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Fencing Tips For Rocky Terrain
Michael Thomas, who ranches near Salmon, Idaho, has been building fence all his life in very rocky terrain. In solid rock he uses a rotohammer electric drill, which runs off a portable generator, to drill a small diameter hole to insert a steel or wood post.
  If there are a lot of surface rocks around, you can make a wire cage 3 to 4 ft. in diameter and fill it with rocks to anchor a corner post, notes Thomas.
  One method that works well when using a tractor-powered post pounder to set wood posts is to use a metal shaft to create a pilot hole - if you're not in solid bedrock. It will push through small rocks or penetrate frozen ground. One of Thomas' neighbors made a 7-ft. tall metal pilot post to create holes for wood posts, and Thomas borrows it on occasion for tough fencing jobs.
  "The pilot post is like a wood post but only about three or four inches in diameter and creates a hole to put the wood post into. The metal post is solid enough you can drive it into just about anything but solid rock. The pointed bottom part is solid steel about three feet long, and the rest of the post is hollow like well casing. The top has a solid cap on it for the post pounder to hit. That makes it a little lighter to carry, but it's still very heavy," says Thomas.

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2