Cattle Guards – an effective invisible livestock gate!
A properly installed cattle guard is an effective and popular livestock control device that saves valuable time and effort. Available with the highly effective round top pipe for the maximum hoofed animal deterrent and the flat top pipe which provides a smoother ride for your vehicles while creating a barrier for livestock, it is easy to establish a safe perimeter to your pastures while granting the best ease of access possible. It won’t matter who’s crossing your land, they will never leave a gate open and cattle won’t be wandering off on their own. Keep your livestock safely contained with a simple and very effective cattle guard.
There are many different types available, but the most common and effective are the flat top rail and the round top rail designs. Each of them is available with an engineered, heavy-duty highway rating, wings, and the flat top rail can even ship with pre-cast concrete foundations!
Round Top Rail Cattle Guards
These are the traditional design style in use all over the country. Typically they’re made by welding round pipe to the top of heavy-duty c-channels or I-beams. The design calls for them to be mounted over a vaulted or open area with concrete footings to hold back the dirt and provide a foundation to transfer the weight of crossing vehicles to the ground. The vault area underneath the rails creates a void and the important visual perception of depth needed to deter an animal from attempting to cross. Proper installation of the foundation is critical and a contractor familiar with the local soil conditions, including soil freezing levels and drainage issues should be consulted to ensure a long-lasting crossing.
Boxed cattle guards
This design is made to lay directly on the ground. They have a steel skirt welded around the perimeter to keep dirt from creeping in underneath and are very popular in low-traffic, low-speed areas like private driveways or pasture entrances.
It’s recommended to install on a flat area with crushed rock beneath to help with drainage away from the site. Simply dig a small amount away from the top level of soil so that when installed, the top rails are slightly above the surrounding soil. A lot of customers will mount them on top of buried railroad ties to help prevent any movement over time. It also helps disperse the weight of crossing vehicles to the ground.
Popular installations include driveways, and construction sites to clean dirt off equipment before reentering public roadways and remote areas such as cell phone towers, oil wells, etc.
These ‘semi-portable’ guards can be relocated from site to site as needed and are easy to clean underneath. You can just drag it out of its location, remove any debris and pull it back into place!
Picture of a Boxed Cattle Guard
Flat Top Rail Cattle Guards
This design is very popular with higher-speed crossings. The ‘flat top’ of the rails are shaped like a hexagon (see picture below) and still provide an effective deterrent to livestock. The flat-top allows vehicles to cross at higher speeds without the bumps of a traditional round-rail design. They’re seen on public roads around the country and are the most common design for high-speed traffic.
Cattle Guard Foundations
The flat-top rail guards can ship with pre-cast concrete foundations. This means a complete crossing can be delivered to the site without the need to pour concrete footings.
They are sold in pairs and are very heavy but you can off-load, set them directly in the ground and bolt the guard to the top right in the field. It’s a very straightforward means of installation that can be done very quickly if the site is prepared in advance.
Cattle guard load ratings
The AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) provides axle load ratings for cattle guards to be used in public installations. Rated cattle guards are certified to meet the requirements of state and federal entities such as the Department of Transportation.
AASHTO Design Specifications
H-15 (12 tons per axle)
H-20 (16 tons per axle)
U-54 (25 tons per axle)
U-80 (30 tons per axle)
Private use cattle guards When used on private property, certified load rating certificates are not required. This fact alone can save hundreds of dollars on a single cattle guard even though they’re built to the same specifications. Private use guards will handle fully-loaded semi-truck trailers as well as farm and ranch equipment. Very popular on private driveways, these cattle guards can be more economical.
If you need any help with your cattle guard project, would like a quote with shipping, or have any questions at all about cattle guards, please contact Barn World anytime and they’ll be happy to help!
Sales@BarnWorld.com | (720) 238-2190 | www.BarnWorld.com