D4's Price designs post-puller to save time, money for maintenance workers

Anyone who has worked on a farm or around livestock has pulled posts – typically a two-person operation involving a chain and a hoist of some kind, but usually a loader bucket. The activity can be unsafe for the person holding the chain, in multiple ways, and often bends or breaks the posts.

The task is the same for ITD maintenance workers when removing steel highway delineator posts, or snow and right-of-way fencing. At a cost of about $7 each, the bent posts were becoming a costly, yearly problem.

D.J. Price of District 4’s Sublett maintenance area had an idea to use existing equipment, and using materials on-hand, to safely remove the posts with a single operator. The post puller, made of a perforated steel tube known as a telespar, fits over the top of the post and has a hook attached to the overhead winch on the back of most ITD one-ton trucks. A pin is threaded through the top holes of the telespar and post, connects to the hook, and hook gently pulls the post straight up out of the ground.

Here's the video of Price's post-puller in action.

Price said the 200 posts he pulled last year with the hook may have saved the district as much as $1,400 if the posts had been bent or broke.

Not only is the operation efficient with only a single person, the operator can safely stand away from the post as it is extracted and remove the puller.  A second person can be useful to drive the truck between posts to save additional time.

“I can do this by myself, saving time and money. It is easier with two people, but one person can do it,” Price said. “You can also use a loader with this to pull so it can be universal.”

Price has created a few pullers and passed them along to other foreman areas in District 4. He said the next step for his post-puller is to find ways to improve on the design and to make it work with other types of delineator posts.

Published 07-08-16