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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    1,265
    Location
    Western Michigan
    Tractor
    NH TC33D w/R4 Tires, Rear Remote, Hydraulic Toplink, 2 Auxiliary Work Lights, 7308 Loader w/Kasco Uni-Hitch (Quick Tach)

    Default Post Hole Digger

    I am going to be building at least one pole building and maybe an equipment shed this summer. Is it worth it to buy a 3 point post hole digger? Can you rent them? What brands would you recommend? How much do they cost to buy and rent? What size auger would I need?

    Thanks, Spence

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    6,737
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    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    Spence,
    It depends on what your needs are for the future and for your building. Some pole buildings you need a 14" hole to get a 12" concrete pad in and others don't call for them. To buy a 14" auger is not wise as one will probably not use it much. If you need a smaller auger though and you are going to need a posthole digger in the future they are handy to have around. Even with my post pounder I still need a digger around for the tall poles that I put in. If you have fence to either build or maintain and you can get by with the 8 or 10" auger I'd buy one. If this is a one-time thing I'd go rent one.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    320
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710, JD5300, AC D19, IH 806, IH 8950, Ford 8N, Farmal Super M, several others in the past.

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    Yes, you can rent them. Most rental places carry the heavy duty units such as a Danuser F8. Most of TBN user probably use the light to medium duty brands which are numerous. I don't believe one is better than the other.
    The size of auger will depend on how big your post is. A 9" auger is my favorite and will work for 5-6" round posts and smaller. An occasionaly railroad tie can also be put in. A pole barn may use a 6x6" and then a 12-14" digger is easier. As cowboydoc said, sometimes a cement "cookie" (12-16") is dropped in the hole for the post to sit on. The hole dug needs to be larger than the post for 2 reasons: 1. The post may need to be shifted in the hole to get it set where you want it. 2. Need to have enough room to tamp dirt around the post to get it tight.
    Lighter duty diggers usually have a round 2" shaft and heavy duty units have a round 2 9/16" shaft or hexagonal shaft. I have a unit with a 2" shaft and I made an pipe adapter to fit over the 2" shaft and inside of a 2 9/16" drill bit. Now I can just rent the larger bits when I need them from rental places. Typical heavy duty bit rents for $20-30/day. I have used 24" bits on a light duty auger but I need to be careful and don't dig very deeply.
    Without a bit, a light duty unit will cost $300-350 and a heavy duty unit like a Danuser F8 $1200. Light duty 9" bit about $70-90 and a heavy duty 24" bit - $450.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    i have a work saver model that i bought about 10 years ago at central tractor, i bought a 12" auger, and it has served me well, i have replaced the teeth on it once. it has dug about 400 holes in very rocky soil, and has used a fair number of shear bolts, but works very well, have planted large trees by making three and four overlapping holes, and i am well pleased with it, i would reccommend a post hole digger to anyone that has any type of landscaping plans, or tree planting plans, i have a small "orchard of peach, cherry, nectarine, plum trees that went in in one afternoon.

    you can get work done in a hurry, for about 450.00 at tractor supply i have seen similar units for sale last week.

    now for the caution this is one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment you can use. do not underestimate how far a large rock can be thrown by one of these. keep everyone well away while drilling. and stay in the tractor seat while running one of these.

    alex

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    1,344
    Location
    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
    Tractor
    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    Spence:

    One thing to be aware of is how deep you will need to make the holes for your building. This depends a great deal on the construction details of your building (mainly how much weight your poles will carry) and the type of soil.

    When I built my pole barn/shop the summer before last, the absolute minumum I could put my holes was four feet - and 5 or 6 would have been needed if I hadn't had ideal soil conditions.

    Just be aware of that when looking at PHDs for your tractor. May not be a concern for a larger tractor but could be difficult to get down 6 feet with a smaller compact tractor.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    46
    Location
    Wimberley, Texas
    Tractor
    L3710HST

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    ALCO 141: My soil is rocky also and I need either a post hole digger or a post driver. You've dug in rocky soil. Do you need down pressure to dig or will the auger pull itself into the soil? I'm worried about buying an auger and not being able to dig in the rocky Texas soil.

  7. #7
    Silver Member cedarranch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    217
    Location
    Bremen, Alabama
    Tractor
    Ford 3430 and Zetor Zebra 2520

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    I have a Leinbach phd with a 9inch auger. I have dug holes in everything from sandy loam to almost solid rock. You don't need down pressure. These things are heavy. Just lower and and let it do the work. DO NOT TRY TO GET ON IT OR PUSH IT DOWN - DANGEROUS! I have had to remove it on dry hard soil and pour in some water and let it soak in. Then drop the bit back in and finish boring the hole.
    I did not have much luck using my old Danuser post driver in the rocky soil, but is was great in regular dirt.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    2,191
    Location
    Paige Texas
    Tractor
    NH TC45

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    If I was building fence in Wimberly I'd want a driver vs. a digger and rent a digger for the few times I'd need it. I bought a digger with my tractor and wore out a set of teeth in 12 holes. It's a heavy duty woods with 9" auger. I don't have near the rock in Bastrop that you have. Option #2 ---- I'll loan you my digger to try out if you'll loan me your landscape rake to try before we buy --- whatta think? Us folks on the federal dole gotta stick together ya know. I'm going to be there this weekend so if you're up for this gimme a call at work -- daytime -- the numbers are at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx>http://www.srh.noaa.gov/hgx</A> or here if M don't wipe it out --- (281) 534-4736 ext 1
    mike

  9. #9

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    i usually drop the auger where i want the hole, it will spin for a moment the dig in, you have to lift it partially when the hole is about 1/3 done to make sure it is not screwing itself into the ground, i have not needed down pressure, but some people use a hydraulic top link on these, if you hit a rock, lift the auger a little, and it may throw it clear, if you force it you may shear a pin, otherwise lift the auger and pry the stone loose, and take it out of the hole. we have glacial till soil, full of rock here.

    be carefull,
    alex

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    46
    Location
    Wimberley, Texas
    Tractor
    L3710HST

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger

    I appreciate the responses and have decided that I either need the Worksaver 16 post driver or a hydraulic auger mounted on my buckets. Rental stores around here want $200 a day for a bobcat with auger and say they won't promise it'll work. Another rental store recommends a backhoe with auger for $325 a day to do 30-35 holes. I'll probably end up with 150 holes in the long run, so hate to waste the rental money. I'd tade for the phd, but would hate to mess up your new teeth. I may have to rent something just to see what works. I've got $900 worth of pipes and gates to set and 30 goats that think my porch is perfect shelter when it rains. I'll probably call you this weekend just to say hi.

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