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  1. 4 points


    You're very welcome - we're glad you liked the tribute. We all miss Paul's contributions here and elsewhere to the Tornado community; he really was a pleasure to work with and learn from.
  2. 3 points

    Roll Lengths

    Bit of a moan to Tornado this one but I'm getting a bit fed up of joining 50m rolls of badger netting, 19 lines wires to join every 50m on a 1km perimeter vineyard fence wears thin and we have booked our 4th in for later this year. It seems frustratingly short compared to most other nett lengths, are you not able to make them longer due to the machine capacity? I notice most other deer netts are 100m with similar height and spacings. Also would be nice to see 150 or 200m rolls of equi-nett available, again on longer jobs a lot of time seems to be lost joining wires. Love using the 250m rolls of stock netting when we do but mostly equine fencing & rail spec netting for us so longer rolls would really help us increase efficiency and get us through more work especially as the equi-nett and rail spec nett have 4 more line wires to join. This would help us get through more tornado wire per day... win/win. Or is it a case that not enough people use the longer rolls and you need to keep in stock what most people can physically handle, as I'm sure you used to do a 150m roll of HT horse nett? Or am I just a moaning old git and just get on with it?
  3. 3 points
    It took you an hour to realise!, what where you doing drinking tea? They are a big leap forward in fencing efficiency and productivity aren't they. Your hips and knees will thank you.
  4. 3 points
    West Fork Fence

    Farmer-Fence builder

    Based on my personal experiences, I have formed a few opinions about proper fencing equipment, available labor, and selling something when we get done with it. My opinions are fact in my world, but I don't expect that they will be fact for everyone. My first few drivers were center mast, 3 point mount Shavers. Then, I had a couple center mast on skid steers. The skid steer setup was much better, but this was still before the internet was full of useful, easily mined information. I eventually made my way to a skid steer mounted driver with side shift, and the world seemed better.........until our economy healed up and nobody wanted to sit in the seat for $20 an hour. Working alone, and wanting to avoid the dangers of climbing in and out of the skid steer 300 times a day, I did the wise thing and disconnected all of the safety switches and wired a pair of aluminum poles to the pilot controls for easy access from the front of the machine. (Aluminum was for safety.....In a pinch, they should fold up, right?) Now, I'm not sure if the internet was just getting to the point where it had the information I was looking for, or if I had just finally learned how to access what I was looking for, but when I had the notion of a one man fencing machine and Googled it, my prayers had been answered......sort of. I couldn't afford any of the machines I'd found, and definitely not without trying one first. Since none of the manufacturers I spoke with had a machine in the states, and I figured it'd cost $10k to visit the UK (not true by the way....it's cheap) I decided to "build" my own in the same fashion that Johnny Cash builds cars. One piece at a time. With what we had in the budget, I bought a Vector Model 4, and attempted to use it on a skid steer while we put some savings back in the bank for a track dumper. It was way too big for even the biggest of skid steers, so it went on the tractor for a while. We kept chipping away at our contracts, and later that year I found a Yanmar C50R1, with a crane ;-), that I could get delivered right from Japan for the bargain price of $13,500. Yes, it was a little rougher than I wanted, and I had to brush up on my Japanese, but it was in the budget. I had about $1,500 left in the kitty, so that was the budget to make them fit together. Long story short, 48 hours after we unloaded the Yanmar, I was driving a post in the dark with a machine that I could single hand from the ground. I slept most of the next day, and then put her right to work. The very first place I took it was a sopping wet Creekside that you couldn't even walk across without losing a boot. I was a bit nervous, but right across we went, and never looked back. That machine paid for it's self in less than 2 months, and when help no showed, it wasn't near as big a deal. Now, our skid steer can spend it's time keeping me in posts, clearing ahead of the driver, stringing wire, packing the welding rig, etc, etc, while I drive posts. The difference in American post drivers vs what I'll call European or NZ drivers is night and day. I have had the opportunity to try most of them out, and there is no contest. Having a post cap is the simplest concept, but hasn't caught on here. The goofy little spring loaded "post holder" that looks like a bow roller from a boat trailer just doesn't cut it. One of the side effects of a purpose built fencing rig is the uptick in new business. Potential customers take notice when a man cares enough about his craft to invest in the future. Profit margin is the most enjoyable side effect. We recently had the need for a profitability statement from our accountant, and in the 12 months following the implementation of our tracked driver,(been 5 years now) our net profitability went up just a hair over 18%. Those kinds of real benefits need to be figured into the equation. With regard to versatility and resale value......About a year ago, I was riding around the hills of the UK with Si Gibbs, on our way to meet John Morgan on the top of the coldest hill in all of Wales. Between the three of us, there was a good mix of working alone, and having a crew, as well as quite a bit of hands on experience with different drivers. Si had an EVO 1 on order that was soon to be delivered, so that was the major topic of discussion on our drive.(I finally did confess to him that I'd had my hands on his new machine the day before.) Now, Si is just a youngster compared to me, but he has it figured out enough to know that once he hung a driver on the back of his tractor that he bought so he could be more versatile........plowing, mowing, etc........it never came off the 3 point. If you are only going to use a machine for one thing, it's versatility is irrelevant, and paying a man to sit in the seat will more than pay for a single hand machine. I have never heard of anyone who made the swap and regretted it. As far as resale goes, I am not the guy to ask. When we buy something, it's usually worth scrap price when I get done with it. We run the trucks past 300K miles, and equipment even farther. I'm good about maintenance, but there is still a useful lifespan for everything, post drivers included. I'm sure that there are some that get a lifetime out of a driver, but I'm never going to be one of them. I am, however, in the market for an immediately available, lightly used tracked driver that is somewhere east of the Pacific and west of the Atlantic. I'm getting long winded here, but my Dad said something a while back that made sense of it all. "We are in the technology business." Longer rolls of net, tracked drivers, Gripples, HT wire, fixed knot with increased stake spacing vs yesterdays hinge joint, suitable knots for modern wire, unrollers, stretchers, and the list goes on. Is it possible to build a good fence without all of this? Absolutely. Is it possible to keep the impatient customers of the short on laborers modern world happy without all of this? Getting less likely every day. Don't take any of this as the gospel, as it's just the opinion of a less than intelligent fencer who, if forced to go back to his old ways of doing things, would find a new line of work.
  5. 3 points
    Staples stabbing in your fingers and under your nails when your picking them up out of the bucket.
  6. 2 points
  7. 2 points
    West Fork Fence

