Installing an all-weather surface such as a Mechanical Concrete path can improve energy efficiency for animals traveling along a hill slope. Mechanical Concrete is a building process that uses recycled tires and aggregate stone to create a strong and economical base. The sidewalls of used tires are first removed, leaving a tread cylinder. The ideal tread cylinder is one that has been created from a semitruck tire, because the constructed path requires a lift, or trench, of approximately eight inches. A trench depth of eight inches is needed to remove the topsoil layer and provide a rock depth suitable for supporting the weight of grazing animals. The trench can be created using a backhoe or track hoe with a 36-inch bucket.
An actual tire cylinder may be approximately 40 inches in diameter, but the removal of the tire sidewall will enable the tire cylinder to fit within a 36-inch-wide trench. Nonwoven geotextile fabric should be placed in the bottom of the trench (Figure 4). This material is needed to provide the drainage, reinforcement, friction, and separation necessary for structural integrity. The tread cylinders are then placed end to end, on top of the geotextile fabric (Figure 4). A suitable rock material, such as dense-grade aggregate (DGA), is then placed inside and around the tire voids (Figure 5). The top edge of the tire cylinder should be at grade level or a little higher (Figure 6).
Figure 4. Nonwoven geotextile fabric and tread cylinders are placed in a trench and backfilled with densegrade aggregate (DGA).
Figure 5. The tread cylinders are filled with rock.
Figure 6. A completed trail leads to a water source located on a hill with 30-percent slopes
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