Cattle guards prevent livestock from passing through the opening of a fenced area where vehicles travel. Cattle guards are placed where gates would normally be installed and allow vehicles to pass through without the hassel of someone having to open and close the gate every time you pass through. Hoofed animals are deterred from cattle guards because they don't allow for suitable footing. There are different size and rated cattle guards for different applications. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) provides maximum load rating guidelines for cattle guards. Many state and federal agencies require a certain load rating for certain uses. The load ratings are as follows:
- H-15 (12 tons per axle)
- H-20 (16 tons per axle)
- U-54 (25 tons per axle)
- U-80 (30 tons per axle)
H-20 cattle guards are certified by an independent engineering firm that will inspect the cattle guards and confirm that the cattle guard meets the commercial standards for a H-20 load rating.
If you are installing a permanent cattle guard, the best foundation is a full concrete vault that has 6" walls. LivestockShed.com offers Powder River Cattle Guard Bases, that are great for mountainous areas where pouring concrete is not applicable. Call us today for help deciding which cattle guard will suit your needs best.