10K but if it's possible to build a basic custom one for less (or do up a second hand one) I think I'd rather do that, so I'll get onto Albany prison then (gosh how odd!) and do some more ringing around, thanks for the suggestions guys.

    Also this may be really dumb, but could someone tell me what the difference is between:

    - breech bars and bum bars
    - head divider and stallion divider

    and if anyone has used a split tail gate before did you find it to be a good or bad feature?

  8. Antyk

    Antyk Well-known Member

    Head divider and stallion divider are the same it just depends on the person as to the terminology used, I have not heard of Breech Bars before but again i would say its to do with the terminology used by different people.
  9. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    Breech bars are a very wide bum bar and they have a self closing system. They are really handy but I have seen a really bad injury from a horse that caught it's side on the part where the breeching bar connects to the centre divider... she literally ripped her side apart.

    Bum bars are just that... they're a thinner bar with padding on it which secures the horse in the float.

    Breeching bars can cost alot, it's mainly the mechanism used that costs the money.
    When I had my Gidgie float made I spoke to him about the breeching bars but he said I'd be looking at about $400 extra... so instead I got him to make double width bum bars... so instead of one piece of metal thats about 50mm top to bottom with 100mm padding top to bottom, I have 2 pieces of metal and then the padding so mine is 100mm of metal and ~200mm padding... so it gave me the width of the breeching bars that I wanted but kept the price right down... I don't think he even charged me any extra for it.

    The dividers have a few names, basically there is the divider that goes on the window side of the pole that divides their heads and there are also shoulder dividers which are on the back side of the pole.
    Different companies use different names for these, so it's best to clarify with the builder what they call what.
  10. CJR

    CJR Well-known Member


    I called and spoke a couple of times with the guy form the prison regarding floats and they start around the 9k mark... The guy was really helpful and they make all sorts of things, jump wings, jump stands etc..

    I'm also in the market for a new float and I've been impressed by the DAVCAR range, they start at $9990 I think..

    Good luck:D
  11. Horsetalk

    Horsetalk Well-known Member

    We have a Kalpakoff float, very happy with it. He rebuilds floats as well, I would talk to him. :)
  12. odway

    odway Guest

    Thanks guys, I've had a bit of a ring around... Albany prison do a standard double for $10 200, I'm waiting on a couple of quotes to come back still but it looks like we're scrapping the $7K budget and going to stretch it to $11K or thereabouts and buy a new float. Now looking at all the brandnames I guess... very exciting but all very daunting too, it's so much money I really want to be sure we're chosing the right one for us.

    Has anyone got a karakar?

    I'd really appreciate it if anyone with floats could post a picture of their floats and perhaps list the features so that I can get an idea of what to look for. Much thanks again guys!
  13. Lovemyhorse

    Lovemyhorse New Member


    i got my rowville custom built

    they did everything i wanted

    the West Aussie agent was really good and helped me with some ideas

    i would recommend looking at a rowville float as they are second to none in quality and reasonably priced

    and they hold their resale value reallly really well from what i have seen
  14. Bethy

    Bethy Gold Member

    With all your research make sure you get a total price with all the added extras. I found that it's the added extra's that is really the killer.

    What I really liked about the Gidgie floats is that they have standard what most other companies charge extra for, eg:
    ~Their standard length is everyone elses extended length
    ~Flush door handles
    ~Flush tie up points
    ~Alot of checker plate (all the checker plate on my float was standard)

    And then their extra's are quite cheap as well... I added an extra 150mm (~6 inches) in height for only $150... as opposed to Stallion floats charge $300 for 4 inches.

    I also paid an extra $150 and got the duel brakes so I have both electric and hydraulic. I have the electric system installed in my car but if for whatever reason I need to tow it with a different car then it'll still have working brakes.
  15. odway

    odway Guest

    Thanks for the PM Bethy :)

    There's a WA model of the Kara kar that has a drawbar electric break system... basically electric breaks that are adjustable on the drawbar instead of in the car, so that way you can tow with anything. That's quite tempting to me, but I'm just so overwhelmed at the moment with all these different floats and options etc! CRJ I had a look into the davcars, very nice! I think I will have to narrow things down to the 3 that I most like and then go out and see them in the flesh... but even so, so far I havent found a float that I didnt want some changes made to it so I guess I'll have to find a company that doesnt mind me wanting some things taken out/moved etc. From what I've heard, if I want a gidge float I'll have to be VERY patient as there's quite a wait.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on those guardor ones advertised recently in horseland? I've never seen one out on the roads before but I presume that's because they're new?
  16. horsegirlmel

    horsegirlmel New Member

    the guaRADOR ARE MADE IN CHINA a friend of mine saw one in sydeny and said it was challenging - to be polite!!!

    basically they arent selling well at all

    and they only have a 1 year warranty whereas most of the good floats have a 3 year - everything warranty
  17. Pockets

    Pockets Gold Member

    Might be worth giving the Olympic mob in Wangara a call-someone told me that if you don't want all the bells and whistles(ie pinstriping,storm doors etc that the price drops considerably-$6600 was the figured mentioned a couple of years back but don't quote me on it!!!!
  18. Coda Cowgirl

    Coda Cowgirl Well-known Member

    whenever i hire a float i get a new model kara kar with the electric drawbar and its great! go and have a look and hire one from jenlow park.
  19. Shakia

    Shakia Well-known Member

    Jenlow Park have great hire floats. He is constantly upgrading them and they are good quality. Owner is a friend of my hubby.
  20. odway

    odway Guest

    Thanks for the tips guys, I'll have a look at jenlow park then, could someone please PM me the address?

    I'll steer clear from the guardors then I think, to be honest it feels like there's something not just right about ordering a float from horseland but that might just be me hhahaha. I'm not overly keen on the olymics, just from the things I've heard from friends and people in the business... so it seems like if I can get some modifications done the to the karakar than that might be the one to go with then... although I have heard the flooring is aly (will have to check that) and not sure if that's a good or a bad thing? I've always been told a good sturdy hardwood floor was the way to go.

    CC, did you find the electric drawbar difficult to set up/use or was it pretty straight forward?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 5, 2008

Share This Page