Innovations in livestock equipment win Stokbord® industry accolade
July 05, 2012 at 5:20 PM
New designs of cattle races and crushes are bringing about major safety and animal handling improvements in farms across the UK, thanks to an innovative use of Stokbord® recycled plastic sheet.
Livestock equipment manufacturer LM Bateman was awarded first prize in a competition to find the most innovative use of Stokbord organised by its manufacturers Centriforce, together with Wynnstay Agricultural Supplies.
Bateman's use of Stokbord was a clear winner in the search among customers from Wynnstay's 28 stores in the North of England, Midlands and Wales. As a durable and rot-free alternative to conventional materials such as plywood or steel, Stokbord is already popular in many agricultural equipment applications.
"It's no exaggeration to say that Bateman's idea to redesign their cattle handling systems using Stokbord sheet has brought about a new era in the agricultural industry in a very short space of time," said Wynnstay's Senior Product Manager Charlie Hughes.
Stokbord has rapidly replaced the use of galvanised steel as the standard upright panel in Bateman's cattle races and cattle crushes, enabling safer, quieter and more efficient animal forcing. Bateman's latest innovation, a new hydraulic cattle crush using Stokbord, was launched at the Beef Expo on 28 May.
"Stokbord is such a versatile material we wanted to launch a competition to search out some of the innovative ways it is being used in agricultural applications," Charlie continues. "It can be used outdoors, powerwashed and disinfected and, because it is impervious to moisture, it is a rot-free, and low-maintenance alternative to plywood or steel."
Bateman's Area Sales Manager James Heath was presented with an iPad for compiling the winning entry to the innovation competition at a presentation held at Wynnstay's store in Staffordshire, which supplies Stokbord to Batemans.
Said James: "It's only a year or so since Bateman's first found a new use for Stokbord in the design of cattle races. Now I would say about 95% of farmers enquiring about cattle races ask for Stokbord, considering it to be the accepted modern solution. "The black plastic Stokbord sheets have significant advantages over steel. Animals remain calmer because the Stokbord deadens noise and is not shiny or reflective, so that the animals are not spooked by lights and shadows. The plastic material is also safer for farm personnel and animals alike."
Stokbord is produced entirely from recycled HDPE and LDPE plastic at Centriforce's Liverpool manufacturing headquarters using waste which would be otherwise destined for landfill or export. Its versatility and durability have made Stokbord an established alternative to traditional materials in a wide range of industries.