Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘fence maintenance

That Close

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I knew I might not finish trimming the grass along the fence line before the gas ran out but the closer I got, the more I hoped I might make it. My decision to leave the plastic gas can behind probably doomed my chances of not needing it.

There were one and a half lengths between posts left to cut out of the entire distance of our fencing when the motor sputtered out on me. Nothing to do but walk back to the shop garage and bring the gas can back with me.

We haven’t always been proactive about trimming the grass along the fence before it gets problematically tall, especially during the time when there were no horses on the property and we didn’t need the electricity activated. When the fence is electrified, contact with the growth around it puts a load on the circuit that pulls down the voltage.

The first time I used the power trimmer along the fence line, there were several areas where woodier stems of some plants would break the plastic cutting line. This time, around the entire length of our fences, I did not run into anything that the plastic line couldn’t cut. It was very rewarding to discover that we’ve been cutting it enough times now that there is no longer anything robust trying to grow under there.

It fits with what I was writing yesterday in that the job of keeping the growth off the fence is getting easier to manage over time. It would be just fine with me if eventually, nothing tried to grow beneath the fences and I didn’t need to cut it anymore.

I could intentionally neglect it. 🙂



Written by johnwhays

June 6, 2022 at 6:00 am

Posts Pounded

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We made our way around the entire loop of our fencing yesterday, pounding posts back down that our winter freeze had pushed up. Two years ago, after we no longer kept horses inside the fence, I loosened some fence lines to see if that would reduce how much the corner posts appeared to come up.

I don’t think it made any positive difference, but before tightening the wires back up in preparation of turning the electricity on, I wanted to get all the corner posts back down. Most of them moved down multiple inches easily, but a few hardly budged.

We didn’t fuss over those.

If nothing more than psychologically satisfying, it felt like a worthy effort. We rewarded ourselves after all the work by immediately turning on the electricity to the fence wires.

The familiar “click-click-click” came on and the display ramped up to a respectable 12Kvolts energy. Mission Accomplished.


I still need to walk the length and verify voltage is present on all sections.

Cyndie already identified three locations where some arcing is occurring, so I want to look into those in hope of solving the causes.

That situation is no different than what we dealt with regularly back when we previously had horses, so it feels perfectly acceptable for welcoming the arrival of our new 4-horse herd.

We are stoked! We’re expecting to receive delivery on Friday. Hopefully, that can be confirmed after today’s visit from This Old Horse.



Written by johnwhays

April 12, 2021 at 6:00 am

Fence Maintenance

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I’ve tried a number of methods in dealing with fence posts that get pushed up by the freezing and thawing cycles that occur in our location. Our land has areas where the level of ground water sits just below the surface. It will drop during extended drought, but otherwise it doesn’t take much digging to reach moisture.

Every time it freezes, the water expands and the pressure slowly but surely pushes fence posts toward the sky.

Upon consultation with the owner of the company that originally installed our fencing, I learned that they would likely use a skid-steer tractor and press down with the hydraulic bucket. He suggested I save their time and my money and use the same method with my diesel tractor.

So, I did, and was amazed at how easily that pushed posts down. Almost too easy. It requires painstaking control and mental focus to avoid wreaking total havoc by overtaxing the limits of the posts or cross planks. One wrong slip and I risk doing much more damage than improvement.

There is one other complication with that method that pretty much stops me from even driving up to the fence. The ground in many of the areas of pushed up posts is so wet that my big tractor would sink into the mud and create an even messier problem to be solved.

That led me to desperately trying to simplify the task by just pounding down on the most obvious posts that had pushed up. Several different techniques to protect the post from damage and get the right angle and leverage all brought minimal results.

Yesterday spawned a new insight. I had a hand tool with a square steel pad for tamping soil that I figured would work to pound the top of the posts without damaging them. I also thought it wouldn’t hurt to add my 170 pounds of pressure to stand on a plank when slamming down on the top of a post.



The thing is, I couldn’t feel if it was doing any good. I enlisted Cyndie’s help to watch for progress, which ended up providing great encouragement when she would report how much it was working.

I was thrilled. Right up to the point the steel tamper began to shatter under the mis-use. I tried to carry on, but the loss of weight in the tool seemed to diminish progress. Another tool was needed. We don’t have a specific sledge hammer, but I contemplated rigging something to use the wood splitting maul for the purpose.

That’s when the next inspiration struck. I could modify the broken tamper to make it the handle of a weighty block of wood that would match the fence posts I was pounding.


Look out fence posts. Here I come.