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Effective Maintenance Tips for Cattle Rail Post and Rail Fencing 

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cattle rail fences - need to be maintained

Cattle rail is a durable and popular fencing option widely used for containing livestock and establishing property boundaries. Constructed with galvanised steel, it offers strength, longevity, and security. 


If you’ve already installed your Cattle rail fences, it’s time to know about one of the most significant factors – maintenance. Maintaining Cattle rail is crucial for safety, security, longevity, aesthetics, cost-effectiveness, and compliance. Regular maintenance prevents rust, and accidents, ensures the containment of livestock, extends the fence’s lifespan, enhances property appearance and saves on costly repairs.  


The problem is how to maintain Cattle rail effectively. 


At Stock & Noble, we offer fencing solutions for rural, acreage and equine properties across Australia and New Zealand. We pick our products carefully, making sure they’re safe, successful, and easy to take care of. We know your time and peace of mind are the most valuable. With our expertise in post and rail fencing and insights gained from successful property owners, we’ll give you some useful tips to keep your Cattle rail fencing in great shape. 


In this article, we will discuss 7 key tips to help you maintain your Cattle rail fences. You’ll learn the best practices to ensure proper care, address any damage or lose components, and maintain its overall integrity. So that your Cattle rail fences continue to work efficiently, and effectively and meet the safety requirements of your animals and your expectations. 


#TIP 1: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Rust Prevention 

Cattle rail fences are typically made of galvanised steel, which provides durability. However, rust is the biggest enemy of steel and it’s integral to regularly inspect your fences. 

Typically, to prevent rust on the Cattle rail, you should apply a protective coating at the time of installation. There are various coating options available today, including paint, powder coating, and zinc plating. Ensure that you select a coating specifically designed to guard against corrosion. 

If rust is present, treat it promptly. You can refer to our article on how to treat and manage rustfor the detailed process. 

When it comes to Premium Steel Post and Rail Fencing, you can skip the painting as it’s already powder coated with an architectural grade coat and has a highly effective rust management system. 


#TIP 2: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Repainting 

If your Cattle Rail fence is painted, it’s important to address deep scratches, cuts, or chips promptly. These areas should be touched up and repainted to maintain both the integrity of the fence from rust and also the aesthetics. 


#TIP 3: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Concrete Management 

Proper concrete maintenance is critical, especially in areas where horses frequently walk along the fence perimeter. Over time, the soil may sink, causing the concrete to become exposed and with sharp, jagged edges might pose a hazard. Ensure the following: 


  • During installation, make sure the concrete does not reach the ground level. Ideally concrete finished level should be between 50 – 100mm from surface. Exposed concrete around the post can pose a hazard.  
  • During maintenance, chip away any concrete that protrudes above the surface to 50-100mm below ground level. This step ensures the safety of horses and other livestock while also improving the fence’s aesthetics. 


#TIP 4: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Vegetation Control 

Moisture is a key culprit in the development of rust. Regularly inspect and trim any vegetation around the fence. Keeping grass and other plants away from the fence helps prevent moisture accumulation. 


#TIP 5: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing: Welding and Reinforcement  

In areas where animals exert pressure on the rails or there is soil movement, it is recommended to weld steel end assemblies of cattle rail fences instead of relying solely on screws. Welding can tolerate movement and pressure more effectively. 

When using screws, ensure they are securely tightened and periodically check for any loosening.  

If welded sections come under pressure and show signs of fatigue, inspect the welds and consider re-welding or reinforcing with additional bracing to strengthen the fence. This can be done during regular maintenance checks to ensure long-term stability. 


#TIP 6: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Rail Replacement 

Cattle rail fences are designed to be sturdy and resistant to damage. However, in the unlikely event that a rail gets damaged, it may be better to cut it out and weld in a new one. 

Similarly, if a weld has become fatigued and cannot be rewelded effectively, it is advisable to replace the affected rails instead of relying on patching methods. By replacing the rails, you ensure the continued strength and durability of the fence, maintaining its structural integrity over time. 

Alternatively, if you have Buckley post and rail fencing, being an engineered fencing system, the rails can simply be removed and replaced easily. 


#TIP 7: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Screw Tightening 

If you are using steel for your end and corner tensioning assemblies and in case the EzyEnd or Pre-Powder coated cattle rail product is used for their construction, check periodically for loose screws that may need tightening. Ensuring the screws are secure prevents potential injuries to horses. 


#TIP 8: Maintenance of Cattle Rail Fencing – Hinges and gates 


Hinge Lubrication

While Buckley steel gates are hingeless, traditional cattle rail fences require hinges to be welded onto the posts. These hinges are moving parts and should be inspected regularly. 

Keeping hinges well lubricated prevents hinges from binding up which in turn can cause damage by hinge breaking or coming away from post.  


Bracing support 

Rust management, concrete maintenance, and reinforcement are crucial aspects of maintaining cattle rail fences. Reinforcement may be necessary, especially at gates where posts can tilt overtime due to gate weight. Bracing can be added to level the post and ensure stability.


Confident to Maintain Your Cattle Rail Fencing Efficiently? 

Proper maintenance is vital for the longevity and effectiveness of your Cattle rail fencing. 


By following these 8 tips, you can ensure its safety, durability, and visual appeal. Regularly inspect for rust and apply a protective coating, address any deep scratches or chips with repainting, and manage the concrete around the fence to prevent hazards. Control vegetation to avoid moisture accumulation, reinforce weak areas through welding or additional bracing and replace damaged rails when necessary. Proper hinge maintenance and gate bracing support are also beneficial. 


Now you know the hacks to enjoy a well-maintained Cattle rail fence that provides security and peace of mind. The mantra is regular inspections and prompt repairs that will save you from wastage of time and money later. 


If you’re still considering Cattle rail and haven’t made a final decision, it might be a good idea to do thorough research and compare various steel posts and rail fences available. Look for an engineered steel fencing system that offers specific features such as rust prevention, architectural grade coating, and a design that eliminates the need for welds or steel penetration. 


For more information and step-by-step guidance on finding a durable and low-maintenance solution that can save time, effort, and reduce maintenance costs, speak with one of our fencing experts. They will help you find the right fencing solution that matches your need, your vision and your budget.

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