How to remove concrete fence posts?

axellaJune 1, 2008


We've just pulled down a wood paling fence, but the concrete posts remain because I cannot dig them out. They were also set in concrete when the fence was erected years ago.

If we try to partially dig, then push them over, we run the risk of the post snapping off. Pulling them out with a vehicle is not an option, as we can't get one back there, and again, we could end up snapping the post off.

I've heard that some people use a particular type of jack to get posts out - but what kind? And how?


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Lift them out.
An old style car bumper jack and some chain to grab the post with often works.
If they are large or very heavy a bobcat and some chain can usually pull them out, especially if you soak the ground around them thoroughly.

If the concrete is smooth you may need to place some eye bolts to get something to grab.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 3:45PM
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I've eased this task by soaking the ground around the concrete first. 5 gallons or so allowed to soak in for an hour or two does the trick.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 8:50PM
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If you can't get a vehicle back there, and I assume this also means a bobcat, how are you going to move them once you have them out? You're talking about a lot of weight and bulk to try to move.

If you're able to break the posts off, can the concrete base be left in the ground and covered?

I think the only 'jack' that may work is a jack hammer for total removal or at least partial removal of the base, if you can't get a tractor or bobcat to the area.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2008 at 8:52PM
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Thanks for the replies!

We can get a bobcat down there, but not a car because the yard narrows from the pool back. I wanted to clarify that we couldn't pull the things out with a car or truck.

When using a car jack, what do you do, get a heavy person to stand on it?

I'd actually thought of renting something like an engine hoist.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 1:00AM
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We've soaked one, and it's now a lot looser. And we've bought a 6' crowbar to try to pry it out tomorrow.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 5:26AM
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A floor jack is not going to work very well, you need an old style bumper jack, the kind with about a 4 foot post.

The jack has enough mechanical advantage (it is designed to lift a car).
Each stroke of the jack only raises the load about 1/4 inch or so.

You do need to spread out the load from the jack, especially if you have softened the earth with water.
A couple pieces of 2x10 about 4-5 feet long usually works well.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 7:59AM
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I use brickeyee's method above to pull a lot of wood posts that are set in concrete. The jack is known as a "high lift jack" or "farm jack"; Just a heavy duty, overgrown bumper jack.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2008 at 6:12PM
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Soaking works!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2011 at 3:54PM
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Soaking works here as well!!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 8:05PM
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