Exterior fencing is a long-term investment for any property with pets, cattle, or livestock. Fences help to divide and protect property, confine and exclude animals. Gates allow access, on and off the property, whether you’re trying to get in or keep animals out.
Gates are convenient, however, it can be inconvenient to manually have to open a gate. You might have dozens of animals between you and the gate. You might also be concerned about the animal injuring itself or escaping through the gate.
Maybe you’re alone in your truck, bringing supplies through the gate to your herd. Getting in and out to open the gate, drive through and then close the gate is an inconvenience. A non-electric cattle gate is a better option.
Cattle guards or gates are parallel rows of sturdy pipes that span the gateway. They mostly contain cattle, because cattle won’t want to get their feet stuck.
However, these guards won’t necessarily keep out predators, such as coyotes. Horses can get their feet stuck in the grids and damaged tendons and ligaments. However, this type of gate can be very effective at keeping cattle in. These cattle guards do have many benefits.
Bump gates are another option. When you’re sitting in your vehicle, you gently bump the arm of the gate, which then swings open to let the vehicle through and closes the gate behind you. Some bump gates operate with no electricity, using purely mechanical and gravitational means. You add a farm gate attachment to turn your gate into an automatic one. Some farm gate openers are powered by electricity, but newer technology uses solar power to work the gate opener, requiring no electricity at all. These gates may require maintenance after wear and tear over time, and installation is typically DIY but takes a few hours of your time to set up.
The biggest benefit to cattle gates is that the cattle won’t get out or escape off your property. This can be a very costly and time-consuming experience.
Cattle gates are inexpensive when you have openings in the fences where you don’t want cattle to go through, but still, need to get equipment in. The bars keep the cattle from walking through. Generally, you can place the cattle gate at any location along the fence, but you should consider how it will stay in place and how frequently it will be used by certain vehicles. You should also make sure that the water in the area can drain out, and whether the slope of the land is uphill, downhill, or the gate will be placed on level terrain.
Cattle gates can be temporary or permanent. If you have a fence opening where you need an impromptu gate, cattle gates can be installed quickly and without professional help. You can still get onto your property while protecting your cattle from getting out.
These gates can be driven over by even the heaviest farm vehicles, towing equipment and trailers, provided the actual gate itself is built tough enough to balance the pressure exerted onto the bump gate. One problem with cattle gates is that you do need to have traditional gates where you can move the animals between different pastures and onto different parts of the farm. But cattle gates are effective measures to keep cattle in place. Using cattle gates in addition to a traditional gate can prevent escapes at main gates.
Cattle gates require little maintenance.
They can be placed where certain types of fences aren’t appropriate. In the United States, they are used on roadways most often, but cattle guards can be used where you want to keep your cattle out of dangerous areas of your property, and you aren’t able to supervise them 24-7. You never have to worry about someone forgetting to close the gate when you use cattle gates because they retract on their own via a pulley mechanism built into the gate attachment.
One big mistake that many people make when installing fences is installing the gates in the wrong places. You’ll want to make sure that the area where you’re installing a farm gate attachment is well-drained and you don’t need to get on or off the property with haste. If you drive into your gate too quickly, the system will wear down much faster.
Rain, mud, and traffic exacerbate the situation. Traditional cattle gates allow rain and mud to drain through but should be placed where the ground won’t erode to ensure that the gate stays in place. Gate attachments won’t require the same environmental conditions and are a great solution for bad weather. However, they still require a bit of attention to detail when being installed so you’ll get the most out of your gate attachment without any major roadblocks.
Corner gates let you use the fence to drive animals in and out. But you should also consider the normal patterns of traffic. Do you want people and vehicles to move along the fence? Do you need additional space to get large pieces of farm equipment onto or off of the property? Cattle gates can be placed to span a wider area if you have a large gate. Bump gate attachments can be installed for a farm or ranch gate up to 20′, you need an 8″ wooden post securely concreted or pounded into the ground. Therefore, make sure to install the right sized gate.
When in doubt, go to the standard option.
Drive-thru cattle gates make it easier to manage gates when you’re on your own. You have many types of gates to choose from. The important thing is to have a gate that keeps the cattle contained while allowing you to get on and off of your property with ease. Plan and place your fence and gate attachments strategically, and they will last for years to come.
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