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Dibella Making a 2-Horse Mercedes Horse Van!

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  • Dibella Making a 2-Horse Mercedes Horse Van!

    Just got back from looking at Frank Dibella's Factory.

    He just imported a Mercedes chassis and is currently prototyping a 2-horse van!

    I think it could be wicked cute if priced competitively, and might be nice choice for some.
    Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

  • #2
    Can't wait to see it come to fruition!!
    Might suit me just fine.
    "Dressage" is just a fancy word for flatwork

    Comment


    • #3
      Whoa, cool! Paging MistyBlue...paging MistyBlue....
      Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!
      http://www.etsy.com/shop/PellMellFeltPads

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah but "competitive pricing" and a "Benz chassis" are not always mutually compatable.

        The truck-trailer combo is dominant because it it flexible and can fill more than one purpose. If you've got the money to tie up several tens of thousands of dollars in a single use capital item the God Bless You. For most of us it's just not realistic, hence the almost complete absence of a market for horse vans.

        Or, put another way, sometimes markets are rational.

        G.
        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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        • #5
          Do you mean something like this?

          http://www.horsevans.co.nz/

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by indyblue View Post
            Do you mean something like this?

            http://www.horsevans.co.nz/
            As he described it, I would assume that is fairly close. It is on a 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 chassis. He was still prototyping it and I was there for other purposes, I didn't exactly push to see it.

            But, he is character to talk to and I am sure would love to talk to anyone.
            Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
              Yeah but "competitive pricing" and a "Benz chassis" are not always mutually compatable.

              The truck-trailer combo is dominant because it it flexible and can fill more than one purpose. If you've got the money to tie up several tens of thousands of dollars in a single use capital item the God Bless You. For most of us it's just not realistic, hence the almost complete absence of a market for horse vans.

              Or, put another way, sometimes markets are rational.

              G.
              I originally purchased my van because I often competed all day at (single day events). I was so tired of standing in the rain, sun, sneet, sleet, and even SNOW. My requirement was to be able to tack up inside. I was considering buying a 2/3 gooseneck trailer. New trailer may have also required an upgraded tow vehicle.

              In this situation, I was able to buy a used horse van for far less than the price of the trailer and still keep current truck for other uses. However, there are other benefits of a horse van that I have come to love (e.g it can turn the same as a pick-up, backing up is a breeze, the horses haul great, and the tack is right there).

              I guess it is user preference--nobody will ever win the automatic vs manual transmission discussion, or the Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge discussion either
              Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

              Comment


              • #8
                Saw one at Gladstone during the Festival of Champions. Don't remember who made (wish I had taken a brochure), but it had a back seat that converted into a mini sort of living quarters, complete with table and bed over the drivers seat in addition to a large storage area by the horse compartment. Loved it, hated the price.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The last time I visited Carol Harris at her farm in Ocala, she had just taken possession of a new Mercedes "Whippet Mobile" that she shows her dogs out of. It had crates, bathing and grooming areas and all kinds of things to make dog showing easy. It had a side ramp like the NZ model and I remember thinking it could be modified into a fantastic horse van. Sounds like somebody is on it!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the page!

                    And frank didn;t tell me! He's been on the lookout for a 2 horse small newer van for me for ages now. Apparently I'm not the only one looking for one!

                    So glad he'll be making them. Hoping the Mercedes Sprinter isn't going to shove it out of my budget.
                    You jump in the saddle,
                    Hold onto the bridle!
                    Jump in the line!
                    ...Belefonte

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                    • #11
                      Those 2 horse models are quite popular over here, Europe. So very easy to drive and comfy for the horses. I just love them!

                      Terri
                      COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                      "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                      • #12
                        Ive been told they are very popular in England. We have 2 x importers bringing them into New Zealand now as of the beginning of this year. It will be interesting to see how many start appearing out and about this season.They start at around NZ$60000.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That would be my Dream Tow Vehicle.

                          Think he needs a Midwest Beta Testing Site?
                          I vounteer!

                          Guilherme:
                          Just in case the price for the van doesn't turn out to be , for a small operation like mine (just 2 horses) I use my PT Cruiser for everything.
                          It hauls 4 bags of shavings & 100# of grain easily with room to spare for more small stuff (supplements, flyspray, groceries, etc).

