The Beauty of Simplicity

I put my first high tensile electric fence in around 1985 in Colorado. That was a busy time in my life and I hired a contractor to provide and install it. In retrospect I was lucky. I got a good job with quality materials and that fence left a lifelong good taste in my mouth. Not everyone can say that. And, I have had to live and learn, along the way, but I did start off on the right foot with a good system.

Since then I have seen about every form of electric fence imaginable by man. Some of these have been works of art. Some have been cobbled up with economy in mind, with items that have been made, pilfered and found. Some have cost much more than they should have. Some are easy to maintain and some are a nightmare. The one common factor of the ones that work the best are the ones designed with “simplicity in mind.”

In the electric fencing industry there has been every gadget imaginable, manufactured to make our life easier and more convenient. We human beings, as a whole, have a desire to accumulate all these gadgets in an effort to improve our quality of life.

Well, with electric fencing in particular, every gadget that we hang on our fences is also a potential for a problem or failure. We tend to over complicate a very simple concept.

The truth is: there is a very short list of necessities and if you stick to it and not be tempted to hang all this crap on your fence – you will be doing yourself and your offspring a great service! What do you need?

  • A good solid corner post. A wood CCA treated post that will last 40+ years. (Remember, although steel is long lived and strong – it is the enemy of electric fencing.)
  • The best corner or end insulator that money can buy, to pull your wire off of.
  • 12.5 gauge high tensile wire with a class III coating (or better) of 170K psi or greater.
  • The best wire tensioner that money can buy.
  • A line post to support the wire and maintain wire spacing.
  • A powerful and reliable energizer that is properly grounded.

These above items are the basic necessities and if you concentrate on spending your money wisely on these six items you will have a good solid reliable system. Installation of these items can be and is an art in itself, however one that is learned easily, but another subject of its own.

Additionally, of these 6 items, the one with the most potential to save you time and money is item 5, your line posts. It is also the item that will consume the highest percentage of your fence material building costs. Furthermore, it is also the item that can create the largest potential of problems down the road in maintenance and replacement.

The PasturePro post serves its purpose as an electric fence line post extremely well, with “genuine simplicity” at the head of its list of benefits. Other than a cotter pin to hold the wire in place, there are no gadgets required – and most importantly, no potential for failure or requirements for future maintenance.

There is no need of insulators as this post is non-conductive. The best line post insulators in the world have a 10 year warranty at best. Most have no warranty at all. What does this tell you? It simply tells me: why build a 40+ year fence then put gadgets on it that won’t last more than a few years.

There was a sales call I made several years ago that still stands out vividly in my mind. Focal Dairy had just relocated from New Zealand to Missouri. I was invited to show and demonstrate our line of fencing and particularly the Powerflex post, which was just being introduced into the industry at that time.

This was a group of world class graziers. Born on the farm dairymen and fence contractors, whose fathers had been using high tensile electric fencing 25 years before us Americans even knew what it was.

This was an outdoor “on the tailgate” presentation and the type I like. I had several boxes of products to show and tell, however within minutes there remained six main items on the tailgate, plus some quality tools. Those items were the ones in the list above. Since that day, we have provided in excess of 40,000 PasturePro posts to the New Zealand dairies in southwest Missouri. Hats off to “simplicity.”


About Gary Duncan

Gary has been active in the fence business for over 15 years. He also raises Highland cattle in a management intensive grazing system and was the first person to market the PasturePro post back in 2005. He enjoys discussing all things grazing and is the main contributor to the blog.
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