Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Keep Those Cows From Strollin’

Cattle Guard Foundations

Why are we at Monte’s Ranch in Colorado?  Of course we love to visit Monte, but this time we are here specifically so Storm can help Monte build cattle guards.  Monte allows a small herd of cattle to graze his land.  Apparently cows have boundary issues and Monte is tired of them wandering through his front yard.  They often stop to eat the sparse grass in the shade under his porch. 

Why the cows are hungry

Wandering Cows
Cows without Borders wandering through the front yard – thanks to Monte for this pic

The cows are struggling because the weather here is hot, dry and severely unhumid.  What little grass they can find is well done and crispy already.  I mentioned in my earlier post that we varied our route on the way to Monte’s in order to avoid wildfires.  There is such a high danger of fires in this county that smoking outside is forbidden (I am not making that up).  In fact it may now be illegal for me to type the word Fi** while in this county.  All the while we are here we all keep an eye on the horizon for smoke and our noses alert for the whiff of burning brush.

The Cattle Guard Project

Optimally, Storm and Monte will complete 2 guards – one for the main gate and one for the fence line around Monte’s house.  The main gate guard will keep the cattle on the ranch.  The fence line guard should bar them from his yard.  The reality is that the guys do complete all the components for both guards.  But they only have time to install the one at the main gate before we must leave. 

Installing the main gate guard is most important.  Its installation relieves Monte of the need to close the gate each time someone arrives or departs.  In a high wind with the 2 gate sections blowing in opposite directions or at night when the gates vanish into the dark, chaining them together can be a challenge.  Monte looks forward to having the option of leaving the gates unfastened without chancing the loss of errant cows.

Cattle Guard How-To

If building cattle guards for your ranch are in the cards for you soon, here are step-by-step photos to assist in your project.

Cattle Guard Form
First build forms for guard foundations. Note keys at bottom to tie pieces together in hole
Empty Cattle Guard Form
Empty form with rebar and pipes front to back.  The holes through the form made by the pipe will be used to thread chain and lift each form piece into place.
Cattle Guard Forms
Filling the forms with concrete
Cattle Guard Finish Work
Concrete Finish Work
Cattle Guard Grates
Welding the grates together
Cattle Guard Grate
Set of finished grates for the main gate
Cattle Guard Foundations
Setting the guard foundations in place
Testing the Cattle Guards
Testing the initial installation – thanks to Monte for this pic
Main gate installation
Thanks to Monte for this pic.  After resetting the guards to the correct grade, the main gate installation is complete.  The big test: Will it support the motorhome??





About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

2 Replies to “Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Keep Those Cows From Strollin’”

  1. Jim & Sandy Dukeman says: Reply

    Wow, what a job, and like everything else he does it came out perfect. They look really good and there is no doubt that they will work fine. They use them a lot in the mid west with cows and horses. I bet that it holds the RV with no problem at all as long as you keep moving. 🙂 Have a great day and we will see you later this month. GOD BLESS

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      They did work really hard on this project! Can’t wait to see you in OSH 🙂

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