Safety is a big concern when choosing a squeeze chute. It only takes a split second for a good day to turn into a bad day. Anyone that has been around cattle knows the immense power that they have, and that power can injure both producer and animal in an instant. That is why safety is a primary concern at Powder River. We have taken a proactive approach to make our chutes the best and safest squeeze chutes on the market, keeping you and your cattle safer.


On all of Powder River chutes, we use a notched system in the headgate and center squeeze. Friction locks wear over time and have a tendency to pop open unexpectedly, or jam with larger necked animals. This can lead to serious injury of operator or animal. Imagine being in front of the chute when the headgate pops open! Or standing too close to the head gate while it flies open! Having a solid piece of metal holding the headgate closed is an important safety feature. Additionally, on the 2000 and 2500 series the rack and pinion system we use is especially wear resistant and keeps most moving parts and pinch points away from the operator and the animal. The rack and pinion system features catch points every ½ inch. This means that you do not have to choose between being too loose or too tight, both can result in injury to operator, animal, or both.

Metal piece use to keep headgate closed on 1500 chutes.
Part of the ratcheting system used on the 1500 Series chutes

Right-side Exits

Being able to get your animals out of the chute safely is arguably more important than being able to get them in there. Anyone that has ever run a heavy-bred cow through a chute just to have her get stuck on her way out can testify of that, as cows do not like to back up very well. Also, working cattle can be unpredictable at times and the ability to get cattle out of the chute as fast as possible can mean the difference between life and death. That is why all of Powder River’s chutes feature a right-side exit. The side of the chute opens, and the animals have a clear path to exit, or operators have an unobstructed path to the animal if that is what they need to do. The side-exit is operable from both sides of the chute and can be closed from either side as well.

Big cow exiting the chute via the right side exit
Side Exits are integral safety features for all Powder River Chutes

V-style Dual Center Squeeze

The center squeeze of a chute plays a critical role in the safety of the animal and those around. Having the right design can either create problems or solve them. The V-style Dual Center squeeze on Powder River squeeze chutes solves problems. First, the dual squeeze applies pressure evenly on both sides of the animal. This keeps the animal centered in the chute and does not throw them off balance, which can make them feel uneasy and cause them to fight to get centered again. Potentially causing the animal to injure itself and anyone who is in close proximity. When done right, the squeeze can actually calm the animal reducing the risk of injury.

Secondly, the V shape of the squeeze keeps animals from going down in the chute. When cattle go down, the risk of injury grows exponentially. They usually bang themselves up and can injure shoulders easily trying to stand back up. Plus, it usually requires serious prodding to get them stood back up, which stresses animals out even further and can lead to operator or animal injury. Plus, it wastes valuable time when the animals are down in the chute. Sternum bars (or brisket bars) can be used to prevent animals from hitting the floor, but they can create problems as well. Side exit capabilities can be hindered by the use of a brisket bar, and they do not fundamentally solve the problem. Instead of keeping the animal from falling in the first place, they only keep the animal off the ground. Concentrating the animal’s weight on a small surface as they are usually round or small square tubing. The V-shape keeps animals upright and can greatly increase the safety of both animal and operator without the need for additional pieces that get in the way.

HC2000 squeeze chute open to show the v-squeeze
HC2000 Front view of the v-style squeeze

Powder River understands that the need to keep both operator and animals safe is the most important design feature a chute can have. That is why we have incorporated these 3 major elements into the design of our chutes. There are many other features that add to the overall safety making Powder River Squeeze Chutes the safest chutes on the market. Make sure that you keep this in mind when you are looking to purchase your next squeeze chute.  

To see Powder River’s squeeze chutes follow the link below.

See Powder River Chutes

Powder River continues its time honored legacy of squeeze chutes. The first one was produced in 1938, and as the years have passed, we’re still producing the best cattle chutes on the market. Recently, the American Cattlemen magazine did an article on Powder River. Click here to read it.