How To Tear Out A Fence Row

It happens all the time in rural America. A wire fence has outlived its purpose, and needs to be taken out, fence posts and all. So here’s how to tear out a fence row.

For this job, we’ll be using a John Deere 5100R Utility Tractor (US CA) with a 540R Loader (US CA), a Frontier AV20G Root Grapple (US CA), and a Frontier RB2308 Rear Blade (US CA) with end plates.

We’re going to tear out a fence row that’s about 70 years old and made of wooden posts and barbed wire. It has degraded over time and is in a state of disrepair. Barbed wire like this can get caught up in a rotary cutter’s blades. Cattle can get tangled up in it, or scatter it throughout the pasture. It’s done serving its purpose and this fence has to come out.

This is one of those jobs you could technically do by yourself. But take it from us, this project will go a whole lot faster with a team of two people – one in the tractor, and one on the ground. So Scott and Digger Dan, the tractor-drivin’ man, will handle this project together.

Using long-handled bolt cutters, Scott will remove the barbed wire from the fence posts, rolling the wire together as he moves along the line. After he makes a bit of progress, Dan will start pulling the posts out of the ground – along with any small trees or bushes that have grown up around them, and piling them all together using the root grapple.

Now if you’re the teammate on the ground, in addition to wearing strong leather gloves, it’s a good idea to wear eye protection, and a long sleeve shirt or jacket you won’t be wearing out to dinner with the in-laws. No matter how careful you are, that barbed wire is going to get those sleeves and tear them up a bit.

When Scott is done, the barbed wire will all be rolled into several balls spotted along the former fence line.

Having the right tool for the job.

The root grapple is a great tool for this project for a couple reasons.

First, it’s a great tool for pulling those fence posts, brush, and small trees out of the ground. The tip is to tilt the grapple all the way down and come at the post from above. Lower the grapple all the way to the ground and pull from the bottom-most point of the post.

But that grapple is also perfect for scooping up a big pile of posts and other debris and carrying it all to your disposal pile. All that material can help reduce erosion in a low-lying area or drainage point.

After that’s done, Dan can come along and compress and gather up the barbed wire rolls and add them to the disposal pile, too.

All that, and Dan will never have to get out of the tractor cab until the work is done. Something tells me Scott will suggest he and Dan trade jobs the next time a project like this comes along.

Frontier has nearly 600 implements that are available only from your John Deere dealer, the place to go for advice and equipment.

So remember, for implements that help turn your tractor into the workhorse it was built to be, think Frontier and your John Deere dealer.

And lastly, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.


Helpful Links:

Frontier Root Grapples (US CA)

Frontier Loader Attachments (US CA)

Frontier Rear Blades (US CA)

Frontier Landscape Equipment (US CA)

John Deere Tractors (US CA)

John Deere Loaders (US CA)

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How To Clear Debris Using A Root Grapple

How to build a rail fence

How to use a PTO-driven post hole digger

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