How to Reuse a Fence Post

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Wooden picket fene.
Wooden picket fene. (Image: fence image by Alexey Klementiev from Fotolia.com)

Pulling up an existing fence post to reuse can be quite a task. There are several methods for doing this, including using post pullers, which range from $70 to $700, depending on the type and size. Posts with concrete at the base are the most difficult to remove and reuse because the concrete base is larger than the post, which makes pulling it up through the ground much harder.

Things You'll Need

  • Fence post
  • Fence post puller
  • Hammer or maul

Pulling up Posts to Reuse

Attach a fence post puller by its chains to the fence post. Depress the lever so that it will apply vertical pressure to the post and pull it from the ground.

Remove any existing concrete footing by laying the post on the ground and striking it with a hammer or maul with great force. Striking the concrete will cause it to crack and fall off the post. Turn the post to reach all areas so there is no concrete left.

Metal T and U-posts will generally pull out by hand, as they are not set in concrete. Wiggle the post side-to-side and front to back to loosen the ground surrounding them, then pull straight up using both hands.

A tractor or backhoe is the easiest method to pull posts. Wrap a chain around the post and around the tractor or backhoe bucket and lift straight up.

Reusing Posts

Reuse posts that have been pulled up by placing them in a weaker area of the fence to strengthen it, such as where an animal has put stress on the fence in an attempt to get to grass on the other side.

Replace metal T or U-posts with reused wooden posts to also increase your fence line's durability.

Reuse wooden posts as horizontal supports for fencing corners. An H-shaped corner made from wooden posts bound together with high-tensile wire and nails will bear much more stress than a single corner post. Wooden posts also make sturdy fence rails for building a heavy-duty privacy fence.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are pulling up many posts, it may be worth your time to invest in a post puller to expedite the job and save stress on your body.

References

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