Get a 24 hour weather forecast

Weather Forecast Settings

You have two options:

You can click the button below to use your browser's location services to set your location

Find Your Location

Or you can enter the town you reside in to check the weather there.

It’s Time to Check Your Slats – Farm Safety

It’s Time to Check Your Slats – Farm Safety

Catherine Hurley, B.Agr.Sc, Agri Sales Support Advisor

Slats and manhole covers are not lifetime items, they need to be replaced before they fail. The expected lifespan

of them is about 20 years. However, intensive use of slats like allowing stored slurry to reach them and stocking

mature bulls on them will shorten the expected lifetime of them.

To avoid any accident happening due to slats or manhole failure, they need to be checked every year. Now is

an ideal time to check while livestock are out at grass and enough time is there before housing time to repair or

replace slats if needs be.

Both slats and manholes need to be checked for cracks and sagging annually to reduce the risk of broken legs, or

worse, animals or humans falling into the slurry tank. Attempting to rescue animals from slurry tanks is extremely

dangerous and has resulted in the loss of multiple human lives over the years.

We urge you to take time these next few months to carry out this simple job for the safety or your animals and your

families. Dairygold does not recommend any farmer entering a slatted tank.

How to check your slats:

  1. Power hose out the slatted shed completely and use the hose to clean the sides of the slats as far as possible.
  2. Examine the entire floor, especially the centre slats, for sagging, cracking, rust staining and spalling of concrete, i.e. breaking of layers or pieces of concrete from the surface.
  3. Place a straight edge along the top of slats. This will indicate if slats have sagged and where. if cracks along the sides of the slats are present, use a fork to see if the concrete at the bottom of the slats comes away. If concrete comes away from the bottom of the slats, they all need to be replace.

Although some may be tempted to get an extra year or two out of slats, it would be foolish for safety reasons to do so. There is grant aid available under TAMS11 to replace slats. To qualify it is necessary to have an external agitation point but extending the tank to provide this is also covered under TAMS11.

When replacing slats and extending tanks it is wise to take the opportunity to remove the inevitable build-up of silt at the bottom of the tank.

See Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Specification S123S (available on

var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-27549051-1']); _gaq.push(['_setDomainName', '']); _gaq.push(['_setAllowLinker', true]); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();