2012 - Volume #36, Issue #6, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Do-It-Yourself Concrete Cattle Guard
“It sells for 50 percent less than most steel cattle guards and is easy to handle for installation,” says Danny Fox, Cattle Guard Forms, Ocala, Fla. “You just drop the form into a pre-dug hole, pour in concrete, and let it cure.”
The leave-in-the-ground form is made from poly vinyl and measures 6 by 8 ft. in size and is 12 in. deep. It weighs 150 lbs.
There are 9 beams with rectangular holes across the top. Concrete is poured into the holes, filling the beams, which are 3 1/2 in. wide at the top and 5 in. wide at the bottom. Each beam comes pre-installed with 5/8-in. dia. fiberglass reinforcing rods.
There are 5-in. wide gaps between the beams where no concrete is poured.
Pre-formed blocks of Styrofoam fill each of the openings between beams to keep concrete out during the pour. Just over a cubic yard of concrete is poured over the entire surface of the form. The operator simply rakes excess concrete off the Styrofoam and into the holes in the beams. As concrete falls into the holes, it naturally flows into the rest of the interconnected beams until all the beams are full. “It takes about a half hour to fill and finish,” says Fox.
Once the concrete has cured, the Styrofoam pieces can be thrown away.
“We wanted to make the process easy, the price economical, and the product extra heavy duty,” says Fox. “As far as I know we’re the only company that makes a poly concrete form, and it has a lot of advantages. With a conventional steel cattle guard you have to dig a footing, pour concrete into it, and then set the steel guard on top of the concrete. That adds a lot to the cost. You’ll typically pay $2,000 to $5,000 plus $500 shipping for a steel cattle guard, and many of them have no engineered seal to certify the load rating. Compared to steel, concrete cattle guards are stronger and last longer.
“You can buy pre-cast concrete cattle guards but they’re extremely heavy which makes them super expensive to ship, and because of the weight it takes a huge forklift to handle them. Our cattle guard form is designed so that 2 men can pick it up. Also, unlike pre-cast concrete cattle guards our form has pre-installed fiberglass rebar which doesn’t rust and has a much higher tensile strength compared to steel.”
The cattle guard form is engineer certified to deliver an HS-20 load rating, allowing semis, trucks and tractors with loads up to 32,000 lbs. per axle to safely drive over it. “It’ll take a terrific amount of weight,” says Fox.
The cattle guard can be purchased with adjustable side wings, allowing one 8 by 6-ft. cattle guard to fit gate openings 8 to 12 ft. wide. You can set 2 guards side-by-side for 16 to 20-ft. gate openings.
The cattle guard sells for $875 including S&H.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cattleguardforms, 1805 S.E. 16th Ave., Ocala, Fla. 34471 (ph 888 649-9996; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.cattleguardforms.com).
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