Pulling old fence posts

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We need to remove several old fence posts - some in good shape and some less so. We are dealing with both wood and metal, but I assume a good axe is the chosen method of getting rid of the old half rotted wooden posts. What is the best way to get the metal posts out of the ground? Some of them will be reuseable if we can get them out without destroying them.

-- Lori in SE Ohio (klnprice@yahoo.com), July 04, 2001


Lori: I guess that an ax would be best for an old rotten wooden fence post but Tractor Supply Company (or your local equivalent) has a neat lever-type tool to pull metal posts if they are the u-channel type with a triangular blade on the end. I don't think it will work with a round post. I have used a couple pieces of 4X4 with several wraps of chain fairly well, not quick though. How many do you need to pull?

-- Frank (fhill@absolute-net.com), July 04, 2001.

I would be a bit careful with the axe being wary of old nails and staples etc.

No matter how big the post is, up to telephone pole size, you can get it out of the ground using a tripod (as in shear legs) and a chain block.

A bucket on the tractor will lift most fence posts.

If the posts as just stakes, for example can you get your hand around one? Then just push them back and forth and round and about to loosen them in the ground, take a deep breath and pull straight up.

-- john hill (john@cnd.co.nz), July 04, 2001.


Get yourself an old car or truck bumper jack and hook some chain around the base of the post (wood or metal) and the part of the jack that fits under the bumper. Jack it up just like you would a car and the post will come out straight and clean. Doing this in the rainy season will help the posts slide out more easily. I hope this helps.

-- Gary in Indiana (gk6854@aol.com), July 04, 2001.

You can usually lever them out. Get a very sturdy pry bar at least 6 feet long, some chain and somethign to use as a fulcrum--an old wheel rim works, but something lighter is better if you have to carry it. Wrap the chain around the post and one end of the bar, set the fulcrum near the post. Push down on the end of the bar and the post comes up.


-- paul (p@ledgewood-consulting.com), July 04, 2001.

Do what Gary suggested. I have used a bumper jack many, many times and it works great. I am just bummed that he beat me to this suggestion, I had kind of thought that I had invented the idea. :^)

-- clove (clovis97@Yahoo.com), July 04, 2001.


I'm sure you're the one my Dad learned it from back on the old family farm before he left for WWII. ;o)

-- Gary in Indiana (gk6854@aol.com), July 05, 2001.

An easy way to remove steel "T" fence posts: Face the "nib" side of the post. Push it straight away from you. Set the end of a 2 foot piece of 2X4 on the ground in front of the post, with the other end of the 2X4 under the most convenient "nib". Place your foot against the bottom of the 2X4 and pull the top of the post toward you. The post will rise up about two inches. Keeping your foot against the 2X4, push the top away and the top end of the 2X4 will "ratchet" up to the next convenient "nib". Repeat the process until the post can be lifted from the ground, usually about three "ratchets". If you have a post driver made of steel pipe, you can use it in place of the 2X4 for the fulcrum. The closed end goes down, of course. Hope this isn't too confusing, but this method eliminates all jacks, pry bars, chains, tractors, etc.

-- Paul (hoyt@egyptian.net), July 06, 2001.

Paul has the best hand system. I use the loader on my tractor but when a post is in a place i can't get to with the ttractor i use a "High-Lift Jack" and a piece of chain. For wood posts, I just bump them with the front on the pickup, ( the old 75 work truck). The whole project would be best done in the spring when the ground is still wet, it will give up the posts easier.

-- Hendo (redgate@echoweb.net), July 06, 2001.

Our neighbor's t-posts were all set in concrete. They had to pull them out with a tractor!

-- sheepish (the_original_sheepish@hotmail.com), July 06, 2001.

Use a High Lift Jack (http://www.hi-lift.com/) and a short piece of chain. Everyone needs a High Lift Jack around the farm.

-- Scott (scotthom@hotmail.com), July 11, 2001.

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