Lots of good info thanks guys.
I think PTO will be fine for the amount i'll use it. i see my self using it a lot in this first run than after that maybe a few times a year.
For planting trees does the 9" make sense or should i do 6"? these trees will be small sticks. 9" seemed to make more sense for roots and larger bed of soft dirt worked up.
Best of luck in your decision and also your upcoming projects.
I bought mine off of CL for $200. with 8"? auger. works great. it can be slow in the IL ground in the middle of summer when the clay is hard as a rock, and you have to be carefull not to screw it into the ground in the spring with the ground is soft, but no complants.
oh and hydrulic bucket PHD might be nice, but not twice as much money nice.
Several years ago I bought an older Speeco that was in good shape, but needed a very good clean up.
Changed lube, cleaned and painted (green, yellow) new cutting edges.
Has worked well on my older JD855. And very rocky ground.
i have both 3ph and hydraulic mounted on my backhoe and there is a huge difference in the auger bits themselves with the hydraulic model bits weighing more than twice as much. I wouldn't go that route if you don't need it though.
If you're asking specifically about "3pt PHDs" then no they aren't all created equal. How do you tell a light duty from a heavy duty? Look at the tubular steel boom. A heavy duty, or at least a good quality will be gusseted or have an additional flat steel dorsal "spine" welded to a portion of the boom where the risk of bending is greatest. The size of gear box will likely be a good indicator as well. I think most would agree that Danuser probably makes the best, but I have a Green MFG. that works great too. Weight of the phd helps with down pressure so the heavier the better. I don't think down force kits are really needed in most cases if the digging teeth are not worn out. My auger is 14 inch and I usually start each hole by digging the sod away since part of the problem digging for me is clogging the teeth with grass and roots
If you are looking at the County Line at TSC, check if they carry replacement teeth and auger points for the ones they sell. Depending on soil conditions, you will need to replace digging teeth on occasion, more so than the spiral point. In my hard pan clay, I get about 60 post holes only per set of teeth. Forget sharpening them, doesn't seem to make a difference. When their worn, they are toast.
Curious about hydraulic models designed for skid steer QA when attached to a tractor.
2 things that come to mind are, 1 - as already mentioned - sufficient hyd flow and 2 - can you see where you are digging?
I don't think I could see the auger point from my tractor seat.
If I had a skid steer though, it would be a no-brainer.;)
When I first started looking for a PHD at TSC, I talked to the salesman. I was pleasantly surprised when he advised me against buying his product, too lightweight for the rocky SW Missouri ground, he said.
I ended up buying a used Rhino SPHD , for less money, and while not great in hard packed ground, it is sufficient.
I have no doubt that a hydraulic PHD is superior, but I understand that most tractors do not have sufficient GPM flow, in contrast to the skid steer.