"Your fencing is only as strong as the fence posts it's secured to"
A well-constructed, well-positioned fence is one of the most effective farm management tools. It’s an investment that protects your stock and crops, so it pays to install it properly.
Your fence is likely to be one of your biggest property investments this year, so be sure it’s properly installed by using the correct materials and installation techniques. We can’t stress enough that fencing is only as strong as the fence posts it’s secured to. The best fencing product in the world can’t protect your livestock if it can’t withstand animal pressure and the elements.
Start at the End
Strainer posts, or end assemblies, are the foundations of a fence. They anchor the fence at its corners, support gates, and provide a tensioning point for long sections of fencing. As such they are critical to the overall stability of the fence.
A braced post is designed to take the tension from the horizontal fence wires; wires furthest from the ground exerting the greatest force.
The pull of those wires is offset by diagonal bracing to keep the fence upright and straight.
End assembly selection
Timber strainer posts are common in many parts of Australia and favoured by many farmers and contractors because of tradition, supply, and ease of working (especially when cutting out mortices).
Steel posts have enjoyed a growing following in recent decades because of their strength, ease of installation and the intermittent supply of good timber posts.
The latest steel end assemblies feature round or square profiles that can be driven into the ground with a mechanical driver making erection easier. A pipe stay is used for bracing into a footplate eliminating the need to dig-in a stay block.
See the installation of the Stockpost End Assembly system here.
Fence posts are designed to support the wire fencing along the fence line. These are predominantly in the form of steel ‘Y’ posts in Australia however timber posts are still used to provide a different aesthetic. If you use timber posts, check out local knowledge about local timbers. Avoid timber if there is the potential problem of termites or fire in your area.
Steel ‘Y’ posts are lighter than timber and easy to install. They can be driven with a manual or mechanical driver. To assist in ensuring your posts are driven to the correct depth, Stockpost fence posts have a line mark indicating how far to drive them; this simple device ensures your fence height is even at all points above the ground.
Steel ‘Y’ posts are available in hot-dipped galvanised – ideal for coastal areas and slightly more expensive – and black bituminous – featuring a barrier coating suitable to most soil types.
A heavier form of fence post is the intermediate post used typically as every fifth post. The size of the post provides additional fence line stability in longer runs. Traditionally timber has been used but, again, supply and recent price increases have seen the adoption of steel, like the Stockpost XL post.
Faster Fence Posts
Time is money and there is no doubt that fencing is a tough job. Efforts to improve the fencing process are always welcome and Whites Rural’s Ute pack is an Australian idea, designed locally for faster fencing.
Traditional slings are commonly sold in lots of 400 with wire ties around every bundle of 10 posts. Stockpost Ute Pack features the same Stockpost fence post but in a lots of 200 in a clamp-down pack. This means that the sling of posts can be transported to site on a ute (200 post weigh less than a ton); and, once on site, the clamp-down bolts are loosened and the posts remove quickly and more easily.
When properly installed, your fence can be expected to last 20-25 years or more depending on conditions and maintenance. Whether you hire a fencing contractor or install it yourself it is good to understand the correct type of post and installation practices that play a critical role the longevity of your fence.
See the Whites Rural videos page for more tips on fencing.