Crowd Gates Design Details
(Scroll down for lots of Pictures)
Crowd Gates powered by air motors are the most widely accepted gates in the industry. Ben Vandenberg and Rolf Reisgies initially designed and developed this gate as a joint engineering project (1977, Chino, CA).
Air operated crowd gates are now manufactured and sold by every major dairy equipment manufacturer in America - Tech for Ag as well as DeLaval, Westfalia/Surge, BouMatic, Albers, Norbco and others.
They are popular for good reasons:
- They are safe. No electricity anywhere near the cows.
- Air controls are reliable, with annual maintenance cost of a couple of hundred dollars at the very most.
- They are of 'heavy duty' design and last any number of decades. Yes, decades.
There are three basic design elements -
The Carriage, the actual Gate and the Controls
The Carriage runs in (2) 4" channels that are either welded to the top of the holding pen fence or are mounted on brackets to the wall of the holding pen. The Carriage:
A drive shaft running the width of he gate transmits power from the gear drive to both sides of the gate. The gate pulls itself forward on two stationary roller chains inside the 4" channels. Drive installed in the center of the gate, therefore equal torque to both sides.
There is a Master Control Box, typically installed in the rear of the parlor and a Remote Control Box installed at the far end of the holding pen. Both boxes have (5) buttons: Forwards, Reverse, Up, Down and Stop.
You can raise and lower the gate anywhere in the holding pen. The basic idea is that while you are milking the tail end of this group, someone else can bring the next group into the holding pen behind the gate. When you are done, raise the gate, return it over the waiting group, lower it behind them and push 'Forward'. Continuous and rather efficient milking.
The gate itself is suspended from the carriage on two pivot points. Two air cylinders lift the gate to a height of roughly 7 1/2 ft above the holding pen floor. This height is variable if need be.
TechForAg Crowd Gate
Click small picture to enlarge
Photos copyright © 2007 Technology for Agriculture * Unauthorized use is prohibited.|
Photos l to r top row:
1. Holding pen cleaned and ready to go shortly before milking.
2. 3 garage doors separate parlor from holding pen - keeps it warm in the winter and flies out in the summer.
3. TechForAg Crowd Gate - 24ft wide - all air driven - no electricity what-so-ever.
4. Drive shaft powered by the air motor.
5. Air Motor and 60:1 Gear Drive. Motor runs on any pressure, 75psi recommended; Gate stalls out against cows, follows them as they move forward
Pictures on left side:
6. Gate installed high enough to clear Skid Loader
7. Main Control station in rear of parlor, near holding pen. There's a remote box at the back of the holding pen.
8. Stainless Crowd Gate Cylinders 4“ bore x 24” stroke; lifts gates up to 10 ft; this gate is 24 ft wide
9. Stainless cylinder comes with all-stainless hardware, nuts and bolts
10. Stainless Crowd Gate cylinder in action.
Photos left to right bottom row:
11. 10 ft long V-Lane for Milker from where he would encourage cows to enter parlor more or less by themselves without him entering holding pen.
12. Stainless Holding Pen Fences - 4“ verticals filled with concrete, 2” horizontals.
13. Man-pass half way down holding pen, with swing-away gate
14. 10“ x 8” concrete Curb strengthens Fence and keeps 'Used Feed' out of Milker's lane.
Air Driven Gate at Marty Mulcahy's new dairy near Dane, WI
(Click on small picture to enlarge)
- 'Carries' the gate forwards and backwards
- Provides anchor points for the lift cylinders
- Is driven by an Air Motor, running on about 100 psi of
air and operating thru a 60:1 gear box.
Copyright 2007 Technology For Agriculture LLC * All Rights Reserved
Technology For Agriculture LLC
1855-A West Davenport St., Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Rolf's Mobil 715-360-3660 * Fax 715-362-7595 |