Basics of Building a Powerflex Fence
The Basics of Building a High Tensile
If you have built other types of fence (barbed or woven) then you will most likely enjoy the ease in which you can put up a Hi-Tensile electric fence. Below are some of the basics to help you get started off on the right foot. For this article we will be using wood corner posts, 5 strands of Hi-Tensile wire and Powerflex Line Posts. Yes, I realize that this may seem really basic to you seasoned fence builders, but for the first timers it should be helpful.
Prepare your fence line: Locate your corners and clear out all debris, brush and obstacles before you begin your fence building. Preferably, a wide enough pathway should be cleared so that you can drive down the entire fence. Fill and level as necessary.
Set End and Corner Assemblies: These are essential on all types of fence, and important with a Hi-Tensile fence. As a general recommendation we would suggest setting the end or corner posts, but not the brace post until you have pulled a guide wire. With the corner posts set, put a mark on the back of the post where your wires will be located, from the ground up. This will tell you where to attach your end strain insulators later.
Pulling the Guide Wire: The guide wire is used to establish a straight fence line from corner to corner. A little extra attention here will assure a good straight fence line. This guide wire will be staying on the fence, so go ahead and tie or crimp on your end strain insulator of choice and mount at the location of your lowest strand of wire, at both ends. Install a wire tensioner and tighten up the guide wire. Now the most important part of the guide wire - snap it up and down and make sure that it is straight. Go out to the middle of the run and do the same. If you have hills or rises you will need to snap it at these places to get it straight. Now you have a straight line from corner to corner that establishes where your brace posts and line posts will go.
Set your Brace Posts: Now that the fence line is established with the guide wire you can set your brace posts. These may be either a traditional "H" Brace or a Floating Brace.
Install your line posts: You should already know what the spacing between your line posts will be. First put a mark on the posts indicating the depth you want them in the ground. I usually pace out the distance and lay a Powerflex Post at these locations. I generally use a pilot driver for my Powerflex posts, or if you have good soil you may not need one. Position your line post according to the guide wire. I pilot the holes with a pilot driver, and drive the posts with a manual post driver. I will continually sight down my post line to make sure that all the post are true and straight, making any corrections as I go.
Install End Strain Insulators: Install the other 4 end strain insulators at both ends according to the marks you previously made on the corner posts.
Drilling Line Posts: Now is a good time to field drill your Powerflex Posts. I generally have a drill guide or make one out of a yard stick or lightweight wooden board. If another person is available to do the drilling, then others can begin pulling your wires.
Attach the guide wire to the posts: Now that the line posts are in, the guide wire should be attached to the posts with a cotter pin. This will get it out of your way, as you prepare to pull the other 4 strands of wire.
Pull the rest of your wires: I have pulled multiple wires at a time, however it is sometimes hard to keep them apart in the grass, so I would advise that if you are just starting out, to just pull one wire at a time. With your spinning jenny at one corner, pull a wire to the other end. Attach to the insulator at the other end. You can install cotter pins on your way back as well as install a tensioner at the midway point. Now at the other end you can cut the wire and attach to end insulator. You're ready to pull another wire. When I get to the midpoint I will usually go ahead and tension the previous wire to get it off the ground and out of the way of the next wire. As you go back and forth you can install cotter pins on about every third post, coming back later to install the final cotter pins.
Check Wire Tension: Now, with all the cotter pins in place you should go out to the midpoint where your tensioners are and recheck your wire tension to make sure that all wires are tightened the same. 150 to 250 pounds is all that is required and slight sag between line posts is acceptable.
Now step back and admire your efforts and you're ready for the next section. After all the sides are up you can now go back and install jumpers and routing for your electric fence charger for your hot wires.