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Old 07-08-2013, 08:21 PM   #1
Hesaid OP
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Not sure about this, cattle-guard-carnival-ride

This weekend had one day forecast to be below 100, so naturally we took advantage of it, and went for a ride. We headed up into the Sierras and generally had a good day. Higher elevations were pleasantly cooler, and the middle elevations were still quite decent.

But that's not what this is about. This is about this:


It's a cattle guard. For those not familiar, our hills have free ranging cattle (aptly known as "range cattle"), and various means are used to keep them in/out of different areas. A more common type of cattle guard looks like this:

Cattle Guard

The general plan is that the cows won't try to cross them, as their hooves will slip between the steel bars and, well, I'm not sure what. You'd think they'd break their legs, as ranchers are always saying they'll break their legs in ground squirrel holes, but if that's the case, why would ranchers install these while working so hard to uninstall ground squirrels? But again, I'm getting off track. As you can see, the standard type of cattle guard is a rather involved install, what with digging a hole, pouring cement, welding, and of course, getting the OK of the party in charge of the road. The type pictured first is more of a temporary, drop in type of cattle guard.

So as we motored on down a road that Shesaid felt was more of a temporary, drop in type of road to begin with,


We came across the cattle guard pictured. It looked like this from our vantage point:


Now, I'm no expert rider, and I certainly like to be on the cautious side, so I idled up to the guard, looked it over, and decided that it shouldn't be too big of a deal. Kinda just like a big speed bump. A moderate low speed approach, no drastic actions on my part, and a steady speed and momentum would make this a non-event. So I backed up a bit, and did just that. And for the most part, it worked. I made it safely to the other side, but the ride was sure a bit wilder than I had expected.

And here's why:


Remember the first picture (it's ok, go back and look, I'll wait)? The thing is hinged! It doesn't stay in shape, once you hit it, it shifts to what you see here (approaching from the right). This makes the peak decidedly peakier, and the ride significantly more interesting. I went back and played with it several time on foot.


To add to the mystique, and you'll be surprised to hear this I'm sure, this thing isn't a smooth operating, well-oiled machine. It sticks in place and then breaks free, lurching about quite randomly. Or doesn't. Either direction, it can shift.

Now, to be fair, I could have done a better job inspecting it when I looked at it the first time. I could have walked over it and then I would have known that it was going to move. And as it were, no harm came of my experience, but I thought I'd throw this out there and let others see it. If I'd been braver and tried hitting this thing with more speed, I'm not sure how it would have gone, but I'm not interested in trying it. I suppose you could shift it into one position first, and then try to basically jump it, but that's not for me. I sure wouldn't want to hit it with speed and have my front wheel make it over and then have it pop up to the steeper, sharper incline for my rear to hit, that sounds like no fun at all.

So that was something new I learned this weekend. Feel free to share your thoughts on it. Is there a preferred method of dealing with these? Was I just a lucky idiot to have escaped it's clutches? Should I post this in Jo Momma so someone can tell me what to do to this thing's mom?

MV
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Hesaid screwed with this post 02-12-2014 at 12:06 AM
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:08 PM   #2
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Finally, they are putting in jumps for dirt bikes!!!!!

At least we get something for our green sticker money.
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #3
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Old 07-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesaid View Post

Feel free to share your thoughts on it.

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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Actually, it had barbed wire attached to both sides of it. Easily removable on the one side, which Shesaid liked.

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Old 07-08-2013, 10:48 PM   #6
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That looks more like a cattle gate (forget what they are called) than a cattle guard. I've seen ones that pop up vertically but none quite like that. Ranchers will do/try anything, legal or not, to contain their herd.
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Old 07-09-2013, 03:02 AM   #7
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I never slowed down for long enough to get a good look at a normal cattle-guard - Complete non-issue as far as I'm concerned. As slippery as any other polished metal in the wet so cross upright - like a wide railroad track or a short bridge grating.