    Gas powered pounder

    You are spot on with most of your observations. We are working on the availability part, and should have that sorted by this fall. Going to England is cheap and easy. Plane tickets are cheap, and once you're there, the train goes everywhere. Food and hotels are cheaper than the states, and contrary to urban legend, the beer is plenty cold. Not many friendlies in London, but the further north the train goes, the nicer they get. There happens to be a fencing competition this summer in Worcestershire, and I think they may still be taking applications. You should consider attending, even if it's only to watch. A tour of the Tornado factory is quite educational, as well. I would bet that all of the post driver manufacturers will be in attendance at the fencing comp.
  8. 2 points
    West Fork Fence

    Gas powered pounder

    Drives posts, and reduces overhead while increasing net profit margin. ;-) Prolonged operation of a Hammer or Shaver post driver has been known to cause suicidal thoughts as well as sore joints and loss of profit.
  9. 2 points

    Uneven ground

    I agree on the horse wire but disagree on the barb. We do it all the time. A good sharp barb under the net will do more to stop digging out than tough love. Although my advice to you on this job after hearing your description is to give her you biggest competitors phone number.
  10. 2 points

    Figure 4 knott

    You can only really tie a figure 8 in loose wire which will tighten as you tension the wire. To join wire under tension with a figure 8 its probably better doing a Tex brown (look up in the strainrite bids) which a variant of the figure 8.
  11. 2 points
    Hi If the wires are vertical - low voltage, you need to be a minimum of 1m away If they are horizontal - 11kva or 33 kva you need to be a minimum of 3m away If working under the wires the machinery needs to be restricted to stop before reaching the limits we managed to shorten the rope on the vector knocker to stop it reaching the 3m limit, dont think it would reach the top of a deer stake we wern't allowed to work under the wires in rain ,fog,or mist Hope this is usefull
  12. 2 points
    West Fork Fence

