Home' Smart Farmer : Dec 2012 - Jan 2013 Contents December 2012 / January 2013
but skills here to stay
skills needed to put up a fence, like
being able to strain a wire, tie a knot
and put posts in - those skills are
As to what sort of fencing products
people should use, Mr Nunan is a big
advocate of steel posts and thinks
they may even be viable in wet areas
"In wetter areas, you've got to
watch salt and rust, but companies
like Watarah are coming up with bet-
ter galvanising all the time," he said.
Fencing Contractor Bob Gilbert
uses steel posts when he works in the
Flinders region, but sticks to wood
most of the time.
He's been in the industry for 25
years working mostly around the
Mallee, which he says isn't suited to
"Wood seems to last better, we have
a lot of rust with steel posts here."
"The trick is using cambio posts,
which have a natural finish and the
bark left on, so last much longer.
I've used 45-year-old cambio posts
and been able to drive them back into
the ground," he said.
"The smooth posts look a lot better,
but they just don't last."
As for wire, Mr Gilbert recom-
mends 70/30 or 70/45 for most
fences, with a couple of barbed
strands on top.
"If you've got cattle run four barbs,
but for horses run a couple of plains
and a sighter wire," he said.
Down on the Fleurieu Peninsula,
Garth Miller of GRM Contracting also
sticks with wooden posts, but has a
trick up his sleeve for especially wet
"The rule of thumb is, if its a wet
area we try to use black creosote
posts, which are basically treated with
tar," he said.
Mr Miller rates wire as the most
important part of the fence and rec-
ommends Waratah products for their
He concedes fences can be prohibi-
tively expensive to install, but stresses
they are worth getting right.
"The single biggest expense on any
farm is fencing... but they add value,"
• Need to know more?
For a copy of the AgGuide to Fencing,
call 1800 025 520 or log on to
Contact Garth Miller of GRM
Contracting at 0448965242
FOR 12 years Jack James (pictured,
right, with Jon Wiese and a fence he
put up for Peter Williamson's proper-
ty at Victor Harbor) has been working
as a fencing contractor and revegeta-
tion specialist: two roles he finds go
"They are a good fit because we're
often putting up fences in creek
areas and natural reserves," he said.
"Also, we use a lot of the same
machinery, like petrol-driven hand
augers to drill holes for trees as well
Jack is a part-owner of Fleurieu
Fencing and Revegetation, based in
Yankilila. With two other partners
and up to 10 casuals, the company
carries out work all over the State.
When it comes to fencing, Jack
says the most important part of a
good fence is not the material itself,
but the end assemblies.
"The main thing is to get your end
assemblies in securely," he said.
"Once they're in properly, it does-
n't matter so much what you have in
between, it shouldn't fall over."
• Need to know more?
Contact Jack at 0418 802 813
Posts: timber posts are a popular option, particularly for trel-
lising in vineyards and other fruit crops, but at risk of fire and
Steel posts are considered best for strainer posts, and are
generally easier to install and can last a long time, but are vul-
nerable to rust in wet areas.
Strainer posts: factor in the span length between strain-
ers, the tension the strainer will have to endure, and whether a
gate needs to be swung.
Also consider the gate size relative to the strainer size and
the depth it will need to go into the ground.
Stays: generally made of steel, and about 50mm in diame-
ter if using tube, up to 3.5m in length. Timber can also be used
for this function.
Droppers: Used between posts so line wire spacing
remains consistent and provides the fence with rigidity. Steel
and timber variations available.
Plain wire: A single strand of wire is usually available in
sizes ranging from 1.6mm to 4.0mm.
Tensile ratings range from low tensile (LT or soft) through to
medium tensile (MT or flexi) to high tensile (HT). Fencing with
plain wire usually incorporates a 2.5mm HT or 2.5mm MT.
Smaller diameter wires are generally used as tie wire, while
larger diameter such as 4.0mm can be used for anchoring a
fence to a tie point, for high load bearings, in stay construction
or for more visibility.
Keep this in mind when putting up a fence
Machinery must be versatile
Steve Smith, GRM Contracting, works the drill.
The Essential First Step.
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It's the essential first step of safe excavation.
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