If you are a rancher who has recently lost some of your strength or mobility, many aspects of ranching have likely become very challenging. Luckily, there are many ways you can modify your equipment and practices so that you can continue to ranch. In particular, here’s a look at some of the ways you can modify your fencing to make your job easier:
1. Add automatic gates to your fence
Opening heavy gates can become extremely difficult if your strength is waning, and if you are using a wheelchair or if you are already in your tractor, getting off that piece of machinery, walking over to the fence and opening it manually wastes time.
Working with a fencing contractor, you can modify your gates so they open automatically. If you don’t have a power source near the gates, you can easily power them using solar energy.
2. Reduce the distance between gates
If it is harder for you to easily walk long distances, increase the spacing of your gates. If you don’t need gates that allow cattle or utes to pass through them but you simply need access points, modify the fence so that it allows you to walk or wheel yourself in but doesn’t allow the cattle to walk out.
3. Use switchbacks to create entry points
To create an area where you can walk into the pasture without adding a gate, you need a series of fences set in a strategic pattern. Typically to create this type of entry, a fencing contractor will use a series of switchbacks.
If you used to be able to jump over parts of the fence to quickly reach your pasture, these openings are the perfect way to maintain easy-to-use entry points even if you can no longer jump over the fence.
4. Monitor the fence remotely
Unfortunately, with mobility issues, it also can become more challenging to monitor the condition of your fence. If you are no longer able to walk the perimeter of your fence or get to your pastures every day, that doesn’t mean that you have to let your fences slip into disrepair.
Instead, there are a range of ways you can remotely monitor your fence. You can install cameras strategically around the fence, or you can use a drone with a camera to fly over your fences and take photos of their condition.
5. Line the fence with crushed stone
If you prefer to monitor the fence yourself and you have to use a wheelchair to get around it, that task can be impossible if the fence is planted in rocky soil, messy dirt or soft grass. To make traveling around the fence easier, pavement would be ideal, but that can get extremely expensive.
Instead, line the perimeter of your fence with crushed stones. To make travelling on crushed stone easy, look for a wheelchair designed for off-road use or use an ATV instead.
For more information on updated fencing options, consult with a fencing contractor like Sureline Fencing.