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View Full Version : Hawk straight load or 4 star warmblood slant? --it's here! see 1st post



fordtraktor
Jun. 30, 2010, 09:50 AM
UPDATE -- my new Hawk is in -- I pick it up today. I checked it out when I dropped off my truck the other day to get the hitch installed, and it is going to be perfect.

The front ramp is great for my difficult unloader, and I had the whole thing rubberlined so that I can take everything out and haul loose in it.

The front tack is much more spacious than I anticipated it would look with the slant wall. The box is not too large, so it should be easy to drive. I am very, very pleased (especially since I have the trailer about 4 weeks after finalizing the drawings! Fast for a custom!).

Very pleased customer here. I used Triple C Trailer Sales in Watervliet, MI and highly recommend them -- very nice people and knowledgeable about what I needed.
________________________________

I have one horse that needs to come out forward. He's old and this is just not going to change. So I either need a slant that opens wide, or a straight load with front ramp.

I also have a weanling, and would like to be able to remove everything from the inside and use the trailer as a box. I need to haul him about 8 hours in the fall, so he needs to feel safe and comfy.

I can afford a Hawk GN straight load with front ramp. This setup would be very useful for me, given that if I hauled 2 I could leave one on the trailer and get whichever one I wanted out easily. Does anyone use a Hawk as a box, without the partitions, on occasion for hauling babies? This one would have the ramp, so no un-rubber-lined door which would have concerned me if I got a stock model with front walk-through doors.

I could also afford (thought it is more expensive) a 4 Star GN warmblood slant with no rear tack, so easy for the Old Man to turn around in. I REALLY liked the quality of the 4 Star. I also liked that it was fully lined with heavy-duty stuff -- no question a baby would be safe in there. And of course it is all-aluminum, while the Hawk has a galvanized steel frame so somewhat heavier.

Ugh, decisions. Please tell me which one to buy, and why!

I'm also getting a price on a 4 star SL with ramp, but thinking that will be too pricey by far.

Phaxxton
Jun. 30, 2010, 09:59 AM
I have a 4-Star 2 + 1 with a side ramp. I adore it.

I don't like slant loads, though, so out of these two options, I'd go with the Hawk straight load with a front ramp. Hawk are also really well made, high quality trailers.

I would actually think the 4-star and the Hawk SL with front ramps would be comparable in price. Hawks are pricey trailers as well. Don't count the 4-star out until you get the quote! When I was looking, the Hawks I looked at were more expensive or the same as the 4-Stars (for the same / similar trailer).

I wouldn't worry about the quality of either trailer, though. Happy shopping!

fordtraktor
Jun. 30, 2010, 10:06 AM
Where did you get your 4 Star, Phaxxton? At the place I looked the 4 Stars were definitely a price point up from the Hawk. But I loved them, quality-wise and would really love to have one.

Mr.GMan
Jun. 30, 2010, 10:19 AM
My trainer has a Hawk GN that is set up with the side ramp and the 2 horse straight. She can trailer 3 horses in it. My claustrophobic guy loves her trailer and I love the fact he can go out forward in it. I love it so much that I bought one from Risa at Happy Trails Trailers, well a downpayment at least until it comes later in July. I can't wait to get it! I vote Hawk.

2bee
Jun. 30, 2010, 10:36 AM
I have a 4-Star 2 + 1 with a side ramp. I adore it.

I don't like slant loads, though, so out of these two options, I'd go with the Hawk straight load with a front ramp. Hawk are also really well made, high quality trailers.

I would actually think the 4-star and the Hawk SL with front ramps would be comparable in price. Hawks are pricey trailers as well. Don't count the 4-star out until you get the quote! When I was looking, the Hawks I looked at were more expensive or the same as the 4-Stars (for the same / similar trailer).

I wouldn't worry about the quality of either trailer, though. Happy shopping!

I too, would like to know where you were looking. Hawk trailers, though nice, are no where near the same class as a 4 Star. Someone was either getting screwed on the Hawk, or they were giving away the 4 Star.

Jleegriffith
Jun. 30, 2010, 10:57 AM
I just bought a hawk 2+1 from Risa at Happy Trails Trailers and I love it. I tested the 3 horse function last week while picking up CANTER horses at the track. It was so easy to work with. I actually loaded one in the straight portion, then put one in the box and then loaded the last one in the straight portion. I chose the stud gate option to close the two horses off in the back from the one in the box. I can make 2 box stalls if i want which is a lovely fuction. The stud gate is so nice to have because there is plently of room in front of the horses in the straighload part and the gate. I could open the gate (bi-fold door), let myself out and walk around the horse in the front box to the side door to get out of the trailer.

I love everything about the trailer and the customer service from Risa was top notch.

I personally do not like slant load trailers mainly because I haul a lot of ottb's and need to have flexible hauling options and yes sometimes they do just have panic attacks. Being able to shut them behind a door where they can't jump over the chest bar or somewhere else is really nice. You can also put one in the box if it tends to be a bit worried about tight quarters.

Love the ability to either use the back ramp or just the side ramp depending on what I am doing. Makes unloading 3 horses by myself super easy.

