Choosing the right gate weight
Shopping for the right gate gets confusing when you have to decipher gauges. Choosing a gate by weight rather than gauge gives you a clearer picture of strength.
Radio interview source: Todd Harne, Plant Manager, Tarter Tube
Metal, wood, wire, and vinyl gates are great gate options, but sometimes you may need a heavy-duty gate instead.
Todd Harne is the plant manager of Tarter Tube with the Tarter Gate Company. He says when shopping for a steel gate, you have to know what you will be using it for – especially when animals are involved.
"In crowding situations where you're going to have animals confined to small spaces, you don't want an economy gate there," he says. "That's a common problem that people have. They'll buy the cheapest gate on the market, and then try to funnel all their cattle down into this little alley, and then the cattle either try to jump the gate, or too many of them crowd in too tight of a spot. They'll actually just bust through the gate and end up escaping."
Basically the heavier the gate, the more durable it is. Most gates are sold by gauge, and the lower the gauge number, the thicker the steel. However, Harne says he has found that different suppliers of tubing have different weights for the same gauge. This means some consumers may have unknowingly received an inferior product.
Harne recommends consumers buy a gate according to its weight, rather than the gauge.
"If an end user will just go and actually check how many pounds that gate weighs compared to another gate of the same size, which gate is the heaviest will determine which one is going to be made out of the thicker steel," says Harne. "And also, customers need to realize that each gauge range covers a wide variance."
Livestock gates range in weight from 40 to 190lbs. Remember that you don't need the heaviest gate possible everywhere on your farm. For example, a gate at the back of the hay field doesn't require the same toughness as a horse corral.
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