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Driving posts straight ??


tentman
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Gidday Guys

 

I'm currently operating a Kinghitter S2 telescopic post driver, its got very powerful hydraulics and I can push even big posts (including strainers) quite a bit.  

 

However I don't think my lines are any tidier that when I was using a little Massey 165 and a lightweight driver with "armstong power" (top link and turnbuckle) - when necessary  we adjusted them a bit with a crowbar between the mast and post.

 

It sort of makes you wonder what really does make posts arrow off (besides the obvious like a rock or tree root).  I'm kinda thinking maybe hydraulics makes one "lazy" and a bit more care by the lads (and myself) for the first 150-300 mm of the drive is most important.  Points do make a difference but that's a given.  Bent posts - now thats a whole 'nother topic!!

 

What do you think/do.

 

Cheers

Foster

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I would agree that our lines aren't any straighter than they were 15 years ago with the hand crank Shaver driver.  We are much faster though.  When I get one running off crooked, I'll pull/push it back past center with the driver and tamp in the void tight with a spud bar.  Back in the old days, we would pull a post back as square as we could with the tractor and drive wooden wedges in the void with a sledge.  If we want a pointed post around here, it has to be done with a chainsaw.  I've begged our suppliers, but they won't listen.  Lads that will run a post driver are non existent as well. lol  I'm not in to all the hoo doo, but they do drive straighter by the sign of the moon.

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I do think attitude is a big part of it. Craftsman conscientious when you are going steady with a slow machine, you spend longer and it annoys you more.

When you spend be big bucks on a machine will do X amount, you push yourself to do X amount.

 

As for post steering themselves. The point always needs to be even. Lopsided points is like aerodynamics it pushes or pulls.

I prefer to knock larger posts in with flat bottoms they are less umwieldly.

Also if the post is plumb the mast needs to be plumb because the nearer the ground the greater the angle of deviation becomes. Especially heavy hammers on post caps that hold the post positively, whereas the lighter hammers bounce and true themselves each hit, because the post is more dominant where it's going.

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I would agree that our lines aren't any straighter than they were 15 years ago with the hand crank Shaver driver.  We are much faster though.  When I get one running off crooked, I'll pull/push it back past center with the driver and tamp in the void tight with a spud bar.  Back in the old days, we would pull a post back as square as we could with the tractor and drive wooden wedges in the void with a sledge.  If we want a pointed post around here, it has to be done with a chainsaw.  I've begged our suppliers, but they won't listen.  Lads that will run a post driver are non existent as well. lol  I'm not in to all the hoo doo, but they do drive straighter by the sign of the moon.

I hear you on that. Especially on the larger diameter post, sharpened posts follow the rock spike hole much better.

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There is some NZ research on the force required to extract a post that was dug in 90kg augered then driven(same as Rock spike) 900kg and driven in 1280kg.

These figures are approx from memory.

In theory rock spiking for strainers in ground that's not rocky is making a weaker fence. The trade off is the post doesn't get as abused.

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i find i can get them straighter with the new post driver easier as it has telescopic in and out which is great.i tend to put the strainers in then have a string line up then if its just pig netting i eye them up.If it is post and rail i tend to eye them up and use a level.I think in the end of the day it has to look right by eye too.

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Its amazing how the "builders lie detector" (aka spirit level) is both a boon and hindrance in getting fence posts to "look right".  I don't use the bubble on my driver or the spirit level much when doing a long line but find its pretty essential for stuff close to other structures.

 

Points are the same, we usually have a choice here of pointed or un-pointed (in round-wood which comprises most of our fencing).  Unless the points are really even I find them to be a bloody curse and prefer un-pointed, but most of my work is in pretty soft ground relative to many parts of NZ.

 

I just did some poles for a shed today, 4.2 metres (have to dig one end in to start them) and got them all very plumb, but just to annoy me, one twisted off and no amount of cussing or swinging on a large bar would bring it back!

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It's a lot of labour, but it certainly helps, means you can sit posts up ready to chap,

As I hire my chapper, it doesn't always work out value to pinch all holes first, but if im doing job with existing strainers, then I always do it,

Also if I'm on particular hard ground and its necessity then so be it.

 

If I'm doing by hand then always use slave, and pour water in all holes before knocking in with slave, makes a real difference.

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I always use a level, especially when doing gate posts. Use it even when doing intermediates, usually i am pretty close by eye but not always. Might try just doing them by eye as can be bang on with the level then take post cap off and it springs out.

 

I also always rock-spike for gate posts or strainers, to late when the post is halfway in and hits a rock.

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in my experience from today i think some people have a straight eye and others dont!! for normal farm fencing if you have the post straight before dropping the weight down is half the battle which i drum into the lads that help mr but for some reason they dont listen to me!!! the lad did say to me today how many posts have you knocked in i said thousands mate with all types of post driver ad by bloody hand i think i have a fair idea now chap!!

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