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Driven wood posts

SnowDrift

Radical Right Wing Extremist
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Thread starter #1
I started to post this with the Teff Grass discussion, but didn't want to steer it off topic too far. This does go along with it in some fashion, though.

Are any of you using driven posts? I've been told they'll make a much better fence by several and I finally located a guy that can do it for me. He's an Amish feller that charges $5/post. I'm planning on 8' posts, driven 3' in the ground. I set my main corner posts in 4' deep. They're electric poles that I cut down to 9' lengths.
 

btfarm

330,000 Worth and counting
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Staff #2
We always went with drilled post holes and then tamp every few back filled shovels in so that when you are done, all the dirt that came out went back in. Never had a post loosen up that way.
 

JayTheCPA

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Annapolis, MD
#5
If there is lingering ground water, my vote is that digging is the better way to go. This way you can pack gravel under and around the post which allows drainage and longer life of the underground portion of the post.
 

Will L.

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#6
There once was a man from Nevada,

Seriously when I owned my truck equipment shop we had a customer build him below post drains for driven from posts. His farm land had ground water and he had a Pyle driver, so he had this idea.

We cut pipe 10" long, welded expanded metal over 1 end. Filled it with 3/4" Rock, and welded on the other end. Then welded on 4 tabs from 2" flatbar about 3" long with 1/2" hole near the top. He placed the pipe on the ground, set the pole on top and drove in lag srcrews that looked older than me after pre drilling 3/8" (Iirc) holes. Then drove the post down.

We delivered them to his place, and most of our crew came, making a shooting day out of it. Customer supplied a couple loaner rifles and ammo as the pay for most of he labor. None of us ever saw a pile driver before- so that was cool too.

I have no knowledge how it would compare to driving with out the pipes there, but it took 10-15 minutes each with those underneath the old telephone poles to actually hammer them in. We only saw him out in 3 of the 40 we made. He seemed pleased with the results.
 

SmithvilleD

Active Member
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St Joseph, MO
#7
The big benefit of using a post driver is speed. Can build fence much faster if ground/conditions allow driving. Many years ago we put in a lot of fence with a Shaver post driver. Augering a hole, setting post, tamping done right - results in a solid post. In most soil conditions, driving the post in with a driver gets same result.

If post has any taper, gotta drive small end into ground. Make sure it's vertical before started as you're soon commited to the set you start with. Rocks cause problems with each method. Some soils get hard enough in the hottest/driest part of the year to make driving tougher - can trim post ends to a point to help.

Posts need to be pretty straight to avoid shattering one & the associated flying debris.

In the early 80's a road between our farms was paved & caused a lot of fence tear out & rebuilding. While building about a mile of new fence, my Dad remarked the goal was to build a fence he'd never need to mend in his remaining lifetime. We used salvage bridge pilings for corner posts & gate posts. Pilings were big enough diameter we augered a typical line post sized hole, chainsawed a bit of taper on the bottom of pilings & drove them in from a few different radial angles around the piling. Drove all the new CCA wooden line posts (each separated by a couple steel posts).

As a high-school kid, I cussed handling those heavy, cut down bridge piling posts. But here we are in 2017 and that fence is still solid. Bridge piling gate posts & corners still hanging square so many years later. Fence building isn't much fun. Moral to the story,... is do it right & you don't have to do it very often.
 
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Twisted Steel Performance

Formerly: sctrailrider
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#8
It's done here but the fence line isn't straight when they drive them and the post kinda lean some.... I have a gas t-post driver that will drive anything up to 2" round, it's the best thing on the farm for saving labor...

I drill & set phone poles for my fence corners about 4-5' deep and use gravel to tamp them in...
 

NVW

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Castor, AB.
#9
All our pasture fence posts are driven. We use 4-5" 6' posts on the stretch.

I hired a custom fencer last year, he built his own pounder on a Nodwell track vehicle. He can go through anything or anywhere. Took him and a man 8 hrs to pound stretch and staple a 1 mile 4 wire fence.
 

