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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,525

    Default how to get posts out of the ground

    Guys I just looked at a bunch of wind damaged fencing for a couple of different customers. High winds took down sections in several places on both fences. Snapped off the 4x4 posts at ground level. Posts are set in conctrete. They would like to put the fence back together to match the rest of the fence. I am looking for ways that you might suggest pulling the posts out of the ground so we can reset the fence sections.

    On one fence this is pretty important that we set the posts back in the same location. Some how or another the sections are fine with the exception of one or two pickets.

    Here is how I have done a few in the past but that was one or two posts only. I do some digging around the concrete, possibly half way down the concrete. Then drive a 6 inch eyebolt with a lag end on it into the posts. Have a large pry bar with a point that fits into the eyebolt. Use a 4x4 or 6x6 chunck of blocking and can pry the rest of the concrete out of the hole once the suction is broken. But if I get the job one fence has maybe 10 posts the other 8. That is a lot to try the pry bar thing.

    Any other ideas on how to do this type of job?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,339

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Sure- rent or hire an excavator. The little ones should be able to pull those, and then you can use it to load the concrete into the dumpster or your truck.
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Holly Springs, GA
    Posts
    3,287

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Hi-Lift jack and a chain- much easier than using a prybar, and no need to drill holes for eyebolts to pry against.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    St. Catharines, ON Canada
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Same as Bob said, using a chain and Jack. Another method that works is a portable engine hoist with a chain around the post/concrete. It will sink into the soil, but works well.

    Similar to this:

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...engine%2Bhoist

    scott

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Depending on the cost of an excavator or backhoe, that's probably your best approach. I would have to pay $100 drop-off fee and another $100/hour for a small machine w/operator, but the whole thing would be over in maybe half an hour, and for $150 I can't be losing time and straining my back or fooling around with a jack, chain, eyebolt, or whatever. After the machine pulled the first one I'd be setting a new one in the same hole, in other words if he shows up at 8:00 AM then I am productive by about 8:10. My excavator would do something like this very quickly, he'd leave his coffee in his truck and it would still be hot when he was loaded up and leaving. If I asked he'd put all the slugs of concrete on the trailer and take those too, crunch them up into road base.

    Hydraulics are your best friend. Never do by hand what can be done with an oil-filled ram.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    David,

    "Never do by hand what can be done with an oil-filled ram."

    You are a wise man.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    1,566

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Back in the early 1900's, my grandfather removed mesquite tree stumps on his ranch in West Texas with a stick of dynamite inserted underneath. Now that's entertainment!
    Joe Adams
    Deep Creek Builders, Inc.
    Houston, Texas

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Kent UK
    Posts
    3,152

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    thats what grandfathers are there for, telling you the quickest and most dangerous method

    or the most useless

    mine used to power his electric drill (his only power tool) off a light fitting and fixed everything with UHU glue and duct tape

    he was the one who gave me my first electric shock (we run at 240 volt)

    my dad who told me why years later

    my grandfather was sick and tired of replacing 5 amp fuse wire on the lighting circuit (when fuse boards meant just that) so he soldered in a nail
    Last edited by Tom Bainbridge; 05-05-2010 at 01:34 PM.
    Limey Carpenter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Graham, Wettern Washington
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Haven't posted here in quite a long time but would like to contribute---

    Kinda like Beezo's idea I do somewhat the same thing. Either use a welded or cast lag threaded eye bolt driven into the post remnants in the concrete. If I don't have an eye bolt I will use a 1/2 lag bolt and a short length of chain to form a loop.

    I usually have a few 4/4 posts available--either intended for the fence or left over from other projects. The posts need to be at least six feet long. Take three posts and drill a 5/8 hole about three inches from the end thru each post. Use a length of 1/2 inch allthread about 18 inches long to secure the posts together, leaving about 2 inches between posts. A nut and washer at the end of the allthread. Raise the three posts to make a tripod frame over the center of the concrete.

    A come-along suspended from the top of the tripod should pop the concrete right out of the ground. Hang the come-along in such a manner that you are pulling DOWN on the handle to raise the load. Sometimes you might need to flood the area around the concrete to loosen up the soil. If you don't get too sloppy with the mud there should be very little work to get the hole prepped for a new post and concrete.
    Danny Waite
    Pine Ridge Builders, LLC

    He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool. But he who knows not and knows that he knows not is wise.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    St. Catharines, ON Canada
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Dave, for that kind of money I would easily rent one. Here you would be into $500-$600 min charge without an operator. Thats just to rent the machine.

    scott

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Scott, there are a lot of guys with machines around here, and payments to make on those machines. Usual is somewhere between $0 and $100 for dropoff, and $75-200/hr with operator, the low end being a backhoe or mini ex, the high end being a big machine with rockhammer.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,339

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by scott_w View Post
    Dave, for that kind of money I would easily rent one. Here you would be into $500-$600 min charge without an operator. Thats just to rent the machine.

    scott
    $500-$600? Yowza! I just went and checked on it- need a ditch-witch, but noticed the mini-excavator is $105/day, $60/half day. Equipment is pricey in Canada- although, $500 is only what, $495 USD?
    http://www.lavrans.com

    "He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp posts; for support rather than illumination." -Andrew Lang

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    St Louis, Mo for the past 25 years
    Posts
    7,525

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    excavator here would be at lest $300 or more. The small walk behind excavator that you can get at HD or a rental yard might work if the homeowner will let us go thru the yard with the thing. One is very full of plants and I have already been grilled about how much damage I would do when doing the work.

    I am still a little unsure how you get the posts out so quickly. Someone still has to dig around the posts somewhat just to find the concrete. Several that I saw were already going to fall over due to the amount of rot that they were showing. So the eye bolt thing might not work. I am guessing you are going to have to hand dig around the concrete just to hook something around it and if I am going to have to do that I have to make sure it is down enough to get the chain around it so it does not slip off.

    I know I have not tried these other metods but to me they sound simplier than I think they actually are.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, Washington
    Posts
    13,029

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    If it's done by excavator it would be with a trenching bucket (~16" wide with teeth) and a thumb. Grab the concrete about a foot below grade and pluck it out.

    If you can't leave any marks on the grass, the price just went up, a lot.
    Bailer Hill Construction, Inc. - Friday Harbor, WA
    Website - Facebook

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    9,252

    Default Re: how to get posts out of the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by David Meiland View Post
    Scott, there are a lot of guys with machines around here, and payments to make on those machines. Usual is somewhere between $0 and $100 for dropoff, and $75-200/hr with operator, the low end being a backhoe or mini ex, the high end being a big machine with rockhammer.
    That is about the same here - I charge $100 Per operating HR with the 6' snowblower and $55 for travel time.

    As you said - hydraulics are your friends.
    “Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”
    Abraham J. Heschel (Jewish theologian and philosopher, 1907-1972)

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