Try the New 'Drive-Through' Beef Unloading System

Try the New 'Drive-Through' Beef Unloading System

Not all ideas have to be complicated to simplify life.

OK, you go through drive-throughs to get coffee, cokes, sandwiches, you even go through drive-throughs to do your banking. Why not go through a drive-through to unload your cattle, instead of turning your neck and backing up to one spot to unload?

Dave Redman, Lawrence County, Ind., Extension Ag Educator, helps out frequently with the Bull Test Station at the Feldun Purdue farm near Bedford, Ind. Currently 80 bulls are on summer test and being evaluated on various parameters. In the winter more than 230 bulls are on test. The best of each test are sold at auction at the end of the test.

Drive-through unloading: This double-panel gate hinged in the middle can be pulled up to the side of a trailer so the driver can unload a bull without having to back into an unloading dock.

The 230 bulls that come in for the winter test are a handful to unload. That's a lot of trailers to back in. So Redman and others who help at the test station devised a two-gate system which pivots in the middle.

Related: Indiana Bull Test Program Reaches Milestone

When no one is unloading, it folds back against the fence. When someone comes to unload a bull, they simply pull straight ahead until the rear end of the trailer is even with the entrance alley for the bull to enter the test station. Redman or whoever is working brings around the hinged gate and fastens it to the side of the trailer. The driver opens his swing gate against the inside wall of the permanent unloading chute.

The bull has only one way to go – out into the alley. Once he's out, the driver shuts his end gate, Redman swings the gate back into its normal resting position, and the driver moves on. No backing, no mess, no fuss.

"Those are the kind of ideas we hope beef producers pick up form being around here when they come to unload or see bulls," Redman says. "They can take a lot of what is done at the farm back home and work it into their operation."

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