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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    133
    Location
    Willis, TX
    Tractor
    Branson 3510 Ford 3000

    Default Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    Recently dug post holes for a pole barn on an excavated pad in SE Texas. Pad was virgin rock hard/bone dry red clay. Couldn't get the auger to start, It would spin for 20 minutes and barely make a dent. Tried all the usual stuff like hanging two friends off of it, each holding onto a Chevy 350 head, water, etc. No joy. Finally ran the other tractor over and dropped the FEL on the auger top. Used the FEL to create down force (the FEL tractor front wheels were in the air). BOOM! 3'6" hole dug in less than 30 seconds. Hard clay chips flying everywhere. Now for the question - what to do when I only have one tractor on site? Has anyone built a cable rig to use the FEL to pull the three point down? I visualize a pully up front and one back aft with connection points on the FEL cross bar and the gear head for the auger. Cable runs under the tractor. Place and start the auger and then lift on the FEL. Would love to see pictures/hear war stories before I start learning the hard way. I have a bunch of post holes I have to dig in the same soil and the second and third tractors are gone.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    11,936
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    I'd look at the auger 'tip' and be sure the teeth are sharp. If that isn't the problem, then look for an auger bit that is designed to cut into a hard material, such as the dry clay. There are bits that will go through asphalt.
    I'd not expect a PHD to hold up very well under the kind of 'down-pressure' you are talking about putting on it. The cutting bits can handle just so much, and beyond that, it's just abuse of a tool not designed for going through rock-like hard clay.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2002
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    1,507
    Location
    NW PA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3130HST & ZD326s

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    I'd reccomend having your friends hold onto the heads of a largeblock, not a smallblock.
    And next time we want pictures! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]

    Seriously, what you are suggesting sounds like it could have some merit, but side-stepping the boundaries of a power tool has a greater chance for *repercussions* than just putting a pipe on the end of a breaker bar. Although I did recently read a post somewhere about someone making a jig to apply more downforce to a drill motor.... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]

    I don't recall having seen it mentioned here before, but how about a pilot hole first for a struggling PHD? Picking up a small diameter auger bit might be a heck of a lot cheaper than getting a special made for rough conditions bit.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    800
    Location
    Winn Parish, LA
    Tractor
    Case 380B, Super C

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    Does it have one of these?

    pilot

  5. #5
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    7,201
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    This is great. I have often thought about the same thing with the cable and with pulleys at the front and the back. The boom on the digger would have to be reinforced because the cable would need to be attached up toward the bend. I think that without such a reinforcement, the boom would fold up. Other than that I think that it would work quite well. A removable pulley could be made to fit under the bumper and that rear pulley could be made so that it was attached to the draw bar.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member mikim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    2,314
    Location
    Paige Texas
    Tractor
    NH TC45

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    I wish I could remember the site I found ... but there is quite a selection of pilot bits out there - go with that before getting hinky with anything more than added weight. I hang 220lbs on mine and that seems to work, but I'm seriously thinking of getting a more aggressive pilot bit.

  7. #7
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    6,812
    Location
    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    I think that's a great concept idea and should be figured out how to do. It's funny what you do when you don't know any better. I'm not talking about the concept because I think it's great, but about what happened to when I first got my tractor. Didn't know diddly squat about anything then.

    I had disconnected my backhoe for the first time and let it sit. Of course it leaked down and the next time I wanted to mount it on the 3pt there was no way to lift it up to get the lower arms to the pins. (That was the dumb part) I could easily have backed up the tractor, attached the pump to the PTO and operated the hoe to get it into position, but I didn't even think of it at the time.

    Anyway, I backed the tractor up to the hoe and rigged some pulleys to run under my ROPS and attached cables to the back hoe and FEL. By lowering the bucket I managed to lift up the backhoe enough to get the lower lift pins into the lower lift arms and was able to make the rest of the 3pt connection. This is exactly what you are talking about except in reverse.

    Then I hooked up the pump and started the backhoe. Funny thing is my wife, who watched me do all this said, "honey, why didn't you just plug in that pump thingie and use the legs and bucket to lift up the backhoe?" After it dawned on me, I could have killed her right then. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    15,187
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    Tyler, Texas
    Tractor
    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    I was haveing allot of trouble digging through the hard clay with my auger as well. I didn't have anybody around to help with putting more preasure on it and didn't think of adding weights.

    I knew it had worked well before, but now I was having trouble. My thought was that it was dull. I took off the cutting tip, which was totally worn flat. I cut a new one from a piece of an old cutting blade of my bush hog.

    I ground a sharp edge to it and put it back together.

    It cut through that hard ground like nothing. In fact, it cut so fast I almost burried in the ground. This was the same gronund that I couldn't cut into at all.

    I think the tractor has plenty of downward preasure, but the cutting edge has to be sharp enough to do it's job. Othewise your forcing square blocks into round holes. You can do it, but what type of damage are you causeing [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Eddie



  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Apr 2002
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    NW PA
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    Kubota L3130HST & ZD326s

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( In fact, it cut so fast I almost burried in the ground )</font>

    That's what has me a little concerned about jazzing up the downforce by hooking it up to a FEL. Suppose it digs so well that it lifts the front end off the ground before you can feed it some slack [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]
    When I use my PHD I have my left foot over the clutch, my right foot on the treadle pedal for "plumb" adjustments, my left hand on the throttle and my right hand on the 3PH lever.... seems like you would need another hand on the FEL's joystick (which I don't think feathers as well as the 3PH does. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

    I want movies for whoever tries it first [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2005
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    509
    Location
    South Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 5105

    Default Re: Post Hole Digger/Auger Down Force

    boys that cable idea has bloodshed written all over it, and the last thing you want to do is to get one of your friends all wrapped around the axle, literally, by hanging them off the PHD. Careful!

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