This week, we will be taking you through the steps to complete your tire waterer. Be sure to check out the University of Kentucky publication, at the bottom of this post, to view full details and information.
Once you have cut and cleaned your tire (see part 1 for details), you are ready to prepare the ground where the tire will be installed. The ground should be leveled, free of vegetation, mud, manure, and other unsuitable foundation materials. The site should allow surface water to readily drain away from the tire tank. To prevent the formation of mud around the tire, consider installing a heavy traffic pad. That traffic pad should be large enough to support the entire length of a mature cow.
The image below is a look inside the layers of a heavy traffic pad.
The black layer is non-woven geotextile fabric. This goes on top of the compacted soil and provides a barrier between the soil and concrete. On top of the fabric, add a minimum 6 inches of compacted dense grade aggregate. The last layer will be your concrete. You want a minimum of 6 inches of 3500psi or 4500psi concrete on top of the aggregate. Be sure to score the concrete in a pattern to increase traction for your cattle.
After clearing a site for your tire water, you can begin working on the plumbing. Prior to any digging, use the free service to check for underground utilities by calling "811". Full plumbing instructions are available for download in the University of Kentucky publication at the bottom of this post.
Once your plumbing is set up, you are ready to place your tire on the site and begin pouring concrete inside the tire.
When pouring the concrete, be sure to fill the inner rim of the tire tank. This is important to do to prevent leaks. Also make sure that the concrete is leveled to distribute water evenly in the tire. Here is an inside look of the tire waterer with the water pump in place. Notice how the inner rim of the tire is covered in concrete. Remember to allow the concrete to set for at least 48 hours. The final height of the inflow line should be 2-3 inches above the bottom of the inner rim of the tire. Place a cap or tape over the cut end of the pipe to prevent dirt or concrete from entering the inflow and drain lines.
To automatically control the water level in the tire, use a float valve assembly. It will be necessary to fill the tire tank and adjust the length of the float's chain to ensure that the proper water level is maintained. Remember that periodic cleaning may be necessary to remove nutrients that can promote algae growth. Avoid using copper sulfate to control algae to prevent toxicity and metal corrosion.
Once your tire waterer is ready for use, monitor your cattle to make sure they are not climbing in. If they are, you can use a cross member attached to the top of the tank to prevent them from getting in. You could also use an old hay ring similar to what is pictured below.
For full details and information, click on the button below to download the University of Kentucky publication for tire waterers.
Be sure to check back for part 3 of our tire waterers!
We have been using tire water tanks at Eden Shale Farm for 4 years and they continue to be one of the best options available for watering livestock efficiently. They hold a large volume of water, they keep the water cool in the summer, a large number of cattle can drink at one time, and they are indestructible.
Over the next few weeks, we will be revisiting our tire waterers in 3 separate blog posts.
We started using tire waterers back in 2014 and now have 6 of them installed on the farm. Here's our first blog post on cutting tire waterers from October 2014.
We found our tires at an old strip-mine in a nearby county. We were pleasantly surprised that we got a big tire cut in about four hours.
Step 1: Drill a hole through the tire big enough to get the saw blade started.
Step 2: Start the saw in the hole and continue all the way around the tire until you remove the middle portion completely.
Notice the chain in the picture. This was used to hold some upward pressure on the cut so that the rubber would not cause the saw blade to get pinched. We moved the chain around the tire with us as we cut. We also sprayed the blade with soapy water to help keep it cool and cutting good.
It actually cut surprisingly well. We could cut around 2 to 3 feet before the blade would get too hot and break. By then we usually were ready for a breather too. It took us 8 blades to cut this tire.
Notice how we have moved the chain around the tire as we cut. This helped tremendously.
This tire was about 2.5 inches thick with steel belts all the way around. We cut it with 14 TPI metal blades which worked well. We are hoping to get this tire installed before winter. I will include pictures of that process once we get it completed. Until then, we have three more tires to cut.
The hole in the middle of the tire is about 3 foot and sits about 8 inches tall off the ground. This tire is 8ft in diameter.
We will be posting more information and resources on our tire waterers for the month of May. You can stay up-to-date with us through email by subscribing to our blog posts and by checking out our Facebook.
In the mean time, you can check out more information about the tires under the "Producers Resources" tab.