If some farmer is stupid enough to place a device across a road that can flip up when a vehicle crosses it, he deserves everything he gets. However, I doubt the device in question would move appreciably if crossed at normal speed.
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Old 07-09-2013, 04:29 AM   #8
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by slartidbartfast View Post
I never slowed down for long enough to get a good look at a normal cattle-guard - Complete non-issue as far as I'm concerned. As slippery as any other polished metal in the wet so cross upright - like a wide railroad track or a short bridge grating.

If some farmer is stupid enough to place a device across a road that can flip up when a vehicle crosses it, he deserves everything he gets. However, I doubt the device in question would move appreciably if crossed at normal speed.
Yeah, normal cattle guards don't seem to be much of an issue. Maybe if in the middle of a curve, or like you said, wet, but I've been over those plenty of times without a problem. As for this type, I'm more concerned about what I, or another rider, might "get" than the rancher. Depending on the position it's in when approached, and from which direction (it has no set "default" position, it can stop anywhere), it can move a fair amount. Take a close look at these two pics:





In the first pic, the guard is not completely "up" on the right side. So if approached from the right (which is exactly what I did), somewhere in the middle of traversing the guard, it shifts to a position like the second pic. Which means the bikes rear wheel travels a different path, essentially a different obstacle, than the front. I didn't really check the speedo, but I'd imagine I was 10-15mph, a solid 1st gear cruise, with room to change speed in either direction. And you can see how much the guard moved. Now in the second pic, if approached from the left, it shifts to basically a mirror image, with the first segment down, and the last two forming a peak. I'd kinda like to watch some video of riders doing it at different speeds and directions, with the guard in different configurations. I can also imagine different bikes might handle it differently, especially ones without enough ground clearance when the peak pops up under the center of the bike.

It was wonky. I made it over with more surprise than trouble, but I think it's worth a bit of caution.

MV
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:48 AM   #10
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If your body weight is enough to hold it down, have your passenger stand near one side while you drive over the other. Or grab some of those rocks nearby and weight it temporarily.
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:59 AM   #11
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That looks more like a car guard. The hinged part in the center would get caught on the chassis of car or truck with low or normal ground clearance.

On a bike I'd just jump it
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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Looks like a level surface cattle guard.

http://www.2tcattleguard.com/2t_catt...d_overview.htm

It is supposed to flatten out as you drive over it.



Quote:
Finally, you can have a cattle guard without the inconvenience of having to keep a pit cleaned out. This revolutionary new cattle guard simply needs a level surface for proper installation. There is no maintenance required and the unit is totally portable, to conform with the needs of a modern ranch, farm, oil field or construction company. When driven across, the floor collapses level with the terrain, and upon exiting it begins a slow retrieve, taking 25 to 30 seconds to reach full height. This allows ample time to safely tow a trailer across. Because the floor settles completely against the ground the weight bearing capacity is tremendous. Call or email for a price quote. You will never clean a pit again.
Must be defective.

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Old 07-09-2013, 10:20 AM   #13
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That's a temporary cattle guard, and it looks like a lot of fun.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:39 PM   #14
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Here's a terrible video of what looks like the same truck going over the guard.

Great write-up.



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Old 07-09-2013, 09:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie Z View Post
Here's a terrible video of what looks like the same truck going over the guard.

Great write-up.



Jamie
Well that seems to be what it is supposed to do. And I imagine that many of them all about the country do just that. Now I want to go back to this one and examine it further to see just what has happened/was done to it that causes it to work in the manner it does. I'd kinda like to drive over it in a couple of other vehicles and see what happens. I'm sure my Xterra would have no problems, the Sentra... Maybe not so easy. Unless the sheer mass of the vehicles would cause it to move in a way I couldn't get it to be standing/walking/jumping on it.

Someone mentioned having someone stand on it to make it go down, but the thing is, unlike the manufacturers pics and video, this one never went down. When one part went down, another went up. I didn't really run all the numbers, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't enough room to create the type of leverage that would be needed to have Shesaid offset the DR and I.

Well, I can see I'm going to have to go back and play with this thing some more. Dang. Another ride into the Sierras.

MV
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