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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6, Page #19
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First-Of-Its-Kind Fence Building Machine

Driving home from work one day, Tim Herrmann saw his 76-year-old uncle driving steel fence posts into the ground. The sight prompted him to start working on an easier way to drive posts.
  His patent pending "Theilman Fence Master" is a computer-controlled, hydraulic-operated machine that automatically drives steel fence posts. It's available either as a pto-driven or self-propelled model and can carry a "magazine" of steel T-posts or plain pipe posts.
  "It lets one person put up a mile of fence posts in an 8-hour workday and the fence will be perfectly straight or, if you want, naturally curved," says Herrmann, who has built other models to handle both fiberglass and wood posts.
  The machine is controlled from the tractor cab by push button controls. Posts load into a rotating "magazine" that holds up to 60 posts. To drive a post you simply push a button. The unit grabs one post at a time from the magazine and drives it into the ground. Fence wire is unrolled from spools at the back of the unit as you drive along.
  A laser beam alignment system on the Fence Master makes it easy to put posts in a perfectly straight line. You can install crooked or curved fence lines by turning off the laser alignment system and using a remote manual post positioning button.
  "This machine will drive a post about every 60 seconds or less," says Herrmann. "It has a self-leveling feature so it'll always drive posts straight, even on side hills. One person can operate it, but it's more efficient with two operators one to run the machine and the other to follow behind to tie the fence onto the posts. There are two wire unrolling spools, one on each side of the machine.
  "If the operator is out of position, the machine will not drive the post, giving the operator a chance to reposition the machine. It will also stop itself if the post hits a rock while it's being driven in. The undamaged post can then be driven in elsewhere.
  "The self-propelled version has all wheel drive and front and rear axle steering, with a lockout for just front wheel steering. The front and rear axle steering mode works great for repairing fences or getting into tight spots.
  "I've also developed two other models. One is designed to put in fiberglass posts and weighs just 700 lbs so it can be mounted in the back of any 1/2-ton pickup. The driver operates the post driver and single strand fence unroller right from the pickup cab and can put in a post every 45 seconds or less. The magazine holds up to 120 posts. This unit doesn't have a laser alignment system. The other model is much more expensive and is designed for contractors. It's available either as a self-propelled or pull-type unit and stands 11 ft. high and weighs about 8,000 lbs. It's capable of driving in wood posts as well as all other kinds of posts. It pre-drills a hole that's slightly smaller than the wood post and then drives the post into it. It also works great for setting round or square poles for building sheds."
  Inserts can be bolted into the magazine on any of the machines, allowing you to switch between driving in fiberglass posts, T-posts, or pipe posts. "For example, you might want to drive in five fiberglass posts, then a steel post, then five more fiberglass posts, etc.," says Herrmann.
  Herrmann says he's looking to license, capitalize, or custom make individual machines.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tim Herrmann, RR 1, Box 135C, Theilman, Minn. 55945 (ph 507 534-2738).
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2000 - Volume #24, Issue #6