Stock fencing technology has developed significantly over the past few years and now there is a vast array of different stock fence options available from which to select. It can be confusing to ascertain which is the right product or system for each application, which is why it is a good idea to seek the advice of an expert stock fencing specialist supplier before you make your final decision. Doing so could save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.
Decisions you will have to make include the type of metal wire; the type of wire ‘knot’; and the size and style of metal mesh. Type of wire means either high tensile or mild tensile wire options – with tensile strength determining the amount of pressure that can be put on your fence before it breaks.
In this case, you need to consider how heavy a burden your fence will need to accommodate in terms of pressure from livestock eg. Cattle/sheep/deer/horses.
High tensile wire
If you are seeking a strong, longer lasting fence, you may well opt for high tensile wire as this is considerably stronger than the lighter mild wire options. It is heavily galvanised for longevity and is relatively easy to erect by any competent person with the right tools and a degree of practical skills.
High tensile fencing is manufactured from flexible and resilient high tensile wire and because of its tension retaining properties, means fewer posts are needed, with less erection time and consequent labour costs. High tensile stock fencing is commonly available in hinge joint and X knot configurations.
Joint knots are important because these in themselves can confer significant strength and durability benefits to any wire fence. The knots are what attach the individual wires to each other to form the mesh pattern of the fence.
It is also important that the wire has been galvanised or coated to protect it from the elements and rust. For example, some Zinc/Aluminium coatings have been proven to last 2-3 times longer than standard galvanised wire.
Mild tensile wire
Mild tensile offers less tensile strength than high tensile wire but is still a very popular choice for stock fence. Benefits of this tensile strength include flexibility of the wire. This choice of fence is also less expensive than high tensile whilst still providing good usability, dependent on the application required. Mild tensile wire stock fencing is only available in a hinge joint fixing.
A hinge joint is a very popular choice for wire netting and is commercially produced, sensibly priced and easy to work with. It is available in both mild and high tensile strength, with the higher tensile allowing for more pressure to be put on it, resulting in a tighter, springier fence. The main issue with this type of knot is that under certain circumstances livestock can potentially force the vertical wires apart and compromise the fence.
The X knot is featured on products such as X-Fence and this type of joint offers a premium, superior performance with the X knot substantially exceeding the strength of a hinge joint.
The smooth surface also reduces the risk of harm associated with other knots, but the best bit is that it locks the vertical and horizontal wires together in a long lasting and binding safe and strong joint. Also, thanks to its unique design, fewer posts are required due to the one piece vertical wire, which acts like its own intermediate support, all this provides you with a stronger, longer lasting, effective fence.
Forge knot is another relatively new development in stock fencing, with its unique knot construction providing a 24% stronger knot. It has a one-piece vertical wire which provides a strong X joint which also means fewer posts are required. Forge knots have a heavily galvanised finish and were introduced to offer a more competitive alternative to X fence.