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View Full Version : TX folks - pipe fencing?



Melelio
Aug. 29, 2011, 09:00 PM
I see alot of Texas farms have the pipe fencing (up near Dallas area). How much does that cost to get installed, and can Joe Homeowner do it? What equipment does one use? Do you need to concrete the posts? How would one attach no climb mesh to it? (for dog proofing)

crosscreeksh
Aug. 29, 2011, 10:33 PM
This is partially hearsay info....most of the existing pipe fencing you see inTx and OK (where we moved to 6 years ago) was built many years ago when there was a lot of oil well drilling and the old pipe was used for fencing...it DOES last well!! With steel prices so high, the current cost of pipe is extremely high. Only a professional welder can install it and have it look nice...smooth, solid joints and welds - NOT an EZ job or for Harry Homeowner!! We did two sides of our driveway entrance when we moved here. Posts and top rail pipe with 4 strands of vinyl coated wire. The cost for approximately 500' came to around $5,000 and our SIL did the welding!! Attaching mesh wire would present a whole new set of costs and problems because No-Climb is best installed when secured at many points vertically. Plus the fact that pipe fencing is deadly when horses paw, strike or kick it. The pipe stays in place...the leg breaks!! Scares the heck out of me. JMO, but I wouldn't go that route.

jetsmom
Aug. 29, 2011, 11:03 PM
We've had pipe rail fencing at the last 3 barns I've been at (over an 11 yr period.). I like it, as it wears well, and is secure (3 rail pipe fencing). I have only had 2 incidents during that time with injuries. One was Jet, trying to mess with a horse next to him, and the horse kicked at him, and he pulled his head back, hitting the fence and wrenching his nuchal ligament. He recovered fine eventually. Another horse broke it's shoulder running into the fence 2 yrs ago.
I'd say it's as safe as any fence out there...considering that all fencing has it's pros and cons.

Melelio
Aug. 30, 2011, 09:31 AM
I ask because alot of the places we're looking at already have it, and we would need to add a bit more fence here and there on some of the properties. I wondered if we ought to add that type, or go with something that doesn't match, to save some $$ . Kinda sounds like different would save $$ . And I'm no welder, ask my welder neighbor :lol: Those machines scare me! :winkgrin:

RacetrackReject
Aug. 30, 2011, 09:56 AM
Ditto what Crosscreek said. I have lots and lots of pipewelded fencing on my farm (some is even, of all things, stainless), but the previous owner was a welder and built it all himself with pipe he was able to get from various companies due to his job.
I don't know about adding field fence to the pipe fencing, but I have cattle panels welded to some of my pipe fencing because the previous owner was a roper and had calves and goats that needed to be kept in. It would work well for larger dogs, but not so much for dogs that are smaller and don't respect fencing. My Jack Russell could go through the fence if he wanted, but he respects his boundaries and doesn't. Of course he is only with me outside, never alone.
I don't care for the cattle paneled areas for the horses because they could get a leg hung in it if kicking out at the fence, but in 4 years, I haven't had any issues with that.
You can probably see the cattle paneled fencing in the background of this photo.
http://photosbyjohnnie.weebly.com/uploads/6/7/7/7/6777391/4059111.jpg

Here you can see the panels connected to the stainles fencing and then the regular pipe welded fencing. This is one of my paddocks off of the grass arena. I had just moved in. I owned no cats, the previous owners left quite a few >.> .
http://i439.photobucket.com/albums/qq111/weltemaker/DSCN0310.jpg

Sonesta
Aug. 30, 2011, 12:27 PM
Yeah, all that pipe fencing was put up when there was so much surplus oil well drilling pipe available. You don't see people putting it up much now that pipe is so expensive.

And I hate it. It rusts and when the horses (inevitably) rub against it and stick their heads through it, the rust discolors their coats and rubs the hairs out of their manes.

jetsmom
Aug. 30, 2011, 12:47 PM
And I hate it. It rusts and when the horses (inevitably) rub against it and stick their heads through it, the rust discolors their coats and rubs the hairs out of their manes.

We keep ours painted, and never had that problem. But it's also not humid here, so maybe if you live in an area of high humidity, that's more of a problem.

E D
Aug. 30, 2011, 01:25 PM
I paid $5,000 two years ago for 400 feet of welded horse panels attached to pipe fencing with top rail. My hay guy did it in the off season and was able to order the wire panels in bulk for a discount. The horse wire panels come in 5' x 20' sections and after drilling in the uprights and welding on the top rail, he welded the panels to the framework with welded seams at the uprights. I shared the cost with my neighbor so my share was only $2500. Worth every penny. This fence is not going anywhere. My neighbor has the three rail pipe fence and he says he likes this line of fencing better. I also warned him that I didn't plan to paint it. We have been here 17 years and he has painted his fence at least four times already. Too much work for me! The rest of my fencing is 5' no climb horse wire with wood posts and top board. I would replace it in a heartbeat if I won the lottery.

