The Story of a Gate

By Judy Wade | As told by Robert Anderson

The best of things, like a good story, seem to always start out with a horse. Chief had been a working cow horse. Besides being big, handsome, and rocket fast, Chief had attitude. He would give even cooperative cows an extra bite on the rump during his work sorting cattle at the auction barn. Retired and out to pasture at the Anderson’s 100 year old farmstead in north Wichita County, Chief had the innate cowpony skill of spotting any open gate within a mile radius. After several gravel road chase-down episodes, the Andersons knew they needed to invest in a cattle guard for their front gate. Watching Chief’s prancing rump just beyond their hood ornament as they slowly followed him down the road, back to his home pasture and back through their sad gate, they knew this horse would be a challenge.

Smash and Grab

Then another event changed their cattle guard plans; some thieves smashed a truck through their front gate, shattering the pad lock, loaded up the Anderson’s riding lawn mower and took-off with it. The Andersons now felt not only the necessity of a cattle guard, they also needed a security gate.

To install a nice cattle guard/gate combo like their neighbors, they would have to call in a concrete contractor to excavate, form and pour concrete, which would entail being without their front entry for the two-week project.

Next they would have a second party fabricator weld them up a cattle guard and gate, drop it in place, and then a third contractor would have to install the gate operator and trench up their pasture to get power to the gate. This was getting unaffordable, complicated and inconvenient.

Necessity mothers all inventions and especially this one. Invention starts with a question: Why is there not a gate that would be crash proof, that is, if some thief was stupid enough to try crashing through the gate, not only would the gate be strong enough to stop a vehicle, it would capture and hold the offending vehicle? Why not a gate that would protect livestock with a cattle guard, install in one day, be completely solar powered (no wiring), and while we are at it, make it cost 40 percent less than a conventional site-built cattle guard gate?

To read more pick up a copy of the September 2017 NTFR issue. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.


The idea: The Great Texas Gate computer modeling of the gate open. (Courtesy photo)
Computer model of the gate closed. (Courtesy photo)