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Cattle Guards

How do I install a cattle guard?

Fence Line Openings ATV Cattle Guard

Often we get asked “how do I install the cattle guards”, the answer depends on a few things but is quite simple.  Most cattle guards are installed on top of some sort of concrete base or pier.  Farm and Ranch Depot offers those pre-fabricated concrete bases or you can pour them yourself.  We recommend a concrete base or footer for the cattle guard but it can be installed without.   Some ranches or rural areas have very light traffic and very solid like soil.  So a cattle guard placed in the right area on top of the right soil can work just as well.  Concrete bases keep the cattle guard safe and secure for constant pressure and weather.  Rain and snow run of can change soil conditions pretty fast.  So having that heavy concrete foundation will keep your cattle guard in place.

We engineer our cattle guard bases to hold up against most soil conditions and all load ratings however some soil conditions can be so bad that extra excavation and concrete is needed underneath the concrete piers in order to stabilize the cattle guard.  We recommend consulting with a soils engineer before installing a cattle guard.  The biggest thing to know is the overall size and depth of your cattle guard and concrete base.  Once this is determined, the proper size hole can be dug.  A Farm and Ranch Depot representative can help you with this information and will even accompany you during installation if needed.  After placing the concrete base into the hole backfill the center (or pour a concrete slurry) into the center of the piers locking them in place.  At this point you are ready to drop the cattle guard on top of the piers.   Smooth the surrounding dirt to level off the rails and the road and you’re finished.

Other material can be used for backfilling depending on the use of the cattle guard.  Rip rap is commonly used for cattle guards that are acting as some sort of drainage.  I recommend a slurry mix for this application as well.  Concrete, DG, or compacted dirt can all act as a back fill.   Please note, if wings are added to the cattle guards please install them before backfilling.  This will make things a lot easier as the side of the cattle guard may get covered.    The cattle guard installation process can vary from site to site depending on conditions in the field but generally a tractor or back hoe of some sort is needed along with some thick chain.  The Cattle guards can weigh anywhere from 2500 to 3500 pounds so machinery is necessary for positioning and moving the cattle guard.  Again, Farm and Ranch Depot will help in the installation of the cattle guard if needed. 

If your looking to buy a cattle guard or need a quote on a construction project calling for a cattle guard, please call us at 928-951-8332. widget logo