    Roll Lengths

    Contractors here in the States seem to all want longer and longer rolls.....Me included. What we call "no climb" horse net has only ever been available in 100' or 200' rolls, so I was quite happy to know that Tornado can make them in 330'. You may be moaning, but joining wire that often is something to moan about.
  13. 2 points

    Hayes Chain Strainers Repair

    The best repair I found was to move to strainrite sold all the hays at a local agg sale no more problems.
  14. 2 points
    West Fork Fence

    Wood is outdated

    We still need to get you out of Central Texas for a week or two.
  15. 2 points

    Solo trak or Bryce

    Yeah had the machine a few months now and pretty impressed with it. I’m more impressed the braver I get. Had it in some tricky spots and so far always got back out again. Don’t use leg much to be honest as machine is pretty stable on its own but at same time now it’s on I would rather have it. Usually in quite a precarious position when I do need it. But it’s mostly just used when lifting rock spike out ground. All in all very pleased with it and pretty sure I made right choice for my own situation.
  16. 2 points
    Welcome. I think we're acquainted from cattle today.
  17. 2 points
    pjt's apprentice


    Must say a very big thank you to Paul H and the team at tornado! It's a grand tribute to my late brother, me and my wife was nearly moved to tears when we saw it. Thank you.
  18. 2 points

    Good Blokes you meet fencing

    Hello Guys Even though a bloke might be at the end of the earth (well Southland NZ is pretty close to it) its just surprising who you you'll bump into . . . yup our very own Tepapa. Here I was just having a nice day at an FCANZ (Fencing Contractors Assn of NZ) "Best Practise Field Day" and it got even nicer (alas right at the end of the day) when a young chap who had been asking good questions in a pommy accent (probably Welsh but my ear is not discerning enough) introduced himself as a forum member. Damn but it would have been good to share a beer and have a good yarn - next time eh? Cheers Foster
  19. 2 points


    From the album: Art

  20. 2 points
    West Fork Fence

    IMG 0826

    From the album: Foregin Fence

  21. 1 point
    There is more to it than that. Shoot me a text, and I'll tell you what I know. Eight One Two 798 forty six 0 four. Not an appropriate conversation for the entire interwebs to find. Also, this is way cheaper than you think. ? http://protechmachinery.co.uk/html/products/P30-contractor.html
  22. 1 point
    Thanks that's interesting. They are supposed to be 25 year posts. CCA lodgepole pine, ACQ Doug fir, and Penta Doug Fir are the only posts readily available here. All 3 that are sold locally here in our experience are poorly treated. Virtually zero penetration of the treat! The pines would last 5 years give or take a few. Not good for business to say the least. We import these from Canada, they are not AWPA certified, but do meet Canadian ministry of agriculture and BC highway construction standards. There are several that were installed around here in the mid to late 90s as part of VSP trellis systems, still standing strong. In recent years trellis installation has gravitated towards all steel. We've experimented a lot with posts. We had one customer specifically request ACQ Doug Fir, within two years the fence had experienced approximately 50% post failure. And of course all our steel posts are still standing.
  23. 1 point
    I added some pictures for you. At first glance, I would have thought that to be a pretty bad post. All wood is not created equal, and it appears that you have a well treated post, assuming the retention rate is up to snuff, and there really is that much heartwood in there. If that were southern yellow pine, it’d be a five year post at best. The pic with the last paragraph outlined in red should be of particular interest. You are entitled to test results.
  24. 1 point

    fixed knot versus squre knot

    They dont seem to hold up as well to livestock, once they start getting pushed down the whole fence folds down together.
  25. 1 point

    Wood is outdated

    Imo. Wood has no business in fence building. Steel is cheaper and stronger as well as being resistant to insects, fire and rot in most environments. It's also much easier to drive in the ground. And easier to build a got brace. Catch a wood post with a tractor you have a broken unrepairable post. Catch a pipe post you just turn around and bend it back up straight.
  26. 1 point
    West Fork Fence

    Deer fencing

    I hope I'm nowhere close if someone tries to force you to use a wood post.
  27. 1 point
    West Fork Fence


