Stretching the Bungee
We probably have a dozen bungee gates on the farm. None of them are permanently installed. We attach a hook handle on each end, so we can install them across any gateway on the farm (well, almost all of them). We’ve standardized our gateways and our lanes to 20 feet wide. We keep a pile of bungee gates in the toolbox of the ATV, so it is easy to close off a gate or lane as needed. We appreciate that they can be coiled up and stored in compact bundles, and that they can be deployed so quickly and easily.
One problem with the bungees is that they just don’t last very long. After about two years the ends wear out from the stress where the cord wraps around the loop of the gate hook. This is especially the case if a bungee gate is used during the winter when it can get buried in four or five feet of snow drifting across a gateway. As the snow compacts and settles, this can exert weight on the material, over-stressing it.
I used to solve this problem by cutting the cord shorter, but this fix eventually shortens the cord enough that we overstretch the bungee on our 20 foot gateway. My solution to stretch the life of a bungee gate is to install a wire reinforcement. This works well for conducting electricity, and it relieves the stress on the fibers.