How To Pull Out Fence Posts

In the midst of a landscaping job, my wife decided she wanted the gate to our wooden privacy fence moved.  Along with this “easy job” was the removal of fencing and the associated fence posts too.  Taking off the fencing material was not too bad once I broke out the Dewalt cordless saws-all.  Removing the ten buried 4×4 fence posts was another matter altogether.  They were cemented in….

Ideally I would have just used the front-end-loader on my farm tractor and pulled the wooden posts out of the ground.  But we could not get the tractor into the yard because of clearances.  So with my son’s help, fence post number one took more than an hour to dig up.  We had little to no room to operate; the ground was harder than heck; and to our dismay we discovered the posts had been cemented into the ground.  We actually broke one shovel head off trying to pry the posts out.

So in the process we decided to let our vast knowledge of physics help us out.  We took an 8’ long 2×4 and using a cement block as the fulcrum, attempted to simply lever the post out of the ground.  This was a great concept in principle, but poor in performance.  Even with the post partially dug out we snapped two different 2×4’s right off.  These posts were not going to move and we had nine more to get to – it was not looking like a good day.

While we took a break for lunch, I noodled over how to solve this problem and we implemented Plan B.  We used our farm jack and some chain to pull the posts.  Placing a 4×4 on the ground next to the fence post being pulled, we wrapped a chain around the base and then jacked the post and cement ball out.  Each post took about 5 minutes to pull (because we would move the jack to the opposite side for a second angle).  It was still hard work cranking the jack by hand, but every fence post came right out nice as you please….cement and all!  Now not everyone has a 4’ tall farm jack…but I am betting a regular car jack would be just as useful in a pinch too.

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Now I get to work on fixing my bad back again….

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