Friday, November 27, 2009

Driving T posts with a tractor

You might have noticed that the order I construct my fencing is 1) fenceline prep, 2) braces and gates, 3) stretch wire, 4) T posts.  I do it that way becuase I get a better looking fence.  Once you've stretched the fence, driving the T posts in becomes easy. 

I've found that the front loader on my tractor does a fairly good job of driving T posts into my river-bottom soil.  Not many rocks, and heavy-duty T posts are pretty tough, so you can just push them in.  To do that I'll go and tap each T post in by hand, so that they stand up.  In this case I want the T post to stick out about a foot above the level of the fence so that I can put a hot wire there if I chose.   The white painted area is easy to see so I'll drive these down with the bucket until the white area is about level with the top of the fence. 

Here's the veiw from the cab of the tractor as I prepare to push this post in. 

The biggest challenge is to make sure that the teeth on the t post don't hook into and cut the wire of the fence.  If you're working with someone, you can have them pull the fence down, but I'm workig alone today.  So what I do is orient the tractor so that the front tire of the tractor pushes on the fence a little.  Not much, but an inch or two.  This pushes it out of the way so that I can drive the t post. 

Here the taut fence is about an inch from the posts. 

Doing it this way I can drive 150-175 T posts per day.  Manually setting them, and then moving from post to post with the tractor to drive them.  The one problem is when you run across some tough ground, and it gives way all at once.  So I'm careful to slowly increase the pressure.  I've had to pull a couple of posts up and out so that I have a nice pretty fence with all of the posts in a line. 

Yea, the animals won't care about it, but I like seeing nice, straight fences that have a uniform appearance.  And not just for my ego -- it's easier to tell if they've been moved or damaged, so you spot problems sooner.

2 comments: said...

Looks like it works pretty slick. I have never tried the t-posts before, but they look easier to handle than wood posts and they won't rot. I might just re-think my fencing because of this.

Steven Romero said...

Kubotas are cool. You have a Kubota. That's cool.