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Propane-Powered Fencepost Driver
The explosive power of ignited propane powers Dennis Tippmann's Propane Hammer. The 45-lb. portable post driver is powerful enough to slam T-posts into frozen ground.
"I've always thought most automatic post drivers were too complicated," says Tippmann. "I have horses so I'm always messing around with fences. We had developed a propane powered paint ball gun, and I could see how the energy could be used to drive posts."
Tippmann was one of the earliest developers of paint ball guns and has worked with pneumatic equipment extensively in several industries, including pneumatic powered die presses and stitching equipment. That experience was used to develop the self-contained Propane Hammer.
The post driver has basically one moving part, the piston. Propane feeds into the cylinder from a 14-oz. propane tank that mounts on the driver. Ignition by the 9-volt spark system is triggered by a switch on the hammer handle and produces a 700-lb. driving force against the ram. When activated, the hammer pounds out 150 blows per minute. Each canister is projected to produce about 6,000 cycles. At 30 cycles per post, one tank of fuel should average about 200 posts, depending on soil conditions and post type.
While developed for T-posts, interchangeable ram collars allow it to be used on a variety of other post types. The ram system can handle posts up to 2 1/2 in. diameter.
"Silt fence stake driving is a big use," says Tippmann. "It's normally a sledge hammer job, but it can go a lot faster with our Propane Hammer. It's also popular with highway crews. They often have to replace a single highway sign. They can do it any time of the year with this unit without having to load up a big hydraulic unit."
Portability is a big plus with the Hammer. While heavier than a manual post driver, it's much lighter than other power units. It can also be carried into marshy ground and limited space areas where a tractor-mounted driver can't go.
At this time the newly introduced Propane Hammer can only be purchased directly from Tippmann Industrial Products. Retail price is $1,995 and includes a carrying/storage case. Adapters are extra.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Tippmann Industrial Products, 3518 Adams Center Rd., Ft. Wayne, Ind. 46806 (ph 260 441-9603 or toll free 866 286-8046; fax 260 441-8264; www.propanehammer.com).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2