Installing a chain link fence is fairly easy. The most complicated part of the job is setting the posts. The strength and durability of the fence largely depends on the stability of the posts. And, the posts are reliant on the footing (the area underground where the fence post is driven). This is why it is usually a good idea to dig holes and pour concrete footings for a permanent chain link fence. This article explains how to dig and pour concrete for fence post footings.
Digging the Hole
Digging the holes for your footing can be very tiring, depending on the density and amount of rocks in the soil. To reduce the amount of digging that you have to do, you should invest in a post digging shovel. The narrow spades allow you to dig deep without digging it unnecessarily wide. If you do need to use a normal shovel, you will just need to dig more and then refill the soil while setting the post.
Most expert suggest that you dig a hole that is 1/3 as deep as the fence is tall. So, a 6' tall post should have a 2' deep footing, meaning you need a 8' long post in the end. Also, the hole should only be about 3 times as wide as the diameter of the post. For examples, a hole for a 3" post should be at least 9" wide.
Pouring and Mixing the Concrete
Once the hole is dug to the right width and depth you can pour the concrete footing. If you are using concrete mix, you can speed up the process by actually mixing it directly in the hole. This way you don't need to premix the concrete before pouring it. Just pour the recommend amount of water and mixture into the hole and start stirring. You should immediately place the post in the mixture. Then, fill the pour more concrete into the hole until it is about 3" from the top of the soil. As you are doing this, push the chain link fencing pole down firmly to make sure it reaches the bottom of the hole. Use a level to check the straightness of the post as the concrete dries.
You need to let the concrete dry for a few days before you can start to install the fence rails and attach the chain link. Check each and every post to make sure it has a strong hold in the soil before moving forward.