MeghanDACVA
Aug. 30, 2011, 09:24 PM
In TX and OK you can get old oil well pipe "cheap". (please note the quotation marks). Not many trees but lots of pipe.

If you have to hire a welder, it will get pricey.
You can do it yourself if you are handy with a welder and the various different rods and such. You are welding hard steel and if using sucker rod, you are welding different metals. You will need a welder that can weld upside down, or at least sort of so you can get all the way around the pipes. And need what they call "saddles" which are jigs for the cut outs where the horizontal pipes join the vertical pipes. And a cutting torch to cut the saddles with.

My DH did all of ours but he is very handy with a welder, and it gave him the perfect excuse to buy a new, bigger, fancier welder :-) But it isn't for the faint of heart, trust me.

If you have access to wood, use it. Cheaper and easier.

spinandslide
Aug. 31, 2011, 10:49 AM
When we moved to texas 11 years ago, we bought pipe to create our pen fences..we then used "no climb" wire and used a pipe toprail.

We bought new pipe..my concern with "used" pipe is what was it used for before we bought it (as in, if we start using a torch to cut it, are we going to blow ourselves to kingdom come?) and the fact used pipe is generally more "dirty"..as in greasey and oily..ick..

this is what we did..cemented in the ground pipe posts..each one had a "saddle" cut in it to fit the toprail..which was welded on. We then created "pull" bars.."sucker rod" which my husband wrapped the no climb around (strand by strand..tedious work)..we then attached bolts to it and fit the bolts thru holes pre-cut in the corner posts..and fitted the bolts with nuts. used a puller on the tractor to tighten the fence and then sqrewed down the nuts..each corner had brace poles welded too. each pole we went to, we'd use wire and tie the fence to the pole.
you can see the no climb in this picture
http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/horse-forums/members/spinandslide-albums-larkspur+lena-picture69870-lena.jpg

I am very anti no climb now..its "good"..but after 11 years, it all needs to be replaced..its easy to overtighten it..which is what happened..and horses messing on the fenceline have caused extra stress.

We have started replacing with the v-mesh and abit different design..putting it up off the ground, with a bottom rail too. This obviously doesnt work for my sheep..but works well for the cattle and horses..
you can see the vmesh in the backround of this picture.
http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/pictures/files/3/1/9/7/4/sam_0611.jpg

its alot more expensive then regular no climb, but it has abit of "bounce" to it..if that makes sense...I like it..we'll be gradually re-doing all the fence on our place.

Sipsi
Aug. 31, 2011, 10:55 PM
Lots of good pros and cons, but I'll not have it. Had a neighbor's foal break it's neck from slamming into the fence. All babies fence test - love no climb (wish I could afford the v-mesh!) They hit it and bounce back. Some even get up and do it again.....

IrishWillow
Sep. 3, 2011, 01:31 PM
I have "two rail" 5ft tall pipe fence. Its pretty much indestructible and my entire place would be pipe if I could afford it. Costs about $10 a foot. I'm on the east side of Dallas in sandy soil, which is VERY soft. So its very hard to get most other types of fences to work. I currently have t-posts and Centaur poly wire, which I am CONSTANTLY (read: Daily) repairing. If you go that route, make sure theres electric on it. I would highly recommend pipe- yes, all fencing can cause injuries, but pipe is extremely low maintenance fence. The no climb is all great unless you have a pawer or use it for cross fencing... they will 'bend' the no climb fence over time. Its not pretty and too expensive to look bad after a year.

IrishWillow
Sep. 3, 2011, 01:34 PM
I will also say that... for 99% of people, once they have pipe fence, they never go back. It definitely spoils you. Do paint it if you have a light colored horse- the rust will stain their coats on a grey. Rustoleum makes a great metal paint, and even makes a "rust" colored paint that wont show wear so easily. I'd say you have to paint every 10 years.

clanter
Sep. 3, 2011, 05:00 PM
..cemented in the ground pipe posts...

Could I add a word of caution... IF you have an automatic gate system on the gates of this type of fencing you need to have installed a bonded grounding rod with bonded attachments to the pipe rails between the gates and the runs of fencing.

A lightening strike can travel thousands of feet in a steel fence and it will blow the electrons out of gate operators and access control equipment. (I have actually seen a horse standing near a pipe and cable fence get knocked down from a strike 750 feet down the line)

The posts being cemented into place are not grounded.

On airport projects the fence lines have to be grounded every 500 ft or at each turn of the fence line.

BasqueMom
Sep. 3, 2011, 05:42 PM
We are in the Dallas area also. All pipe is not created equal. The previous owner put up previously used pipe. We've had splitting, holes, etc. There is a place in Oklahoma that sells tons of pipe fencing.....www.gobob.com, I think. They have a very good section on why you should not use reclaimed oil field pipe. Sections we took down from the previous owner still had oil in them.

