Everything You Need To Know About Cattle Grids
Worrying about your cattle wandering off your property and getting lost or hurt is a huge pain. Not only is it a hassle, but it can also be very costly if something happens to them. Since your animals are a significant investment and source of income, it’s crucial to take measures to protect them.
Cattle grids are a simple solution to your worries. They keep your cattle safe and within the boundaries of your property. Cattle or stock grids offer an easy way to ensure your livestock doesn’t wander off. Their durability means you can rest assured of their longevity for many years ahead.
Here’s basically everything you need to know about cattle grids and how you can get your hands on one of the best concrete stock grids in all of Western Australia.
Firstly, What is a Cattle Grid?
A cattle grid is a clever invention that discourages cattle from crossing over into another plot of land, typically crossing a road and entering dangerous territory. This simple construct is just a transverse grid of bars or tubes, typically made from metal and firmly fixed to the ground. However, since most cattle have poor depth perception, the grids appear as narrow bars over infinite space below, averting their desire to pass through.
The metal bars are far enough apart to scare cattle but sufficiently narrow to allow wheeled vehicles and humans to pass through. As such, cattle grids effectively block animals from entering roads or other areas where they aren’t welcome while allowing humans and vehicles to move about fairly easily.
In short, a well-designed and well-maintained cattle grid can be invaluable for keeping people and cattle safe without much maintenance.
The Benefits of Cattle Grids
There are many benefits to using stock grids, the most common of which are below.
Saves you money
Cattle grids reduce the risk of collisions with vehicles by keeping them from straying onto roadways and areas with vehicular traffic. Though this may pose a big investment initially, the installation will save you money over the long term by significantly reducing the risk of livestock accidents. Instead of worrying about spending extra on injuries or any collision-related treatment, you get to reinvest into your business and extend your profit margin.
Saves you time
Cattle are great for farmers because they can provide a steady income, but it’s tough when they leave your property. You never know where they may go or how long till they return, so you’re constantly on edge waiting on them. With cattle grids, there’s no such problem, and you save a considerable amount of time by not having to spot and get them back.
Allows for human mobility
Unlike cattle, humans have good vision and depth perceptions. It’s no problem for us to cross over them because the bars are too small for our feet to fall through, allowing for mobility even at night. Vehicles will have no problems at all passing through also.
Easy to maintain
Stock grids are pretty easy to maintain. You only need to inspect them every so often for damage and check to see if the ditch underneath isn’t filled with debris. This can be once every few months or even just once a year, depending on the level of use it experiences. Making repairs and replacing a part or two is also relatively simple.
Not only is maintaining a stock grid straightforward and fairly effortless, but it’s also cost-effective in the long run because of its inherent durability. Concrete cattle grids, in particular, have long lifespans, and you won’t have to think about replacements or repairs for quite a while. Add a simple DIY bump gate, and you’ll have an effective setup for years to come.
The Typical Cattle Grid Designs
Flat Box Cattle Grids
A flat grid, also known as a standard cattle grid, is a metal structure typically mounted on top of concrete footings or removable boxes. It also consists of cattle grid wings that prevent your cattle from jumping out the corner of the grid. The round-top grid design is uncomfortable for cattle but okay to drive through, but the flat-top steel bars provide a more comfortable ride when driving over them.
It’s important to note that flat grids don’t always provide a perfect barrier, and some cattle may still be able to jump or climb over them. You may want to consider using a taller and heavier grid for this reason.
Boxed Cattle Grids
This design is created with the help of a regular flat cattle grid as the base. Unlike the other cattle grid designs, these don’t require any footing material. They are installed atop the ground itself, and dirt ramps are built on either side instead. This means you’ll need extra room on either side for this installation. You can use these in conjunction with other types of fencing, such as electric fences, to create a more effective barrier.
Although they are designed to withstand the weight of heavy vehicles, boxed cattle grids are better for short-term use because they are more likely to shift and move over time.