    From the album: Recent Projects

  28. 1 point
    West Fork Fence


    We stock Strainrite crimp sleeves.
  29. 1 point
  30. 1 point
    Bit of an update on this........... bit the bullet about 6 weeks ago and bought a P22 contractor RG30 and within an hour of fencing with it decided the tractor was going to be sold! the benefits far outweigh the few small cons and im definitely not missing jumping in and out of the tractor all day when working on my own.
  31. 1 point
    Copy that. Might be worth a shot?
  32. 1 point
    West Fork Fence


    From the album: Foregin Fence

  33. 1 point
    Kent Greenleaf

    Farmer-Fence builder

    Guys , Things are about to get hectic around her so I want to wish everyone a joyous Merry Christmas, and a safe , productive , and prosperous new year.
  34. 1 point

    Wood is outdated

    We use oilfield pipe some but ninety percent is new pipe. 23/8 to 3" diameter with a 3/16 to quarter inch wall thickness. We use a H with a diagonal brace to a dead man. I really wish it was easier to post pic here....... Maybe this will work......nope We tie off terminals very similar to the way you would wood. We use steel tpost every 12 foot clipped with tpost clips . A pipe stiffener is used every hundred feet. In gonna keep working on this pic deal. May have to resort to the dreaded photobucket [URL=http://s723.photobucket.com/user
  35. 1 point

    Farmer-Fence builder

    Go for one with a slew. Beware of the fine detail in the spec. E.g. protech and Bryce will fit a blade, but is it really a blade or more of a parking brake. Their both very shallow and located underneath. Where as a solotrak has a blade deep enough to bulldoze and is located In front so you can see what your blading. If you want to work in steep country look at the balance of the machine. It wants to be equal front and back.
  36. 1 point
    Kent Greenleaf

    Farmer-Fence builder

    This is really cool guys. Getting all this input from all this experience at one place is really great. The deal is that I've done without and have gotten by All my life and I'm ready to go 1st class . As a wise man I know once said..."How long do you have to want something ,before you need it?" That's where I am, so now I need to pull the trigger on something before the weather breaks.
  37. 1 point

    Farmer-Fence builder

    I'm with west fork fence on this one. I started out with tractor knocker, as a new business if things got quiet (and they did) the tractor was versatile and you could do other jobs. I didnt though and knocker stayed on. Three years later I had a used but mechanically sound knocker sat in the yard that had depreciated a lot!. Would have been better buying a track machine to start with and if things went tits up its there to sell.
  38. 1 point
    West Fork Fence


    From the album: Home Built Fencing Tools

    Store bought cheapo on the right. I wanted one that will ride above the tailgate of the side by side or in a hitch mount, as well as being up for the abuse. Almost ready for action......
  39. 1 point


    Just taken delivery of Tornado's calendar and found a very nice tribute to Goaty (Paul Turner) The thing is Id not heard about his passing, Iv been told it was the result of an Road traffic accident in a HGV and there was something on the forum about it but I cant find anything My thoughts are with his family leading up the Christmas RIP Goaty
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    West Fork Fence

    Damp spot

    From the album: Foregin Fence

  43. 1 point

    Farm fence solutions invited me..

    Welcome, please do tell more always interested in any type of fencing
  44. 1 point


    Was a shock when i read it too, tragic to see. I had a freind from college die on a farm accident only few years after we all left, mid twenties and the nicest lad leaving his pregnant fiancee, gotta live life all you can, as shows with goaty and my friend and im sure many others... your time could be up any day, don't waste or regret any of it...
  45. 1 point

    New Isuzu Dmax with 1.9 engine

    I've been an Isuzu fan for years and I'm just looking to change our 4year old Dmax.. Now they have changed to the new 1.9 l engine just wondering if any of you were running one and if so what do you think ? Cheers charlie
  46. 1 point


    We use more t-clips than gripples, only really use gripples on short runs where we cant afford to lose tension as you would with a crimp and on box strainers but we wrap after them. have been getting more and more dodgy ones of late that don't seem to hold tension and have had the bodys on a few crack a few weeks after installation - i'll always use a crimp given the choice - looks neater too.
  47. 1 point

    20170708 095335

    From the album: T tjep

    Gun loaded ready to go.
  48. 1 point
    West Fork Fence

    IMG 0229

    From the album: Foregin Fence

  49. 1 point

    Trailed knocker

    From the album: Trailed post knocker

  50. 1 point
    West Fork Fence

    IMG 0015

    From the album: Foregin Fence

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