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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
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    May 2002
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    Newnan, GA
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    NH TC29D

    Default Auger Question

    I surely don't want to dominate this forum, but its been kind of slow this weekend, so I'll pose another question.

    I'll preface the question with a short story so you'll then understand why I'm asking it. My father-in-law has an older (~15 year old) Ford tractor. Don't know the model, but it has a 16 or 18 HP diesel engine and is compact in size. One day some time ago, he was using his post hole digger. The auger got a good bite on the clay and subsequently drilled into the ground, lifting the fron end of the tractor off the ground. I can't remember how he resolved his dilema, but as the auger is driven by the PTO, he couldn't put it in reverse to unscrew it.

    So, that leads up to my question. Is the hydraulic motor on the PT auger reversible? I know that everone here knows by now that I have no tractor experience so p[lease excuse this question if it is too absurd. But I seem to recall a thread in another section where Wroughtn Harv or someone else described the advantages of a hydraulic post hole digger on his skid steer and reversibility of the auger was one of the advantages (in addition to the ability to apply down pressure).

    Not knowing the first thing about hydraulics, this question may be completely off base. I apologize in advance if it is.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    25,596
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Auger Question

    That's a good question. I never asked it either. I'm waiting for someone to respond. Also, I'll add to the question, which PTO does it run from? The main that is controlled by the switch on the dash or the auxiliary, which is controlled by the lever in front of your right knee? The aux would make sense as it is reversible with the lever, but I don't know if it has the uumph to drive a motor. If it is the mian PTO the only way I could see to reverse it would be to either install a cross over valve or manually swap the hoses. So which is it? I'm excited [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2002
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    864
    Location
    Raleigh, NC USA
    Tractor
    Massey-Ferguson MF 1220

    Default Re: Auger Question

    Hey Bmac, I can answer for an older one (1990 PT1418), and believe the answer is still the same. The power auger is NOT reversible. I don't have the auxillary PTO (the one that opens/closes the quick attach cylinders) because it's too old, I only have the main PTO, but that's the one that the PHD runs off of for old and new if I'm not mistaken. I believe the power auger head itself may be reversible, but the main PTO just doesn't have a way to reverse it's direction of flow. There's certainly no reason you couldn't switch out the one way valve with a two-way valve that I can think of.

    I asked this question once before here too, I was a bit surprised that the main PTO wasn't reversible also. Someone offered this explanation: most slow speed hydraulic motos (like the wheel motors, PHD motor) are reversible, but most high speed hydrualic motors (like the stump grinder) are not, and would in fact be damaged by running them in reverse. For this reason, PT choose to make it none reversible (to protect us from ourselves, I guess). I would much rather have had the reversibility and a clear marking on the stump grinder that says "Don't run this in reverse, dummy!" myself...

    The remaining benefit that you do have over a 3PT PDH is that you have down pressure greater than gravity. However, with the swivel auger head, if you put enough down pressure on it to lift the front of the tractor, the tractor will kind of fall sideways, especially when you first start the hole AND when using a larger auger. I just got a 9" auger, and I haven't tried it yet with that one, but I'd imagine it drills quite a bit better than the 24" auger I currently have.

    If the auger gets stuck, then you can simply shut the PTO off and raise the lift arms. That should work pretty well, as it would have to pick up the whole back-end of the tractor if it were that stuck. You could always turn the PTO off and on as you raise if it's tangled in roots, etc.

    HTH,
    Dave

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Oct 2001
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    Montana (Near Bozeman)
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    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: Auger Question

    Davesisk,
    You mention that you’re new 9" auger drills much better than your 24" auger. Can you elaborate on the down side of the 24" auger? I am looking a purchasing some of the larger augers for tree and plants.
    PJ

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2002
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    Raleigh, NC USA
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    Massey-Ferguson MF 1220

    Default Re: Auger Question

    PJ:

    Well, I don't know that for a fact yet, but I suspect that it's true. (I'll know for sure after I help one of my friends put up fence posts!) I tried using the 24" auger in my yard (which is mostly rocks and roots), and it didn't do such a great job. When I'd put enough downforce on it to lift the front of the tractor, it would fall sideways. Now, granted this is very hard ground, my impression was that the front of the tractor just wasn't heavy enough to apply enough downforce without lifting the wheels off the ground.

