3 alternatives to tyres for Silage clamps

3 alternatives to tyres for Silage clamps

Tyres are one of the most commonly used weighting solutions to hold down sheets on a silage clamp – but they are notoriously difficult to store as they cannot be stacked and harbour pests and diseases. Increase the risk of tyre wire disease in livestock if any wire gets into the silage below and holds surface water – which makes them unpleasant to use when sheeting up a clamp. There are several alternatives to tyres gaining popularity; our top three are:

Lorry tyre sidewalls

Lorry tyre sidewalls are a prevalent method of weighting down sheets on a clamp. The tread is removed from large lorry tyres, leaving a flat ring; this reduces the risk of tyre wire disease as the wire has been removed. They also weigh more than a standard small tyre and are easy to store as they can be stacked neatly compared to a pile of tyres. They also don’t hold any water, which means they won’t harbour pests and diseases – a win-win.

Gravel bags

Gravel bags are a great way to ensure a full oxygen barrier seal around a clamp. This is because they are long and thin, and when filled correctly (not over full), they flow to the contours of the silage – a typically slightly uneven surface, ensuring a full seal. Even touching tyres won't create a full seal as there are small gaps on either side of each tyre. Gravel bags are also great to store as they are fully drainable and can be stacked on a pallet and put away neatly. They also work at holding side sheets down on a wall when draped over a wall when the clamp is being filled. The ideal way to cover a clamp in bags is to use a 3-5m grid pattern across the clamp and double rows of backs on any edges or joins to ensure the covers beneath do not slip. When filled gravel bags weigh 15kg and we recommend filling with smooth 5-10mm pea gravel.

Intershape mats

New for 2024!! We are pleased to launch Intershape rubber mats after popular demand. Each mat is 2x4m and weighs 15kg, a great size that can be moved with one person. These create a great seal and are perfect for an open clamp face to ensure the sheets aren’t lifted by oncoming winds. They can be stored on pallets and are a great alternative to tyres as they weigh more and keep the sheet in constant contact with the crop beneath it.

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