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Right Tool for the Job (within reason)

Posts: 67
Location: Mille Lacs, MN
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I am looking for suggestions on tooling for grading ground for fencelines.

I am going to be installing a couple miles of fencing over the next couple years. There are some areas in the pasture that have never had fence before and thus the ground has never been prepared for a fence line.

The ground contour on a large scale is actually quite smooth and even, but on a closer level there is a lot of bumps (dips and rises) and large rocks.
Since I want my fence to follow the ground decently, I need to smooth out the bumps and rocks so that line posts on 24.5ft centers will keep the high tensile wire a fairly even height above grade.

On the upside, I have a 110hp tractor to use for the right implement if you have any suggestions. It has a front end loader, so I know I can use it to scoop off bumps and pour that material in to the dips, but for a couple miles of fence line, that isn't realistically efficient.

Some things I started thinking of:

-Heavy Duty Box Blade with Shanks?
-Plowing the fence line multiple passes with a heavy duty subsoiler and then passing back over with something to smooth it?

Attached are a couple photos attempting to show the terrain. Again, on a grand-scale, it looks like super-flat ground- so no material "scooping and filling" needs to be done. But on a ground-level scale in a 10 ft run the ground can bob up and down 12-16"......

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I am a huge fan of Use-What-You-Got, so if all I had to work with was a tractor, I would probably plow up a few strips with a land plow, then grade the area back down. The more the ground is pulverized, with say a disc harrow, the more smooth you will get it. Still, just cutting the sod up and regrading it will get it smooth enough.

I am super cheap...well...frugal lets say, so when I till my fields in crop rotation, I plow, then harrow, then using a trailer I have, chain a log across the front of it, and using my 3 point hitch to lift it up and down, I essentially have a 24 foot wide grader blade. This cuts from the high spots and drops the soil into the low spots making for a super smooth field. You could do the same thing, only with a 8 foot wide log since it just needs to be smooth where your fence is going.

So if I was you, I would buy or borrow a 1 or 2 bottom plow, cut the sod where you want your fence line, then assuming you have a trailer of some sort, built a log across the front of it and grade the soil smooth. You could nix the log onto a trailer if you lack a trailer and just back drag the fence line with your tractor bucket since the sod is now broken up. Should you want to spend more money and buy stuff, you could just buy a grader blade for the back of your tractor, or even a disk harrow if you want to break the clods of sod up even better.
Travis Johnson
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Is that what I would do?

Nope, but as I said I am a Use-What-You-Got sort of guy and I have a bulldozer.

I would smooth it with that, BUT...here is the wonder of a bulldozer. They are great at making fences. I have a bolt on post-pounder that goes on the front of my dozer blade. In the spring of the year when it is wet from having the frost out, and the spring rains, I take my sharpened fence posts, drive up the fence line. Because I am on tracks, mud does not limit where I can drive. With the weight of my bulldozer, the hydraulics, and the wet ground, my bulldozer easily sinks 6 foot posts. I carry the fence posts behind me on my log trailer too, and while for corner posts and gate posts where 8 foot posts are used, I must use my post hole driller (driven by my log trailer). It is then just a matter of rolling out the woven wire, stretching it with my log trailer, then stapling it up. I can build fence pretty fast in this manner.

If you were inclined, you could rent a bulldozer.
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