Spring fencing, summer fix-ups and fall cross-fencing is an expected routine in the livestock industry, but there are some situations when farmers, industry or homeowners need to call a professional to get the job over and done.
PWR Custom Fencing Ltd. is often booked well in advance of spring thaw, so the time to call Shaun Anderson is now, to see what PWR can do for you.
Anderson’s perfectionist tendency means his company leaves a mighty fine fence behind them. Maintenance-free is the aim.
He says that for a few years, friends in the coffee shop would ask if he was still doing ‘that fencing thing’. He chuckles about that. After he was 15 years into it, that question went away. Now, 21 years later, with a truckload of experience, PWR has made a name for itself.
Not resting on his laurels, Anderson is ever looking for new efficiencies and ways to make the manual labour easier. This spring, he has a specialized self-propelled post pounder on order from the UK. This new machine is not only self-propelled, but the pounding mast finds level, with the push of a button. The automation, says Anderson, will enhance productivity, freeing up one of his usual three-person crew to do something else.
Shaun Anderson didn’t grow up imagining himself running a fencing business. It was a niche industry, there was a need and he found the means.
“We were farming in partnership with my dad, my brother and sister-in-law, but there wasn’t enough there to support three families.
“We started this fencing business up and it just kind of evolved from that. It was in 2005 when we left the ranch and took over the custom fencing business and for a couple of years that’s all we did.” Shaun, his wife Tina, and their family made a move from the Lenore area, and now live between Virden and Oak Lake at Routledge, where they raised three children, Alec, Zane and Anisha.
As well as running PWR, the Andersons custom graze in the summer. “That’s kind of my golf game,” he jokes. “I get paid to golf, that’s the only difference.”
When it comes to lining up fence construction, in order to get the best results for the customer, Anderson likes to see the big picture - the purpose of the fence and possible future plans. That starts with a phone call.
“Between Google Earth and a conversation with the landowner, we can get most of it figured out. If something jumps out at me, then I’m going to go look at the job.”
PWR builds all kinds of fences. Right after BSE hit the beef industry, a summer full of jobs evaporated.
Anderson rustled up some oilfield fencing to fill that summer and that started a different stream of contracting. It was a timely switch and for about eight years, industry fencing provided up to 60 per cent of PWR’s contracts.
Yard fencing projects come along as well. He says chain-link fence provides a much longer lasting, maintenance free fence for less money than board fencing. But, for those who want wood, Anderson has found a supplier in Saskatchewan for Western red cedar, a high-quality product he is happy to install.
A practical livestock fence is the electric system. “We are a Gallagher dealer, and the company has been around since 1938. Gallagher reinvests 10 per cent of its gross sales into research and development, so this is a large volume of money that they’re putting into R & D every year.”
Mineral rich soil and vegetation with a good root system provides the best shock. “There’s some science behind electric fencing to achieve peak performance. Our experience has given us that know-how.”
Anderson says it’s a psychological fence. When an animal has been safely shocked by it, they quickly learn not to challenge the fence. When electric fences are built to industry standards, along with proper animal training, it is a more effective and affordable option than other wire fence designs.
“Electric fence is 45 to 55 per cent cheaper, strand for strand, over barbed wire. Not only is it far more affordable, it’s a tool, because, if you have your property perimeter fenced with electric, now you can cross fence where ever you desire.”
PWR is a dealer for Gallagher Animal Management (electric fencing products), Roblin Forrest Products (treated posts), CAP Solar Pumps Ltd (solar water pumps) and Wallace & Wallace (chain link fencing).