Tivas_a_Diva
Jun. 30, 2010, 10:58 AM
Hawk trailers are nice, but I've heard a lot of bad reports on the gooseneck trailers. The couplers were breaking off while on the road, and Hawk wasn't owning up to the problem nor willing to fix them. I can't say I've personally experienced any issues with them (my trainer has a bumper pull that has been absolutely fabulous), I'm just relaying some information from a Hawk dealer that I had spoken with. Do your research and good luck! :)

DD_TrailerMan
Jun. 30, 2010, 12:01 PM
Went trailer shopping yesterday, yay!

I have one horse that needs to come out forward. He's old and this is just not going to change. So I either need a slant that opens wide, or a straight load with front ramp.



Double D SafeTack will open up for loading and unloading

http://www.doubledtrailers.com/prod06.htm

http://www.doubledtrailers.com/choosing_proper_materials.htm#Safetack

BH

ponygirl
Jun. 30, 2010, 12:54 PM
http://www.balancedridetrailers.com/Horse-Gooseneck-Dress23.aspx

I love it. :yes:

katarine
Jun. 30, 2010, 01:49 PM
Hawks are really quite nice, 4 Stars are nicer.

If the old man can turn around and walk off the 4 Star, I'd go that route. While many peeps don't like slants, and that's their right, many others, do: So resall on a 4 Star is not, IMO, a concern. They are just such stout, well made trailers.

Phaxxton
Jun. 30, 2010, 02:15 PM
I actually did get the deal of the century on my 4-star... I bought it about 4 years used from an Exiss dealer in PA who took it on a trade in. I found it on Horse Trailer World about 10 minutes after it was listed. I knew it was a steal and asked him to hold it for me for a few days until I could get there to pick it up. :yes:

Within 1 week of having it home, I was offered $10k more than I paid for it by two different people. (I said no way! :lol:)

When I was looking, though, I priced out new trailers. FWIW, the pricing I was quoted on a brand new 2010 4-Star 2+1 GN with dressing room, not including freight or sales tax, was around $28,500. Freight was going to be about $1200 more, sales tax significantly more than that. That quote came from Action Horse Trailers in CT.

I cannot recall where I got my Hawk quote, but I will try to see if I can find it. It was from a more local dealer and I live in a ridiculous area where everything horses is way overpriced. That could explain the price difference - and definitely explains why I drove 4 hours away to get my 4-star. :yes: IIRC, the price difference was about $2,500-3,000. Perhaps I have it backwards, though, and the Hawk was $2,500-3,000 less than the 4-Star. That is possible! I could very well be remembering incorrectly. If so, my apologies!

Phaxxton
Jun. 30, 2010, 02:19 PM
I too, would like to know where you were looking. Hawk trailers, though nice, are no where near the same class as a 4 Star. Someone was either getting screwed on the Hawk, or they were giving away the 4 Star.

After reading the reactions here... My guess, based on the geography of where my quotes came from, is that the Hawk price was inflated even if it was less...

I was lucky in that I found a 4-star gently used at a huge discount... so I never bought the brand new one I priced out.

subk
Jun. 30, 2010, 05:57 PM
Personally I'd go with the Hawk because I would rather have a steel frame over aluminum, the fiberglass roof on the Hawks over metal (important if you live in a hot climate) and the convience of a straight over a slant.

I know 4 stars are considered top of the line, but I've only heard rave reviews on the Hawks...

cutemudhorse
Jun. 30, 2010, 08:09 PM
When I was shopping two years ago I compared these two brands. The Four Star is definately a better built trailer IMHO. There are pros and cons to the steel frame vs aluminum, yes, but what I saw was better welds and workmanship by far on the Four Star. Overall it was much more solid. Although the Hawks look pretty and inviting with horse friendly sizes/some features, the best feature to me was the fiberglass roof as far as not holding in heat. But there were cons to that too depending how you look at it. I had a hard time deciding between the Four Star and my (used)Dream Coach but went with the latter. Four Star! :yes:

inca
Jun. 30, 2010, 09:43 PM
I have a 4Star 7'6" 2H gooseneck slant load.

I custom ordered it and took 6" from the dressing room and added it to the horse area. (My dressing room is still PLENTY big.) I also added another 6" to the horse area (had to pay for that 6".) So, my horse area is a foot longer than "standard." I also got a full-to-floor divider and deleted the rear tack.

So, when I want to haul a mare and foal, the divider just hooks completely flush to the wall and - voila - I have a big box stall.

My almost 17hh warmblood has no problem turning around and walking out frontwards when hauled in the back stall.

My 4Star is a 2001 model and I use it A LOT. I just took it in for some routine maintenance, to get a fan installed in the horse area, to redo the striping to match my new truck and also got it acid washed. I didn't even recognize it when I picked it up - it looks brand new! When I dropped it off, they commented about the great shape it is in and said I could probably sell it for what I paid for it. (Not that I have any interest in selling it.)

I will say, my almost 17hh mare isn't very comfortable in the front stall. But, all my other horses are fine in it (ones of the 16hh-16.1 1/2 variety.) And my back stall is HUGE so the 17hh mare just rides back there all the time. She has more than enough room.

