Taking Hart, off the table as I don't know anything about them, Ebay (Vicotry series) would be my choice. Cost ultimately became a factor. 4-star is close second.
Ebay makes 18-wheeler rigs, and I felt was notch above in construction. One small example, all of the holes for the pins (like on the butt bar) had bushings in them to prevent rattling. Another feature, the springs on the rear ramp were adjustable to compensate personal preference as they wear down. Although it escapes me, there was something nice about the construction of the fenders which allowed them to hold quite a bit of weight.
Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.
Eby all the way...they're the only builder who does commercial tractor-trailers used by the livestock industry, they know heavy duty construction. I sure love mine and am always impresses at how they do things, especially where it doesn't show.
4-Stars are also great trailers...just not as "industrial" in quality. I believe both these trailers cost about the same. You won't regret a 4-star. One concern...companies going out of business. Eby isn't going anywhere, they're very diversified in what they build and their market. I know a big name builder just went out of business within the past couple of weeks. If it's a concern having an "orphan" trailer, go Eby.
I just recently bought a 4-Star Xtall, Xwide 4 horse slant. I have two friends who own 4-Stars. One of the trailers is 19 years old and when powerwashed looks brand new. It has been taken care of so that helps. The other has had their trailer for about 10 years, same thing looks dang near brand new.
What really sold me on the 4 Star was our salesman at the trailer dealership. He has horses himself, knew we would be hauling drafts and set us up with all the right axles and stuff to carry the extra weight. Plus he said he cannot keep a used 4-Star on the lot for very long and ours would hold resale value.
I love my trailer, I will love it more when the payments are done but oh well!.
Clarksdale, MS--the golden buckle on the cotton belt
To add to the ones going or gone under:
C&C--really top of the line
Trail-et from something that was posted on COTH. Might not be true.
Hart is a totally different type of trailer from the all aluminum high end trailers. It and Trail-et are very similar and are mid range in price. Most people who have one or the other of these two seem to have been very happy with them, but they are not as well thought of as the 4-Stars and Ebys.
I looked at the C&C leftovers from a dealer at Rolex this year, and that dealership is taking on Eby as a replacement. I have to say that I have never seen any aluminum welding as nice as that on the C&Cs, but I didn't really look at the Ebys.
"I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay." Thread killer Extraordinaire
Love my Eby. Got it used for a song. It was traded in for a new one and I just LOVE mine. I knew they were well made, but appreciate all the little things they do in the trailers that make them easier to use and safer (in my opinion.)
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann