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The Fence Post

Rick Hoffman

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Louis E. Page, Inc. - The Story of an American Company

March 7, 2014 | by Rick Hoffman

Louis E. Page

Louis E. Page

An Enterprise is Formed

The story of America is the story of millions of people who had the dream of starting their own businesses that they could pass on to their children and future generations to come. It is the story of courage, tenacity, determination and hard work. It is the story of successfully adapting to ever-changing markets, customer needs, and economic conditions. It is the story of Louis E. Page, Inc.

Louis E. Page, Inc., like millions of other small companies, may not be a household name. But it embodies the spirit of the American entrepreneur. Founded in 1893 by Louis Eugene Page, the company originally sold hay to feed the horses pulling the horse-drawn wagons. Business was good, and by 1910, Louis and two of his brothers were making their living from the hay business. Then came a major market change as gasoline-powered vehicles began to displace horse-drawn wagons. The company had to adapt to survive. 

Hay, Peat, and Adapting

As an established hay dealer, Louis E. Page, Inc. turned to its many farm and feed supply store customers. At this time, there was a growing demand for litter and bedding materials for both the dairy and horse trade. To fill the need, the company acquired exclusive rights to distribute Planter Peanut shells in New England. However, peanut shells were soon supplanted by a better product – sugarcane bagasse. Louis responds by becoming the exclusive distributor in New England for the only US sugar company producing business. This product also proved to be excellent horticulture mulch and some of the large New England nurseries bought it by the rail carload.

Louis E. Page, Inc. advertisement

In the thirties, Page added peat moss – both coarse grind designed for horse bedding and finer grind for horticultural purposes. Europe was the only source of supply at this time and Page made several trips to Europe to secure sources. 

Business was booming! And then, more changes. By the fifties, independent truckers began hauling hay and peat moss directly from the producers to the farms, thus eliminating the need for the middleman. Louis E. Page, Inc. would have to adapt again to survive.

Moving On to Wire Mesh and Fencing

At this time, feed and farm stores were still the most important segment of the company’s customer base. New products were needed to enable the company to continue to grow and prosper to meet the changing market needs. The first new products added were Belgian barbed wire and Mexican baler twine. Selling these new products required warehousing and the company responded by opening a warehouse and greatly expanding its product offering.  Customer response encouraged the addition of new products, establishing Louis E. Page, Inc. as the leading New England distributor of wire mesh, fencing, and related products. They sold a large variety of products from Belgian, Dutch, German, Austrian and the leading US mills. Business was booming!

And Customer Service for a New Generation

Then, dynamic changes in the market happened again with the advent of power, “big-box” retailers like Home Depot, Lowes, and Tractor Supply in the eighties and nineties. Many of the company’s oldest customers were left in the wake of these powerful companies and were forced to close their doors. Louis E. Page, Inc. was again forced to adapt and change to survive. Relying upon their years of experience and varied customer base, they focused on value-added selling by combining its hundred years of experience with the highest quality products available and outstanding customer service. Louis Page also became the go-to company for specialty and other hard-to-find products not offered by other distributors or retailers. They were also one of the first in the industry to see the potential of the internet, launching its website in 1999. Talk about a long way from selling hay for horse-drawn wagons!

Changing Times

Today, business is again booming! The company is still family owned and operated. Our dear Duncan passed away in 2015; he was the third generation to manage the company and had 42 years with the company and now his wife Debbie, who many of you have been working with for years, has taken the helm, endeavoring to bring Louis Page Inc. forward in serving the customer's interests by delivering the best of American goods with their solid construction, as well as an array of the finest international products available. And now, another milestone: Louis Page is a 100% woman-owned business and boasts a large and diverse customer base which includes all 50 states and several foreign countries. This customer base includes fence companies, contractors, government entities, construction companies, manufacturers, landscapers, nurseries, energy producers, architects, wildlife management companies, pest control companies, zoos, beagle trainers, duck farms, farms, ranches,  orchards,  homeowners, and yes, farm and feed stores, and many more. The company distributes and sells the industry’s leading brands of wire and plastic fence, mesh and netting and other related products made in the US, Belgium, Italy, Canada, China, Mexico, and other countries. 

