HS20 Rated Cattle Guards for Public Roadway Projects

Barn World offers a complete line of cattle guards engineered for public roadway projects. The HS20 rating is the required by Department of Transportation Authorities and is a 16-ton per axle engineered rating.

They are made in either round or ‘flat’ steel top rails and are available in a variety of sizes. The longest single-span cattle guard is the round top rail 20′ design. while the flat top rail is available in a 14′ length. The guards may be bolted end-to-end for projects that require an even longer distance across a roadway. This method is a simple means of providing wider access for crossing vehicles.

Some crossings require more ‘depth’, or distance in the direction of travel.  The standard is 6′ or 8′ but the grids may be set side-by-side to increase the distance. This is useful when creating a barrier for more athletic animals such as deer. The added distance provides a deterrent to them jumping the crossing.

Pictures of Cattle Guards

Round Top Rail Cattle Guard                Flat Top Rail Cattle Guardcattle guard with round top rails cattle guard resting on concrete foundations

The HS20 Rating

The rating is an engineered certification that the design will provide support to vehicles with 16 tons on each axle with an additional safety factor built in.  It’s required for all Department of Transportation projects and the designation is called out for by the AASHTO (The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials). The rated cattle guards are certified for public works and roadway projects that adhere to the following load ratings.

Rating Designations

H-15 (12 tons per axle)
H-20 (16 tons per axle)
U-54 (25 tons per axle)
U-80 (30 tons per axle)

These engineered designs call out the details for not only the materials used, but also specify how they are to be built.

Cattle Guard Wings and Foundations

The cattle crossings are also available with optional cattle guard foundations and wings if needed.

Cattle Guard Foundations

cattle guard on concrete foundations

The foundations ship pre-cast and can be set directly in the ground upon delivery. They include j-bolts already set in the concrete that line up with the guard mounting holes. This allows the guard to be directly bolted and secured without the need for drilling holes in the field.

Cattle Guard Wings

picture of cattle guard wing

The wings are available on both designs (round and flat top rail) and connect the fence line directly to the ends of the crossing. They prevent livestock from stepping around a single-end post where the fence terminates. This simple, triangular addition completes the transition from the vertical fencing to the horizontal, in-ground barrier.

At Barn World, we’re more than happy to help with your project from the planning and quoting stages all the way through delivery.

Please let us know if we can help with installation and if you’d just like a quote with shipping, please don’t hesitate to ask.  We’re happy to help!

Barn World | (720) 238-2190 | Sales@BarnWorld.com


Animal Blower and Vacuum Parts

Barn World carries a large selection of animal vacuums now, we’ve added replacement parts too!

We’ve carried the Electro Cleaner animal dryers and vacuums for years and now provide parts for the every available model. Our parts and accessories page (click here) allows you to order just the part you need without having to buy a new unit.

Animal Dryer Parts

For your everyday cattle and dog grooming, we carry a full line of blowers that range for the portable to high volume heavy-duty animal dryers.  They’re used for everything from stationary canine drying to grooming your prize cattle before a show.

animal dryer

Large Animal Blower Parts

We also now carry the larger, but still portable and very popular Electro Groom Horse Vacuum and Blower. The large dependable units have been in use through the US in high volume riding barns for decades. They provide reliable service and a great for drying your equine friends as well as vacuuming loose hair, dust and debris.

The dependable and long-lasting design means access it parts will extend their useful service life even longer.  With our parts selection you can replace just the part you need instead of the entire unit and save yourself money!

Horse Vacuum Electro Groom

A lot of part replacements can be done quickly and easily. We have added an instructional video page that shows how some of the most common repairs are done to keep your machines running without a repair call.

Please feel free to call us if you need help deciding what spare parts you need for your Electric Cleaner Company grooming products.  We’ll be happy to help with parts or with a new unit anytime!

Sales@BarnWorld.com |  (720) 238-2190


Cattle Guards for Livestock Containment

Cattle guards are designed to keep livestock from crossing through your fence lines while allowing traffic-free access without stopping. The spacing of the top rails creates unstable footing and prevents cows from walking on them. These top rails are available in round and flat top designs for different types of traffic and crossing speeds.
cattle guard in roadway

Please note that we do not recommend using these devices with horses. They have more slender hooves and legs which increases the risk of one sliding through. Once through the top rails, the leg is exposed to breaking if a struggle to get out ensures. It’s best to use a standard gate with horses.

We do have Concrete Cattle Guard Forms that have a ‘bottom’ between the uprights. This prevents a slender hoof from sliding through and between steel rails. The forms are more economical to ship than traditional steel designs, can be poured on-site, and are reusable. You can make as many concrete cattle crossings as you need.

