For solo fencing contractor Charles Saario erecting multi-strand wire fences on rural properties used to mean long hours of backbreaking work – often operating in difficult and hilly terrain.
The 64-year-old former dairy farmer, who nine years ago became a full-time fencing contractor, lives in the sleepy Gippsland hamlet of Meeniyan (population about 500) and spends most of his days digging postholes and stringing wire on farms within a 35-kilometre radius of the town.
Until recently, attaching wire to wooden posts meant the traditionally arduous and sometimes painful exercise (particularly if an errant finger happened to get in the way of the hammer) of nailing staples by hand to hold the strands in place.
In October last year, Mr Saario visited local supplier Rodwells in nearby Leongatha where manager Dale Thomas convinced him to buy the latest development in fencing tools – a Stockade ST400i world-first, portable, cordless fence post staple gun.
“Fencing is such a physically strenuous, tough on the body activity and the ST400i made the job so much easier, faster and safer,” says Mr Saario. “I am not as tired now, my back is not sore and I have more energy to spend time with family and friends.”
Although he only plans to remain a professional fencing contractor for the next couple of years, there is a spritely spring to his step and a youthful exuberance to his demeanour since he bought the fencing gun.
Much of Mr Saario’s work is erecting 10-strand horse fences and, using the ST400i, he can attach wire to 40 posts in 30 minutes – compared with two hours by traditional hand-hammering methods.
“I start at the top, holding the wire with one hand and gun in the other, and move easily and quickly down each post,” he says. “Having the gun has meant I can erect up to 200 metres of horse fencing in a day.”
According to Mr Saario, with no attached hoses or cords to worry about the ST400i’s portability is a major advantage, particularly in rough terrain where fencing by hand is extremely difficult.
“Its ease of use enables sheet mesh to be stapled quickly to posts and it is wonderful in tight spots where, for example, electric wire insulators need to be fixed in a particular position,” he says.
Mr Saario’s sentiments echo those of many other fencing contractors and farmers where the Stockade ST400i fence post staple gun has become their new tool of choice.
With a built-in safety trigger, the ST400i comes with two batteries – each able to fire up to 3000 staples before needing to be recharged.
The gun features a top load magazine of 4.0mm diameter zinc and aluminium coated staples, which come in lengths of 40mm, 45mm or 50mm, and has a v-notch and wire guide for correct staple placement and improved holding power.
An adjustable drive depth enables greater staple placement flexibility and prevents any wire damage.
Mr Saario, who spent 40 years milking cows morning and night before the fencing bug bit, says the ST400i has made a job he already loves even more enjoyable and he has no hesitation recommending it to other fencing contractors.