Easily repairable mailbox ideas

Because of some slight peculiarities in our road, my mailbox keeps getting creamed. About once every month or two the mailbox itself gets hit, which is usually easy to fix. About once every year or so though, they manage to come over far enough that they take out the entire post and not just the box on top of it. Quite often they leave car parts in my yard. A couple of times whoever hit it has been nice enough to pay for a new mailbox or post, and one guy even replaced the post himself (he put in a nice solid 4x4 post which lasted until last Monday, when someone splintered that post into 3 pieces). Most just drive off.

I have covered the mailbox with reflectors and put reflectors along the road in a couple of places to warn people, but it still gets hit. So preventing it from getting hit isn’t a realistic option at this point.

What I need ideas for is how to make this much more easily repairable. Digging out the old 4x4 and putting in a new one is getting to be a pain in the backside. Moving the box somewhere else really isn’t an option.

Any ideas on how I can save myself some labor in fixing this every time my mailbox gets whacked?

I’m thinking maybe something along the lines of a free standing mailbox (not attached to the ground), so that I can just take its replacement out of the garage and put it in place, but it would have to be sturdy enough not to blow over in the strongest of winds. Alternately, maybe some sort of breakaway system where the snapped off pole could be much more quickly replaced.

Any other ideas are also welcome.

The solution also has to be cheap, because it is going to get destroyed sooner or later (and probably more sooner than later).

Barriers (like a huge freaking rock blocking the mailbox) are not a realistic option.

My first thought is some kind of socket in the ground flush with the surface that a post slides into. When it gets hit pull out the old post and drop in a new one. It would have to be fairly well anchored in the ground though, so that the socket isn’t ruined by the leverage when the pole is hit.

Around here some people suspend their mailbox from a chain, with the actual support set several feet back from the road. A little likethis.

Can you set the mailbox post farther back from the road and have the box mounted on a swinging arm, so that when they hit it, they don’t take out the post? Like this…

Or get creative with breakaway parts. A metal U piece set into concrete. The above ground four by four is sacrificed but the anchor is undamaged.

Ethics aside, I wonder what the laws say about using a ridiculously robust mounting post for your mailbox. I have a four inch diameter, ten foot long solid steel bar you can use if you want. Set it six feet down in concrete and dare cars to hit it. I suspect it would spare your mailbox but may cause other problems from all the fatalities.

Failing that, I agree with markn+.

Do you think you could complain to the city/county road department and try to get a section of guardrail installed?

Here is a better example of the suspended box idea.

Mr.Wrekker did just that. Big pipe buried deep in concrete. We were replacing a box every 6 mos. or so. I have rummaged around in chest high brush looking for mail more that once. We haven’t lost a mail box since. It has had a few dings and we’ve found pieces of cars around it. So far no fatalities that we know of. The box is a far piece from the house so we never hear anything.

Similar to the swinging mailbox, I once saw a home made swing arm mailbox where the arm was about 8 feet long and stretched over a ditch.

Commercial version.

Can you move the box a feet up or down the road? Can’t hurt to try.

A brick mailbox is popular around here. But as you can see, they aren’t car proof.

I’d go with something easy to replace. A simple post that can be knocked over. Stand it back up and Bob’s your uncle.

A plastic or rubber mailbox won’t dent after impact.

I was going to suggest mounting the post on a spring. Naturally, someone has already made a commercial version.

Get ahold of some old ski racers with access to break-away slalom gates. Knock it over, it pops right back up!

However, I would cement in railroad iron. Word would get around quick to be more careful around your house. :wink: “An ounce of prevention” as it were.

There is a guy down the road who’s mail box is the bucket to an old Bucyrus-Erie Steam Shovel. You know, like the ones the dug the Panama Canal with.

I’ll try to get you a picture. That should do the trick.

I also see mailboxes not permanently anchored. A 5 gallon bucket of sand or concrete just sitting on the ground supports the post.

That’s the best idea.

Only takes a minute to stand it back up.

I’d setup a trail camera to capture footage of the car that hit my mailbox. Something you can give the cops.

Talk to your mail carrier. Maybe you could put it a few feet up your drive. She could back out after dropping your mail.

That works but isn’t if awfully tacky looking? Instead of a plastic bucket, maybe the OP could track down an old milk can? Think “This Old Farm House” instead of “This Old Meth Lab”

A pull in off the road comes to mind, sort of a indent off the road where the mail truck has to pull further in then the normal amount of people riding through your lawn.

[li]Wheel with tire is pretty popular around here (some will fill the wheel with concrete).[/li][li]Milk jug.[/li][li]Concrete base.[/li][li]Hangman.[/li][/ul]

Most of these are no so much armed against car collisions as against extra-wide snow plows driven by newbies.

ETA: Also, some will make arrangements to put their mailbox across the road, if it’s less likely to get hit on that side.

My dad used a junked driveshaft from a truck. He also had a mailbox made from welded 1/4" steel and welded that onto the shaft.

That one was after he got rid of the mailbox made from a piece of highway guardrail.

We had lots of mailbox problems growing up.