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  1. #1
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    255
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Tractor
    B3030 Kubota HST

    Default Backhoe for post hole digging

    Has anyone used their backhoe to dig some postholes instead of using a post hole digger. My brother attempted some post hole digging with his kubota L3710 with danuser PHD and 9"auger. The soil is clay with many rocks. Some holes he can only get the auger to dig a few inches before it stops because of rocks, It either spins without going down or stops. He only has a few more holes to complete this fence for a horse. I have loaned him my BX23 for digging a trench for electricity to his barn. The BX23 did the job well in this soil.

    I think he should try the BX23 backhoe for these holes. He is not sure if he will be able to tamp the post in if he disturbs too much soil. If he digs a narrow trench only about 1 to 2 foot wide with the BX23 narrow 12" bucket then he should only have to worry about compacting a lot on one side for his 4x6" posts. He is only digging down about 2 feet. I was impressed with the photos posted by a new BX23 owner of a 6 foot deep hole he dug. This was only about 2 feet long and appeared to be only as wide as the BX bucket.

    Anothe question for you experts. My brother will use the BX23 to dig a trench for a water line from his house to the barn. How deep would you dig because of the frostline in Southeast Pennsylvania? Also would you put down some pea gravel on the bottom of the trench before putting down the waterline?

    Thanks for your comments and help.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member v8dave's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    617
    Location
    Northern, Calif.
    Tractor
    Kubota 7610

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    Water vibrates pipes as it flows through them. Rocks surrounding the pipe will wear holes in the pipe due to the vibration. It may take a long time but it'll eventually wear a hole. If the soil you use to refill the hole isn't very clear of rocks then use sand to protect the pipe, not gravel.

    My shop contractor used a plastic cover around the copper pipe placed on the gravel base under the concrete slab.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    556
    Location
    wa
    Tractor
    bx 23

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    Nik,
    I think if your brother only has afew more holes to go then the bx should work fine. I can dig a pretty small hole with the bx if I am only digging 2 feet deep. Just use a little more concrete on the remaining holes.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member familyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    592
    Location
    Perkiomenville, Pa
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800DT

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    Keep the pipe down 3'. I'd come out at least that deep at the house. Fine gravel is a good idea, as is a sleeve. Backfill with stone to 1' above the pipe, then lay in yellow caution tape the entire length of the trench. This way if somebody digs there later they'll know they found something. Keep the possibility of freezing in mind at the barn end, too.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    18,331
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    For the water line run a tracer line with it so it can be located or else map it out and file the map in a place it can be found. Sand would be best for laying in the pipe and just covering it. Trench dirt should do the rest.

    The electrical line may require a solid marker of some type laid on top of the line. This may vary from area to area depending on code.

    If the backhoe works best for post holes use it.

    Egon

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    368
    Location
    North Bennington, Vermont
    Tractor
    JD 4110 w/HST

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    I used my JD 4110 BH to dig 14 post holes 48 inches deep (for a deck) last week. Worked great. I have a 13 inch bucket and used 12 inch Sono tubes, plumbed the tube and then backfilled and tamped the fill - with a hand tamper, not the BH bucket - then poured concrete. Took 2 days start to finish - I say go for it.

    -Norm

  7. #7
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,161
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 2025R, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010 & JD 1025R

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    I had the same problem using a 2 man PHD in NJ. We'd drill, hit a rock and move on to another hole while wife and long iron bar got the rock(s) out. Then back to the hole to finish it.

    Put water lines and dug foundations 3' deep in NJ. Only had to go about 6" in La. Think it's about 18" here in Va. Had a swimming pool suction line in NJ that wasn't that deep. One point, it had a slight loop up and down that kept freezing and breaking the line. Finally dug out the root that it looped over and fixed the problem.

    Ralph

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Varmintmist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    795
    Location
    Chicora, PA
    Tractor
    Mahindra3510

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    3 foot deep for the water line at a minimum. Go with one of those 6-8 foot frost free hydrants at the barn. Some quarrys will sell the washings from the collection ponds (pond dirt) and that works great for lining trenches and its cheap if you can get it. Grows grass to [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I dug a bunch of holes in NEPA where you would have to give your canary a viking furneral because you cant dig a hole that big. The hoe will work as good as anything out there.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    276
    Location
    Northern Panhandle of Pennsyltuckey
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610 TLB & MF 253

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    I'm running 1 in. cressline (sp?) pipe for water. Due to the extremely rocky soil, I'm running this pipe thru 4 in black corrorgated pipe (sleave). Then just backfilling w/ spoil.
    I really don't want to have to re-dig to repair a future leak.

    I can't dig more than 18-24 in. due to rock and want to get to 36 in. but will settle for 30 in. I'll likely rent a bigger hoe or a hoe ram, because jackhammering gets old real quick.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,368
    Location
    N.E. KY
    Tractor
    Century 3035

    Default Re: Backhoe for post hole digging

    Use Pea gravel. It serves 2 purposes.

    1) Pea gravel is %90 compacted when you put it in the ground. This is important as the soil put back in the ground WILL settle. A lot. By not using gravel you run the risk of the settling dirt breaking your water line.

    2) Easier to fill the voids under the pipe. This is important so that the soil pressure from the dirt above can't flex and break the pipes.


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