Cattle Guard Options: selecting the right cattle grid for livestock containment

Cattle Guard Options

When choosing a cattle guard it’s important to make sure it’s the correct design, style and has the proper load-carrying needs for your vehicles. Installation process is also another important consideration detailed some basic helpful suggestions below.


Load Ratings

One of the most important design characteristics to consider is the load carrying of the crossing. Public roadway is require a 16 ton per axle rating while a private driveway most likely don’t need that extra capacity.

For that reason, we offer a more economical, round top rail cattle guard design for use on ranches and private driveways. The estimated load carrying capacity is 12 tons per axle which easily accommodates fully loaded semi’s and most farm and ranch equipment.

Below are the AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) designated load carrying capacity ratings:

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


If you have a remote, or private-use entry and exit access needs, these round top rail designs are a much more economical option and can save a lot of money over the engineered stamped and rated cattle guards used in public roadway project.


Cattle Guard Box Options

One unique design that continues the burden of installation is the addition of a box to the guard. The boxed allows the guard to be set directly on the ground without the need for a foundation. Although we do recommend they be set on the road ties or some other substantial support, a vaulted area with concrete foundations is not always required.

The box is available as a fixed or removable option.


Fixed Boxed Cattle Guards

boxed cattle guard in gray paint

The fixed box option is the steel skirt welded to the perimeter of the cattle grid. This simple addition dirt from creeping in underneath the top rails one installed directly on the ground. It is very useful for remote and low traffic areas as it can simply be set in place. The box will add about 7″ to the overall length and width of the cattle guard.

To assistant vehicles crossing, the guard can be slightly buried in the ground or dirt be piled up on either side to create a ramp for ease of access.


Removable Boxed Cattle Guards

The removable box allows the guard to be lifted out of the installation without disturbing the surrounding environment. This is especially useful when cleaning underneath the top rails to keep the vaulted area below clear of debris.


This handy feature is available for all round top rail guards and is a fantastic option that allows for easy cleaning.


ATV Cattle Guard

For those of you looking for a simple and effective access for smaller ranch vehicles between pastures, is designed is built for ATV’s.

atv cattle guard picture montage

This unique structure is incredibly useful for inspecting fence lines and allowing an ATV to cross through them. Installation couldn’t be easier! It’s a single, one-piece unit that is literally set in place and tied to your fencing.

We do recommend proper drainage at the site as well as keeping the vegetation growth from growing through the top rails and hiding the crossing from your animals.

Let us know if we can help!

Keeping your livestock contained while providing effortless access to your vehicles is what cattle guards are designed for. Make sure you select proper barrier and you’ll have years of gate free access while your animals are safely secured.

For information, please visit, or give us a call at (720) 238-2190 and we’ll be happy to help!.


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