Floating..... What an ease it has become, with a new generations of floats, a range of vehicles well equipped to take you and your equine companion down the road, it has become a huge decision as to what is the correct towing combination. Without getting to technical here are a few pointers on what questions to ask and what research to do when buying your new car/float. The first questions many of us ask are, ‘how much will it tow?’ and ‘How much does it weigh?’. These two questions would be referring to what is the towing limit on a vehicle and what is the TARE weight (the weight of the float) with no horses in it. These are two areas of concern as some floats either don’t have the TARE weight on the drawbar or manufacturers fabricate some of these numbers to lower the weight to make it more attractive to perspective buyers. Some other areas we must ay attention to are.. The ball weight of your vehicle, this is the amount of downward pressure your vehicle can handle from your float. This is usually listed on a small silver plate on the tow bar itself of in your owners manual of the vehicle. The other important question about your float is, ‘what is the GVM (gross Vehicle Mass) this figure is the amount of weight your float and its maximum carrying capacity. So if your GVM is 2 tonne and your float weights 1.7 tonne you are only legally aloud to carry 300kgs of gear and horse. Any good salesperson will give you the correct advise in these 4 areas, however be careful of people wanting your money over your safety. All of this info can be found online so you can narrow down what float and what car will fit into your towing set up.
One of the more appealing vehicles in today's market are one of the ‘mew generation’ Diesel utes, plenty of power, huge towing capacities plus shiny new wheels, A/C and Bluetooth kits!! In theory these utes are brilliant, great value for money very reliable and heaps of useable power. A few things to read into when seriously looking for a new tow car are... These utes are a great option but depending on how heavy your float fully loaded is will reflect just how safe this option will be. The towing capacity on some of these utes is 3 tonne, this opens the door to many of us who have a heavy float. Remember that these utes only way a little over 1tonne, the suspension and brakes are not the best they can be, most of them still choosing to use rear drum brakes instead of disc brakes. With the old leaf spring suspension in the rear it is not long until your ute will be sitting down in the back chasing possums with your headlights pointing up into the trees. If this is happening to you a set of ‘Polyair air springs’ should be fitted to the rear of the vehicle. It is a manual version of Air suspension which you pump up with a tyre gauge, these will set you back around the $500 mark fully installed in your car. The rear drum brakes.. There aren't allot of options here in upgrading the drums, you can fit a set of performance ‘drilled and slotted’ front disc rotors to the front of the vehicle. With over 60% of your braking coming from the front discs would be wise to fit some good quality discs and Bendix pads to your car to prevent an accident. As I previously mentioned if you are pulling your 3 tonne float with your 1.3 tonne ute... Your float can dictate the state of play very quickly. In addition to all of this would be a good electric brake controller, also be aware that on your controller we have the ability to brake the horse float on its own. I am sure many people are aware of this, but for those of you who aren't if you are coming down a steep hill with a heavy float on there is usually a slide or a button on your controller which activates the trailer brakes only. This is a good effective way of washing off speed in a emergency, it also lets you keep a heavy float under control instead of being on and off the brakes of your car.