When I am starting to attach T-post clips to a newly strung fence, I find that it can be heavy work lifting and pushing the fence up against the posts. Field fencing is so heavy (about 200 lbs for a 330 foot roll), it wants to sag or lay down on the ground. I never get the T-posts in a perfectly straight line or perfectly vertical, so there is always some pushing required to get the fence to meet up with them.
If I’m fencing a curve, it’s even worse. Though I know it’s convention to have the fencing material sit on the outside of a curve, I chose differently in several spots on this pasture. I think it’s more important to have the fencing on the side where livestock will be pushing the most, so that when they push, the pressure gets put on the posts, not on the fasteners. So, that has left me with inside curves where I need to push the field fencing, sometimes a foot or two from the main line of travel, against the posts, to fasten it to them.
This was my dad’s idea from last year, to use the hooked stretching tool to lift the fence up, push it against the posts, and take some weight off while I’m clipping it. If I park the tractor like this in the middle of a line between two wood posts, I can clip off the whole section.
This stretching tool was a failure for me as far as stretching goes- I found that on field fencing with hinge joints (Monarch-type knots), the hooks just slide all of the vertical stays along the horizontal wires, bunching them up, until it pulls them all off the fencing and loses its grip. It may work well with other types of fencing, and with less tension. But it is very useful for this application of putting vertical tension on the fence. It saves my back a lot!