Insulated and Non-Conductive Bracing Systems

Most fence contractors and professional farm fence builders will likely agree that the backbone of your fence system is the corner posts and bracing. Your corner posts, end posts, and gate posts are the beginning step, and installing them properly will help ensure a quality project.

Treated wood posts are most commonly used, but steel posts, native wood posts, and now composite posts can also be considered.BraceUnit_side

The bracing system most used in the USA is the standard H-brace method.  This is a proven method that is chosen by most installers for woven wire, barbed wire, and electric high-tensile fencing.
Another option is a floating diagonal corner brace, which does have merit, especially in rocky soils. It allows one structural post to be installed into the ground with floating diagonal braces. In essence, it allows for putting one post into the ground rather than three.

In the case of high-tensile electric fencing, there are certain considerations to be taken regarding insulating the electric wire from the brace post and end posts. This is normally achieved by an end-strain insulator on the end post with screw-on insulators on the brace posts. You do still need to keep your hot wire away from any diagonal brace wires or potential shorts.
DSC_0248Kencove recently designed the Dynamic Diagonal Brace System, which utilizes a 1 ¼” fiberglass diagonal member. It is designed with unique plates that attach to the vertical end or corner posts. (video link)

With our 3 ½” x 8’ Line Boss composite post (PP3.5X8B), coupled with the Dynamic Diagonal Brace (HDD), it is possible to have a completely insulated and non-conductive corner or end system. This will allow you to attach the high-tensile wire directly to the composite post without needing end-strain insulators. DSC_0730Our preliminary testing shows that this will work well with up to three strands of high-tensile wire. For five or more strands, the composite posts show signs of flexing. We maintain that with five or more strands for your perimeter fences, a CCA-treated wood post is a better option. But, for all your one, two, or three strands of interior cross fences, the insulated and non-conductive system is a wonderful option.

The 3 ½” Line Boss composite post will also work well for your gate posts on interior fences braced with the Dynamic Diagonal Brace. With most intensive or rotational grazing systems, you will have a lot of gateways on your interior fences in order to move livestock from one paddock to the next. The use of this combination of materials will give you an easy installation, as well as a long-lasting, trouble-free future.

As an associate once pointed out to me, if you build a high-quality, high-tensile electric fence, and power it with an adequate fence charger, the only thing you will ever physically touch on it for the next 30+ years will be your gateways.

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