Anyway, if I ever get another trailer, it will be another 4Star without a doubt.

Summerwood
Jul. 1, 2010, 12:21 AM
Check this one out, it is a 2008 but brand new:

http://www.grantontrailers.com/Inventory%20htm/2008-058.htm

FWIW I have been involved in polo for many years and I can tell you that the gold standard in horse trailers for us is 4 Star. They have a fabulous reputation, although they are more pricey, and if someone gets a new one we all drool over it. We are hard on our trailers and they are driven a lot of miles with a lot of horses loaded; the 4 Star trailers last and can take a beating. The only problem that we ever have is ramps bending (multiple horses getting on and off continuously), but I think that is more of a problem with ramps in general and not limited to 4 Star. My husband has a Barrett which is not a common trailer and it is older (95) but it is also a very well-made trailer. I dont' know if they make what you are looking for but thought I would mention it. ETA: Barrett only makes stock trailers!

Good luck!

judybigredpony
Jul. 1, 2010, 07:05 AM
Personally I'd go with the Hawk because I would rather have a steel frame over aluminum, the fiberglass roof on the Hawks over metal (important if you live in a hot climate) and the convience of a straight over a slant.

I know 4 stars are considered top of the line, but I've only heard rave reviews on the Hawks...

Having bought 2 Hawkes and will happly get a 3rd there is no option for me.

Also did you notice there is a considerable weight diffrence to pull.
Hawkes coming in a bit lighter. and the height of the ramp to trailer floor and weight of ramp to lift-up.
I find the Hawke way friendlier for a single person to handle ramp lift and horses love to load in them.

I agree the Hawke is mush easier on the pocket but will hold its value equaly as well

Melelio
Jul. 1, 2010, 07:16 AM
Double D SafeTack will open up for loading and unloading

http://www.doubledtrailers.com/prod06.htm

http://www.doubledtrailers.com/choosing_proper_materials.htm#Safetack

BH


WOW! GREAT TRAILER! I wish I could afford a brand new one, even at these fantastic prices! I'd trade mine in in an instant! Double D seems to have covered and solved alot of problems that most other trailers (esp. Aluminum) have...nice job, guys!!!! Now I'm drooling over them....

fordtraktor
Jul. 1, 2010, 08:42 AM
Summerwood I would love that 2+1. Bit out of the budget, sadly. I've been drooling over it on horsetrailerworld.

Berkley
Jul. 3, 2010, 11:17 AM
There was a used 4-Star GN Slant on craigslist in Raleigh NC a few days ago.....from pics appeared to be in great condition and the price was right @ $8250......there were contact phone #s.....the ad is still up

DMK
Jul. 7, 2010, 09:44 AM
honestly, there's probably not enough money in the world entice me into getting a trailer with an aluminum floor. Never mind the heat and vibration issues, I can't afford to replace them, and I've known a few people who ended up replacing them to the tune of $1000 or more. Let's face it, even with care, ALL trailer floors need to be replaced. It's how often and how much that is the issue. I think pressure treated wood or rumbar is a better ride for the horse, but that's just my personal preference. What is true is they are cheaper and easier to replace and at least in my own experience, my Trail Et floor is 17 years old and in spite of my OCD frequency of checking (and having it checked by people more qualified than me), it is still going strong. Problem is, you get an aluminum frame, you get an aluminum floor.

Another point an engineer pointed out to me that just makes sense intuitively is that Aluminum is not an easy metal to work with to create reliable strength. Good aluminum requires that you know what you are doing and there are very few corners you can cut. THat costs in labor and materials. Meanwhile steel is something we kind of have a knack with in this country. I think we've probably both improved steel (seen how long cars last these days?) and made it a bit more idiot proof in quality/production. Maybe 25 years ago there was a serious need for an aluminum trailer given how bad steel rusted, but I'm not sure thatis even close to the same status today. Meanwhile doing aluminum correctly still costs more (which is less an issue with 4 star and more a cautionary tale for aluminum trailer manufacturers who might be prone to cut costs to gather market share). I'm just not sure you get better durability and strength for the extra money it takes to do aluminum properly.

fordtraktor
Jul. 7, 2010, 02:42 PM
Thanks everyone. I did order a 2H straight load side ramp Hawk GN today, with a few modifications to make it safe to take everything out and haul a horse loose. Can't wait until it gets here!

BBowen
Jul. 7, 2010, 05:30 PM
Congratulations!!!

Mr.GMan
Jul. 9, 2010, 09:09 PM
Woohoo Fordtraktor! Mine is on the way this weekend! I have to find the time to pick it up next weekend :). I can't wait to use it! Studly will so enjoy his new ride. Thanks Risa!

judybigredpony
Jul. 9, 2010, 09:20 PM
Thanks everyone. I did order a 2H straight load side ramp Hawk GN today, with a few modifications to make it safe to take everything out and haul a horse loose. Can't wait until it gets here!

Congratulations....you have what I want in what will eventually be my 3rd Hawke...love the trailer, love the manufacuter who is super friendly to deal with:)