                          Just for the convenience of not having to hitch & unhitch I'd love having a van.
                          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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                          • #14
                            Here you can see some prices on the base units of the M-B Sprinter:

                            http://www.edmunds.com/mercedesbenz/...010/index.html

                            I guess these things can work in some environments, but I wonder about their viability (and safety) on the U.S. interstates. While there is no "perfect" safety you can do things (or not do them) that can significantly affect operational safety.

                            And, at the end of the day, you're looking at a vehicle that will run north of $60,000 that does exactly one thing (move one or two horses and some tack, feed, etc.). For the same amount of money you can get a basic 3/4 ton pickup and basic trailer. But you can use the truck for other things.

                            For folks with money the single use question is not going to be an issue. For others it will be a deal breaker. The demise of the earlier generation of horse boxes does not bode well for this incarnation.

                            I don't wish Mr. DiBella ill. He is making a market bet with his own money. I just wouldn't buy stock in operation.

                            G.
                            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So the base price is the same as my truck give or take. (IIRC my truck was $36k)
                              A new trailer on top of that cost.

                              Not sure about single use. I could use the van for pretty much everything I use the truck for. And when picking up loads of hay it wouldn't matter if it was raining.

                              However not sure how much fun it would be to take the van grocery shopping, etc.
                              You jump in the saddle,
                              Hold onto the bridle!
                              Jump in the line!
                              ...Belefonte

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by Guilherme View Post
                                Here you can see some prices on the base units of the M-B Sprinter:

                                http://www.edmunds.com/mercedesbenz/...010/index.html

                                I guess these things can work in some environments, but I wonder about their viability (and safety) on the U.S. interstates. While there is no "perfect" safety you can do things (or not do them) that can significantly affect operational safety.

                                And, at the end of the day, you're looking at a vehicle that will run north of $60,000 that does exactly one thing (move one or two horses and some tack, feed, etc.). For the same amount of money you can get a basic 3/4 ton pickup and basic trailer. But you can use the truck for other things.

                                For folks with money the single use question is not going to be an issue. For others it will be a deal breaker. The demise of the earlier generation of horse boxes does not bode well for this incarnation.

                                I don't wish Mr. DiBella ill. He is making a market bet with his own money. I just wouldn't buy stock in operation.

                                G.
                                There are many things I would say about Mercedes, but not sure where the lack of safety comment comes to play. Mercedes tends to be a high-end manufacturer, and generally bodes well in safety and reliability.

                                If the comment about safety has something to do with a horse vans in general, I would say that horse vans are much safer than tag-alongs.

                                Also while the prices may be some sort of guide, it doesn't list an unfinished chassis/cab option only. Presumably those should be cheaper than finished models on Edmunds.
                                Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Is this so that people can look 'cool' driving something with a Mercedes logo? Or is there some compelling safety and usability that this Mercedes thing gives that other non-imported things can't?
                                  "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                  Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    That's pretty cool, those that I can see on the NZ link. I don't think we'll trade in our truck and trailer any time soon, though. My husband and son like their bass boats and seadoos too much to make that happen.

                                    Mercedes has a great reputation for safety and creature comforts, little attention to details, I can see where a Mercedes conversion vehicle might currently be seem as safer than other imports -cough cough Toyota. But if a person is a die hard Ford fan like my husband, he would wait for the Ford.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Melelio View Post
                                      Is this so that people can look 'cool' driving something with a Mercedes logo? Or is there some compelling safety and usability that this Mercedes thing gives that other non-imported things can't?
                                      I believe there not are not many chassis that would be comparable. It has a turbo diesel engine and a really tight turning radius.
                                      Experience is what you get, when you didn't get what you wanted.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Yep, believe it or not Mercedes makes very common and very hardy commercial trucks. That mercedes sprinter is around the same cost as Dodge and GMC and the other commercial large van makers.

                                        The Mercedes trucks and vans aren't the status symbol vehicles that their family vehicles are, so tend not to carry the luxury price tags.

                                        I didn't look over the Sprinter stats full...anyone know offhand if they make an AWD model?
                                        Eh, maybe I should just go look. I'm thinking for horse show field parking, trail head parking and New England winter weather driving AWD or 4WD is a good thing.
                                        You jump in the saddle,
                                        Hold onto the bridle!
                                        Jump in the line!
                                        ...Belefonte

                                        Comment

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