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What Size T-Post Do I Need for My Fence?

by Judy Knowler

If you’re new to agricultural fencing, it’s possible that you’ve never heard the term “T-post” before. But, t-posts are a very important part of fencing for livestock, crops, and more.

A t-post is a metal post with an anchor built into the bottom. This anchor keeps the post buried securely in the ground so it can support wire fencing and keep the fence taught along the fence line.

T-posts are very popular, as they are affordable and very effective. However, they are only effective if you choose the right size for your fencing project.

What are the Benefits of a Tall T-post?

Firstly, let’s establish one simple rule: your t-posts should be about two feet longer than the height of your fence. This is why t-posts are typically sold at lengths between 5 and 10 feet. A tall t-post (for example, one that is seven or eight feet) can be very useful if you want to have a particularly tall fence that your animals can’t jump over.

What are the Benefits of a Shorter T-post?

Maybe you aren’t worried about your animals jumping the fence. Instead, your greater concern is that they might wander onto a neighbor’s property, or that local kids might try to get into their enclosure. In this case, a shorter fence can serve your purposes just fine — and that means you’ll be able to benefit from a shorter t-post to go along with it.

What T-Post Weight Should I Use?

Most commonly, t-posts come in two weights: 1.25 and 1.33 pounds per foot. For most applications, a t-post weighing 1.25 pounds per foot is ideal. When looking for something to withstand high-pressure, it’s best to use a 1.33 pound per foot t-post.

What Purpose Will The Fence Serve?

There’s one big question you need to ask yourself before you pick a t-post for your fence: what purpose will the fence serve? The primary purpose of a fence is to keep animals in or out. However, there are different purposes for different types of fences on a farm.

For example, horse fencing needs to be tall enough to prevent horses from jumping over it, climbing it, or mowing it down with a good canter. Cattle fencing should also be tall, as well as strong enough to withstand leaning or chewing on the wires, while hog fencing should be a bit lower to the ground to prevent the pigs from digging or rooting under the fence line. Once you determine the purpose your fence will serve, you can figure out the size you’ll need for your t-posts.

How to Install T-posts

Finding t-posts in the correct size is only the first challenge you’ll face in your fencing project. You also need to install the posts correctly if they’re going to give your fence enough support. Luckily, installing fence posts is a fairly simple job. If you have the right tools and enough hands, you can do it on your own.

Materials Needed

To install t-posts, you’ll need:

  • Wire clips
  • Your t-posts (of course)

You will also need wooden corner posts to install your fence completely, but here we’re going to focus solely on installing your t-posts (to learn about installing your wooden posts, check out this blog).

Tools Needed

The tools you’ll need to install your t-posts are the following:

  • T-post driver
  • Tape measure
  • String
  • Fence stretcher

Steps for Installation

Once you have all the materials and tools you need for your fence installation project, go out to your fence site and follow these steps:

  1. Map your fence line. Use your string to mark a straight line between your two corner posts. This will help guarantee that your fence line remains straight all the way across.
  2. Space Out Your Posts. Most people install t-posts 8-12 feet apart, depending on the length of the fence line. Use your tape measure to ensure that the posts are evenly spaced (and later, use it again to ensure they’re all equal height.
  3. Drive your T-Posts. Use your t-post driver to push the posts into the ground at the appropriate spot. Remember, t-posts should be at least two feet in the ground, so make sure your post ends up standing two feet shorter than it started.
  4. Secure the fencing. Now, you can unroll your wire fencing across the length of your fence line. Use the fence stretcher to pull it taught, and then use wire clips to secure the fencing to the t-posts. Make sure to secure the clips on the animal side of the fence, as this will prevent them from coming undone when the animal leans or otherwise puts pressure on the fence.

Just like that, you have a durable wire fence that’s secure and sturdy for years to come.

Whether you’re brand new to farm and animal fencing or if you’ve been working in agriculture your whole life, Red Brand has the tools, materials, and tips you need for success on your property. Check out our website today to see how we can help you!

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