SLIDE posts out of the ground using water pressure

Our Story

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Homeowners with wooden privacy fences:

  • is your fence sagging or wobbly?
  • did recent storms or wind damage your fence and knock down sections?
  • are you receiving repair notices from your HOA?
  • have repair quotes totaled thousands of dollars?
  • are your posts set in concrete?
  • have you spent hours trying to replace just one post?
  • are you concerned about safety when applying tons of force to a rotten post from a lifting jack?
  • have you found other post pullers that cost hundreds of dollars?
  • are your posts rotten/broken off at ground level?
  • do you have more ‘helper’ posts or repairs than original posts?
  • did your installer use landscape timbers or substandard materials instead of 4×4 inch posts pressure treated for ground-contact?

At Sawyer Ventures, we encountered the same challenges and thought there had to be an easier, inexpensive way to remove fence posts and concrete footings from the ground, even if the post is broken off.

Applying thousands of pounds of force from a jack or lever to a deteriorating post and concrete base is dangerous! At any moment the post can give way and injure yourself or others.

We developed a method that makes it easy for two people to remove the posts by virtually eliminating the friction force between the post and the ground. It is just like lifting the weight of the post and concrete from a hole.

Don’t break your back digging out the old post or trying to break it into pieces using a sledgehammer.

Using our specialty tool and method, combined with a standard garden hose and water supply, the post is actually pushed up out of the ground by hydraulic pressure. Helped along with some simple pry bars to prevent the post from sliding back, the post almost removes itself. The tool automatically relieves suction force and we have found it to work better in the heavy clay soil that can stop other equipment in its tracks.

The Challenge

I have removed many posts of all types: wood posts, posts set in concrete/cement, corner posts, fence posts, gate posts, metal posts, you name it – and regular methods worked fine until I moved to Texas and had to deal with what seemed to be a simple job of replacing 3 fence posts on my privacy fence. Since only three posts were broken, the replacements needed to go into the same location and could not be offset. When the builder put in the original fence, landscape timbers set into concrete were used instead of 4x4s that were treated for ground contact [something I should have caught and corrected, I know], and the landscape timbers had rotted off at ground level.

I started out with digging out the concrete bases, the clay soil was heavily compacted and digging was slow, difficult work. After about 3 hours to succeed on the first post, I switched tactics – trying to pry them out, breaking up the post and concrete with a sledgehammer, drilling them out and even jacking them out – the deteriorated posts and heavy clay soil thwarted my every effort.

I paused to research the problem online and discovered my challenge was not unique – I found hundreds if not thousands of posts in online forums for home repair, handyman, and do-it-yourself websites. All of the advice centered around the same four concepts:

Avoid the Problem:

    • It is too difficult to remove the concrete footing, so just cut off the existing posts at ground level and set the new post offset from the old ones

Brute Force:

    • Dig a hole next to the current post and push it over
    • Break up the existing post/concrete with a jackhammer or sledgehammer and remove it
    • Use a backhoe or bobcat to dig them out

Apply Leverage: 

    • Use pry bars to force the post out of the ground
    • Tie a cable to the post and the other end to a vehicle, route the cable over the rim of a large tractor or truck tire
    • Other combinations of lever arm assemblies

Use a Jack: 

    • Purchase or rent a commercial post puller such as the Oz Puller  or Big Red Post Puller – essentially a hydraulic bottle jack mounted to an appliance dolly frame
    • Use a bumper jack or hi-lift farm jack

All of these methods may work in some cases, but not for my situation. I needed the replacement posts to go in the same location because I didn’t want to replace the entire fence. Digging them out had already proven too difficult for my taste [3-4 hours per post] and I didn’t want the expense of heavy machinery. The leverage methods were ineffective since my posts had already broken off and there was no way to securely grip or fasten to the post ‘stump’. The jacking methods had resulted in dangerous forces and flying objects as the deteriorated post let loose or the concrete fractured.

The Solution

Then I hit upon the idea that became the keystone of the Wood Post Puller… instead of adding more force, eliminate the hold of the ground on the post itself …surgically cut out the post from the ground… and push the post up out of the ground from below.

Researching the method, I found there was nothing else like it on the market – and no other mention of the specific combination of solutions that Wood Post Puller provides:

    • Reduces the friction between the ground and the concrete, making it easy to lift the post from the ground.
    • Delivers pressurized water to the bottom of the post and generates a lifting force in the bottom of the hole that assists in the removal of the post – it also neutralizes any suction force.
    • Leaves a clean, empty hole that is ready for the replacement post.
    • Works in virtually any soil condition, especially the heavy clay soil that had been so difficult.
    • Completely removes the post and concrete very quickly, 10-20 minutes per post is typical.

The Wood Post Puller gives you the tools, and provides step by step illustrated instructions, of how to virtually eliminate the hold of the ground on the post – allowing you to lift the post out of the ground on a layer of mud.  Don’t delay, get your Wood Post Puller today!