Q. What is tare
This is the weight of the float with nothing in it but the dividers, extras, kitchen, etc whatever is in your float at time of manufacture, no horses or gear. The tare is a legal obligation of the manufacturer to be a true and correct weight, but which is often not a correct weigh, a certified weight docket is the only correct, legal and safe form of proof, not the word of the manufacturer.
Q. What is GVM
Gross vehicle mass =
tare weight + horses and gear loaded = allowable GVM
Q. What is downward ball pressure, and why is this important
This is the weight when unloaded, that is on the back of your tow vehicle, and is achieved by taking the float to a public weigh bridge, remaining attached to your vehicle, with the wheels of the tow vehicle off the weighbridge but the float on the weighbridge. Recording this reading and then taking the float off the tow vehicle tow hitch completely, to see what its tare weight is, and subtracting the 2 weights to find the downward ball weight. IE: tare 1.2 on vehicle 1.1 downward ball weight is 100kg.
This would mean a very well balanced float considering when it is loaded the ball weight would increase. There are no tow bars in Australia that are rated for more than 350kg downward ball weight and this is for the very good, heavy duty tow bars usually for Landcruisers, GMC, and F series utes. A well balanced float is safe, and legal and will not jeopodise your tow bar or your insurance by bending or breaking it.
Q. What does 1 braked axle mean compared to 2 braked axle
Good braking for the conditions and load of the trailer are very important.
We only make one float in our whole range with 1 braked axle, this is for our peace of mind because horses and owners gear is getting heavier. Here is a simple break down of the 2 very different systems
TARE + HORSES AND GEAR = MUST NOT EXCEED 2 TON (2000KG)
- 1 braked axle is a 2 ton unit only. This means that your GVM (refer above) is 20000kg loaded.
- 2 braked axles and break safe unit (required by law to be on any trailer over 2 ton). This means that your GVM can be anything above 2 ton with a maximum of 3.5 ton (depending on axles, suspension, bearings, wheels)
TARE + HORSES AND GEAR = MUST NOT EXCEED YOUR VIN PLATE GVM (supplied on the float by the manufacturer)
Q. What can my vehicle tow
All vehicles have a maximum safe towing weight, and your manual or dealer can help you with this.
If your towing capacity is say 2.5 ton, this does not mean you can not own a trailer with a 3 ton GVM (see notes on gvm and tare weights), but you must always be aware of the Tare + load = your vehicles maximum capacity, regardless of the fact your float will never be loaded to capacity with your existing vehicle. It is strongly recommended that you should not exceed your vehicles maximum capacity, for insurance and safety reasons.
Q. Why do you use mags and not black rims
Writco uses only White sunraysia mags, which are certified and stamped to a weight of 980kg per wheel. Compare this to a black/tin rim used on box trailers and sadly still used on horsefloats up to and including 3.5 ton units, which are only rated at 450kg per wheel. Do the sums yourself…. 450kg x 4 on a float only adds up to 1800kg allowable load weight, which is not then legal to be on a 2 ton unit, so how can these still be used, legally, on a horsefloat? More scary issues then result if the suspension of the float is not load sharing then the wheels , tyres and axles must be able to carry 120% of the load on that one axle!!!!! Why jeopadise safety with manufacturers who don’t care or are ignorant to these issues?
Q. Why are certified towhitch chains important on my float
Should your trailer ever come loose from your tow vehicle and you don’t have a breakaway unit to help stop the runaway float, then the chains must be able to hold your float and horses until you can safely come to stop at the side of the road. Most manufacturers use chain that is either gold truck chain, or just galvanized 10mm. Our chain is stamped 4177, certified, 10mm galvanized trailer chain, which has been stretched, pulled and impact tested to get this certification..
Q. What is a load sharing suspension
This is a system that shares the load evenly over all wheels and axles in the trailer. At all times over rough terrain, kerbs, undulations, and corrugated surfaces, all wheels remain on the ground, meaning that the load is always over the 4 wheels, unlike the other “suspensions” which when put under the same tests, one wheel comes up off the ground, meaning the load is then transferred to that one axle. By law in these type of suspensions, if they are not load sharing, then one axle, wheels and tyres must be able to carry 120% of the load on its own!!! We know this does not happen!
Q. What is the braking system in your floats
10 inch electric, either 2 wheels braking for 2 ton units, or 4 wheels braking and a brakesafe unit on any unit over 2 ton. The brakesafe unit is self charging from your car, led lights to check battery and charging, no fuss, no need to charge it constantly from an independent supply.
