• How to Install Temporary Fence Posts

How to Install Temporary Fence Posts

Installing temporary fence posts for an electric fence is a suitable fencing option if you use rotational grazing (fencing in small paddocks and rotating your animals between paddocks on regular intervals to maximize grazing) or you aren't sure about the permanent location of your fence. Temporary fence posts will work effectively only with an electric fence, since animals will just knock your fence posts down with any other type of fence. The sturdiest (and most expensive) option for temporary fence posts is steel T-posts, which come in a range of heights. Other temporary fence post options include plastic step-in posts, fiberglass posts and metal rebar posts (both require a hammer). 

Clear your fence line and mark your corner locations. Remove all underbrush and rocks along your fence line to minimize your chances of having your electric fence ground out. Mow a 2 to 3-foot wide path along your fence line to lower the grass on both sides of your proposed fence. Use a can of spray paint to spray the grass that marks your corner post locations.

Position the bottom of your first steel T-post on the first spray paint mark and insert the post driver over the top of the T-post, letting it fall until the top of the post touches the inside top of the post driver. Stand the post upright, place your hands on the handles of the post driver and pound the T-post straight into the ground approximately 12 to 18 inches. Repeat this process for each of your corner posts.

Stretch a string between the corner posts to mark the exact location of your fence line. Fasten the string to the first corner post and stretch it to the next corner post, making sure it is taut before tying it off. Repeat this process for each set of corner posts. This string provides a straight line for you to follow when positioning your temporary line posts, thus ensuring that your fence will be straight.

Install your temporary line posts, positioning them along your fence line string at intervals of approximately 8 to 12 feet. If you're using plastic step-in posts, simply place your foot on the built-in tread and press firmly until the base of the tread touches the ground. If you're installing fiberglass or metal rebar posts, position the bottom of the post along the string, stand the post upright, then pound the post approximately 6 to 10 inches into the ground with your hammer. Repeat this process for each of your line posts.

Tips & Warnings
Since your corner posts will experience more pull from your fence than line posts, your strongest option is steel T-posts. Michael Buschermohle, PhD, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Tennessee, suggests that you place a spent shotgun shell over the top of fiberglass poles before you hammer them in; this action reduces your chances of splitting the post during hammering.

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