Father and son team, Brian and Matthew Metcalf of Metcalf Fencing recently completed a fencing installation time trial, comparing Birkdale’s DuraPost by Fencemate to traditional concrete and timber fencing materials. The comparison illustrated the benefits of using DuraPost in terms of both ease of handling and speed of installation, with the innovative galvanised steel product taking almost 50 per cent less time to install than the concrete alternative.
A local, family run fencing contractor from Iver, Buckinghamshire, Brian and his son Matthew have been using Birkdale fencing and gate products for over 30 years. However, Brian and Matthew had not previously installed DuraPost by Fencemate before and were keen to test out the new system.
For the time trial, a true-to-life scenario was created with a 36 metre distance between the Brian’s van and the build site. All elements of the installation were then timed, including unloading and carrying the products to site and constructing an eight panel, 1.8 metre-high section of fence. The digging of the necessary fencepost holes was also timed and, as this is not affected by the fencing products used, an average time of 54 minutes was used for all three timed installations.
First, Brian and Matthew were timed installing 2.4 metre concrete slotted fenceposts, 12in. concrete gravel boards and timber fence panels weighing a total of 1,195kg. It took Brian and Matthew just over 20 minutes to unload the concrete system, and a further 28 minutes to install. Combined with the standard 54 minutes digging time that resulted in a full installation time of 1 hour, 42 minutes and 21 seconds.
Next the Metcalfs were timed installing 3in. by 2.4 metre timber fenceposts, 6in. timber gravel boards and timber fence panels. In total these products weighed a far lighter 425kg and as a result took only 8 minutes to unload. However, it then took Brian and Matthew just short of 25 minutes to install the timber system. In total, the timber system took 1 hour, 27 minutes and 10 seconds to install, including digging time.
Finally, Brian and Matthew took on the DuraPost system using 2.4 metre DuraPosts, 6in. gravel boards and timber fence panels, weighing a total of 406 kg – the lightest system of the three. As a result of its light weight, it took only 5.5 minutes for Brian and Matthew to unload the galvanised-steel system from the van.
Furthermore, due to the design, with its H profile, it was far easier to attach the timber panels to than other systems. This was evident in the time trial, with Brian and Matthew completing the installation in an outstanding 15 minutes, almost 50 per cent faster than the concrete alternative. Combined again with digging and unloading time, that results in a complete start to finish installation time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 32 seconds – a 30-minute improvement on the concrete system and a 15-minute improvement on the traditional timber products.
Thanks to its makeup of cold-rolled galvanised steel, DuraPost is capable of withstanding wind speeds of up to 110 miles per hour and is guaranteed for up to 25 years. The test results illustrate that it is a durable, long-lasting product, which rivals concrete in its longevity, and can be installed even faster and easier than a timber fencepost system. This in turn can have a dramatic effect on the time a fencing project takes to finish and even enable contractors to complete multiple jobs per day.
On the installation and the comparison between the products, Brian commented: “DuraPost is definitely the lightest of the three fencing systems and therefore much easier to handle and assemble. For fencing contractors the products are simple to install without any extra guidance.”
“Durability and installation are important factors for us,” added Matthew. “With DuraPost we can transport a far greater quantity of fencing products to site in one go because it is much lighter and slimline in its design. As a result, we can reduce transportation and labour time dramatically and also cut down on the number of trips needed between a merchant and the build site.”
For more information on DuraPost by Fencemate, please visit durapost.co.uk.