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Self-Propelled Fencing Rig Still Going Strong
Twelve years ago FARM SHOW ran a story about a hydraulic post driver built from a self-propelled combine (Vol. 24, Issue 5) by the Hall family of Butterfield, Minn. We visited the Hall farm in July 2012 to check on the well-used fencing machine.
  “We’ve used that fencing rig to pound in 5,000 to 6,000 posts a year since 1999,” says Dan. He and his four mechanically-minded sons built the machine from an old Case 600 combine. In 12 years Dan figures he and his sons have put up more than 250 miles of high-tensile fence with the machine. The original chassis, blade, crane, pounding mechanism and hydraulics are still intact and work great. Dan explains that a few improvements have been made to make the rig more user friendly.
  “Six years ago we put in a different 4-cylinder Case motor and IH hydrostatic drive system from a 403 combine,” Dan says. “Now we’re able to control the ground speed a lot easier without stopping to shift gears or changing engine rpm’s.” They also replaced the back axle with a stronger setup from an old 4400 Deere combine. A new steel canopy over the control station protects the operator as posts are lifted into the driving mechanism. It also shields the operator from the sun and from low-hanging branches if they’re working on wooded pastures. Painted red to match the rest of the machine, the canopy looks like original equipment.
  Dan says when they built the machine they had no idea how well it would perform and how long it would last. “Aside from replacing maybe 3 hoses over the years and updating the engine and drive system, the cost to operate it has been really insignificant,” Dan says. “We can run it all day on 8 gal. of gas, way less than a tractor and loader or a skid steer would require. I don’t think there’s another piece of machinery around that has the payback this one has provided.”
  In addition to pulling and pounding posts, the machine has a blade that levels ground under a new fence line, a platform to carry posts, brackets to hold wire spools, a tensioning device, and a hoist.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Daniel Hall, Southwest Minnesota K-Fence, 40133 620th Ave., Butterfield, Minn. 56120 (ph 507 956-2657; tereseH77@gmail.com).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #5