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How to Remove Fence Post (3 Methods)

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There are many different ways to remove a fence post. Some of the methods are more back breaking than others, but you’ve got options. It all comes down to your available supplies and tools and how much work you’re willing to put into removing the post. 

In this article, we’ll cover a few different ways to remove a fence post.

How to Remove a Fence Post with Heavey Equipment

Heavy-duty equipment isn’t a requirement for removing a fence post. Sometimes a shovel is all you need. 

If your wooden fence post is installed without a concrete base, you could remove it without much resistance. If it does have a cement base, proceed to the next section. 

What you need: 

  • Hammer
  • Pry bar
  • Sledgehammer
  • Shovel 

Grab a Shovel 

Begin by using your shovel to dig around the post. You want to dig from all sides. 

Then a Sledgehammer 

After you dig a considerable amount of dirt, you should see the concrete wrapping wood.

Next, you want to grab a sledgehammer and start breaking up the concrete. 

You Might Even Need the Pry Bar and Hammer

Some concrete insists on sticking no matter how hard you slam the sledgehammer, and that’s where the pry bar comes in. 

You want to stick the tail-end of the prybar into the ground, grab a hammer, and start hammering the pry bar, breaking up the space between the concrete and fence post. 

You might need to rotate between the sledgehammer, pry bar, and hammer, but after some time, the fence post should be loose enough to where you can pull it out of the ground. 

This is by far the most physical and demanding method. However, it gets the job done.

Remove a Fence Post Using a Tractor

This is probably one of the easiest methods to remove a fence post. Of course, not everyone has a tractor. But this is your best bet if you’re one of the lucky ones who own a tractor.

Or, even better, if you know someone with a tractor, maybe they can come over and do the job for you!

What you need: 

  • Tractor 
  • A strong rope or chain
  1. Tie a strong rope around wood and tie it around the tractor’s loader. 
  2. Once attached to the loader, get inside the tractor and lift the fence post out of the ground. 
  3. You technically can use a car to do the same thing. You would tie the rope to the fence and the back bumper rail of your vehicle. 

Remember, pulling out the fence with just an ordinary car could be a bad idea, depending on how old and built the car is, so we don’t recommend using your vehicle for lifting fence posts. 

Remove a Fence Post with a Hi-Lift Jack

A Hi-lift jack has been around for 100’s of years. As you can guess by the name, it is a tool used to lift things. Many people in gardening, landscaping, farming, or living out in the countryside believe it is one of the best tools you can have. 

What you need: 

  • Hi-lift Jack
  • Chain

Start Digging

Before removing your wooden post, you should wet the soil a little because it will help with the first step, which involves a little digging. 

You want to dig about two to three feet in diameter around the post. The wider the hole, the easier the process will be. 

Even so, you don’t need to dig super far down, just enough so you can wrap a chain around the concrete footing.

Wrap a Chain Around the Post

Grab your steel chain and wrap it around the concrete footing surrounding the wood fence posts, using the slip hook to connect the chain. 

Hold the chain with a grab hook in your hand. 

If you don’t see a grab hook, then you might need to grab a longer chain. 

However, before you go shopping for another chain, check if the chain you have now is adjustable in size. 

Connect the Chain to the Jack

Next, you will wrap the tail-end of the chain around the high-lift jack. 

After wrapping the chain around the high-lift jack, you will want to secure the chain by using the grab hook to latch it to itself. 

Make sure the chain is as tight to the base as possible for your safety. This will prevent the jack from moving forward or slipping off when you are pulling the fence post from the ground. 

Start Pulling the Fence Post Out of the Ground.

As you start cranking, the jack will start leaning forward toward the post. This is normal, but you’ll want to try and limit this as much as possible. You can do this by using one hand to keep the jack in place and the other hand to operate the lever.  

If the jack starts to lean too far forward, then you might need to stop and reposition the jack. 

In time, the post will finally give out. Doing things like watering the soil and digging deep will help the cranking process go smoother. 

Remove a Fence Post with an High-Lift Jack

Farmer’s jack, or some people call it a high-lift jack,  

The high lift jack has been noted to have more flexibility but is harder to use. The way you remove a fence post with a farmer’s jack is very similar to the high lift jack. 

What you need: 

  • High-lift Jack
  • Chain 
  • Water (recommended but not required) 
  • Shovel (recommended but not required)

Wrap a Chain Around the Concrete

Before Starting, it is recommended that you loosen up the soil by shoveling around the fence post or by soaking the ground around the concrete. However, if you don’t have access to a shovel or water, then that’s okay; it just won’t be as easy to pull out.    

Wrap the chain around the base of the fence post. Once you wrap the chain around the fence post, hook it to itself. 

 Connect the Chain to The Farmer’s Jack

After hooking the chain to itself, connect the chain to the farm jack. It is important to note, if you don’t have a shackle, you can wrap the chain around the lifting part of the jack. 

Start Lifting the Post Out of the Ground 

Place the foot near the concrete and start cranking the farmer’s jack until the fence post is pulled from the ground. 

We have plenty of other fence articles you may be interested in. One of those articles is about how close to a fence can you plant a hedge, and another is how to cover a fence cheaply. So be sure to give those articles a look at and the many others.

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Jena Slocum Co-Founder

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