Cattle Grid Applications
You often see stock grids in places with plenty of pasturelands, especially areas that have been farmed for years, such as rural countryside areas. However, their versatility enables various applications, which is why aside from livestock farms, you can find them also applied in the following areas:
- Road infrastructure
- Shire projects
Common Materials Used In Stock Grids
Although not as common today as in years past, wooden stock grids are the cheapest among the bunch. However, they need to have good craftsmanship and require higher maintenance. They aren’t able to withstand super heavy weights but get the job done brilliantly in smaller settings with low traffic.
Concrete cattle grids are common in places where you need control over vehicular traffic across paths leading into your property. It’s because concrete offers high durability at relatively lower costs compared to alternatives like metal fencing. Using concrete reinforced with metal rods makes it significantly stronger and far less susceptible to cracking. Plus, they are cheaper than steel cattle grids and don’t rust over time!
Steel is undoubtedly strong and durable, but it ups the initial price and maintenance cost because of damage over time. Steel stock grids are great for areas with high traffic, but make sure to use galvanised steel or excellent paint to avoid rusting and lengthen its lifespan.
Yes, electricity is indeed a commonly used material in stock grids! Using electricity in a stock grid dramatically increases its effectiveness, with the added advantage of increased protection from predators. Unsurprisingly, this increases the operating costs quite a bit, so you’re better off using this design only if you really need it. You must exercise caution when using electricity to deter animals — ensure the voltage isn’t too high and that the fence is correctly insulated so that the current doesn’t escape and pose a danger to people or other creatures.
Bonus: Virtual Cattle Grids
It’s funny how some have tried using virtual stock grids that are essentially optical illusions for cattle. In this design, alternating patterns of alternating dark and light colours are painted on the ground to convey depth. You might be amazed to hear that they have been shown to work, but if even one of your livestock manages to figure out the trick, it’s all over for the rest. You can try this out as a fun experiment, not so much for long-term functionality.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Cattle Grid
The last thing you want is for your investment to be quickly damaged or for you to regret your purchase for any other reason whatsoever. So here’s a quick checklist of things to consider before you buy a cattle grid:
- Weight: Ensure that the cattle grid you buy can accommodate the types of vehicles your property generally sees, plus the combined weight of your cattle when moving them.
- Material: Consider the type of material used in the stock grid in relation to your specific area and scenario, including budget.
- Drainage: Lack of proper drainage where you’re installing your cattle grid will lead to unwanted plant growth and a build-up of debris that can be challenging to remove.
- Quality: Make sure you understand how durable the product truly is and the mechanisms it has to maintain quality, such as anti-corrosive and anti-rust paints.
- Safety: Longer cattle grids often pose a hazard for cyclists and pedestrians. If your grid will be in a heavy traffic area, you may need to add clear safety signs.
Concrete Cattle Grid Installation
An expert doesn’t necessarily need to install your cattle grid, but properly following instructions is essential for successful and safe installation. Generally, you can install precast concrete cattle grids in two simple steps:
1. Mark and dig the installation area
Mark the area where you will install the cattle grid. Then excavate a trench at least two feet deep and wide enough to accommodate it. If the trench is too shallow, the grid will not be able to effectively prevent cattle from crossing the road.
2. Place the grid
After excavating the trench, level the bottom and compact the sides to ensure a stable foundation. Next, secure the panel with concrete or sealant. Finally, backfill the trench with soil and compact it to finish the installation.
gthbYour livestock will remain safe and contained with a cattle grid installed with a bit of care and patience.
Buy Precast Concrete Cattle Grids in WA
DALLCON has over 20 years of industry experience and understands that every project is unique. Not only do you have access to a wide range of precast concrete solutions, but you also get customised options to meet your individual project needs.
Our cattle grids are made from durable precast concrete that can withstand heavy loads and harsh climates. On top of that, our stock grids are easy to install and need only occasional cleaning to remove debris.
Call 1300 325 526 or simply contact us today to discuss your requirements with one of our specialists. We can help you choose the right-sized cattle grids that perfectly fit your situation or manufacture custom-sized ones to accommodate any unique needs. Get your stock grid delivered right to where you need it anywhere within Western Australia, and we can even install it for you if required.