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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2005
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    Ontario

    Default post hole auger question

    I have never operated a post hole auger and would appreciate some input before I buy one. I live in an area where the ground is hard heavy clay with lots of rocks. Is a larger size auger going to work better to clear rocks or will it be worse because of more area contact? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Dec 2003
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    158
    Location
    wis
    Tractor
    kubota L3010

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    I have 12in if lots of rocks in hole auger will bind&break shear pin. you then have to turn auger out backwards with pipe wrench.take some rocks out of hole and drill again.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member GuglioLS's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Edgewood, NM USA
    Tractor
    Jinma 354, Ford 1953 NAA Golden Jubilee, Komatsu Bulldozer

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    In hard rocky soil neither large or small auger bits will be very effective. Most likely you will be breaking shear bolts and or cork screwing the auger past a lodged rock making it very difficult to impossible to remove the auger with the 3 point. If you have a large number of holes to punch and your budget allows you might consider a Belltec click here
    and here


    Otherwise use caution - dig the best you can with the SMALLER (6"-9") auger bit then dig out / bust up the rocks with a hand digger bar and manual Post hole digger.

    Hopefully other TBN'ers will chime in with their experience so that you will get several opinions to make an informed decision.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2005
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    647
    Location
    TX
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    NH TC 40 A, AC 5020

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    HMMM, interesting. Belton isn't far from my place. Any idea of what the "if the budget will allow" price is? Thanks

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2004
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    652
    Location
    Hereford, PA
    Tractor
    LK3054

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    Run it as slow as you can, RPMs are not needed. Sometimes it helps to "peck" at it, and raise the auger now and then to clear it. If you hear it hit a big one, give up and get the hand tools out - it won't bore through rocks. The holes I dug all had a layer of smallish, sharp-edged stones laying between the topsoil and the clay. These would get in the auger and lock it up. When this happens, you just have to pull the auger and get the digging bar out. You will want a good hand post hole digger to clean out the holes.

    Basically, it's a game of trying to keep the force on the shear pin from getting too high, and shock will pop it faster than anything. Buy a big bag of shear bolts and nuts (unless you've got a slip clutch on yours).

    And remember, if your putting in fence posts, once you trim off the top no one will be able to tell if it isn't in full! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] Just don't put two shallow ones in in a row.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member GuglioLS's Avatar
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    Edgewood, NM USA
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    Jinma 354, Ford 1953 NAA Golden Jubilee, Komatsu Bulldozer

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Any idea of what the "if the budget will allow" price is? Thanks )</font>

    I got a price quote from them about 9 months ago if I remember correctly [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] it was ~ 4800 + the auger bit.

    I saw a used one of these Belltec's at a local tractor auction lot priced at 1200. I almost bought it - I waited too long, when I went back about 2 weeks later for the actual auction, some lucky Joe had already purchased it at the listed price. I bet you can rent these things from someone for those really tough jobs.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Casey County, Kentucky

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    The secret to a tight fence post is to back fill small amounts of fill with a large amount of tamping. You want your auger size to accomodate your post and still be able to work around it with your tamping bar.

    As far as augers, a three point and hard ground make for some "character building". The Beltec sounds good but that is a bit of money.

    I have over 1000 posts in my ground which is clay with brown shale and packed very hard. Most of those posts were actually pounded in. The company that did that had a skid loader with a pounder and a hydraulic auger mounted on the same frame. The auger was swung vertical to be out of the way until needed to get through more severe situations.

    Even so, I have done my share of posts with the 3 point. As there is always some more posts to put in, I have been thinking of looking into one of those electric jack hammers if I could get a long enough point to negate bending over. Or, maybe renting a big compressor and hammer for a weekend.

  8. #8
    Silver Member RickS's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    228
    Location
    Iowa Park, TX
    Tractor
    JD 3032e

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( If you have a large number of holes to punch and your budget allows you might consider a Belltec click here
    and here
    )</font>

    Wow, I live about 8 miles from Belton, and my wife works there. I never knew that these were made there. I've seen lots of them around, and just never paid attention until now. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    New Member
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    Dec 2005
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    14
    Location
    Southeastern Oregon
    Tractor
    JD 4320 w/ 400X FEL, Loaded R4's

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    I pretty much agree with the other good advice already provided in this discussion with one additional suggestion for making the job easier - plan your hole drilling project for spring or early summer when the ground is softer/moister. I put in new corrals this last year using railroad tie posts with my 12" dia. PHD on the tractor's rear 3-pt. I started the project in June and had no problem augering the holes. But, by mid-August and early September my ground had turned to a hard adobe-like clay pack making the drilling very difficult and requiring frequent use of the hand pick rod tool to break-up the material in the hole before resuming the drilling for another couple inches (I was going down about 42" deep.) If you have rocks you'll still need to have a good supply of shear bolts handy because they will break, but I think you'll find the going a lot easier if you plan your drilling project for the spring or early summer.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2005
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    West Texas
    Tractor
    JD 5325 JD 5203 JD 2320 LT 133

    Default Re: post hole auger question

    I dug a trench for an electrical line back when I was young in my 40's using a ninety pound jack and air compressor. Won't try that anymore. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    It seems that some back hoes have attachments for jack hammers but I don't know if any of the backhoes sold for utility tractors have that arrangement.

    Nothing like a good rock bar. Have Fun! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

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