Louis E. Page, Inc. is a perfect example of a company that has had to constantly reinvent itself to survive and prosper. From its humble beginnings of selling hay to horses to selling wire products for the most demanding applications for small fence installers to Fortune 500 companies, Page continues to evolve, adapt and grow.  We believe that “old” Louis would be proud!

Happy 125th Anniversary!!!

Rick signature  Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc.Get your free catalog now!

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Topics: fencing materials, Louis E. Page Inc.

How To Choose The Right Coating For Woven Wire Fencing Materials

August 7, 2013 | by Rick Hoffman

Brass Frame Fence

First, some questions...

  • Are you thinking of putting up a woven wire fence?
  • Do you need to contain animals within an enclosure?
  • Do you want to exclude animals from an area to protect your plants and vegetation?
  • Do you know that there are different types of coatings available to protect woven wire fencing materials from rust and corrosion?

Various Elements and Coatings

Think about fence coatings as you think about paint. It's a way to protect your fence from the day to day elements: humidity, harsh chemicals from the soil, fertilizers, acid rain, etc.

It is important to select the right type of coating for your fence. Environmental factors, including humidity, acid rain, blowing sand or dust, salt and fertilizer can have a detrimental impact on the lifetime of your fence. The proper coating protects your fence from these elements and can keep it looking great for years.

There are three different coating options available on agricultural type woven wire fences. These are the types of fences used for deer and other wildlife as well as farm animals such as cows, horses, etc.

Class 1   2 to 11 years before rust

Class 1 zinc coating is the standard, basic and most readily available type. It has a coverage of .28 ounces of zinc per square foot. In most non-coastal climates, Class 1 zinc coated wire has an approximate life of 2 to 11 years until rust occurs.

Class 3   13 to 30 years before rust

Class 3 galvanized coating features .80 ounces per square foot, approximately 2-1/2 times thicker than standard Class 1 galvanized coating. As a consequence, in most non-coastal climates, it has an approximate life of 13 to 30 years before rusting. When you calculate the time, cost and hassle of replacing and repairing a fence, spending slightly more initially for a Class 3 product makes a lot of sense. Most DOT projects specify Class 3 fencing materials.

ZA

ZA Zinc Aluminum coating is 95% Zn, 5% Al. This is a new zinc-aluminum hybrid coating developed and produced exclusively by Bekaert. Salt spray tests have shown that it will last more than three times as long as Class 1 and close to the same as Class 3 galvanized woven wire fence. ZA uses less coating than Class 3. You save money when you buy a ZA coated product. And you're assured years of trouble-free use.

ZA + Black Paint

ZA+Paint is the newest innovation from Bekaert. Black polymer paint is combined with ZA coated wire. This provides longer fence life in an attractive color. Black blends with the background and becomes virtually invisible. This coating is designed to provide maximum protection from the most corrosive environments. It has a longer expected lifetime than Class 3 coated wire. With ZA + Black paint, you get a good looking woven wire fence with an exceptional lifetime. It will keep its appearance for years.

Not all specifications are available with every type of coating. For example the ZA + Black paint is currently available in three specifications of Deer and Wildlife fence with graduated openings and 2" x 4" woven horse fence.

If long life and lower overall total costs for fence installation is important, determining the best coating for the type of environment where the fence will be installed is crucial to ensure you choose the best fence for your needs.

What environmental factors do you have to contend with in your location? Anything unusual?

cat in from of vinyl coated fence

 

Get your free catalog now!

 

Rick signature Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc. 

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Topics: woven wire, galvanized after, galvanized, vinyl coated

Coatings for Welded Wire Fences vs. Rust and Corrosion

July 30, 2013 | by Rick Hoffman

stone wall and wire fence in front of ocean

First, a few questions-- 

When thinking about installing fencing, you should first consider the environment in which it will be placed.

  • Is it near the coast?
  • Is it exposed to extreme changes in temperature?
  • Will it be located in a wet or humid environment?
  • Will it be in close proximity to corrosive chemicals, etc…?

Identifying these factors will help you determine the best type of fence product and coating for your needs.

GBW - Galvanized Before Weld

Let’s start with the basic low-cost GBW welded wire fence. This product is available in a wide variety of styles and sizes for lots of different applications. This is what most “Big Box” stores sell.

  • The good news? It is inexpensive.
  • The bad news? It has a shorter life because it is more susceptible to rust and corrosion.
  • The reason? The wire is welded before it is galvanized. The welding process can “burn-off” the zinc on the weld points. This makes the wire more vulnerable to rust and corrosion.

