What's The Most Durable Fencing For Ranchers

The vision of the west hasn’t changed for over a hundred years.  The sweeping fields of a majestic ranch skirted by wooden fences.

The image is great but every rancher knows that all that fencing has to be built and constantly maintained.

Fencing is one of the biggest expenses in a rancher’s budget. It stands to reason that the more durable the fence, the more cost-effective this will be for the business.

A durable fence doesn’t just mean a fence that is solid and that will stand up to mechanical pressure.

In order to determine the most durable fencing for ranchers we need to consider:

  • Is It Fit For Purpose?
  • How Much Maintenance Does It Require?
  • Financial Costs

Is It Fit For Purpose?

The different varieties of ranch animals require a variety of fencing. Each of those fences can be durable in their own way

  • Wood Fencing

Traditional wooden fencing can be robust and withstand cattle and other larger livestock. Although it can seem mechanically durable, it can still be susceptible to moisture and the elements.

  • Wire Fencing

Galvanised wire fences are popular for goat, sheep, pig’s cattle and even deer. The galvanized steel makes them resistant to moisture.

High tensile wire fencing is sometimes supplemented by having the electric wires on the top. This can deter some animals from applying their weight to the fence but sheep’s fleeces can negate this by natural insulation.

Although the wire is resistant to the elements

  • Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl ranch rail fencing is a more modern alternative to wooden rail fencing. The vinyl is resilient to moisture and ultraviolet damage. The vinyl is also mechanically sound and is popular as horse fencing.

How Much Maintenance Does It Require?

For a fence to remain durable it is important that it is regularly maintained. The durability of a ranch fence is therefore partly dependent on the ease of its maintenance.

  • Wood Fencing

A big part of wood fence maintenance is regular cleaning and maintaining the preservative coating. If a pressure washer is used too close to the fence it can actually damage the wood. Continual use of a pressure washer can also remove the protective treatments from the wood. Both these factors affect the durability of a wood fence.

  • Wire Fencing

To maintain the integrity of a wire fence, it is important to maintain tension. A wire fence is also dependent on the strength and integrity of its posts. If the posts are wooden, they also require the same maintenance requirements as a wooden fence.

  • Vinyl Fencing

As vinyl is designed as a resilient material there is not much need for minor repairs. Primarily the maintenance of vinyl fencing is just down to inspection and regular cleaning. If installed properly this is a very durable option. 3 rail vinyl fence

Financial Costs

When we consider the fence being durable it is important to look at the financial implications. This is not just the initial build costs but the maintenance and any material replacement costs.

  • Wood Fencing

Wooden split rail fence is estimated to cost approximately $12 to $16 per linear foot for professional installation. There will also be an added cost of treating the wood if it is regularly pressure washed. If the timber is not properly maintained you may also need to replace sections of wood on the fence.

  • Wire Fencing

The average cost of installing a wire fence is approximately $1.20 to $2.00 per foot. These costs do not include the cost of fence posts and staples to attach the wire.

  • Vinyl Fencing

Vinyl split rail fence is estimated to cost approximately $15 to $20 per linear foot for professional installation. The grade of the vinyl and the zip code can affect this cost. Replacement costs are minimal as this material is designed to be resilient to the elements. Material replacement costs for maintenance are also minimal.

Taking Stock of your options

If you choose the right ranch fence for the right purpose it should provide years of durability.

The time and money spent on this expensive investment shouldn’t be taken lightly.

To make an informed decision, consult an expert now.

Image: Source Unsplash.com, Mahir Uysal