Priefert Headgate

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EasTex

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On the automatic model, what does the spring adjustment control? Does the looser the tension allow for easier automatic actuation or does it control the amount of pressure it takes to open the gate? Or something totally different…
 

bird dog

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In the auto- catch setting a lever is moved that puts a lot more pressure on the gate to close. The cow hits the gate with her shoulders, the hold open lever trips and the spring action pulls the gates closed. The auto lock system engages and keeps the gates shut. I don't know if there is any adjustment. None is needed. A few squirts of lubricant keeps it working.

It works well on big animals but does have a leaning curve. Its invaluable when you work animals by yourself.
 

greybeard

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Is it the 85? No adjustment that I remember but I also had a 91 and there's no adjustment on the big spring that's at the bottom right below the handle other than a threaded eyebolt with a nut on it. Not much adjustment to it either. As far as I know, the only reason they put the eyebolt there was to enable you to get the spring off if you wanted to swap the operating handle over to the opposite side. You can't see it in this picture but it's at the bottom of the spring.
HG91.jpg

hg91spring.jpg
 
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EasTex

EasTex

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Is it the 85? No adjustment that I remember but I also had a 91 and there's no adjustment on the big spring that's at the bottom right below the handle other than a threaded eyebolt with a nut on it. Not much adjustment to it either. As far as I know, the only reason they put the eyebolt there was to enable you to get the spring off if you wanted to swap the operating handle over to the opposite side. You can't see it in this picture but it's at the bottom of the spring.
View attachment 25510

View attachment 25511
It’s the 91…Yes sir, that is the spring I was questioning. I tightened the eyebolt down and completely loosened it, operated the gate and do not see any difference in operation. I think you are correct, must simply be for swapping the handle to the other side. I may call them anyway just to confirm.
 

greybeard

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one thing I found on the 91, because of the things they call lockboxes, you have to keep them lubed good and don't use anything that will gum up the insides. WD40 or a good silicone waterbased spray lube worked good for me, but for me, I always thought the operating handle was in an uncomfortable angle to work easy. It was a bit heavy handed and my 5'2" tall wife couldn't do it at all. .

That spring...
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model91 headgate
 
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It’s the 91…Yes sir, that is the spring I was questioning. I tightened the eyebolt down and completely loosened it, operated the gate and do not see any difference in operation. I think you are correct, must simply be for swapping the handle to the other side. I may call them anyway just to confirm.
What issue are you having with it that you are trying to correct by adjusting the spring?
 
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EasTex

EasTex

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What issue are you having with it that you are trying to correct by adjusting the spring?
I’ve only tried it once in automatic and it did not actuate. The heifer went through it. I had it set on the middle setting. So I got to thinking, maybe there is an adjustment to make more sensitive to being actuated. That’s what lead me to the spring tension.
 
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EasTex

EasTex

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Also, the latch system up top has resistance. It had a slight bend to it and I got it straightened out pretty good but still does not slide as easy as I think it should. I’m thinking that blue Priefert paint is gummed up in the slide action. I may try and sand/smooth that up and spray some WD40 on it.
 

chaded

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When I bought my S04 it had sat outside at the place a little while and when I got it home I noticed it wouldn’t work real well. I thought something was wrong until i tried wd-40 on everything and worked it a little. It is very easy and smooth now.

The auto catch feature I have not actually used on cattle (my wife works the headgate) but when messing around with it I could set that thing to probably catch a mouse if it walked through. Not really, but it seemed pretty sensitive.
 

bird dog

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You have to set the release to where it is barely catching the hole to make it more sensitive. The cows shoulders hitting the gate is what releases the catch. It really needs a couple more holes in my opinion. On some big necked cows or a bull, I use the outside of the catch instead of a hole to get it opened wider.
The spring does not have anything to do with the release. The spring just works to close the gate after the release is triggered. When I bought my chute the one they (McCoys) were fixing to load had a bent release bar. I noticed it and they got another one out of stock. I am sure Priefert will send you another one if the part is bad. They are a very customer friendly company and stand behind their products. They may not be the best chute around but they work well for a mid-size operation that has Texas size cows. The SO4 is not quite big enough for some of those giant cows that are popular in the colder climates. They are also small for my bull but he don't need much anyway except a good worming. For that he gets the worming pellets from safeguard and maybe a pour on.
 
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I’ve only tried it once in automatic and it did not actuate. The heifer went through it. I had it set on the middle setting. So I got to thinking, maybe there is an adjustment to make more sensitive to being actuated. That’s what lead me to the spring tension.
It sounds like it may have been open too wide. They need just enough to poke their head through. They have to have enough body behind the head for their head to go through and their shoulders to hit to make it close.

Bird Dog is right about barely setting that little bar in the circle hole. It's pretty hair trigger. Some times if one goes busting in there it will trip and close just from bouncing around.

Spray all the moving parts down with wd40 except the shiny, rectangular rod. Their catch system uses friction on that rod. It will also wear out with enough use.

I use the head gate on the SO4 squeeze. To be honest I got away from the self catch most of the time. I just get behind the cattle and shove them in the squeeze with the headgate closed. I close the tail gate with the rear lever. Then I manually catch them. When I catch the head I like to squeeze them immediately because they tend to stay calmer and not try to lay down. In fact I will start squeezing to get them to go through the head gate.

If you don't have a slide gate about a cow lengths before the head gate I would suggest it. Giving the cattle room to back away from the head gate makes it tough.
 

greybeard

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Bird Dog is right about barely setting that little bar in the circle hole. It's pretty hair trigger. Some times if one goes busting in there it will trip and close just from bouncing around.
It IS hair trigger, IF ya set it like Bird Dog suggested. It's a lot like setting a steel varmint trap. You can fully engage the tang the trip sets in or bare engage it to decrease the sensitivity when the cow goes thru and the doors open just enough to drop the friction off the bar up on top.
If you don't have a slide gate about a cow lengths before the head gate I would suggest it. Giving the cattle room to back away from the head gate makes it tough.

Or, the old fashioned way of running a fence post thru the panels to hold the next one back some.
 
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