TECHNOLOGIES and designs continue to evolve for faster, safer and more efficient cattle handling equipment, and a good example making an appearance among trade displays at BeefEx next week will be the US-made Silencer remote controlled turret gate.
Making an appearance as part of Catagra’s BeefEx exhibit, the turret gate represents a novel new approach to pushing cattle through a processing facility.
Conventional hinged forcing or crowd gates have had to swing backwards through their arc, to allow access for the next group of cattle.
The key to the new remotely-controlled Silencer turret gate is that the gate retracts, back through its ‘turret’ pivot-point, behind the next group of cattle passing through the processing area. Everybody who handles stock knows how hard it is to open a closed gate back into the face of oncoming, waiting stock.
As is often the case, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is often even better. Watch the short video below to see the retractable turret gate in action, and the beautifully thought-out solution it provides.
Catagra says the design virtually eliminates the need for staff to be in the flight zone with the cattle, reducing stress and safety risk to both stock and the processing team.
The Turret gates can easily be retro-fitted into an existing facility, and can be used along straight laneways, as well as through arced/curved forcing areas.
The turret gate can swing through a full 320 degree arc, and can retract while in swing motion, in either direction. It offers considerable time and labour savings, providing a constant flow of cattle, and significantly reducing manpower, crushside.
“Ninety percent of yards accidents happen in the forcing/crowd gate area, and the turret gate solution takes the need for humans right out of the danger zone,” a Catagra spokesman said.
The unit is set up with pressure relief valves, to ‘tap’ cattle along if the need arises.
The first unit went into a feedlot in Kansas late last year, and has since processed three quarters of a million cattle, with no significant breakdowns or design problems.
The technology can easily take one or two men out of the yards team, and a single, competent operator can easily feed 350 cattle an hour to the induction or processing team at the crush.
While the units obviously have broad appear to high-turnover, high volume applications like feedlots, the labour saving attributes have also seen them installed in quite modest sized grazing property applications in the US over the past two years.