Cattle Guard Forms Engineering
Why engineer a concrete cattle guard FORM? Because a tough roto molded form is: extremely light weight. Even with our pre-installed, light-weight 5/8" GFRP rebar, an 8x6' FORM weighs in at only 140 lbs. Most similar sized steel cattle guards weigh in around 1,200 lbs. making shipping expensive and the offload..."your responsibility" .
How does this concrete cattle guard form work? First, once concrete is poured into this form, your done. We've made the pouring easy and painless too. The form simply accepts concrete ANYWHERE over top as you simply rake the concrete into the open beams. The 5" gaps are covered and secured with foam blocks to block concrete.
The good news is that it takes no more than 1/2 hour for a concrete truck to slowly pour 1 1/2 yards of concrete into the form. Again, you don't need to remove the form from the concrete or flip the form to pop the concrete out. Our cattle guard design keeps the form and concrete together as one so once it's poured...you're done. In the end you can brag you got more cattle guard for less money.
The Truth About Steel Pipe Cattle Guards
Steel cattle guards whether 'economical' or HS-20 rated may be 'engineered" but they're rarely certified by a PE. Pipe on cattle guards should be at least a 4" minimum but you'll often find 3" and even 2 1/2" sizing which will not support much more than a light pick-up. Be careful of lower grade, repurposed, unpainted or unprotected steel as it will corrode much faster than painted steel.
Right now most steel cattle guards for sale are offered either with or without a box frame. Simple cattle grids without a box frame are often called 'flat cattle guards' and will typically have 4 channel beams underneath as support for the pipe overhead. Flat cattle guards will need to sit on a concrete footing; whereas boxed cattle guards will not.
In fact most steel cattle guards are need to rest on a concrete footing or foundation since the supporting channel beams underneath are obviously too narrow to set on bare ground. Notice that some 'flat' cattle guards will only sit 6 to 7 inches off the ground (some actually resting on the ground!) making it much less of a cow deterrant.
We see and have tried quiet a few home-made cattle guard gimmicks. Everything from wood slats to painted stripes, cinder block, to 4" highway guard railing, not to mention a few other embarassing optical illusions. They work temporarily until a calf gets spooked or the herd discovers greener pastures just over the other side.
In the end with all the cow deterring gimmicks, tricks, and short cuts:
Cattle guards with a 10 to 12" height, NOT less than
6' wide from front to back, with 3 to 3 1/2" wide cross
beams separated by 5" gaps has proven to be the most
effective and safest cow deterring cattle guard design.
Steel cattle guards may be 'traditional' but they're extremely heavy and expensive (once you factor in the shipping, and the concrete footing costs) to ship and install. The weight makes it difficult to off load since most steel companies hold the consumer responsible for offloading via. a fork lift or tractor,
Finally, whether painted or exposed, given enough exposure to bad weather steel cattle guards will rust and corrode at varying speeds. In fact cattle guard corrosion is such an epidemic that it's almost acceptable. Some companies sell rust damaged cattle guards. And of course the ongoing process of rust (oxidation) weakens metal.
A Concrete Cattle Guard Costs Less, Stronger,
and Will Survive Longer
Concrete cattle guards are a better, long term option. Concrete is superior to steel in terms of strength, cost, and longevity. So, why is the traditional cattle guard constructed from steel? Well, until now concrete cattle guards are almost twice the weight of steel. Internet farm supply stores, and many consumers simply can't afford the shipping cost let alone offload that kind of weight. However...
- Concrete yet economical to ship
- HS-20 rated (32,000 lbs./axle)
- Budget friendly
Click to expand image: A light-weight concrete cattle guard FORM with pre-installed GFRP rebar ----->
What is GFRP?
One disadvantage of concrete cattle guards today is the steel reinforcing rods (rebar). Rebar gives concrete its tensile strength. However, as with any steel if it's exposed to water and moisture it will corrode and over time cause cracks compromising the concretes structural integrity.
This is why we pre-install GFRP (Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer) rebar. GFRP offers a tremendously high strength to weight ratio. Even better, GFRP is highly resistant to salt water corrosion, chemicals, rust or whatever the environment can throw at it.GFRP rebar?
GFRP FACT: Research in 12 countries, and over 70 Universities have examined and concluded numerous advantages to GFRP reinforced concrete versus steel reinforced concrete.
Field studies and laboratory research have discovered that GFRP rebar dramatically reduces concrete corrosion, cracking and breaking. We now know that GFRP reinforced concrete structures will last anywhere from 4 to 20x's longer compared to steel reinforced concrete structures.
No Other CONCRETE CATTLE GUARD On The Market Today
Offers Corrosion Resistant GFRP Rebar
Each cattle guard form is engineered to have two (2) bars of 5/8" GFRP rebar within each channel beam to achieve better than an HS-20 rating. Don't let the light weight of GFRP fool you. Even though GFRP is only 1/4 of the weight of steel, it's boasts 2x's the tensile strength! Simply set the rebar on the chairs provided, pour in your concrete, then let cure.
Why HS-20 Cattle Guards?
Do you know how much weight "economical" steel cattle guards can support? Neither do the retailers selling them! We are proud to say that our cattle guard forms have been tested and certified to deliver an HS-20 (32,000 pounds/axle) load rating. Most 'economical' steel cattle guards will fail even under marginal loads let alone the stress of a loaded semi, hay wagon or dump truck. With that in mind an HS-20 rated cattle guard will handle about anything you can fit between your gate opening. That's one less thing a farmer should worry about.
FYI: An HS-20 load rating means you can have a 5 axle semi truck with a max gross weight 80,000 lbs. (DOT limit) drive across it without a problem. The rating claims
we provide are backed by a certified structural engineer's sealed drawing. Click to view cattle guard design spec's below.
Click here to view: Concrete Cattle Guard HS-20 P.E. Certification.
Click here to view: Cattle Guard Prices & Sizes