Q. Will my 16.2hh horse fit in your angleloads
A very big Yes!! Sometimes depending on the horses, length and body, we have known a 17.1 to fit in our off the shelf, stock standard angles, even the most basic.
Q. Why do you have a chestbar in your angles
The beauty of our system is that horses can be secured back against the side wall, with their chests and bodies held, and their heads able to lower and relax. Should the tow vehicle brake suddenly, the horse does not go anywhere as the “seat belt” has held him firmly and securely in his bay. Compare this to the normal angle, where the bays are too small to start with, but still in a braking situation, the horse scrambles forward trying in vain to stop itself crashing into the side wall, sometimes ending up on its rump on the floor or in some documented cases where front teeth were knocked out (refer to media releases for more info on the angleload chestbar system and how it has revolutionized the angleloaded traveler)
Q. What makes a scrambler and what does it do?
Nobody has any real idea about why a horse starts scrambling. Some say it could be initially a middle ear infection, or it becomes claustaphobic, gets bitten by something causing panic, and loads of other reasons. Scramblers can show signs from very little to major catastrophic incidences. A constant kicker, to load shifter, to pawing, sweating profusely, to scrapping the side wall with their hooves, to falling over, loosing footing straight or around a corner, to going right up the side wall and falling right over into the other bay. No matter what a horse does, it is very scary for the horse and owner, and never appears to get any better unless a complete change of the way the horse is travelled is done. The side wall in the float will show you the evidence of whether your horse scrambles. 90% of scramblers will still happily get onto the float, just hate being on it.
Q. How do you measure your angle bays
Unlike a lot of manufacturers we measure where the horse actually stands, tip of the nose to crack of the bum. If we were to do what others do to get a sale, our bays would be 3.3mtrs long!!!
Q. Why don’t you make a 4 horse float
As our floats are built for strength, safety and quality, they are never light, unlike some manufacturers who continue to put misleading tare weights on the floats to pass as a lighter float. Our 3 horse deluxe with a small extension and an overall length of 5 mtrs weighs 1.8 ton with a max GVM of 3.5 giving with float plus horses and gear a maximum of 2 ton to play with. If you had a 4 horse well built float it would have to be in the region of 2 ton with a maximum of still the 3.5 ton (which is the legal maximum weight of this class of float). Not many horses x 4 or gear would only weigh 1.5 ton…think about it
Q. Why do you use hardwood planks
Hardwood or iron bark has been used in stock trailers and trucks centuries, and the Queenslander is built using this timber. We think if its strong enough to withstand the harsh QLD weather, then it will be fantastic in a horsefloat! It gets harder as it ages, and urine and manure do not effect it. We leave a 5mm gap between our boards to release the moisture coming from above and below. Compare this with ply, whatever the name or rating number it has, timber glued together, will never withstand livestock on it for 20 years, sometimes not even as long as the warranty of the float it is in!!!
Q. Why do you use gas rams on your tailboards
Gas rams make even the heaviest tailboard, child and woman friendly. Aare easy to replace when needed, are inexpensive, and are much more pleasing to the eye than the old spring.
Q. Why is your tail-gate hot dipped galvanized
We began hot dipping all our tail-boards 12 months ago, due to the fact when floats came back in for servicing, the tailboard was always badly chipped, paint off in big pieces, and the appearance was tacky and down graded an expensive investment. Even with barefoot horses this still occurred due to it being a well worn, high traffic and in some cases downright stubborn to get on area. We did not like the way they looked or the fact without quick touch up, the steel would begin to rust. Thus the hot dipped tail-board and it will probably outlast the float itself!! Some may not like the silver finish but we feel, a long lasting, worry free area is sometimes more appealing than the “pretty” factor.
Q. Why do you rust proof
We live on a very big island, with most of the population being close to the sea. Salt and sea spray corrode steel like nothing else, and we don’t want to see our floats rusting in the same areas others all rust first. The chassis and under all components like side padding and stoneguard are protected with industrial strength rust proofing as these areas always hold moisture and begin to rust first. If we can do a simple thing like this to ensure your investment lasts the longest it possibly can, then how does that rate our quality and attention to detail in regards to the rest of the float?
Q. Why have you got stainless strike plates everywhere
Like with rust proofing, we care about your investment and want it to last. Putting strike plates on all high wear areas like door edges, and tailboards will stop the paint chipping off and exposing it to rust.