    Now, I may have gotten very different results if I'd had the 9" auger at the time. I would have likely tried to first bore a 9" hole, then enlarge it to 24". I have a feeling that might have worked much better, but I don't know for sure. When I put my fence up, I didn't have the tractor yet, so I and my bro-in-law were using a two-man gas-powered auger, and we had to first bore a 6" hole, then enlarge it to 9" just because the ground was so tough and the two-man auger kept practically knocking us off our feet when it hit a rock or root! (Boy, wish I'd had the tractor then! I simply can't imagine trying to dig postholes in my yard by hand. It would take 1 day/hole!)

    I feel sure the 24" auger would work fine in softer dirt without a huge amount of rocks and roots. After I help my buddy with his fence posts (probably next month), I'll post some definites about the 9" auger. One after-thought is that it would probably help to hose-down the area with water first also...

    HTH,
    Dave

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    106
    Location
    Dripping Springs, TX
    Tractor
    PT-425

    Default Re: Auger Question

    I don't have the auger so cannot comment specifically, but when I was buying the Tiller, I had asked the question do you drive backwards or forwards and the topic of a reverser kit was bought up. I didn't need it for the tiller but maybe it can be used on other attachments such as the PHD??? I don't know but you might want to check...

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Newnan, GA
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    NH TC29D

    Default Re: Auger Question

    Just to complete story about the stuck auger, I called my father-in-law today to refresh my memory. Again, he had the auger buried and the front end of his tractor was off the ground. Through aggessive motivation with a sledge hammer, he was able to free up the pins on the 3ph which allowed him to liberate the tractor from the post hole digger. However, he had to dig the auger out of the ground with a backhoe. So now you know...., the rest of the story.

    From what I'm reading from the factory, the PDH is not reversible. But with some modifications (with or without the blessings from PT), it may be possible to make it reversible. Am I reading these posts correctly?

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: Auger Question

    Only if the motor on the PHD is the reversible type. Otherwise, kaboom(or just damage). Maybe someone should call the factory... not me [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
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    Arnold, MD
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    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: Auger Question

    BMAC:
    A little trick that might have saved driving some 3 pt hitch pins. When drilling with an auger, carry the biggest pipe wrench you own and a torque multiplier (6 feet of 2" pipe comes to mind.) If the auger gets stuck, unscrew it from the ground. If it needs more than a 6 foot pipe, mount your fence to the auger and buy another one. You can say it is a special decorative post.
    I think the PT auger motors are reversible, so you can accomplish reversal in an emergency with a couple of gender changing adapters to reverse the hoses. I haven't gotten those for my PT 1845, since my soil is easy. The auger has stalled a few times on roots or rocks, but broken through by switching on and off - without shearing the bolt. Once it stuck pretty tight, but I was able to rock it just a little and pick it out of the hole. I try to put it down at a controlled rate so it is digging rather than screwing itself past the hard spots. I have found it immensely more easy to use than a 3 pt auger. You position it by driving forward to our mark, do fine adjustments side-to-side by turning the wheel slightly, and forward and back by pedal pressure. Even at low throttle setting, mine has plenty of speed, and I assume the 425 unit does as well.
    In my sandy soil, with the 9" auger, one minute per hole is not unreasonable. You may have to scoop the last little bit of dirt out with a hand post hole digger to get full depth, but that just reminds you that without the PT you'd have to use that instrument of the devil for the whole job.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Montana (Near Bozeman)
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    PowerTrac 425 (September 2003)

    Default Re: Auger Question

    Thanks Dave,
    Appreciate the feed back and will watch this thread for any new updates.
    PJ

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