Concrete Cattle Guard
concrete cattle guards

If you have dogs that you want to contain, you should use a gate. Dogs have soft pads for feet and can walk across the top rails with no problem at all. Goats and sheep are also animals that require a gate to keep them going through your opening. Even though they both have hooves, they are very good at balancing and can tip-toe across the rails.

To be effective with deer, extra depth (the distance in the direction of travel) must be increased so these athletic animals don’t just jump across. This requires two cattle grids bolted together, side-by-side to create a distance of 12 to 14 feet at a minimum. You’ll also need to make sure the fencing around your property is high enough to prevent them from jumping over at more remote areas.

Cattle Guard Wings

Another often overlooked part of the livestock barrier installation is the transition from the fence line to the guard itself. If the fencing is simply terminated at a post set in the middle of the guard, cows will be able to just step around the post and avoid the grid altogether.

The wings take the vertical fencing barrier and transition it to the horizontal barrier in the ground. They prevent animals from stepping around the end post and spread the fencing to each end of the guard.

Cattle Guard Wing

cattle guard wings

If you need any help designing or selecting the proper cattle guard type for your installation, please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

If you have any questions or need help planning your project, please call or email Barn World and we’ll be happy to help!  Sales@BarnWorld.com or 720-238-2190


How to Install a Cattle Guard

Every long-lasting building requires a solid foundation and a cattle guard installation is no different. It carries heavy loads with shifting weights and it’s extremely important that it’s installed on a proper foundation correctly.

We strongly recommend that a contractor familiar with the local site conditions be used for a proper installation. Typical site considerations include frost levels, drainage, type of soil, and even local building codes. All of these factors are important to take into account for a long-lasting trouble-free cattle guard crossing.

Generic Foundation Diagram

cattle guard foundation diagram

Excavation of the Vaulted Area

The vaulted, or dug-out area beneath the grid is key to providing the often overlooked optical barrier that dissuades livestock from even touching the top rails. Allowing the animal to view the bottom of the excavated area provides a conflicting depth perception created by the contrast with the top rail. This optical confusion (near and far at the same time) can be an effective visual deterrent all on its own.

Painted Guards

Studies have shown the illusion of a three-dimensional grate when painted across a roadway. and sometimes be effective at preventing crossing by itself. In the studies, cows were introduced to the fake barrier and almost all of them refused to cross initially. The trouble with the painted illusion was when one did eventually work up the courage to test the perceived barrier, it was able to walk over it without trouble. This then gave courage to the remaining livestock and they also soon followed.

The vaulted area is created by removing soil under the top rails to create a visual deterrent and allow debris to fall through. We typically recommend at least 6″ be dug below the bottom support beams as shown in the diagram. With a 12″ overall height, a depth of 18″ from the top rail to the bottom of the vault will be presented to the livestock. You may go deeper if desired, the important issue is that the foundations themselves are properly supported.

The vault also helps prevent debris from collecting between rails. If the vacant area beneath wasn’t there, dirt and debris would fill the area between the top rails, and the barrier would lose its effectiveness and become a livestock walkable bridge.

To help with drainage, the bottom of the vault should include a means of allowing water to drain away from the installation without disturbing the surrounding footings. Typically crushed gravel is used to create a french drain. Because every site is unique, a contractor familiar with the local conditions should be consulted.


Concrete footings are usually poured on site but we do also offer precast concrete cattle guard foundations that can be shipped right along with our flat rail cattle guards.

cattle guard on top of concrete foundations

The concrete is designed to fit pre-drilled holes in the guard so they can be bolted down upon arrival. Quick, easy, and convenient, they’re becoming a more popular option for sites that don’t want to pour their own.

Surface Installation with a Boxed Cattle Guard

Boxed cattle guards are set directly on the ground and are designed for low traffic, remote and temporary installations. The box is a steel skirt welded to the perimeter to keep dirt from getting in underneath. Dirt is pushed up on either side of the guard to create a ramp for crossing vehicles.

Boxed Cattle Guard

a boxed cattle guard

This design is popular in remote areas like cell phone towers and oil wells. They’re also used at construction site entrances as rumble strips, washouts for cleaning equipment, and keeping the entrance clear of mud.

Although they lay directly on the ground, site preparation and proper drainage are a must. A bed of crushed gravel can go a long way to removing excess water and keep if from eroding your cattle crossing.

Site Specific

Foundations are critical to keeping your livestock barrier in place and working effectively. They secure the guard from moving and transfer the passing load to the ground. The above recommendations should be considered and a local contractor consulted for a long-lasting installation.

If you have any questions or would like help planning your project, please visit BarnWorld.com or contact us anytime and we’ll be happy to assist.