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Thread: Rubber in scrape alley

  1. #1

    Default Rubber in scrape alley

    You might have seen the thread I just posted about barn ventilation.

    I thought I start a separate thread for a separate issue.

    Our farm is family run and as such there are several opinions on the scrape alley surface.

    I want to go with grooved concrete. Two others want rubber belting/matting in the scrape alley.

    This barn is a compost bedded pack, so I believe the cows will have quite a comfortable choice to lay down and will not likely lay down in the alley way. (I have seen this with rubber in the alleys)

    Just wondering what your experiences have been if you have rubber or have taken out rubber.

    Have been looking into the legend rubber grooved belt mats.

    Alleys will be scraped by an alley scraper, not sure which yet, likely jamesway or a hydraulic scraper. Any suggestions on a hydraulic scraper other than GEA Houle or DeLaval??

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011


    We had rubber on all our floors in our old freestall barn for quite a while. They were individual rubber interlocking mats anchored into the concrete with Houle hydraulic scrapers on top.

    We had worn out rubber crumb mats and the beds were too short, so we did see alley rats. We also ended up with the mats eventually stretching and bunching and catching in the scraper, got to be a big headache. We would have to re anchor at least one mat every few weeks by the end

    Now we have grooved concrete everywhere, new barn and old barn. Old barn also has waterbeds which are miles ahead of the old mattresses, chopped straw as well. Cows use the stalls very well and SCC decreased noticeably after renovations and expansion.

    I am quite satisfied with the concrete. We laid a pattern right into the wet concrete during construction and scraped off sharp edges before letting cows in, worked very well. It needed grooves cut in after 5 years and is still going strong

    All the alleys are set up with scraper tracks in a groove. Our old barn had the scrapers surface mounted originally and 8" stall curbs. We poured about 2" higher on the sides and left the groove for the scraper and it works better. We built the new barn with the groove right from the start.

    If I was going to add rubber anywhere, it would have to be something that would absolutely not stretch and pull and distort. We still have some of the original rubber in the holding area and parlour and it needs replacing so we need to make decision there soon....

  3. #3


    We have a compost bedded barn. Also have had the interlocking puzzle pieces rubber flooring. It was a top 5 worse investment ever done! Pieces continually being pushed apart and taken out, no matter how many anchors installed in them. Installer reinstalled majority of building 2x and came up with special manure bucket for skid steer without any improvement in situation. Mats tore apart, tabs ripped off, manure pump regularly plugged by pieces of rubber mat. Huge headache!! Had to put solid rubber tires on skid steer as any anchors not immediately pulled out caused a flat, not to mention damage to cows feet. From the time they were installed until I had them removed was a grand total of 18 long stressful months.

    Since then we have installed Gabel belting. It has been in for just over 2 years , looks like new, and is unaffected by a skid steer. Including in the winter with frozen manure and a metal bucket. There is thicker, and softer rubber flooring out there but probably not so rugged and certainly not as cost effective. Only suggestion is to insist that grooves are installed as deep as possible to get the best footing possible.

    We have also built 2 new other buildings. First for lactating cows, it only has deep grooves in concrete and gets scraped with skid steer. Grooves already showing wear after only 18 months, once $$ is available this barn will also get belting. Second is for heifers, also with grooving. But this barn has scrapers in it, so far only in service 8 months , but at this point do not think there will be a need for anything but concrete. Scrapers are Jamesway ,so far trouble free to date. Was afraid they would freeze up in winter so went with a insulated roof and plywood ( a very good investment) and they have operated normally
    even with -30 temps.

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