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Livestock Trailer Lowers To The Ground
"It makes it much easier to load cattle and horses when moving them into and out of my pasture," says Charles Wiles, Williamsport, Md., about the hydraulic cattle trailer he built.
The 20-ft. long, 6-ft.wide trailer lowers flush with the ground to load animals, then raises backup for highway transport. A 10-in. stroke hydraulic cylinder mounts on each side of the trailer. The cylinders, powered by a hydraulic pump driven by a 12-volt battery, push down on the frame which is free to slide up and down inside a "box socket". Wilson notes that the same hydraulic elevating trailer bed principle was used on old cotton trailers.
"I built it because I keep cattle in a pasture several miles from where I live, and I was always hauling dry and fresh cows back and forth with a conventional trailer," says Wiles. "Cows don't like to step up a steep ramp, and fresh cows with full udders sometimes injured themselves.
' Cows feel much more comfortable walking into the trailer at ground level. One timeI was carrying acalf to the trailer and her mother walked right into the trailer before I got the calf there.
"My hydraulic trailer lets me load cattle without a chute. I back the truck and trailer at an angle to the fence near a corner and use the fence and trailer as a chute to funnel cattle in. After loading I raise the floor back up and flip a `stop' over the cylinders to lock the trailer in position."
The tongue, which Wiles built from 6 by 8-in. box tubing, extends 8 ft. back underneath the trailer. To make room for the tongue when the trailer is lowered Wiles built a 6-in. "step" into the floor. "The step allows the rear 8 ft. of the floor to drop all the way to the ground," ex-plains Wiles. "I can set up a 6-ft. wide divider gate inside the trailer to keep weak cows from walking up the step."
Wiles used salvaged mobile home tandem axles equipped with 14.5 by 14 tires and 12-ft. lengths of channel iron to build the trailer's frame. The sides are made from aluminum. The floor was built with pressure-treated wood. The front end of the tongue is equipped with a pintle hitch. "The hitch is probably heavier than necessary, but I wanted it strong because of the stress caused by twisting, raising and lowering of the floor," says Wiles. "The only problem I had is when manure got between the steel frame and aluminum sides which caused aluminum to oxidize. I added wood blocks between steel and aluminum to solve the problem."
Wiles spent $4,500 to build the trailer which holds seven mature cows.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Charles Wiles, Rt. 1, Box 223, Williamsport, Md. 21795 (ph 301-582-2277 or 301-582-1007).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1