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  1. #21
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    407
    Location
    Andice, Texas

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    I’m a "been there and done that" PHD guy. I've owned everything from a generic PHD to a $5000 Belltec and a few things in between.
    My first PHD was a generic el-cheapo. One day I was digging in hard dirt and having the usual problem of getting the bit to go down. A neighbor came over to do the usual - leaned on it to add some weight. After a few holes, we got lazy and his shirt tail got caught in the PTO shaft. I had already started to push the clutch in to stop the PTO, but it still ripped his shirt off. You should know both my friend and I grew up around farm machinery. That woke me up.

    Being the engineering genius I am, I welded on a hydraulic cylinder to make the PHD frame scissor out which put enough down force on the auger to raise the back of my tractor off the ground. Somewhere, I’ve got a picture of it. But the tractor would lean to one side and the hole would get drilled crooked unless I had someone holding the auger straight. Remember my friend from the earlier paragraph? Even though I succeeded in my engineering feat, the PHD was bound to break from the stress. It was just a matter of time before I broke the gear head casting or stripped out the gears themselves.

    So, I sold my modified generic PHD and emptied my pockets on a Belltec. It is the only tractor operated PHD digger that can be safely operated by one person and go through almost any rock. Due to the cost, it’s not a practical solution for most folks.

    The sad truth is a generic PHD cannot safely and effectively dig in hard soil. Your only options are to pre-drill with smaller holes, use water, or move to a place with soft dirt.
    John Deere 5420/4WD/FEL, PwrReverser
    8MX Shredder, Belltec TM-48-HTL PHD, WR Long RBG Grapple, 12" Tree Terminator & more...

  2. #22
    Silver Member moloss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    105
    Location
    Alabama "Heart of Dixie"
    Tractor
    share Kubota M6800

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    ok I got one of the holes dug (who's your daddy!).....while the others vary in depth from 6in to two feet but I'm getting there.....thanks for everyone's help! Chris
    "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less."
    Robert E. Lee

  3. #23
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    127
    Location
    Southwest Maine
    Tractor
    JD 5205 JD 5203 Ford 3600 JD 850 JD 755 Kioti DK65

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    Try removing the small screw tip on the auger. In hard soil it can keep the cutting blades from reaching the soil.
    Greg

  4. #24
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    322

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    Once you get a depression in the ground, take a 5 gallon bucket or 2 and drill a 1/4" hole into the bottom center of the bucket, place over the proposed hole, and let it leak into the hole till the bucket is empty-repeat as necessary. Watch out with those tractor mounted 3 point hitch diggers-some of the things I did in my youth with them, scare me today. Just ask Charlie Daniels he of the country music fame, he almost had an arm ripped off several years ago!

  5. #25
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    17
    Location
    haralson county georgia
    Tractor
    branson 3820

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    I'm having the same problem here in west Georgia, ground is hard as a rock. I am digging 12" hole for old phone poles to build a barn. The only thing I've found to work is to get the non PTO driven post hole diggers out and dig about 6 inches in then clean out with auger. My neighbor and I then both stood on the 3pt arms to add down pressure as the frame for the phd provides some guard from the pto shaft. We then wiggle the auger side to side alternating the cutting edge just enough to slowly dig down. We wear shorts and boots with laces tucked to keep and loose clothing from getting grabbed by the pto but i still wouldnt classify it as safe. I burned up a set of teeth doing 6 holes and then replaced them. The 6 on the other side havent been as bad due to it being the fill side of my building pad although it has been settling for 6 months, so it isnt exactly soft. the other side was cut 2-3 foot so the dozer got all the soft stuff out of the way. Just not a good summer to dig holes. Some nice shape charges for putting in the cratering charges would sure be helpful right now but I supposed homeland security would frown and put me on their watch list.
    Branson 3820 TLB, BB, Boom Pole, Brush Hog, Augerrrrr

  6. #26
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    17
    Location
    haralson county georgia
    Tractor
    branson 3820

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    Ha on a side note..... we got into this on another thread. If you are residential area or just not sure get a utility locate. I just got 4 hours OT today from power company augering in a repalcement pole for the one woody woodpecker tore up and they hit a 50 pair copper phone cable and knocked out a whole subdivision. Wish i coulda fixed it free and had em come out with their truck and set the rest of my poles.
    Branson 3820 TLB, BB, Boom Pole, Brush Hog, Augerrrrr

  7. #27
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    129
    Location
    middle TN, closest to Beechgrove, then Bell Buckle, then Wartrace
    Tractor
    A-C 5020-4, Mahindra 6500 4WD, Kubota L4740 HSTC 4WD

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    Just did 20 or so here in south middle TN -- same lack of rain as N Alabama -- two sets of replaceable teeth (each resharpened twice before they were down to nubs), one replacement point (which now looks more like an Oscar statue than a screw), and we got 'em all in, but ended up using the A-C for power and the loader on the Mahindra for down pressure. Bolted up a angle iron frame that connected the two so we could stand back and be safe -- but this stuff has baked as hard as the "decomposed" granite in California!
    VistanTN
    Mahindra 6500 4WD w/QA FEL, Kubota L4740 HSTC w/QA FEL, A-C 5020, JD HPX Gator, CubCadet Z-Force 60, JD 145 Lawn Tractor, IH Model 46 Baler, etc, etc, ad nauseum. We love ALL colors.

  8. #28
    Banned shvl73's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    2,552
    Location
    NH
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2810HST

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    I welded a piece of scrap square tube on the top of the digger arm. I stick my 5' pry bar in there and apply downpressure.

  9. #29
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    6,808
    Location
    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    I wanna see a big picture of that non typical Whitetail in your avatar.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  10. #30
    Silver Member moloss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    105
    Location
    Alabama "Heart of Dixie"
    Tractor
    share Kubota M6800

    Default Re: ground hard as a rock....can't get post hole digger to dig

    I'll try to find the pic but I've had that pic for a long time.....how about this pic....again not mine but I sure do wish!

    "Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more, you should never wish to do less."
    Robert E. Lee

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