To read/download full details about tire waterers, download the University of Kentucky Agricultural Engineering publication through the file below.
When producers exclude livestock access to stream and ponds and their associated riparian buffers, an alternative source of water is required. Automatic water fountains are one commonly used means of providing cattle with water from an alternate source. A water tank constructed using a heavy equipment tire may serve as a viable option for supplying livestock with an alternate source of water. A tire-tank waterer uses a loader, grader, dump truck, or similar OTR (off-the-road) tire as the reservoir. Because these tires have a large circumference, livestock have more access for drinking as compared to traditional automatic water fountains. A tire-tank waterer should remain operational for over 10 years, and in many cases, will cost less than other types of permanent water sources.
As with any livestock management practice, tire-tank waterers offer advantages and disadvantages when compared to traditional automatic water fountains.
Size. A tire-tank waterer can typically hold 500-800 gallons, depending on the size of the tire. A larger diameter means more livestock can drink at one time (e.g., 10-16 head versus one to two for automatic water fountains).
Cost. Used heavy duty tires may be free if picked-up. Expect additional costs for tires if delivery is required and if the sidewall is already removed.
Durability. Heavy duty tires are durable and can withstand forces exerted by large livestock.
Availability. Identifying a local source of heavy duty tires may be challenging. A supplier may not be available in your county. Handling. Large tires can weigh over 1,000 lb. meaning a tractor with a front-end loader along with a set of chains is required to move and place the tire.
Sidewall removal. Cutting out the sidewall is difficult, especially if the tire is steel belted. The process requires the use of a reciprocating saw, several saw blades, and a tractor and chains. Freezing. As with an automatic water fountain, the water in tire-tank waterers can freeze. While the tire itself provides insulation, the surface of the water is exposed to air and wind.
Download the full details and instructions from the University of Kentucky Agricultural Engineering publication here!
FAQ for Tire Waterers
Where can I purchase or find a giant tire?
You can often find them as surplus from old mine sites, quarries, or other locations that deal in large equipment.
Who did you contact to find a large tire?
The majority of our tires have been obtained for free from waste stockpiles. The best way to find one is to call people that you might expect to deal with equipment that uses large tires. They will likely have a stockpile of waste tires.
How do the black balls work to prevent water from freezing?
They provide some additional insulation to the water. The black color absorbs some solar energy. thus slightly increasing their temperature relatives to their surroundings. They also reduce the interaction of the surface of the water with cold air. We have not been able to completely reduce freezing with this product.
Where did you purchase the black balls?
We purchased them from Precision Plastic Ball Company. Unfortunately, they do not plan on making any more unless an extremely large order was placed. Here is their website www.precisionplasticball.com
Are you doing anything else to prevent water from Freezing?
We have experimented with tock tank deicers, heat riser tubes, and a hybrid solar/wind powered heating element/ The stock tank deicer works well if you have access to AC power. The heat riser tube has had limited success. It is our experience that it will not prevent freezing during extreme cold. The hybrid solar/wind powered heating element did not produce enough power to effectively clear the ice from the tank. It may be able to do so if scaled up substantially, however, it becomes price restrictive quickly. Some producers have had success with creating insulated covers with limited access openings for use during freezing conditions.