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Old 14-02-2003, 06:39 PM
Michael Bruss
 
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Default Wooden 4x4 vs Vinyl or Plastic posts?

In misc.rural dp wrote:
: does anybody have any recommendations which material is cheaper/better
: in teh long run? plastic, wooden or vinyl posts? any stories to share?
: thanks

Actually vinyl is a type of plastic. Advantages of vinyl are that
it never needs painting and will never rot. Vinyl is an isulator so
electric fencing needs no additional insulators when attached to it. Newer
vinyl is highly resistant to UV. Disadvantages are that it may cost more
than wood, it's harder to fasten wire fencing to it, and a grass/range fire
will melt or burn it. Vinyl posts are usually hollow.

Pressure treated wood has the advantage of lower cost (usually) and is
widely available. It's easy to nail or staple fencing to it, and it's more
resistant to grass fires than vinyl/plastic. Longevity is many years, but
eventually it will rot or disintegrate. CCA (chromated copper arsenate;
it's green) is being phased-out as a preservative because of environmental
concerns; replacement will probably be borate. Although wood it a good
insulator when dry, it holds moisture when wet, so electric fencing needs
insulator when strung along wood. If you want white, you'll have to paint
it periodically.

Composite recycled plastic posts are generally expensive and not available
everywhere. They're usually solid, and you can nail/staple fencing directly
to them. They do not rot and are highly resistant to UV and don't need
painting if you like white. They're good insulators, but will probably fare
poorly in a grass fire

Of course there are other types of posts like steel pipe, T-posts,
concrete, and usenet which all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Mike