Q. What is a brake controller
This is a unit which sits inside your vehicle and controls the brakes on your float. It can be set from inside the cabin to stop the float with no load, 1,2 or 3 horses, just with a slide system or dial Q. Why is it important to have a brake contoller in my vehicle compared to on float brake controller
The difference between the two is major safety. One is inside the vehicle with you and should you have an emergency situation like a car pull out or a traffic jam, you can assit the float further by pulling across the emergency slide on most units and the float will lock up and pull up. Compare this to the on car unit, which you have to constantly have to fiddle with to get right for the load on the float. You have no control in an emergency as illustrated above, and if on the drawbar of the float the weather will eventually get into the unit and corrode the wires making them ineffective in a short period of time.
Q. What is an anti-scramble
This float is one of our special ones in our range, which caters to the scrambler or bad traveler but in recent times this float is seen as a great open and inviting float for any big horses or warmbloods. 2 metres wide internally, but standing the horses straight on, giving them leg room but ensuring their bodies are held securely, our antiscramble is seen to be more practical, user friendly, and uses more realistic ideas than some others on the market. 100% success rate to date, check out some of our testimonials about our range, including the antiscrambles.
Q. Can I upgrade, lengthen or add on to any of your basic models
Yes, unlike some others where their basic models are inferior compared to the rest of their range, our basic models have the same structural integrity, quality of workmanship and top quality components as say our deluxe 3 horse model and are put together in this same high standard making them one of the only floats able to upgrade and add to, without worrying about any strength or safety issues one may have with other products.
Q. How will the drop, adjustable chest bars help my horse
Unlike the old fixed style of chestbar, our bar moves up or down. The first obvious benefit of our system is it can quickly un-pin, even when the weight of a horse is fully over on it, to simply release the frantic trapped animal, safely should a horse take fright or get bitten by something and jumps or falls over the chestbar, our style of chestbar is easily released without the need of a grinder or saw like other fixed bars. The second benefit is for loading young or frightened horses, where ducking under a chestbar makes you a predator and the horse stop or runs backwards off the float. Our chestbar with its ability to drop down out of the way, means you can walk up and stand with the horse without stopping for a fixed bar. And finally our system has a 2 position setting which means that horses and ponies do not have to have an ill-fitting chestbar which is often right up on the wind pipe or too low on the chest. All major safety issues.
Q. How long have you been making floats
While Writco, building floats and our trade marked name has been operating since 2003, building floats and goosenecks have been built in our family for 35 years. David’s uncle built the very first ½ fiberglass roofed float in Deception Bay , 38 years ago, and there are some of these floats to this day still running around today. David has 40 years experience and knowledge of engineering, weight distribution, and heavy machinery, and along with qualifications for HVRAS which gives us the ability to ensure every trailer is the correct and legal size, we also conform with all ADR and Australian standards, and ensure a high standard of workmanship in all areas of production, due to this experience.
Q. Why do you stand the horses in an angle to the right
The angle load float came from the USA some 75 years ago, in a truck. Their roads are on the right side of the road, so they faced their horses to the left and up the camber of the road. When the idea took hold in Australia, we drive on the left, thus horses should be facing up camber of the road here. Most manufacturers will not change their design because they are not horsemen, and are only capable of following other notable manufacturers as they believe they have it right, which we have shown, they don’t. Horses will and should lead from the left, and in fact my horses self load themselves so leading them up is a non event like in most good horse peoples lives. Horses do not care about the on-coming traffic, what happens when you are road riding and a large or noisy vehicle comes along, do you turn tail and try to ignore it? No you face the horse up to show him it is ok. Horse travel, stand, and have less trouble with sore muscles if they are not constantly bracing and backing up camber. Check out our media releases page for more arguments regarding the way we travel our angles.
Q. Why are your
single personnel doors on the left including the angleloads
Legally and for safety any 1 door into a caravan, gooseneck or trailer should always be kerb side, again we are not in America so why have the doors on their kerb side? Common sense says stay off the road side, and enter on the left. We are working hard to change legislation with the government that recognizes, imported caravans with right side door and make them replace them with a left one, but will not recognize that horsefloats are no longer just horse transportation, and while there is a rear entry or tailgate (even with horses in the way and no way to get to those horses without being a vaulter) this is acceptable ruling to allow the continuation of this unsafe and downright dangerous, right door.