Briefings July/August 2019

High-Traffic Pad Construction Aids in Hoof Traction

As seasons change and weather fluctuates, climates can experience high volumes of precipitation. Without proper drainage, land and pathways can become muddy and waterlogged. One way to avoid loss of hoof traction and accumulation of mud is to create a high-traffic pad, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.

If a facility or barn is not naturally on a slope of at most 6 degrees, the land can be altered to create a better drainage system. Any higher of an incline runs the risk of washing the footing away. The best place to install a high-traffic pad is in an aisleway or pathway with reduced or no vegetation. It’s not cost effective to outfit a dry lot with a pad like this. Alternative grid systems are also available in lieu of constructing a high-traffic pad.

Begin by removing the top 8 inches of soil. Make sure the surface is level. After, install a drainpipe that runs parallel alongside the pad. The pipe should be permeable and allow water to enter, but not sediment. For best results, encase the pipe in a permeable fabric, surrounded by gravel. Direct the pipe toward a drainage ditch where the water can exit.

Next, lay a woven, geotextile fabric across the base of the pad. For best results, use a fabric that is durable and permeable, allowing water to drain yet providing a stable base. On top of the geotextile fabric, layer 4 inches of crushed limestone. The…

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