Farmscape for December 9, 2021
A Research Scientist with the Prairie Swine Centre suggests the materials used, the presence of ramps and available head space are among the key factors to consider in the design of swine transport trailers.
There are three main swine transport trailer types currently in use, double deck pot belly trailers, straight deck trailers and hydraulic lift trailers but there are multiple designs and configurations.
To help reduce the cost and speed up the washing and disinfecting of these trailers, the Prairie Swine Centre in partnership with Swine Innovation Porc, is developing new swine transport trailer design guidelines.
Dr. Bernardo Predicala, a Research Scientist Engineering with the Prairie Swine Centre, says a range of design criteria need to be considered.
Clip-Dr. Bernardo Predicala-Prairie Swine Centre:
In terms of cleanability, I would say the key factors would be the type of material used in building a trailer.
For the material a smooth surface finish is preferred for easy cleaning but it has to be balanced with safety, especially for flooring.
We don't want them to be too slippery if they are very smooth so the type of welds and joints are also a key factor.
Making them smooth and continuous as possible and sealing off areas that can accumulate dirt but are hard to access for proper cleaning.
For animal and also trucker welfare the key factors include the presence or absence of ramps.
We like to avoid them as much as possible or, if they really need to be present, gentle slopes less than 20 degrees is preferred and wider ramps are preferred.
Headroom, both the animals and also the trucker and the cleaner are also key factors.
That's why the hydraulic pig trailers are ahead in this consideration.
Dr. Predicala notes scientists are also developing an app which will calculate whether a particular design will rate high or low in terms of the cleanability, safety and animal welfare and help manufacturers implement validated design criteria.
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