However, reject pipe that is not quite up to snuff for the oilfields is what we have used. Last project was this spring and it was $2.00 a foot for the pipe so
$16 a post (8 foot). Because of our thick layer of limestone, we have used pipe for corners, bracing, etc. This time we used pipe for all the posts on the line we replaced of used oilfield piping. It's five strands of coated wire on pipe posts, no top rail of pipe. Dh painted the posts and strung the PolyPlus himself.

We have hired someone to pound the posts through the rock...one post may take two minutes and another 20 minutes. He also welded the clips on for the
Centaur coated wire and the caps. We replaced one short line of T-Sleeves on
t-posts with all pipe posts. We weren't able to set the t-posts down more than
12 inches due to the limestone layer. Horses had stuck their heads through and
the t-posts were leaning. We have one line of Centaur on wood posts--it ended up costing $26 a hole (no post, no concrete) due to the rock condition.

In 2002, we got estimates of $7.50 to $22 a running foot for pipe and/or pipe and cable. In early 1996, we paid $2.85 a foot for six strands of coated wire on wood posts in Colorado (included posts, wire, and installation).

We do have non-climb attached to the pipe posts in the back of the yard that
separates it from the arena...not sure how it is attached. We also had it around
our back yard in Colorado to keep dog in and away from the horses.

Have noticed a lot of the new pipe installations locally have panels or non-climb
welded to them, often a few inches off the ground with a bottom pipe rail as well as a top rail. Some have long standoff electric insulators with a strand of
electric installed.

They seem to be fairly high maintenance...lots of painting, cable rubs manes. For every one nice pipe install, there are five that look like S__t. Two large facilities along the service road have had vehicles hit their road side fence line
and it takes out several hundred feet--kind of like dominos falling over. The soil tends to like to shift around here and have seen other installs where top rails no longer meet, etc due ground shifting.

MeghanDACVA
Sep. 5, 2011, 10:52 PM
We have had wood fence (various woods-rough cut oak to finished boards), regular electric wire, various electric "tapes", high tensile, and even (gasp!) barbed wire. Also American wire and no climb.

pros/cons:
Wood: looks great. Needs regular painting. Boards come loose = nails. Boards break = impale horse. Springs when hit it = doesn't hurt horse. Put posts on inside = horses run into them; put posts on outside = safer since horse can't run into them; put posts on outside and battens on side to keep boards from coming loose if hit = horse horse puts foot in space between post and batten; splinters; chewing. No wood in OK (ie expensive) but readily available when we lived in VA.
Electric: wire = wire. Tape = wire plus plastic = really bad burns plus cuts. Once touched most horses won't go near again. Visible, not visible. Too dry = doesn't ground = no shock when touched. Fire hazard. Power source (they all suck). Post optionsl--metal (bad?), fiberglass (flexible, splinters, can still impale), wood = standoffs. All sorts of various risks with each and ever sort of insulator or standoff (my mare chews on them with the fence on)
High Tensile: Needs to put up properly. Tensioning springs = adjust regularly. Cost. Visibility. Number of posts. Strong corners to pull against. Can be electricified, or not. Wire = potential for wire cuts. (Note: I have found properly installed high tensile to be the safest of all fence types, TBH. You can make it very visible, it has lots of give but is taught, etc)
Mesh wires: American wire is a foot trap, esp with shoes. V wire = everybody's dream but is very $$$$$$. Welded no climb= used to be high on my list until my good horse got cut very badly on it. All must be kept tight, horses lean on them.
PVC/Vinyl/Whatever: very pretty. Very flimsy. Melts in case of fire (faster than wood burns). Cost.
Pipe: Durable and if put up correctly it lasts for just about forever. Cost of installation, current steel prices. Used vs new pipe (all of ours is used and are very clean and good quality). If repair is needed = need a welder = cost +/- time of year (I wouldn't recommend repairing pipe fence in Tx or OK right now during the drought!). Cable vs sucker rod vs but each pipe between posts. Paint or not to paint, that is the question. Does conduct electricity (we had a high power line fall and contact a boundry fence that attached to our pipe fence. Current ran down to, and thru, the pipe fence and welded 2 gates to their respective chain latches!!).


Have I missed something?

The perfect fence? Yet to be invented.

spinandslide
Sep. 6, 2011, 10:30 AM
Could I add a word of caution... IF you have an automatic gate system on the gates of this type of fencing you need to have installed a bonded grounding rod with bonded attachments to the pipe rails between the gates and the runs of fencing.

A lightening strike can travel thousands of feet in a steel fence and it will blow the electrons out of gate operators and access control equipment. (I have actually seen a horse standing near a pipe and cable fence get knocked down from a strike 750 feet down the line)

The posts being cemented into place are not grounded.

On airport projects the fence lines have to be grounded every 500 ft or at each turn of the fence line.

we dont have automatic gates..so we didnt design our fencing for it..but definantly good to know!!