Construction

A simple guide to the construction of an ARK sloping walled silage clamp

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Build your silage clamp in 5 simple steps

Before you begin construction it is important to choose the correct location for your new silage clamp.

We can offer our expert advice and guidance to help you choose the ideal spot for your ARK silage clamp.

Do I need planning permission?

Good question. You can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called “permitted development rights”.

We recommend you speak to your local planning authority to find out if you do require planning permission for your new silage clamp.

Next, you will need to decide who is going to construct your clamp. Will you do it yourself or hire ground workers to carry out the work for you?

We are happy to recommend one of our approved ground workers who have experience in constructing ARK silage clamps.

If you choose to use a local ground worker we are happy to liaise with them and talk them through the construction process step-by-step.

Step 1

The first step is the construction of the clay banks (or similar material) to support the pre-cast concrete panels.

It is recommended that you consult with an engineer (or your ground worker) to determine if your ground material is suitable.

The banks should be oversized and carved down to shape so the final dimensions are as follows:

  • 2.2m high
  • 4m wide at the base for an internal wall
  • 7m wide at the base for an external wall

Once the banks are constructed a crushed concrete base should be laid in preparation for a layer of silage clamp specific asphalt.

The base should fall a minimum of 2% front to back as well as 2% from the walls into the middle of the clamp.

Step 2

Precast concrete seating channels supplied by ARK are laid at the base of the earth banks.

Step 3

A plastic membrane is then placed over the earth bank and wooden struts are driven into the bank leaving roughly 0.25m of the strut exposed.

The end of the wooden strut should be cut to a 23 degree angle.

The ARK panels are then lifted into place so they sit in the seating channel and are slowly tipped backwards until they rest against the end of the wooden strut at a 23 degree angle.

Step 4

The panels are sealed with ARK’s unique, silage clamp specific 2 component bitumen on the vertical joints.

Non shrink grout also supplied by ARK is used on the joint between the seating channel and panel.

Steel plates and rebar are used to anchor the panels in place.

Free draining material, e.g gravel, is then tricked into the void between the panel and the earth bank. This should be dust free and must not be compacted.

A rainwater collection drain is then laid across the tops of the panels.

Step 5

Hot Rolled Asphalt (HRA) specifically designed for silage clamps should be applied as the final step to seal the clamp base.

It should tie in the bottom of the panels.

HRA used in silage clamps must NOT contain limestone. Limestone is alkali and reacts with the acidic silage leachate.

Once the asphalt has been laid it takes 72 hours before it’s ready to use.

That’s it… you’re all done

Once you place an order for your new ARK silage clamp we will supply comprehensive construction notes along with site-specific drawings for you and your ground workers.

Before you begin, however, it is important that you have a good understanding of the regulations surrounding silage clamps – learn more about the regulations here.