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Had considered that, I hired the 360 in but have the tractor on site. Buying is an option but it's more kit to have doing nothing for a while, I'm one of those people who never get around to selling their surplus equipment. I've got a local farmer who has a big tractor and knocker who will hire himself and machine for £25 a hour, he's literally across the road so I might explore this avenue.

 

£25 is pretty cheap really I couldn't afford to run my tractor and post knocker for that and expect to make much off it but i guess being ultra local helps. A new post knocker for a 360 is about £2500, probably only worth it if you either owned the 360 or had more projects line up.

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The other option is plan ur fences and hire the tractor/chapper in and put all ur strainers in and put all ur stabs in by hand.

 

Last 2 contractors i fenced for still mel all stabs by hand, 1 doesnae have a tractor so hand dig strainers too, but the other wil have u meling stabs when chapper is sitting right beside u. Can be annoying when ground gets harder thou and he still wants them mel'd in

To be honest its surprising how quick u can put them in by hand once u get ur swing going. If i was working single handed u'd be quickier in most ground melling by the time u climb in out tractor and reverse it back and forward to put ur pointers in

 

Or if too hard if all ur strainers are driven in 1 day u could pull ur line wires etc and have all stabs pinched and set up in place for the chapper again so no wasted time

 

Wot type of chapper is it? Looks as thou ground could be a wee bit soft in places, if a heavier make u might need the twins on or atleast on the knocker side

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Make sure whoever you hire in the boppers got a rockspike! It will make a huge difference! As to using a Mankiller, a decent bopper is far quicker than by hand, aslo far more sustainable!

If you get prepped up you will put alot up in a day, get your strainers where you want them and your line wire rolled out ready to go!

 

Interesting about the double strainers for animal movement? The deer will jump is my guess, you running just a single top strand?

Wire wise, the pheasant friendly stuff isn't much (if at all) cheaper, I'd be tempted to run some ht80/8/22 upside down.

 

Double posts on gateways is a must as far as I see. Only takes 5 seconds of snoozing to catch a Gatepost during a wet winter. You break the Gatepost it's not the end of the world, you snap the end strainer on a 400m run your in for a headache!

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I would far rather use the manual post driver ahead of the maul,

I pinch holes, then pour water down , then knock in if I'm doing by hand, that soaking holes, makes a big difference, then string the top wire and use the maul to chap in the higher ones,

 

I hire my chapper too, and I always have stuff out ready, if strainers are already there then it's pinch post holes and place them in,

 

I agree if you have everything organised you can chap a lot in a day,

 

I once did 30 strainers,and 600 posts on an October day once started chapping at 9 done for 5.30.

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Any one telling me they knock in the intermediates by hand regularly, is just saying they're on boys ground! I can't stand it myself, we have awful ground here on Dartmoor with granite lurking below the surface mostly and its a job sometimes just to get the rockspike in let alone do anything by hand. I get very happy if i manage to get a strainer into full depth 4ft.

With a decent machine at least you can push/pull the post into position to an extent,

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Used to do the whole job by hand when I started and could do a 100m run by myself nice and steady in a day, hand knocking is a lot quicker on soft ground and on firmer ground you can always get two people on the thumper and still fly them in once you get your rythm.

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On most of ground i've fenced u are almost as quick once u get mel swinging.

Never been a fan of thumpers/dollies apart from for 8-9ft deer posts, always seems a waste of momentum to me, where if u can swing ur mel with a baseball grip u hardly notice it once u get used to it

 

Esp if ur were on ur own and out in tractor all day every 2m to work chapper. Seen me (occasionally the boss too, 3 man squad but i was the mel boy) posting 300m a day with mel and that was just the norm really. In fact i found that easy as the previous boss u had to hand dig and pack the strainers too.

 

As long as u have a good hole pinched

But i can understand on very stony/granite ground is a different story or clay in dry weather (not really problem in scotland)

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I can't believe that you find maul easier to work than the hand thumper,

You posts far straighter than with maul,

Also maul splits head of posts, though apparently Mr storrs thinks we are peely wally ibn Scotland we don't have hard ground,

Well Mr storrs if you find yourself up this way ill take you to some "boys ground" see how you get on chief.

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Its all very well knocking all the posts in by hand and leaving the machine at home but wait until your 50 and your joints are knackered and your bodys worn out. A decent tracked knocker can be bought for less than a years wages will knock in 10ft strainers all day in most conditions, carrys all your tools and materials and requires one man to operate. in my opinion its a no brainer. Let the machine do the hard work and leave the mel at home

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Perhaps we should have a post knocking competition, man vs machine! I know I'll hold it on the land that the fencing needs doing on. I'll provide the beer and waive the entrance fee! Having done tree work for 25yrs and just recovering from surgery I certainly won't be using the maul or drivall ever again!

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