Woven Rubber Mats Reduce Slipping, Cripples
By Nancy Carver Singleton
Cattle that suffer a major injury by slipping or falling never fully
recover. They never finish the same as their pen mates, and are often
railed. But a company from Park, Kansas, has found a way to reduce
slipping by providing better traction for cattle with rubber mats.
The Double D Family Mat Shop manufactures the Cattle-Mat, a rubber
mat made from center tire tread woven into a basket-weave pattern.
This weave catches and stops hoofs from slipping, reducing the number
of falls and ultimately crippled cattle. Many customers tell Dale
and Dena Goetz, who started the mat business in 1995, that the mats
cut cripples by 95 percent.
Cattle-Mats are used in processing areas, crowd pens, ramps, snakes
and walkways. Each tire tread is secured on both ends and fastened
with stainless steel bolts, washers and nuts. Larger mats have 3/8"
thick by 3" wide steel bar stock worked into edges to help retain
Doug Parham, assistant manager of Finney County Feedyard Inc., Garden
City, Kansas, said Cattle-Mats have "pretty much eliminated"
problems with cattle falling while coming out of a chute. The mats
are long lasting and the feedyard is quick to replace them when they
do wear out.
He estimated the feedyard first tried the mats seven years ago. "We
keep using them, so you know we like them," Parham said.
Goetz is not aware of a product similar to Cattle-Mat. Some people
put grooves into concrete to prevent slippage, but those also become
slick when covered with manure. "This (mat) is a pretty unique
solution. It was pretty simple once we figured out the design. We
tried it and it worked very well," he said.
The couple combines their feedlot operation with an expanding line
of mats. "Actually it works very well because when we come up
with a product, we can test it in our own operation," Goetz said.
Cattle-Mat is the biggest seller, but Double D makes other mats as
well. Their new cattle trailer mats are made from bailer belting to
be lightweight. They have 7" wide 3-ply belting in a raised herringbone
pattern that is fastened with stainless steel bolts, washers and nuts.
The mats, also used in horse trailers, save wear on the trailer floor
and give a quieter ride.
Double D also has anti-fatigue mats that help feedlot employees in
wet and slippery areas, such as around chutes. The mats, made from
tire sidewall strips, reduce the fatigue of standing on concrete for
long periods of time. They can also be used in the bottom of horse
Then there are door mats, which are smaller versions of the anti-fatigue
mats. "We sell those all over the place, not just to cattle people,"
he said. Another new product for cattle is a waterer made from heavy-duty
industrial tires and six feet in diameter. It has a thermostat control,
float control valve and overflow drain system.
The business provides a use for old tires, with Double D going through
several hundred a week. A machine cuts the tread and the sidewall
out of the tire, leaving the rim. The shop utilizes the whole tire
- the sidewall for anti-fatigue mats, the tread for Cattle-Mats, and
the sidewall with the bead attached. These are called Silo Cover Savers'and
are sold to feedltos to hold silo covers down. The Silo Cover Savers
are easy to move compared to the complete tire. They don't collect
water and take up a lot less space than the complete tire to store.
For more information, call 888-377-2879 ©