When installing a fence, or just a single post, a post driver can remove some of the arduous manual labour that is involved when trying to insert a post into the ground - this is especially important when regulations stipulate that the post base needs to rest at a certain distance below ground level.
For smaller projects, a number of tools are available that allow the task to be carried out manually in an efficient manner. When dealing with larger and more commercial installations, these can be undertaken with dedicated industrial machinery that is manufactured to drive high volumes of posts into the ground with the correct amount of force.
For the individual or domestic user, manual post knockers are available that are manufactured from materials that add downward force to each 'blow' - this can be a heavy-duty metal or similar product. These can also be referred to as 'post drivers,' and the ends can be large enough to handle both round and square-shaped fence posts. The diameter of the tube allows the user to choose the most appropriate knocker for their needs, and purchasing one with dual handles means that two people can simultaneously apply a sufficient amount of force to drive the post into the ground. For these manual products, it is important to remember that while the weight of the device will add a significant amount of force to the knocking action, the users will still need to be physically capable of lifting and manoeuvring the item multiple times in quick succession.
In an industrial environment, a mechanical post knocker or post driver can be fitted to existing plant machinery, such as diggers and similar vehicles. Many products list the approximate weight of the knocking attachment, and this allows the operator to purchase the necessary counter weights and fixtures that will allow the set-up to function safely. If a complete set-up is desirable, it is also possible to purchase the machinery and post knocker in one package - this will usually eliminate the need to purchase the attachments as it should be supplied ready to go. For agricultural purposes, some mechanical post knockers are designed to operate at a slant, and the angle can be pre-configured by the operator for a fencing or post installation.
There are also post drivers that are designed specifically to be attached to tractors, and these can be swung around by the tractor driver to the ideal position by using the regular steering controls of the tractor. When looking at industrial machinery of this nature, it is advisable to see whether or not it is supplied with a post cap. This device acts as a covering on the end of a fencing post, and it prevents excessive amounts of damage to the material of the post - this is important when considering that hundreds of kilograms of pressure (in a small target area) will be applied to insert the post into the ground. In a similar manner to other plant machinery, these can also be adjusted to operate at a tilted angle.