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Driving T-Posts


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#1 cvm2002

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 09:22 AM

SO....we're going to put in our temporary pasture and have a bunch of T-posts to drive. New venture for both my husband and I, so if anyone has any tips or recommendations on how to do it a little more effectively, we'd appreciate it. That post driver is heavy. I'm thinking a pulley system needs to be rigged....

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#2 Greenhaven

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:22 AM

If your soil is not too heavy or rocky you could have a friend who has a bucket on a tractor press them in for you. If the soil is really dry then dumping a bucket of water where each post will go a few hours ahead of time will soften things up. Otherwise, unfortunately, it is brute work. Lucky for us our new place is really sandy and driving was easy-peasy.

I am thinking a pulley-system could potentially work except:

-engineering it will take more time than the actual driving
-one person operation will be unlikely to get the posts in straight
-each post will need two people to install.

So: don't let the post driver free-fall on the downstroke, but limit your effort to guiding it to hit straight. Let the weight of the driver do the work for you even though it will take longer. Driving posts will deplete you faster than you can imagine!

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#3 Peppers Dad

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:34 AM

cvm,

I've seen these post drivers advertised in horse publications that run of propane, I was thinking possibile that might something you could rent. Also look for some teenage boys that need something to keep them busy, someone has to make sure those posts are going in a straight line, & that would be your job. I wish you well. Best Wishes. PD

#4 gaitinalong

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 11:39 AM

Ditto soaking the ground ahead of time if you can but you're in Washington can you wait for a good rain?

I am only 5' 3" and if a good rain comes along, I can drive them by myself <---it also helps to be tissed at Mr. Gaitin' and pretend the T-post is his head :yahoo: :yahoo:

#5 LostHorseRider

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:31 PM

5' or 5 1/2' post help to. Unless you just have to have a taller fence.

We have 2 drivers. One you can hardly pick up and is close to 80 lbs or so. And one that is lighter closer to 20lbs

The smaller one is a lot easyer to use but it takes longer to get the post in. Bigger one takes more effort but gets the post in quicker.
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#6 Hibiscus

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:44 PM

Ditto waiting until after a good rain. That's about the only thing I've found that helps somewhat. What kind of soil do you have? In my area, it is hard packed GA red clay. Hard as a brick unless it rains, then it is mud. We don't get an in between here, haha.

#7 Guilherme

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:47 PM

I've corresponded with a few folks that have these:

http://store.rohrerm...px?categoryID=4

The consensus was that the smallest unit was underpowered and that the next step up was a decent piece of gear. Google this and maybe you can find more information.

One thought would be to fashion a bracket and mount this on a front end loader.

If you try and drive t-posts into hard soil with a front end loader all you'll do is end up with a bunch of bent t-posts. Wetting the soil can help.

Another alternative is to do the wetting at night (just about "can't see") and begin driving in the early morning (like start at "can see"). At least you'll be out of the heat of the Sun and reduce the risk of dehydration.

Run a string so that the fence goes in straight. Use a level to ensure the posts are straight.

Absent a mechanical device this is just, plain hard work. Have some ibuprofin available to east the inevitable muscle and joint discomfort. :smilie:

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#8 cvm2002

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 01:49 PM

Well, we have clay. Good news, its Washington and it hasn't been THAT dry. Bad news, we haven't had rain in a week or so. But we do have a good neighbor with a big tractor with a bucket. Maybe we can sweet talk him into letting us borrow it. Probably should brush hog that pasture down anyhow.....

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#9 ozland

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:55 PM

If you are short like me, you slide the post pounder over the post BEFORE standing it up in position. I CANNOT lift it high enough to get it on otherwise. Old shoulders have just pounded too many of them to still work right.

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#10 Greenhaven

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 02:59 PM

If you are short like me, you slide the post pounder over the post BEFORE standing it up in position.


Oh yeah! Excellent point, and quite valid, short or not.

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#11 Cheri Wolfe

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 05:00 PM

If you drive them with a tractor bucket, slide a piece of pipe (we use 2 7/8 oilfield tubing) over the T post. Cut it off the exact length you want the post to stand and the tractor will stop driving it right at that height. You can weld an end in it or just slip it over the post like it is. Just be sure you put in on the post while the post is on the ground. We have a BIG Ford tractor (130 hp I think) and it just crinkles up T posts that do not have a piece of pipe over them.

