Important Questions You Must Ask Before You Buy Your Retaining Wall Sleepers.

Below you’ll find many of the questions most commonly asked before people buy and build a retaining wall.

These answers should assist you to fully understand what “Eastern Sleepers” can do for you and how our “Sleepers” are better than others.

1. Why should I spend more on concrete sleepers rather than timber sleepers for my retaining wall?

A good quality treated pine sleeper can last up to 15 to 20 years which is not a bad life span, however as soon as the15 to 20 years comes around and you have to replace that wall, then concrete sleepers instantly have become a more cost effective option.

2. How heavy are the concrete sleepers?

A plain concrete sleeper weighs approximately 75 kg for a 80mm thick and our pattern concrete sleeper weigh approximately 80kg.  We also stock heavy duty sleepers for larger commercial retaining walls and can weigh up to 150kg each.

3. How high can I safely go with my retaining walls?

You can build retaining walls as high as 4.2 metres with the correct engineering and permits.  Most domestic retaining walls are below 2 meters, if you would like assistance in this area talk to your landscaper, local council or give us a call on 9761 7123.

4. Are concrete sleepers easy to install?

Concrete sleepers are easy to install, once your steel has been set the sleepers simply slide into position without the use of nuts, bolts or screws. We have some great tips and tricks to help you with your installation process so give us a call on 9761 7123.

5. Do you have any displays that I can have a look at?

Yes, we have a showroom at 6-8 Gatwick Road in Bayswater North we are always updating our displays so please feel free pop by or check our Facebook page to stay updated:-

6. What about delivery?

Eastern Sleepers run our own trucks, therefore we have flexibility in regards to deliveries. Often we can deliver the next day or to local areas on the same day depending our on schedule. Our friendly drivers are very experience and will endeavour to place the delivery in the best position.

7. Do treated pine sleepers vary in quality?

Yes, treated pine sleepers do vary in quality.  Its all about the treatment process and the treatment recipe that will give you a long lasting treated pine sleeper. Eastern Sleepers only stock a superior quality treated pine sleeper that are for external in ground use.  All our treated pine sleeper stock is kiln dried and pressure treated should last up to 15 to 20 years if installed correctly.

8. What should I used as posts for my retaining wall?

We recommend Galvanised Steel Posts System, this is specifically designed to give you the flexibility when building your retaining wall.  Galvanised Steel Posts    offers four main components the H, C, 90 degree corner and the 45 degree for softer angles.  Our galvanised steel is highly regarded offering superior quality, strength and longevity.  All our steel posts are cut to length prior to the application for the protective coating this ensures that the ends are fully protected from corrosion.

9. How far should I span between my post for a retaining wall?

We generally recommend spaning 2.4mt between post for a retaining wall and using a 75mm thick treated pine sleepers or when using concrete sleepers 2mt or 2.4 mt any longer than this measurement then you risk the bowing.  If you wall is taller that 1.2mt we recommend bringing your post centres closer together or using a thicker sleeper.

10. Can I build my own retaining wall?

Depending on the size and specifications yes. If you’re capable and able to use a shovel and a wheelbarrow and have a bit of know how, then yes you could install a retaining wall yourself. There are just a few processes to follow, the first being finding out if you require a permit from your local council. To find the contact details of your local council go to:

11. Why is there no F rating on a treated pine sleeper?

Treated sleepers are not structural they suitable for in ground use.  The F Rating System is the group name for a structural piece of timber. A piece of structural timber cannot be heart (which means the centre of the tree). Most sleepers cut from the centre because generally the trees are normally 14 – 16” in round, and to get 170 – 200 millimetre sleeper you only get 2 or 3 sleepers out of each log, then the rest of the log, which is all computer cut, is pulled into palings and plinths for fencing pieces.

12. What’s the general processes to build a retaining wall?

Firstly you need to decided where your wall is going to go for any excavations. You will need to consider access for any machinery that might be required.   Mark out your post holes, dig to the required depth and set your stringlines. You are now ready to concrete your steel post into the ground.  Once your concrete has set, simply slide your sleepers into position.  We have plenty of tips and tricks to finish off your wall to make it look like a professional job and are happy to provide any advice during your building process.

13. Is there a sleeper available that does not contain arsenic?

Yes, Eastern Sleepers stock a concrete sleeper.  

14. When is a building permit required?

We suggest you check with your local Council about  whether or not you need a building permit. To find the contact details of your local council go to:

15. How long should my treated pine sleeper last?

Good quality treated pine sleeper wall  if installed correctly should last 15 to 20 years. Our Kiln Dried Treated Pine Sleeper are a superior quality, we know they will last.

16. Are treated pine sleepers safe to use for a vegie patch?

There are a few things to consider when creating your vegie patch.

Do you have a dog? No, you don’t, we can choose anything from the range.

It is normally the animal that is the issue because if the animal chews timber then we wouldn’t recommend the treated pine sleepers.

Animals may like to chew or lick it because it is salty. Chewing the timber can make animals unwell.

Treated pine is safe to use in gardens, but if you are worried about the old-style arsenic-treated pine, perhaps look into using concrete sleepers. 

Lots of people worry about the safety of treated pine sleepers for vegie garden beds, but new products and sound research should ease organic gardeners’ fears.

One of the most popular ways to edge raised vegie garden beds is to use timber sleepers of some sort. And that’s where people start to worry. They know that the famous poison arsenic is part of the treatment used to preserve the most common sort of treated pine – CCA treated pine (which stands for ‘Copper Chrome Arsenate’). The understandable fear is that the arsenic will leach into the soil and enter the plants. Considering that almost all backyard vegie growers these days are growing their own food organically, with the emphasis on chemical-free, healthy plants, the idea of poison lurking in their organic-rich soil is definitely not on.


17. What does 40Mpa mean?

This is the strength of concrete used.  All our concrete sleepers are manufacture to 40Mpa strength. 

18. What are Reo Bars?

Generally called reinforcement bars, these are used too give strength to the concrete product. Concrete without steel would crumble and break in half.