Backstory of the Wood Post Puller

How to remove broke, rotten wood fence posts set in concrete footings

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, they used landscape timbers set into concrete that had rotted off at ground level. Read about choosing the best 4×4 pressure treated post and the different ratings of pressure treated wood.  

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.  First trying to pry them out, then breaking up the post and concrete with a sledgehammer.  Finally drilling them out and even using jacks to get them out. Nothing worked – the deteriorated posts and heavy clay soil thwarted 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 jacking platform that uses a hydraulic bottle jack 
  • Use a bumper jack

 All of these methods may work in some cases, but they were not ideal 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 [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 easy 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 easy solutions that the 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.  Some customers have reported 18 posts in 2 hours!

The easy Wood Post Puller provides the method and tool, with step by step illustrated instructions, of how to virtually eliminate the hold of the ground on the post.  Allowing you to lift the post using any methods that can support about 1.5 times the weight of the post and concrete together. 

The Wood Post Puller patent was issued 8/28/2012 (US Patent 8,250,787) and it is ready for the market – don’t delay – get yours today!

 

1-Isometric View-Post Removal

2-Side View-Spike Insertion

3-Side View-Boundary Layer

4-Side View-Post Removal Hydraulic Pressure

5-Side View-Post Removal Hydraulic Pressure2