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Blackberry's avatar

Should you drive over a cattle guard slow or fast?

Asked by Blackberry (29405 points ) May 2nd, 2012

A cattle guard is basically a succession of large bumps; a large grill in the road. It’s empty under the grill so animals will get stuck or not go past it.

Is it better for the car to drive on it slow or fast?

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18 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I’ll be looking for the answer. I always wondered, not that I’ve run into many cattle guards in the city, but I do know what they are.

Coloma's avatar

I’d think slower is better than faster, like speed bumps.

missingbite's avatar

Slower is the way to go.

marinelife's avatar

S-L-O-W.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Blackberry We used to have an old rule. If in doubt floor it.
It hurt once in a while too.

john65pennington's avatar

Your car’s suspension will thank you for going oh so slow.

Coloma's avatar

Oh man, I HATE those invisible speed bumps, I hit one the other day and my poor car….evil they are!

thorninmud's avatar

As I understand it, there would be some precise speed at which the amplitude of the vibration transmitted up to the car body would be minimized. In other words, some magic, non-creeping speed at which you could whiz over the grate and not feel a bone-jarring shake. But that would be really hard to determine, because it would depend on the mechanics of your suspension, the inflation of your tires, the weight of the vehicle (all of which will determine the “resonant frequency” of the vehicle) and the exact spacing of the bars in the grate. If you get it wrong, this higher speed could just as easily make the vibration much worse.

So the choice is yours: do the calculations, or go slow.

Elm1969's avatar

SLO-W If you have been to Wales, Moel Famau (uk) you would know

thorninmud's avatar

Mythbusters did a test involving not cattle guards, but washboard roads, to test the effects of speed. They built an apparatus that was very much like a cattle guard (a grid of 4 in. angle iron laid 8 in. apart) and drove over it at different speeds with a barrel of water to test for sloshing. Here are the notes from the test:

5mph: “that’s pretty bumpy” – Grant.

40mph: The high speed cameras showed that the wheels skimmed across top of bumps, Grant felt it was smoother. More water was lost, though.

70mph: The high speed cameras showed that the wheels again skimmed across the top, and Grant again felt it was smooth. Less water was lost.

Driving faster on a rough road will give you a smoother ride. (end quote)

Bellatrix's avatar

My husband would argue as fast as you want I suspect. Out in the middle of woop woop… beyond the black stump… in the middle of nowhere… my husband was taking cattle grids at quite a speed with me yelling at him to slow down! We then ended up with a flat tyre. He will argue there is no connection – I would argue there is. Changing a tyre in 50c degree heat with flies buzzing around you and your wife tapping her foot and scowling is punishment enough I suspect. Slow would be my recommendation as a passenger.

ucme's avatar

Depends on the passenger, if the wife/girlfriend is sat next to you wearing a flimsy top with no bra on, then drive over that fucker, back up & do it some more, as slowly as you want.

woodcutter's avatar

There are buttery smooth C G’s around here so we can simply maintain the posted speed and go right over them. Cha chung. If they are on a private ranch they are bound to be jacked up, some of them ,so It would be better to go a little slower or….go fast enough to skip most of it.

Blackberry's avatar

@woodcutter Yeah, that can also make a difference. The car matters as well. I’ve driven over the cattle guard by my work in my car, but I drove a co workers 5 series BMW over it at the same speed and I felt less impact. The moral of the story: buy a BMW…...lol.

woodcutter's avatar

Yup, low riders and cattle guards = lots of sparks :D

and a little blood in the urine :/

deni's avatar

Maintain normal speed. Unless it looks like a rough one. Usually they’re pretty good though, not too bumpy. I love open ranges….I like to see cows up close and their long eyelashes. I drove through a back road in Utah a month ago and there were tons of calves right along the road, and at one point we went over a tiny bridge and there was a dry wash only visible for a second and it was FULL of baby cows. It was the cutest thing I ever saw.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Normal speed-slightly fast. It will actually feel a little smoother that way.

Bent's avatar

It will feel smoother if you go over them faster, but it will do less damage to your tyres and suspension if you take it slow.

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