Cattle guards are tremendous time savers and provide peace of mind as well. They allow you to pass through a fence line without having to stop and open a gate. The reusable forms allow you to pour as many as you like!
The trouble with gates
Gates offer the unwanted excitement of fighting off cattle trying to sneak out while you try and dive through. Once through, you have to stop yet again and close the gate behind you. Not exactly convenient when you’re moving hay and the entire herd is just waiting for you to open the gate. It’s not ideal in the rain or snow either.
The gate also doesn’t offer peace of mind when allowing access to others. You have to hope that anyone that enters your property remembers to close the gate behind them or your livestock will be out exploring the town!
The ability to just drive over a cattle guard without stopping while keeping your animals contained has made them extremely popular on farms and ranches throughout the US. A newer economical design that has some advantages over steel is the concrete cattle guard.
Concrete Cattle Guard Forms
Concrete guards have some advantages over steel and the newest product, the form itself, allows you to make as many as you like. The finished dimensions are approximately 6′ L x 21.5″ W for a single pour.
The forms make a finished HS20-Rated (16 tons per axle) livestock barrier. The gaps measure 5″ between the top beams and get more narrow in width as they go to the bottom. As shown in the picture below, there is an actual bottom to prevent hoof entrapment. This is a huge advantage over a traditional steel guard with a vault that allows the animal’s hoof to slide between the bars. This exposes their fragile legs to breakage when they struggle to get out.
Make your own cattle guard
Another advantage over steel is cost. There are saving on not only the materials but the shipping as well. When you order the form, you only pay for the shipping of the lightweight poly form itself. When you have a steel cattle guard delivered, its weight is over 1,000 pounds, and when coupled with the large finished dimension, you can get quite a bill. Making your own can save a lot of money and it’s not hard to do.
First, you’ll want to apply a release agent to the inside of the form. This helps remove the finished guard from the form itself. You can use plain old vegetable oil or any kind of silicone agent.
Next, set the form on level ground and install the rebar into the pre-cast slots. You’ll need (12) of the 80-pound bags of 4,000 psi cement to fill the form.
After it cures (3-4 days), you’ll remove the form and be able to reuse it again. This durable form allows you to make as many as you like for all your entrances.
They’re easy to set in place for immediate use. We’d recommend setting them on crushed gravel for proper site drainage.
Concrete Cattle Guard Form Specifications
- Weight of the Form: 75 pounds
- Finished Dimensions: 6′ long by 21.5″ wide
- Load Rating: HS-20 – 16 tons per axle
- Requires 12 bags of 80 pound, 4,000 psi mix
- Each pour is approximately 1/2 yard of cement
- Requires 1/2″ re-bar
Take a look at this economical form that can be re-used to make as many crossings as you like.
If you have any questions, or if there’s anything we can help with, please let us know.