Can You Move Fence Posts? Read This Guide


Fence posts may not seem like the easiest structure to relocate, but we can help you out through this guide right here. After living in rural Canada, I’ve seen so many different ways various people have handled this task. I am eager to help you find the method that works for you

Fence posts can be moved and handled. There are many steps and methods for moving fence posts including the chain link method, tractor method, digging method, and auger method. Each method depends on the type of fence post and the materials that are readily available for your move.

The methods below are commonly used ways to move fence posts.

1. Chain Link Method

The chain link method is a typical method for most fence-movers. All you need are chain links and a jack. Make sure to get some help to move the fence as well.

Steps:

  1. Dig around the fence post to make it easier to lift. Make sure to leave an ample amount of wiggle room for it to pull out.
  2. Wrap the chain around the fence post. Make sure that the chain is secured comfortably on the fence post, and that it is tight enough to lift without coming loose.
  3. Lift it using a farm jack. This “is a multi-functional shop equipment that is perfect for lifting tractors and heavy trucks, pulling posts and poles, or uprooting saplings and stumps.” Source
  4. Move and place fence posts in a stable, sturdy foundation. For those who need to create a stable foundation, it is best to use concrete mix and water in your fence post hole. Check the plumb of the post and adjust it as necessary. Add as much concrete as will fit in the hole around, and over the old concrete anchor. Let the concrete cure for 72 hours so the new concrete is dry and bonded to the old concrete anchor. Source

2. Tractor Method

If you or a friend have access to a tractor, use this method below. Not everyone has a tractor, but for those who do this proves to be a very easy and less strenuous method. Make sure you have a tractor with a front end loader and some chain links.

Steps:

  1. Dig around the fence post to make it easier to lift. Make sure to leave an ample amount of wiggle room for it to pull out.
  2. Wrap chain around the fence post. Make sure that the chain is secured comfortably on the fence post, and that it is tight enough to lift without becoming loose.
  3. Lift it with a front end loader. They seem to come out very quickly and easily this way, despite the foundation below.
  4. Move and place fence posts in a stable, sturdy foundation. Fill the hole with concrete mix and water. Check the plumb of the post and adjust it as necessary. Add as much concrete as will fit in the hole around, and over the old concrete anchor. Let the concrete cure for 72 hours so the new concrete is dry and bonded to the old concrete anchor. Source

3. Digging Method

If all you got is you, yourself, and a shovel, this method will be the best for your situation. This method is a great tool to help with those fences that require more work. I’ve adapted these steps more universally on this website. This method might be a little bit more strenuous and time-consuming but for fences that aren’t too “built-in”, it proves to be pretty beneficial! Source

Steps (Taken Directly From Construction Expert Danny Donahue):

  1. Dig up the fence post along with its concrete anchor with your shovel. Remove all of the soil around the base. Lift the fence post and its concrete anchor with the help of at least one assistant.
  2. Dig a new hole in whatever location you desire. Make the hole 6 inches deeper and 12 inches wider than the concrete anchor on your fence post. Place a 4-inch layer of sand into the bottom of the hole.
  3. Lower the concrete anchor on your post into the new hole with the help of your assistants. Hold the level to each side of the vinyl post and adjust it to make it perfectly plumb, or vertical.
  4. Fill the hole with concrete mix and water. Check the plumb of the post and adjust it as necessary. Add as much concrete as will fit in the hole around, and over the old concrete anchor. Leave the post alone. Let the concrete cure for 72 hours so the new concrete is dry and bonded to the old concrete anchor. Source

4. Auger Method

Instead of listing off the steps, here is a very handy video that can help you understand the Auger Method best. This is a great method for those who simply need to relocate the fence posts. The video below will explain to you what you need and how this method is done.

5. Rolling Method:

I found a great step-by-step site on how to successfully “roll” your fence to the position it needs to be. All you need is a rope, bar, a lever (you can use either a thick plank and board), a cement block (to stabilize the lever), and some water (to soak and make it easier to move).

This is a great, simple method that doesn’t take a ton of heavy lifting. This method is primarily for individuals whose fences aren’t too deep or cemented in. If your fence panel has a strong, deep foundation, try some of these other methods! Also, be sure to wear eye protection so no fragments of cement can harm you or the people you are working with.

Steps:

  1. Assess the status of the fence post (as noted above)
  2. Dig a trench around the post using a shovel (doesn’t need to be more than one foot deep)
  3. Soak the soil surrounding the fence post with water.
  4. Rock the post in place. Push it backward and forwards to loosen the ground around the fence panel.
  5. Nail It! Drive four nails into each face (angle) of the post. Make sure they are driven into the surface of the post at least one foot.
  6. Use a strong rope to tie your fence post securely. Also, wrap your rope around the nails to give the post the extra strength needed.
  7. Align the concrete block and the lever next to the nail to extract it out
  8. Attach the rope to the end of the board closest to the post.
  9. Stand on the opposite end of the lever to give it momentum. Think of it as a see-saw.
  10. Remove the fence post from the hole once the lever gives the post enough slack for it to move. Source

Tips For A Successful Move:

  • National DIY Expert Mark from MyFixItUpLife.com has a great method to be able to move these fence panels safely and securely. Here is a very informative video on how to properly do this. In the video, he states that moving heavy things like fence posts “require leverage, lowering friction, momentum, and balance”. Source

For whatever method, make sure to get some friends and family involved. It makes for a great outing and we all know that teamwork makes the dream work! It is smart to get as many people as possible to help out, as it is a pretty daunting task.

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