#12 smokeslastspot

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 02:40 PM

If you end up doing it by hand make sure to watch our for your head. The last time my dad drove posts he was lifting the driver off the post he just pounded in and the top of the driver fell back and hit him on the head. Luckily it was one of the light ones. He woke up with all the horses standing in a circle around him and Thor was licking his face. He was ok, just had a sore head. Now we wait until my stepbrother gets in trouble and make him do it.
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#13 cvm2002

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Posted 11 July 2011 - 08:59 PM

Well, we got 2 of 3 sides done by hand, including the corner bracing. I did 2 posts and could barely breathe. Thank goodness my hubby is a good egg. Now the line looks like we were drunk, but that's another story....let's say "not exactly straight".

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#14 jacie

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 12:20 AM

oh and never rest your hand on top of the post immediately as you clear the post driver off of it. or rather, always keep two hands on the post driver

it can wobble and rotate not in the direction you were thinking and land right on your hand sitting on top of the T post.

just ask hubby who I had to take to the ER because he did exactly that. 3 days after our son was born even, he was being nice and making my fence larger :)

#15 Cat2

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 01:02 AM

My best recommendation for T post pounding is to go buy property in a swamp. Drive your T posts there. Definitely don't move into the Sierra Nevada Mountains where the previous property owner had a bulldozer and scraped the topsoil off down to where there is just a bit of clay and then ROCK. Granite ROCK. We have bent more T-posts than I ever care to try to drive again. However, we've also gotten good at straightening them. :indifferent:

#16 Amazona

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 10:45 AM

You find someone like me who LOVES driving T posts! haha I love the shoulder workout!

#17 Greenhaven

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 08:21 PM

Now the line looks like we were drunk, but that's another story....let's say "not exactly straight".


Lol! Well, it IS easier to get them all in a row then to get them all in plumb, especially when you are driving into rock or clay. Good thing it's temporary, and your horses don't care, right?

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"Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape."

"Learn the art of horsemanship fully, for the horse is not prejudiced, and will throw a prince as quick as a groom" -Xenophon via sisely

Board buddies I have met: ozland, rattusrats, serendell, Wild Rose, kat, WildMare, Serah Rose, BarnBarb831, RailroadWoman, *BurgundyBlankets*, spanish_walkin_wannabe, Appaloosa Luver, journeysgirl
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#18 Chardavej

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Posted 12 July 2011 - 09:13 PM

Well it's probably too late for you for my suggestion, but what hubby and I did is rent a hydrolic t-post pounder, put it on a utility trailer with the t-posts, a generator and air compressor (which is what this one was powered by). We had the compressor and generator, if you don't you could probably rent them all at the same place.

We even put a fan on the trailer to keep us cool!

We ran the compressor off the generator, it filled up the air-tpost pounder. It would put a t-post in the ground in a matter of seconds, and we had hard dry clay! Like cement. We got 4 acres done in about 2 hours. It was wonderful! I could have done it by myself. Wish we had taken pics of the set up. It was SOOOO worth the 50.00 for the weekend rental, and we only used it for a couple of hours!

This is like what we used: http://www.diglessfe...ostPounder.html

#19 Indianshuffler

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 03:53 AM

Well it's probably too late for you for my suggestion, but what hubby and I did is rent a hydrolic t-post pounder, put it on a utility trailer with the t-posts, a generator and air compressor (which is what this one was powered by). We had the compressor and generator, if you don't you could probably rent them all at the same place.

We even put a fan on the trailer to keep us cool!

We ran the compressor off the generator, it filled up the air-tpost pounder. It would put a t-post in the ground in a matter of seconds, and we had hard dry clay! Like cement. We got 4 acres done in about 2 hours. It was wonderful! I could have done it by myself. Wish we had taken pics of the set up. It was SOOOO worth the 50.00 for the weekend rental, and we only used it for a couple of hours!

This is like what we used: http://www.diglessfe...ostPounder.html


What a wonderful tool. Now that we are older, and the son has found out he is not invincible, I can see this saving us much labor.
Thanks so much for passing this along.
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#20 Greenhaven

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 07:56 AM

What a wonderful tool. Now that we are older, and the son has found out he is not invincible, I can see this saving us much labor.
Thanks so much for passing this along.


Ditto that! Although I am pretty sure such tools do not exist around here.

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My Tuesday!

 

 

"Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape."

"Learn the art of horsemanship fully, for the horse is not prejudiced, and will throw a prince as quick as a groom" -Xenophon via sisely

Board buddies I have met: ozland, rattusrats, serendell, Wild Rose, kat, WildMare, Serah Rose, BarnBarb831, RailroadWoman, *BurgundyBlankets*, spanish_walkin_wannabe, Appaloosa Luver, journeysgirl
nagolder (phone)