Yard Panels


Yard Panels


Bull/oval rail, cable, sheeted...

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Panels are segments of a fence line that make a boundary division to retain cattle and livestock into a specified area. They are constructed with horizontal members supported by vertical posts (posts are treated as separate items, refer stockyard single posts). They are used in every set of yards whether it is for handling, holding or feeding. There are many different styles of panels depending on installation time, application and cost.

Stockyard Fence Panel Design

Panels can be different lengths depending on the gap to be filled. At Thompson Longhorn the nominal panel length is based on the post center distance in which it will be held, not the actual overall of the panel by itself. There are optimum lengths which are based on cutting efficiency, weight and the ability to withstand livestock impacts. For long, continuous runs of fence line optimum lengths are used with the last panel made custom to suit.

Stockyard Panel Materials

The main material used for panels in yards is steel but there are others used less frequently or not as much today as in previous times.
Steel can be used as oval rail (also known as bull rail or bull panel), square section (known as SHS or RHS), cables and sheeting.
Timber and concrete are two of the less frequently used materials. Timber was once used all the time due to its availability but today good timber is becoming rare and expensive. Timber also suffers from rot and splintering and many older yards are being replaced with steel ones. Concrete rails are good because they will not rust or rot but they are susceptible to breakage from impact, either from cattle or stockyard cleaning machinery and can not be repaired.
Used or recycled materials may be cables for cable panels or rubber belting for sheeting.

Cattle Stockyard Fence Panel Height

There are two nominal height panels.
Higher panels are used in high pressure areas such as lanes, draft pens, and most yards with a working centre. These top rail heights typically range between 1800mm to 1900mm off the ground.
Lower panels are used in lower pressure areas such as holding or feeding pens where animals are more relaxed and there is more available area per animal. Lower height is also used in race panels for overhead access to the livestock. The top rail height of these panels can be between 1600mm to 1700mm off the ground.

Stockyard Fence Panel Sheeting

Sheeted panels can be either full or half sheeted. These terms are based on the stock width size of the sheeting material. The sheeting infill starts at the first rail not the ground, mainly because it isn’t needed there but also for cleaning purposes.
Full sheeted panels offer full block out so livestock can’t see out at all and be distracted. Fence lines which have a catwalk are also fully sheeted to reduce unwanted livestock behavior, due to someone walking along the catwalk.
Half sheeted panels are mainly used in races or very narrow lanes. The half sheeting still allows control of the livestock but prevent livestock kicking through the rails at the lower height.
Sheeted panels are easier to prefabricate and bolt into place on site. They are constructed with SHS instead of oval rail to remove areas that can build up with dirt and water creating accelerated rusting. All sheeted panels are sealed to reduce noise and the ringing sound like a bell.

Site welded or Prefabricated

The main difference between site welded and prefabricated panels is that site welded panels normally follow the profile of the ground whereas prefabricated ones are stepped along a slope. The ones that can follow the ground profile allow a more constant bottom rail height above the ground. This may help prevent the escape of the smallest animals and some may find it more visually appealing. Site welded panels also suit the person wanting to install their own set of livestock yards. However although prefabricated panels have to be stepped they offer a much faster installation time.

Stockyard Fence Panel Styles:

5 Oval Rail Pre-cut Panel

  • High, suiting the higher pressure pens and lanes
  • Packs of rails are cut in half and fit inside posts on site
  • Save stockyard builders expense by less waste, pre-cut as well as quick and easy to install
  • Beginning or discontinuing (start & end) panels can be pre-cut at an angle to suit frames etc. for any consulted project also saving time on site
  • A panel configuration with a water trough only uses 3 rails above the trough

4 Oval Rail Pre-cut Panel

  • Lower height suiting the low pressure pens such as holding and feed yards
  • Savings and construction the same as the 5 oval rail pre-cut panel
  • A panel configuration with a water trough only uses 2 rails above the trough

Cable Panel

  • Lower height suiting the low pressure pens such as holding and feed yards
  • Suit long length fence lines but can be inefficient for short runs. Use in combinination with 4 oval rail pre-cut panels
  • Consists of an oval head rail and belly rail. Prevents animals escaping between cables as well as increasing strength of panel by connecting posts together
  • A feed trough configuration uses one oval rail and two cables
  • For water troughs the 4 oval rail pre-cut water trough panel configuration is used

Unboltable Panel

  • High, suiting the higher pressure pens and lanes
  • Panel constructed in single unit with rails welded to vertical members each end (similar to a stockyard gate) and lug connection to single stockyard post
  • Fast installation with minimal site welding suiting shut downs or faster turnaround
  • Removable making it an excellent choice in emergency situations to access services such as leaking or broken water piper and allowing machinery access to perform these tasks
  • Replaceable in the unlikely event of damage
  • Reusable for future upgrades or relocation
  • Small adjustment in bolted connection allows a little tolerance for easier installation
  • Available in 4 different configurations standard, sheeted, inclined and ending
  • Standard uses oval rails, prefabricated (fastest installation)
  • Sheeted uses square rails, prefabricated (fastest installation), rail spacing matches crowd equipment panels etc
  • Inclined uses oval rails and rails are pre-cut but welded in place on site to suit slope of ground (could be pre fabricated if rise is known)
  • Ending panels have oval rails which are cut over length and trimmed back on site. One end welded to rails. Used when joining up to existing infrastructure

Race Panel

  • Lower height used primarily in races to allow more access to livestock
  • Pre-fabricated
  • Available in both full and half sheeted configurations
  • Available as a rolled or curved panel configuration
  • Common to have half sheeted panel on operator’s side and full sheeting on other