Snowplow vs. Plastic Fence

We spotted this on our regular walk around the block:

Plastic fence vs snow

Plastic fence vs snow

The horizontal rails have a latching ramp that’s good enough in most circumstances:

Plastic fence - rail latch detail

Plastic fence – rail latch detail

Perhaps those latches released as designed under an overload. The snowplow would have been traveling toward us on that side of the road and pushed the snow against the fence panels hard enough to dislodge the rail latches from their sockets.

I suppose they can zip the fence panels back in place, one by one, without rebuilding the whole affair.

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  1. #1 by Daniel B. Martin on 2017-03-25 - 11:07

    Quick disconnects!

  2. #2 by RCPete on 2017-03-25 - 11:36

    Last year a trucker had a fire in his load (wood chips) that spread downwind near town. He burned several acres, damaged several power poles, and destroyed somebody’s plastic fence. A grass fire and plastic fence panels aren’t a good combination. (The grass fire is hot, but brief, so the panels melted rather than torched.) Neither the home/landowners nor Pacific Power were amused.

    • #3 by Ed on 2017-03-25 - 13:28

      Not just melted, but stank to high heaven!

      Plastic fences start out a lovely white, attract a layer of crusty green-black algae in a few years, and look truly awful thereafter. Wood fences start out looking like wood, gradually rot while still looking like wood, and eventually fall apart. We put up a wood fence some years ago and it looks just as ugly as the day the contractors drove away …

      • #4 by Vedran on 2017-03-27 - 11:18

        These plastic monstrosities didn’t make their way to my corner of the world (and hopefully never will), but I don’t see a point in plastic fencing either way. I’d expect it to look just as awful as you say and it obviously doesn’t fulfill the primary design requirement – keeping things away from your property:)

        Progress is obviously not always forward.

        • #5 by Ed on 2017-03-27 - 14:14

          My money is on the snowplow, no matter what kind of fence you’ve got: one corner of a dry-laid stone wall down the road got scattered pretty badly during that storm, too!

          • #6 by Vedran on 2017-03-28 - 09:58

            Fence posts around here tend to be concrete, usually with a token iron armature dropped in for a good measure. They will bring a car from moderate suburban speeds to a dead stop in a hurry and live to tell the tale. Snowplows on full tilt might be an overkill even for them though:)

      • #7 by RCPete on 2017-03-27 - 12:14

        We’re dry enough so that if the PVC gets sunlight, no algae. Not the case for the white gutters on the north of the house. No problems with brown gutters, so far. My fencing is more agricultural; no-climb wire mesh with a couple of strands of barbed wire above that.

        • #8 by Ed on 2017-03-27 - 14:16

          Brown gutters sound a lot like protective coloration: if you can’t see the dirt, it ain’t a problem.

          Works for me, anyhow …

      • #9 by eriklscott on 2017-03-27 - 15:45

        I saw a use for plastic fence posts that actually made sense – take the hollow 4×4 pieces, cut them in 3 foot lengths, and lay them down on their side on the flat roof of an office building (sort of like railroad crossties). Then lay your galvanized cableway and cellphone feedlines over that. Very nice professional installation and it’s been there for 10 years, at least. Also, if the guys ever have any short scrap pieces of 1-5/8″ heliax, I’m calling dibbs. And yeah, Type N connectors for that stuff are $20 a piece.

        • #10 by Ed on 2017-03-27 - 21:01

          I’d expect them to squash into parallelograms after a year in the summer sun!

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