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Truck-Mounted Hoof-Trimming Table
When Bob Brandl decided to learn how to trim his cattle's hooves rather than hiring it done, he thought about buying a commercial trimming table but found he couldn't justify the expense.
So the Dapp, Alberta, farmer built his own trimming table and mounted it on back of his 1981 Chevy 1-ton flatbed truck.
"It's the only trimming table I've ever seen that mounts on back of a truck; most others are on trailers," Brandl says. "It also has a head gate that allows cows to walk through when they're finished rather than having to back out as other units do."
He built the main frame of the 7-ft. long, 32-in. wide table out of 2 in. steel tubing, 1/ 4 in. thick. He uses the hydraulic system out of an old Versatile swather to operate the table and scissors-style gate. A removable head rest plugs into a pipe that's one size larger than the rest so it can be easily removed for trans-port.
Two 10-in. wide rubber belts made from old conveyor belting run under the animal's belly and hook to the top of the frame. The belts suspend the animal as it's lifted off the ground when the table is tipped. A steering wheel out of an old car turns a spindle that tightens the belts.
Once the adjustable belts are secured snugly around the animal, the table is tipped 45 degrees before tying one front and one back foot with 3/4-in. ropes with sliding loops on one end. The loops tighten around the animal's leg, while the other end is tied to anchors on the bottom edge of the table. After the animal is tipped completely horizontal the other two legs are secured in the same way.
A rope and pulley system operates the end gate.
The hydraulics are operated by a 110-volt electric motor. Brandl also equipped his hoof trimmer with a 3,500-watt gas-powered generator for those occasions where he doesn't have an electric receptacle nearby.
Besides trimming his own Angus herd, Brandl trims hooves in a 100-mile radius from March until mid-June and November through December, trimming 25 to 30 head a day.
"I haven't come across an animal it won't handle," he says. "I've trimmed bulls weighing up to 3,000 lbs. and although it was a hard lift, there were no problems."
Out-of-pocket expense was about $1,500. Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Brandl, R.R. 1, Dapp, Alberta, Canada T0G 0S0 (ph 403 954-2583).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #5