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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    May 2008
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    Prince Edward Island, Canada
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    Kioti DK45SC

    Default Auger and drive posts

    I recently bought a hydraulic auger in preparation to putting in a horse arena fence. I got 9" and 14" auger bits to be sure I could make holes bigger than the posts (6" PT fence posts and larger diameter corner posts). However, a friend suggested an alternative approach that might avoid a lot of work tamping around the posts and also make the posts more securely set. He suggested I drill a 4" hole then use a post driver to drive the 6" posts into the holes. They'd go in a lot better than pounding with no pre-drilled holes and yet be very securely set in place without any backfilling/tamping.
    Has anybody else tried this approach? Do you think it would work as hypothesized?
    BOB

  2. #2
    Veteran Member bigtiller's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    1,805
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    central Iowa
    Tractor
    JD 2720

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    It sounds like a good way but it may be difficult drilling the hole plum.
    HAVE FUN

    Life is easier when you plow around the stumps.


    2720

  3. #3
    Elite Member gwdixon's Avatar
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    Northern CA

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    I did something similar with steel fence posts when fencing our pasture. It was mid-summer and the ground was dry and rock-hard. Trying to drive a steel post would result in it bending more than half the time. The rest of the posts made about a half inch of progress with each driver hit.

    So....an inverter was attached to my truck engine and a 3/4 HP drill with a 2" x 14" long wood auger was used to drill holes in the ground. Water was used to fill the holes and let sit for a few hours. The post slid right in with just a few whacks and were solid.

    Price Edward Island is in a pretty wet location so the ground should be soft enough for the project to work out. The only way you will really know is to actually test the process. If it doesn't then adding water may help. The water will also help make it easier to straighten the posts if necessary.
    2009 Kubota M7040, R1s, LA1153 FEL, fork lift, 3 rear remotes, T&T
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  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2009
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    Carroll, Ohio
    Tractor
    Massey 180 Diesel

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    A local fence contractor, now out of business had a setup on a F-450 Ford 4wd like that. KIWI brand I believe. Probably 90%+ of the time, he could drive posts, but had a hydraulic drill mounted on the truck, with a 4" auger, for tough spots. Worked like a charm. But, he did have hydraulic tilt on the drill, like the driver, so as to drill a plumb hole..

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2005
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    SE Connecticut
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    JD 5325; Landini Mistral 50

    Default

    Bob - Yes it is best to drive a post but many have used an auger.. Wheatheart and King Hitter drivers have the option for augers and the KH has a nice rock spike option. I have found that commercial fence builders pound straight away to save time which is money to them. Farmers and ranchers are mixed and do both drive only or run pilot hole followed by pounding. I have 1500 posts to pound early next year and I am currently working through cost/benefit for a commercial hire vs myself with equipment rental/purchase. I have found that the Wheatheart trailer units are generally availabe to rent...Gary

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Prince Edward Island, Canada
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    Kioti DK45SC

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    Thanks for the responses.
    I still haven't decided the best route to go; getting the posts plumb is important, but I really dread the extra work of manually backfilling and tamping 100 or so oversized holes.
    BOB

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Trivoli, IL
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    SSTT (Sideways Snake Tain Tractor) and STB (sideways train box) tractor, dirt harvester

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    2nd person when dealing with posts. really saves a huge amount of time. reduces amount of walking, over all. and when hand tamping holes. one person on one side, other person on other side. and just hand tamper back and forth between the 2 of you.

    when it comes to drilling the holes. second person is there to help keep things straight, and then also help plumb the hole level better. but honestly. trying to keep all the holes nice and plumb and just be 1/2" off to a couple inches. can be rather difficult. a larger hole lets you have wiggle room. and able to adjust for those off angle drilling some, and get things nice and straight.

    farm fence for around a field or pasture, were you could care less about fence looks. and just use various limbs from trees you cut down over the last year or so. is a different story.

    found getting a level that bends into a L shape. and having a roll of duct tape on hand. so you can quickly tape / pull off level on each post. to level in both directions works pretty good. freeing your hands for tamping.

    to note it, one area may be nice and easy to put posts in while other areas may be pain in rear to put posts in due to how much the dirt is compacted or what is in the dirt. and what it takes to drill or hammer a post in will and can vary a lot.

    for me, i have had places were i had to bring more dirt in, to tamper in around a post. due to how loose the soil was to begin with. other places i have had more dirt from drilling a hole with PHD. and had to shovel some of the dirt away.

    i like idea of using a post hammer to drive posts in myself as well, but some times it is the old ugly doing of more work that gets the final results, that look better and hold up better long term. some times not. note if using a post hammer. for wooden posts. extra time may be spent with a saw and pointing the ends of the post. so the posts are easier to drive.

    if you have long streachs of straight fence, looking down the line can help get things straight. but you may want to run a string or cable to help keep things straight. when ya having to look around a post that just barely sticks out and blocks your view of trying to keep things straight.
    Ryan

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    SE Connecticut
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    JD 5325; Landini Mistral 50

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    One other point I forgot to mention is that in my neck of the woods the best time to pound is Fall and Spring as the ground is softer. Winter can also be good if it's a mild Winter like we had here last year. Pounders can go through a couple of inches of frost. Some sharpen their posts and some do not. One other point to mention is that the type and quality of the wood to be pounded makes a difference in driving with no splintering. Also the better pounders have a cap on the post that they hit so that they do not continually put force directly on the top of the post. There are a lot of good youtube videos on post pounding.....Cheers, Gary

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    May 2005
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    Rochester, NY
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    FarmTrac 270DTC

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    I bought a used Shaver HD-8 to help put in my pastures. I pounded square PT 4x4 as is no points on the end. I was able to pound probably about 3/4 of the posts. The other 1/4 needed drilling and a breaker bar due to rocks. Pointed tips would have made no difference. I just got done helping a friend who used PT round 4" posts and again it came down to where the rocks were. I don't have any cap on the driver and the tops of my posts look fine. If you look closely at the ones that took some pounding to go in you will find the tops slightly banged up but it is not like the tops are all mushroomed out. I didn't try the auger then pound trick. I had a hard enough time getting the 12" holes I augered straight and in the right place enough to not have to shave the hole a little bigger to get the post where I wanted.

    Fall and spring are usually best for pounding with the extra water content in the soil but last weekend I was pounding posts in ground that has not seen water in three weeks.

    I would first try just pounding the posts. If you run into troubles then try the auger-post diver or just dig and tamp the ones that wont drive.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
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    SW WA
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    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Auger and drive posts

    found getting a level that bends into a L shape. and having a roll of duct tape on hand. so you can quickly tape / pull off level on each post. to level in both directions works pretty good. freeing your hands for tamping.
    Post Level-50740 at The Home Depot

    -968162d9-58fa-4637-8c87-3f65e11cc178_300-a

    Bruce

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