The initial strength and gauge of the GBW wire are the same as GAW and VC. But the finish is not nearly as durable resulting in a shorter usable lifespan.

If price rather than quality is the most important factor, then GBW might be a good choice for you.

Bird on fence post

GAW - Galvanized After Weld

GAW welded wire is dipped in molten zinc after being welded or woven. The wire is fully encased in zinc for greater protection and longer life. This is especially important if the fence is to be installed in coastal areas, and if rust and corrosion are primary concerns.

  • The good news? Extended lifetime
  • The bad news? It is slightly more expensive than generic GBW meshes.
  • The reason? After the wire mesh is welded or woven, the finished product is drawn through a bath of molten zinc. The wires are thoroughly galvanized. And most importantly the welded joints are completely covered and protected from the elements. Moisture, which tends to collect in these areas, is prevented from contacting the underlying wire.

If quality and long life are the most important factors in how you will make your decision, GAW is a great choice. The thick galvanization present on the wires adds years of life to the fence. GAW fencing materials will long outlast commonly available GBW products. You have to look harder to find GAW wire fencing materials, but your search will be rewarded with years of service. Avoid the needless expense and hassle of frequent replacement. Buy a product that will last!

VC - Vinyl Coated

VC welded wire has been coated with a layer of PVC after the mesh is welded up. The vinyl covers the mesh and provides strong protection against the element.

  • The good news? Extended lifetime and attractive appearance
  • The "bad" news? It can be more expensive than GBW and GAW products.
  • The reason? The addition of the PVC coating adds an impervious barrier, protecting the wire from Mother Nature's harshest elements. The protected wire will not rust as quickly.

If you want a product that is not only attractive but is also able to withstand environmental stressors, VC welded wire mesh is the perfect one to use. Black mesh becomes virtually invisible.

Note: It is very important to know what to look for when considering VC wire fencing materials. The best possible protection and longest life expectancy are offered by a product that is vinyl coated over GAW wire mesh. You will have rugged double protection. You will not be disappointed.

green vinyl coated mesh

SS - Stainless Steel

SS welded wire fences provide the greatest level of protection and long life in any environment. The product is more expensive up front but can save lots of money and time in the long run because the fence will not need to be repaired or replaced. Stainless Steel wire needs no additional coating because it will last for years and years.

  • The good news? Very long life with little maintenance required
  • The "bad" news? It is more expensive.
  • The reason? Stainless Steel is a more expensive material. But in certain applications, it will ultimately prove less expensive.

Stainless Steel wire needs no additional coating because it will last for years and years in practically any environment.

Did you know there are so many varieties of wire mesh fencing materials available to you?

Do you have some new ideas about what you would like to use on your next project?

stainless steel mesh

Get your free catalog now!

Rick signature  Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc. 

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Topics: vinyl coated wire, stainless steel, galvanized after, galvanized before

How Turtle Fence Can Protect The Threatened Desert Tortoise

July 18, 2013 | by Rick Hoffman

desert tortoise

The Desert Tortoise: Loss of Habitat

You may not realize it, but the Desert Tortoise is struggling to survive after millions of years of life on earth. The desert tortoise in the Mojave Desert (north and west of the Colorado River) was federally listed under emergency provisions of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 as endangered on August 4, 1989 and permanently listed as a threatened species on April 2, 1990. The tortoise was listed because of direct losses and threats to tortoise populations and habitat.

The Desert Tortoise: maintaining a viable population                                                                                                                                              
One of the major reasons for loss is death by vehicles on roads and highways. Other causes of loss include habitat lost to urbanization, Upper Respiratory Disease Syndrome, agriculture, road construction, off-highway vehicle use and others. All of these activities fragment the tortoise habitat which may reduce a tortoise population below the level necessary to maintain a minimum viable population.
The U.S. Endangered Species Act makes it illegal to harass, collect, or harm tortoises and provides for penalties of up to $50,000 in fines and one year in prison for each count.

The desert tortoise is the largest reptile and the only wild land tortoise found in southern Nevada. It also exists in western California, southwestern Utah, western Arizona, and northwestern Mexico. A tortoise will live in the same general area of less than one square mile during its lifespan of 50-100 years. It ranges in size from 2 to 15 inches and is soil colored.  Because of the color and shape, they can be very difficult to see.

