Comparing Split Rail Fencing for Ranchers

When a rancher shows you their budget for the year, fencing will be one of the largest expenses on there. The most iconic look is split ranch rails, and ranchers have used wood fencing, wire fencing, or vinyl fencing to create that. Here’s a comparison to show you why you should go with American Precast Concrete’s WoodcreteTM Rails system instead…

How Strong and Durable is it?

Ranchers need a fence that will keep their livestock in a specific area– if the fence doesn’t do that, it’s worthless. The fence needs not only to be strong, but it needs to be able to stand up against weather and last for a long period of time, so the rancher doesn’t have to replace fencing continually. 

Wood: Wood is a very strong option when it comes to standing up to livestock leaning into it or trying to escape. Its weakness is when it gets wet, as it’s highly susceptible to damage and rot from moisture. 

Wire: Galvanized wire fences are resistant to moisture, but they don’t stand up as well to livestock on their own. They need electricity to prevent livestock from leaning on or touching the fence. That often doesn’t work well for animals with well-insulated hides, like sheep.

Vinyl: Vinyl fencing is very resistant to damage from moisture, UV rays, and livestock. It is strong, but not as strong as wood or WoodcreteTM.

WoodcreteTM Rails: WoodcreteTM rails were designed to be resistant to moisture, UV rays, and large animals. It has a minimum strength of 4500 psi – making it the strongest option – and every post and rail is reinforced with rebar and fiber mesh.

What Kind of Work is Needed to Install and Maintain?

Ranchers are busy. The last thing they need is a fussy fence that requires hours of frequent maintenance. This is why the material you build your fence out of matters. When choosing a fencing material, ranchers don’t only need to consider the functionality of the fence, but also how maintenance and repair will need to go into keeping the fence. 

Wood: A wood fence needs regular cleaning and recoating with a preservative. Care must be taken when pressure washing as this can damage the wood and its protective coating. Installation can be complicated, and the inconsistency of the rails can make it difficult to fit together.

Wire: A wire fence must be regularly inspected, and tension issues resolved. The tension of the wire creates the main structure of the fence. The posts of the fence must be inspected and any damage from animals or the elements fixed. Installation is easy, as the wire is simply stapled to the wood posts.

Vinyl:  Vinyl is easy to install, and the only regular maintenance needed is regular inspections and cleaning.

WoodcreteTM Rails: With an easy 2, 3, or 4 rail system that requires zero mortar to construct, WoodcreteTM Rails are the easiest of the bunch to install. WoodcreteTM Rails are resistant to rot, fire, and the elements, so regular inspections and cleaning is the only regular maintenance needed. A pressure washer can be used with very little worries about damage to the concrete.

What is the Cost?

Because fencing will usually be the biggest item on a rancher’s budget, finding ways to minimize the cost is important. Ranchers need to consider the cost of building the fence and maintaining it over time. 

Wood: The cost to install a wood split rail fence runs the middle of the road when comparing the options. It has a higher maintenance cost, with frequent pressure washing and wood treatment needed. When the wood is damaged, the entire section will need to be replaced.

Wire: Wire fencing is the cheapest option, as the main materials are fence posts, wire, and staples, and installation is simple. Replacement is also cheap and easy; however, it needs frequent replacement due to the fragile nature of the setup.

Vinyl: Vinyl is the most costly to install due to the high cost of the vinyl material; however, the nature of the materials makes maintenance and replacement cost very minimal. 

WoodcreteTM Rails: WoodcreteTM Rails are less expensive to install and maintain than wood and vinyl split rail fencing. The installation costs are more than wire fencing, but the fence will be much more durable and need almost no replacement.

WoodcreteTM is the perfect material for any rancher who wants to keep the traditional fencing look yet have a fence that cost-effective, durable, and will last for years to come. When you’re ready to upgrade your property with WoodcreteTM, contact American Precast Concrete, Inc. to get started. 

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