Frequently Asked Questions
First, we start with only steel made in the U.S.A. We won’t compromise on this. Period. Besides the obvious of supporting American industry, this also insures the consistent quality of the steel and galvanization. And when welding any of our galvanized products, we go through a very labor intensive process to re-introduce the galvanization after welding. We are not aware of another manufacturer that goes to the effort we do in this regard. We clean every weld by hand. Then we wire brush every weld to remove any slag. We then brush a zinc rich compound on the weld. Again, by hand. And then we top it off with a coat of cold galvanization and then finally a coat of bright rust resistent paint. The end result of this four step process is a product worthy of the Martin Ranch Supply name and one that is protected from the elements for many years to come.
What information is needed to order a custom sized gate?
Ordering a custom sized gate is actually easy and it doesn’t necessarily cost more. If your posts are set and you want the gate to fit between them, we will build the gate to fit the opening. We will need to know a few pieces of important information. First, choose the style of gate you want from our Gates or Deer Gates. Then measure the distance between your posts. This is what we call the “opening size” and we build the gate to fit this size. Next, we will need to know the type of post and diameter of the post you are using. And lastly, we will need to know the “hand” of the gate.
What is the difference between a right handed and left handed gate?
When a gate has a latch affixed to one side of the gate, it becomes “handed”. When standing on the same side of the gate as the latch, if the latch is on the right, it is a right handed gate. If the latch is on the left, it is a left handed gate. If you are considering a gate that has wire mesh welded to one face of the gate, another way of thinking about the latch orientation would be this. If the wire mesh is on the “outside” and you are standing on the “inside” looking at the latch and the latch is on the right then it is right handed. Or if the latch is on the left, then it is left handed.
There is a cross slope where I want to put my gate, what can I do?
Yes, a gate can be sloped. When there is cross slope where a gate needs to be, there are a few solutions. First, the ground can be excavated to make a more level area. If this is not preferred, then a sloped gate is the answer. A sloped gate can be accomplished in two ways. One solution is that the bottom of the gate is built with slope and the top remains level. A more popular choice is to rack the entire gate. When racking a gate, the vertical members remain vertical and the horizontal rails follow the slope. When hanging a sloped gate, it is almost always advisable to hinge the gate on the downhill post. The key pieces of information needed would be the distance between the posts, the amount of slope, the type and diameter of the gate posts, and the hand of the gate. The gate opening size can be measured on the level or on the slope, but it should be noted as to how this measurement was taken. The slope should be referenced as the amount of rise for the gate opening size. For example, a 12’ 7” opening, measured on the level, with a 9” rise for the 12’ 7” opening.
What makes gopher wire a better choice than other wires?
Gopher wire is a 3/4” hex woven wire that has been hot dipped galvanized after the weave. Used under soil, it prevents gophers from destroying valuable plants, shrubs, lawns and gardens. It is the only wire designed for this purpose. Though it appears similar to chicken wire, the signficant difference is that chicken wire has not been hot dipped galvanized after the weave. Many people incorrectly use hardware cloth as a gopher barrier. Hardware cloth is a welded product with inferior galvanization as compared to gopher wire. Both of these other products are prone to premature failure due to rust as they are not designed for direct ground contact.
There are several factors to consider when choosing the height for deer fencing. Generally speaking, we have found that an effective deer fence starts at 6’ tall but some need to be as high as 8’. One should first consider the type of deer that are problematic (blacktail, mule, or whitetail). For example, on the west coast, blacktail deer are abundent but they are also the smallest of the species. If deer do not have a geophraphic advantage (jumping from the uphill side), a 6’ fence can be effective. On the other hand, if dealing with the larger species, if the deer have an advantage in jumping the fence, or if the deer are particularly motivated a 7’ or 8’ fence may be necesssary. Additional height can be achieved by either installing taller fence wire or by running horizontal high tensile wires above your fence wire. Another point to consider when installing deer fencing is that deer are equally adept at sneaking under a fence as they are in jumping over the fence.
This can be a lengthy discussion, but to summarize there are some fundamental differences. Each type of wire product has been designed with a specific purpose in mind. There are wire products designed for smaller animals such as rabbits, sheep or goats, and some designed for horses, cattle and deer. Not all wire fencing products are safe or recommended for all circumstances. Another significant difference amongst wire products is the manufacturer’s origin. In today’s world, there are many imported wire fence products. We have yet to see a single imported wire product that rivals a similar product made in the USA for it’s combined strength, longevity and overall quality. Though the initial cost may be slightly less, if the fencing requires maintenence, repair or replacement prematurely the perceived savings evaporate quickly. For this reason, though we have complete access to imported product, we stock only wire fence products made in the USA.
In the case of wire fencing, the smaller the number the thicker the wire, (12 gauge is thicker than 14 gauge) but thickness does not always tell the whole story about the strength or longevity of the wire. This is where the type of wire and coating comes in. There are commercial wires which are inferior to Class I wires and Class I wires do not last as long as a Class III wires, all things being equal. These benchmarks are determined by steel mills in what are known as salt tests. When exposed to a controlled salt rich enviroment, certain standards are achieved. A Class III wire will outlast a Class I wire at a ratio of 3:1 in a salt test. To further complicated the discussion, there are merchant wires (also known as soft wires) and there are high tensile wires. High tensile wires are designed for improved tensile strength and will have limited stretching attributes when installed. Softer wires will have far more stretch in them and may require additional tensioning over time. Another wire gaining popularity and widespread acceptance is Zinc Aluminum. Most ZA wires are a high strength wire with outstanding salt test results. The projected longevity rivals that of Class III wires and often comes with a more economical price. We expect the ZA product line will be reshaping the fence wire industry in the coming years.
Yes. We have our own delivery trucks and we deliver regionally. In addition, we have relationships with other carriers to facilitate delivery to virtually anywhere in the continental United States. These services are normally used for our larger and heavier items. Many of the items found on our website will ship routinely via UPS, USPS, FedEx or other service.
No. There is a significant difference between the many different wire mesh panels that can be found. Nearly all mesh panels are a welded panel made of galvanized rod. The rod used can range from approximately 4 gauge to approximately 6 gauge (roughly 1/4”). Where these mesh panels are welded, the galvanization has been compromised and is prone to rust prematurely. In contrast, the wire mesh we use to build our gates and other products has been hot dipped in galvanization vats after the weld. This added process insures the longest lasting material and is a significant improvement in the quality of the mesh panel.
Unfortunately, this is one of those questions without a very good answer. There is no way to know and no way to guarantee how long a wood post will last. There are many variables that effect a post’s lifespan including type of wood, quality of wood, type and amount of treatment, soil conditions, soil moisture content, method of compaction around the post, and livestock pressure just to name a few.
A round post will vary in it’s diameter. For example, 5-6” x 8’. It is rougher in appearance than a dowelled post and can have some taper to it. If there is taper, the top of the post will be closer to 5” and the base will be closer to 6”. A dowelled post has been turned in a milling machine. This process provides some uniformity to the diameter, for example 5” x 8’, and also provides for a smoother, more cosmetically appealing post. In both cases, our round and dowelled posts are made of Lodgepole Pine and have been treated 0.40 CCA. On the other hand, a true peeler core, a commonly used reference for all round pressure treated posts, is completely different in quality. A peeler core has been turned in a milling machine to the point that all the soft wood has been removed (for plywood manufacturing), leaving the hardwood core. The hardwood core does not absorb the pressure treatment nearly as well as the softwood resulting in an inferior post that will not last as long as a post with treated softwood.