The Desert Tortoise: Hope

To help protect tortoises from getting on roads and highways, Tortoise Exclusion Fence, also referred to as Turtle Fence, is being installed throughout their habitat. Many construction projects are now even required to have an on-site biologist conduct a thorough survey of the job site and flag all burrows prior to construction. Construction crews are also required to complete a desert tortoise education program.

Tortoise exclusion fence is required and specified in many bids where highways and roads or solar fields will be constructed in tortoise habitats. It is installed to keep the tortoises out of harm's way on highways and in solar fields.

                    

turtle fence solar plant desert

Exclusion Fence

Tortoise Exclusion Fence is designed specifically for preventing tortoises from gaining access to highways and roads and any other designated areas. It is made of galvanized welded wire which has a mesh opening of 1” horizontal by 2” vertical and is 36” wide. The fence is constructed of 16 gauge or heavier wire and can be GAW (Galvanized After Weld), GBW (Galvanized Before Weld) or VC (Vinyl Coated) depending upon the specifications required.

Installation

The fence material is buried a minimum of 12 inches below the natural level of the ground to prevent tortoises from burrowing underneath. This leaves 22-24 inches above the ground. In situations where burying the fence is not practical because of the rocky substrate, the fence material should be bent at a 90-degree angle to produce a lower section approximately 14 inches wide which will be placed parallel to, and in direct contact with, the ground surface. It is installed using 5 to 6-foot steel T-posts, hog rings, and smooth or barbed livestock wire. Distances between the T-posts should not exceed 10 feet unless the desert tortoise fence is being attached to an existing right-of-way fence that has larger interspaces between posts. See the US Department of Interior specifications and drawings for tortoise fence.

Installing the proper tortoise exclusion fence will protect the desert tortoises from possible extinction while protecting you from fines and possible imprisonment.

Let’s all work together to save the tortoises!

 

Download the Desert Tortoise brochure!

 

Rick signature Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc. 

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Topics: turtle fence, vinyl coated wire, galvanized, 16 gauge

What Is High Tensile Wire Fence?

June 25, 2013 | by Rick Hoffman

Control Cattle, Sheep, and Other Livestock

Cowboys Riding a Horse Near Gray Wooden Fence Taken during Dayitme

High Tensile wire is regarded as the most significant improvement in farm fencing since the introduction of barbed wire in 1874. While relatively new in the US, it has been used to effectively control cattle, sheep, and other livestock on ranches in other countries for over 50 years. It has now become the preferred choice for agricultural fencing in the USA.
high tensile wire fences

Low carbon wire or high tensile wire

Low carbon wire is made from steel rod with a carbon content of approximately 0.10%. This type of wire is easy to work with and fairly forgiving. However, it is prone to elongation, falling victim to stretching and sagging. And its strength is low when compared to high tensile wire.

High tensile wire is made of higher carbon steel. The carbon content of this wire is approximately 0.28%. This increased carbon content significantly increases the wire’s strength and reduces elongation. This allows the use of a smaller diameter high tensile wire versus a thicker low carbon wire.

High tensile wire fence: So Many Advantages

  • Lower overall costs due to smaller diameter wire and fewer posts used
  • High tensile wire can be installed using fewer fence posts than low carbon fence
  • High tensile: post spacing up to 16.5 feet vs low carbon: post spacing 8 to 10 feet
  • Stronger – about twice the strength as low carbon wire for effectively controlling any type of livestock: horses, hogs, cattle, deer, sheep, goat, etc.
  • Lighter weight means easier handling during installation
  • High tensile fences remain tight for years – even if a tree falls on a high tensile fence, it will spring back to shape once the tree is removed                                                                                                                                                                                             

Plus:

  • Very low maintenance
  • Longer life – 40 plus years if properly maintained
  • Can be easily electrified
  • More secure
  • Looks neater
  • Much safer for livestock than barbed wire
  • Class 3 galvanizing is standard

With high tensile wire build a long-lasting, low maintenance fence for nearly half the price of a conventional low carbon fence.

High Tensile wire fence = high performance and long life!

Download the woven Deer Fence brochure!

 

Rick signature  Rick VP sales Louis E. Page, Inc.      

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Topics: high tensile wire, galvanized

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