As the winter months approach, we begin to unpack our Carhartt clothing and the horse blankets. We often think about keeping things warm: ourselves, the barn, and our animals. How often do you think about keeping the fence warm by keeping the electricity flowing? Maintaining and preparing the fence for winter is a vital part of upkeep on the fence line.

Electric fences depend on a full circuit: The animal touches the fence, sends the electricity into the ground and at the end of the fence line the ground bed pulls electrons from the soil and pushes them back into the fence. The important step here is the cow is grounded when the fence is touched. There are many places that become vulnerable once the snow has hit the ground.

High tensile wire is the product of high carbon steel with a carbon content of .28%. Other wire fencing is made of low carbon steel with a maximum of 10% carbon content. The higher the carbon content, the stronger the wire. Due to the class 3-zinc coating on our high tensile wire, our wire has a life expectancy of 30-40 years.”The higher the class, the longer it will last” is our saying here at Powerfields.






  • Is high tensile difficult to install?

    • High tensile wire is easy to install and requires little maintenance. There is no need for pre-stretching of the wire, just put it on the posts and pull it tight. High tensile wire can be installed on fewer post than low carbon wire. The fence will remain tight, and even spring back into place after being hit with a brute force. High tensile fence is commonly used along busy highways to protect the valuable livestock. This fence has the ability to stop a car skidding towards the fence without breaking the strands.


  • How much maintenance is required with high tensile fence?

    • With proper brace assemblies and installation, sagging is virtually eliminated. Heavy snows, ice, or severe temperature changes have very little effect on the life of your fence, therefore reducing the maintenance time and eliminating the need to restretch fence.

    • It is still important to have regular inspection on the fence to prevent problems. Be sure to keep the fence free of weeds and underbrush, as well as clearing any fallen limbs or branches off the fence. Never burn weeds along the fence line as they cause damage to the wire and posts. It is recommended to mow or use herbicides in these areas.

    • If the fence is built in an area with harsh winters, the tension on the fence can be reduced when severe cold weather hits and retighten the fence in the spring. Never tension over 250 pounds!Brad farm hightensile 2


  • Is high tensile hard to splice?

    • High tensile can be very easily spliced despite the stiffness of the wire. Crimp sleeves are used to connect wires and maintain the integrity of the wire strength.  


  • What is the breaking strength?

    • A common rule of thumb is the higher the gauge number, the lower the breaking strength. For example, 14 gauge class 3 has a breaking strength of 630 pounds, but a 12 ½ gauge class 3 wire has a breaking strength of 1345 pounds.

    • Breaking strength can be calculated on any gauge of high tensile wire using the diameter. A common misunderstanding is is PSI and KSI. These two are simply a conversion of one another.

PSI = pound per square inch

KSI = Kilo-pound per square inch = 1000 PSI



calculatorExample: 12 ½ gauge wire with 210,000 PSI


Area = (12 x diameter)2 x

Minimum Breaking Strength = Area x PSI

Area=(12 x 0.099")2 x 3.14 = 0.0077"2

Minimum Breaking Strength = 0.0077"2 x 210,000PSI = 1617 pounds

Bears have a very big sweet tooth and quickly cause devastation to a well-earned apiary. They are very smart animals with a long memory of a good meal. These traits require the need for a psychological barrier to block bears from devastating the bees, hives, honey, and your hard-earned efforts and money. The use of an electric fence will serve its purpose to protect your efforts for many years when properly constructed and maintained.

The type of fence can depend widely on the species, surrounding conditions, predator threats, and sometimes the individual animal. As discussed in a previous blog, there are physical and physiological fence barriers.

Sheep in Electric NettingA fence can act as two kinds of barriers: a physical barrier and a psychological barrier.