Feeding and drinking trough solutions

Always on the lookout for ways to limit expenses, to simplify labour and to run his friend’s farm profitably, Gawie Stoltz has perfected a method of turning old tyres inside out and repurposing them as feeding troughs. He also devised a smart way to clean livestock drinking troughs.

A feeding trough made from used tyres is ideal for the extreme climate of the Kalahari because it’s durable, heat-resistant and doesn’t rust.

Gawie Stoltz from the farm Eldorado, near Askham in the Kalahari found out about using old tyres for this purpose from a farmer friend Nico Hartung, in KwaZulu-Natal. “But, he didn’t explain how the tyres were turned inside out,” says Gawie. “So I made my own plan.”

The former Gautenger swopped city life farm life and now manages a farm owned by Gert Fourie. Maintenance of the farm’s infrastructure is an ongoing chore and Gawie says he’s always trying to find ways of saving labour or simplifying procedures.

A framework for turning tyres inside out

Gawie uses old 15- and 16-inch bakkie tyres, old conveyor belts and self-tapping screws to make the feeding troughs. The device he uses to turn the tyres inside out is made from an A-frame of six fencing poles, a few pieces of scrap iron and angle iron. Short chains and hooks have been welded to the lower steel frame.

A 15-inch wheel rim and an iron loop have been used at the bottom to anchor the tyre and to turn it inside out using the force of the pulley. A smaller wheel rim has been welded to the top of the A-frame with a pulley attached.

The frame and process of turning the tyres inside out is demonstrated in the photographs.

Photograph 1

In PHOTOGRAPH 1, Klaas Lekeur demonstrates how the upward force of the pulley gradually turns the tyre inside out. PHOTOGRAPH 2 shows the A-frame with its six iron poles forming the legs, which are welded to a steel frame. At the top, a small wheel rim is used – the pulley is attached to this rim.

Photograph 2
Photograph 2

Gawie adjusted the top edge of the lower wheel rim so that it can be easily pushed through the middle of the tyre. An iron loop has been welded to the rim and the pulley is attached to this.

In PHOTOGRAPH 3 Klaas is cutting the side of the tyre open with an electric jigsaw. The cut tyre is placed in this position on the adjusted rim and hooked to the pulley.

Photograph 3

Chains with hooks at the ends, which are attached to the frame of the platform, are hooked to the cut open edge of the tyre. After the force of the pulley has turned the tyre inside out, the smaller rim is removed (PHOTOGRAPH 4).

Photograph 4

All that remains is to make the base of the feeding trough – Gawie uses a piece of conveyor belt that is then attached with self-tapping screws (PHOTOGRAPH 5).

Photograph 5.
Photograph 5.

“These troughs work wonderfully. We were able to get rid of some of the old rusty metal drums on the farm,” he says. Neighbours have borrowed the device or asked Gawie to turn tyres inside out for them.

Tools for cleaning water troughs

Gawie says the cleaning of water troughs was always done using an old 5-litre oil can which had the base cut off. These oil cans actually work well, especially if they have a handle. However, it was a time-consuming process to scoop out the water.

Once, while cleaning out a trough himself, he calculated that he must have scooped out about 500 litres of water. “I knew there had to be an easier way.”

Gawie then created rubber sweepers from the old conveyor belts lying around on the farm – each in the shape of the various water troughs – and attached a steel handle (PHOTOGRAPH 6). These empty and clean the troughs in a jiffy.

Photograph 6.

The sweepers are shown in PHOTOGRAPH 7 as well as the cleaning process for a trough.

Photograph 7.

Gawie says he regrets never having the courage to farm for himself but in the meantime he’s devising ingenious plans.

ENQUIRIES: Mr Gawie Stoltz, cell 083 446 5060, email: gstoltz@vodamail.co.za.

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