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planting t-posts, and caps

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  • planting t-posts, and caps

    e are renting a property for the horses, and need to put up one section of fencing in the front. The rest is done with t-posts, and we are in a hurry to get it done, so wooden posts in clay soil is out. Stuck with t-posts.

    What's the best way to plant them? Do the spring-loaded drivers help much? I would try to rent an air-powered driver, but our compressor is on a moving truck. This is clay soil, shouldn't have many rocks.

    Second, are the square plastic caps better, or would the vinyl caps be OK? I've used the square plastic ones in the past, but the vinyl ones are almost 1/3 the price. I will be stringing hotwire up over the top of the field fence we will be using, so that will keep them from wanting to mess with the posts in the first place.

  • #2
    I'd just whang them in with one of those heavy drivers. Careful standing on a ladder while dehydrated and trying to use one, though. They HURT when they land on your head!

    I have just used the little rounded caps that pop on the top, with clips to hold the fencing material, rather than a whole sleeve for the T-post. Much less expensive and very quick and easy to use. I got them at TSC.
    Click here before you buy.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
      I'd just whang them in with one of those heavy drivers. Careful standing on a ladder while dehydrated and trying to use one, though. They HURT when they land on your head!

      I have just used the little rounded caps that pop on the top, with clips to hold the fencing material, rather than a whole sleeve for the T-post. Much less expensive and very quick and easy to use. I got them at TSC.
      Yup, all that.
      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
      http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
        I'd just whang them in with one of those heavy drivers. Careful standing on a ladder while dehydrated and trying to use one, though. They HURT when they land on your head!

        I have just used the little rounded caps that pop on the top, with clips to hold the fencing material, rather than a whole sleeve for the T-post. Much less expensive and very quick and easy to use. I got them at TSC.
        What kind of heavy driver? The spring-loaded kind? The one at the local TSC felt broken, as in the spring felt useless. The weight of the thing made the spring compress just sitting on the rack. Or do you mean just smack it in with a sledgehammer?

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        • #5
          The ones we have are plain steel tubes with a handle on each side. The top of the tube is solid and very heavy. You just slide the driver over the post and slam it up and down by hand. It's hard work, but what on a farm isn't?
          "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
          http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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          • #6
            Originally posted by kinnip View Post
            The ones we have are plain steel tubes with a handle on each side. The top of the tube is solid and very heavy. You just slide the driver over the post and slam it up and down by hand. It's hard work, but what on a farm isn't?
            Yep. All that. But compared to digging fence holes, it's a WHOLE lot easier.

            And IIRC, the spring-loaded ones are meant to push the driver back up, after driving the post down. Personally, I never found myself hurting or tiring by moving it up, and it sounds like it may even get in the way a little.
            The dude abides ...

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            • #7
              Yes, I meant the plain heavy tubes with handles on them. It's tedious, but I find the sound and vibration/impact much more bothersome than the weight . . . Not sure a spring-loaded one would make it any easier. Good hearing protection and heavy gloves.
              Click here before you buy.

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              • #8
                I'm all for avoiding moving parts when possible.
                "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kinnip View Post
                  The ones we have are plain steel tubes with a handle on each side. The top of the tube is solid and very heavy. You just slide the driver over the post and slam it up and down by hand. It's hard work, but what on a farm isn't?
                  This.

                  Also, I suggest going for the taller T-posts. A horse is much less likely to come down on one when the top is up high.

                  I use the hard plastic caps that look like mushrooms.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    We got 6.5' poles, plan to skin them farther than the little arrow piece though for more stability. Ordering the hard plastic caps from Jeffers, and hotwiring the top. Mine wont touch hotwire, so that will keep them back off it. They ill have a bit over 4 acres of grass and trees and such to keep them busy, so they should be fine.

                    Hubby is in for some fun planting these things. The hardware store showed him how to use the driver. I guess I will have to help put up the field fence though, cause the roll might be too cumbersome for one person. He's not very mechanically inclined as it is.

                    Now to find some of the corner braces...

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                    • #11
                      Handling field fence is definitely a two man job. It is very heavy. How do you plan to stretch it?
                      "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                      http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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                      • #12
                        TSC has corner braces, in bins near the electric fence supplies.

                        Are you sure you want to put up field fence? Seconding Kinnip here.

                        I'm happy with our t-posts and braced t-post corners but we have a very light weight electrobraid fence - no way were we going to hang the mesh stuff without at least a wooden post every fourth one and wooden braced corners. Even here in E-podunk country they fasten that stuff to trees or wood posts.
                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                        Incredible Invisible

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          We did field fence at our last property, though not attached to t-posts. If t-posts braced won't hold the field fence, we can do wooden posts at the corners. I did get the extra-long t-posts, so they will be 2.5' in the ground, 4' above ground. I can concrete the corner ones in too.

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                          • #14
                            Extra-long T-posts are 8' - that's what I have.

                            For an all T-post fence like this, I'd use horseguard or another electric fence.
                            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              It's going to have hotwire. The field fence is primarily as an extra boundary in case the fence charger goes out, and to keep the little dogs on their side of the fence. Just field fence, no matter what posts I used, will get pushed down in no time flat when they try to graze on the wrong side of the fence.

                              I wouldn't plant wooden poles more than 3' in the ground. In FL we did them about 2.5' deep. Poles were 7 feet long IIRC. We dug all the holes by hand, and it's very very difficult to get down more than 3 feet without making a huge hole.

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                              • #16
                                I have about 7 acres of very rocky land fenced with T-posts, plastic mushroom caps and Horseguard fence.

                                From my (hard-won) experience, I have one over-riding tip for you. Let the driver do the work. Don't feel you have to put force into the downward stroke, just lift and drop. I find a step stool to be invaluable so I'm not trying to lift all that weight over my head to get it off the post.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  The hardware store definitely said the same thing about letting the driver do the work. We need to get a step stool or something, since ours is in a moving truck (grrr). I think, with the t-posts planted 2.5 feet deep, braced at the corners and with hotwire to keep them off it, it should work out fine. Mine are very respectful of hotwire.

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                                  • #18
                                    We used the spring-loaded pounder from TSC. You will get an arm workout, but I think they work well, and we have VERY rocky soil. That's the part that sucked, when you would hit a rock.

                                    I would not do sleeves, btw. Unless you have perfectly straight lines and not alot of wind, they wobble around alot. I don't like them at all.

                                    I just used DARE brand caps for the top that had the clip for the tape, and then insulators the rest of the way down. When done right, I don't think that tposts look bad. Anything that's uniform looks nice, IMO. Its when its all hodge-podge and a million different kinds of insulators/tape/posts that I think it looks poorly put together.

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                                    • #19
                                      We used the front loader of our tractor to put them in in really hard soil - just pushed them in - not bang, bang, bang. It was GREAT!!!

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                                      • #20
                                        There shouldn't be anything wrong with properly braced t-post corners. The little adaptors they make are pretty easy to use, just keep an eye on it while you stretch the fence. We've bent a few t-posts with overzealous tightening.
                                        "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
                                        http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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