SnowDrift

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Thread starter #10
Thanks for all the input. We've had plenty of moisture, so far. I've hit water with every one of my corner posts that are set at 4' deep. I've dug all those by hand. It looks like if the posts are started plumb, then it's pretty well a good deal. I suppose we'll be stringing the line to keep it straight, but I'll have to ask before the guy comes out. I'm picking up the posts, themselves, next week if all goes well, so I'll have an opportunity to ask if he's as anal as I am.

I measured it off and I think my perimeter is just under 1800 ft. - he said he can do that in a day. I don't mind digging the posts, if it comes to it, but for the price this guy is charging, it seems that it will be well worth having him come out.

I see it as an opportunity, too, to learn from this guy. The Amish are fascinating to me in that they have his whole fast world going on around them and they stick to their own traditions and buck the system, so to speak.
 

SmithvilleD

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#11
Also worth noting that any post that winds up not plumb enough to suit, isn't a permanent thing. Can pull it & drive it in nearby, or if even spacing is critical, auger the hole out, & set/tamp it in. The two main reasons driven posts wind up not plumb are: not being careful enough when starting, & posts that aren't straight enough.

I get being picky about it - sighting down a fencerow is like sighting down long straight corn/bean rows. You can see if the fence building or planter operator takes pride in making it look right.
 

SnowDrift

Radical Right Wing Extremist
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Thread starter #13
We drove the posts a couple weeks ago and it turned out really well. The lines are arrow straight and the posts are plumb. They were tight the moment they were driven, too.

Next question - I want to use a fence system without power, so barbed wire is what I had planned. Due to some companies recommending against it due to damage to hides, can anyone suggest an alternative to 6 strands of barbed wire (4 pt.)? I considered several strands of smooth wire at the bottom and then maybe the top two barbed, but I'm no expert. It's difficult to find information on barbed wire fencing, really. Most information is about hi-tensile electric. Anyone with experience on this that can speak to the issue?

I know the information is out there, I just have to find the right person to talk to about it.
 

schiker

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#14
OK, I am no expert but learned a little. What are you trying to fence in or out? That makes a big difference. I usually use "hog" wire smaller rectangles at bottom but approx. 4x6. But it not the best for horses or small animals as the holes are too big. Some horses will try to step it down. The field fence 2x4 holes is better but more $.

If you go with a field fence or hog wire and can do this you might try to raise the bottom up about 6 inches and you can weed eat under it much easier or cut the occasional tree or bush without getting into the wire. I trim annually or so if needed but spray herbicide mostly. Trimming field fence or hog wire ran all the way to the ground is a pain. Also raising it up slightly will make it more formidable appearing fence for horses or cows to lean over and push down.

Really have to know what type of animal or reason for fence.
 

SmithvilleD

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#19
Is the fence on level ground? High tensile wire fencing works best on level ground. Can work in hills, but the more bends in the wire runs, the harder to keep tensioned & more pressure pulling up on low posts & pulling down on high posts.

Very many animals? Reason I ask it that cattle rub/itch fences to death. Animal density & parasite control (using pour-on, insecticide duster, etc) are big factors in how much they rub - but they're gonna rub when they itch. Couple hundred stock cows run on a section is low density so the process is slow. Feedlot concentrations make the process much faster.

We fenced feedlots so the fence would keep cattle inside during a power outage that takes electric fencer down, or a short,fencer problem, too much grass/weeds touching wire, etc.

The electric fencer & wire running ~1-1.5' inside the main fence was primarily to keep the cattle off the main fence so it could last longer term with less fence mending. I wouldn't do a feedlot without electric fence. But if it's just a few animals, or low density concentration of stock cows, electric fence isn't so crucial, but still a fence life enhancer.

I don't think barbed wire is that notable a deterrent to cattle. They'll actually rub on a barbed wire fence more than high tensile wire - guessing because barbed wire scratches their itch better.
 

trouttrooper

Big Blocks ROCK!!!
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#20
what is your reason for not going electric? I use to build a lot of fence and watched a calf go right through a tight 5 line barb wire i had just completed. cattle don't fear barb wire.
 
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