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Bob in PA
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2001-12-12          33778


I'm considering the purchase of a 3-point hitch style post hole digger (PTO driven most likely). I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how well the ones with the hydraulic cylinder for down pressure work. I have used the standard ones which rely only on their weight, and have watched them sit and spin to no effect on hard ground. Also, what particular brand(s) would be recommended. I don't intend to put in miles of fencing, but I would like to buy a reliable one.

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TomG
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2001-12-13          33790


I haven't seen one that has it's own cylinder, and I'm just thinking through how something like that would work. Unless I’ve got it wrong, I don't think there would be any down-pressure if the 3ph could float upward as normal. In that case, the auger cylinder would handle all lifting and lowering and the 3ph would be redundant. My auger goes a little over 4' deep if I bury the gear box in the hole, so a lift cylinder for such an auger would have to be quite long.

I suppose a 'down-pressure' auger could be designed to apply force when the 3ph was full up at the top of it's mechanical travel, and the 3ph would then handle most raising and lowering. Something like that could be handy for starting holes but wouldn’t be available after the 3ph started lowering. However, I've always heard that load shocks against the mechanical limits of hydraulic systems are not good. Maybe there's an 'on/off' 3ph lock down that could be controlled from the tractor seat, but I can't think how something like that would be designed--might be useful though.

I guess down-pressure could be an advantage, but here's how I think about it. When the auger does spin on top of the hole for me, it's because it cut a plug of meadow sod and the point is clogged. I just have to pull the sod plug off the auger point. The soil is very sandy here and starting holes hasn't been a problem. I think there are auger points available for different soils.

I guess an auger with its own cylinder and maybe a hydraulic-top link to adjust the vertical could help dig more precise holes, and that might help sometimes. I guess it's fair to say that 3ph augers dig pretty sloppy holes that could give some types of contracting work problems. It's pretty easy to get holes that are poorly located or take off on slants. A fancy auger might be helpful to some people, but unless I used one a lot, my solution for sloppy holes is just bigger ones. You don’t have to real accurate using a 12” auger to put in 4” posts, and I wasn’t either—missed the fence line completely here and there.
....

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PWG
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2001-12-13          33800


I recently bought a $500 cat 1 post hole digger. I ending up modifying it to make it work better with my 4400. The boom needed to be off-set by 3" to clear the top link mount and it needed to be reinforced with a 36" rib. These weld mods were done in a few hours for $50. The JD digger was close to $1500.

I have dug nearly 100 holes for posts and for trees. If the auger has good cutters, adding down force should not be necessary for your post hole work at home. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-14          33808


I see the edited version I posted yesterday didn't make one idea very clear. Down-pressure applied by a cylinder attached to an ordinary 3ph wouldn't apply down-pressure unless the 3ph is locked down similar to a 3ph backhoe mount.

I think PWG's issue was ground clearance. The entire up/down motion of an auger is done by the 3ph. Augers don’t have top-links, they have a boom that attach to the top-link bracket. Compacts often have low ground clearances, and the booms on some augers are so long that the auger doesn't clear the ground when mounted.

I also have a $500 flavour auger, and it works just fine. It has three mounting positions on the boom to raise or lower the auger's ground clearance. Fortunately, the auger on my Ford 1710 is OK on fairly level ground in the centre mounting position. If I had to drive up hills, I'd probably have to move to the higher position, but then the auger wouldn't dig as deep.

I wonder if a small cylinder on an auger might help adjust ground clearance, or maybe make locating the point to an exact ground location easier than the 3ph alone. I haven't seen one, but if they're around, maybe the purpose is something other than applying down-pressure. I do find putting the point an exact spot on the ground a little difficult--mostly because I can't see the point on the ground from the tractor, but I suppose an HST would be easier than my gears. I usually end up digging in the loader bucket and moving the tractor short distances by using the loader curl. I frequently move the tractor a short distance mid-way through a hole to keep kep it more vertical. Augers freely swing on heir lower-link pins, and gravity adjusts them to a vertical. It’s not uncommon for a hole to take off at a slant. The 3ph side-leveler can be used to adjust the vertical on side-hills.
....

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Bob in PA
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2001-12-14          33818


Gentlemen, Bush Hog model 2103 has an optional down pressure cylinder. It is a single acting, 2" bore / 8" stroke cylinder which is mounted just about midway on top of the boom. Bush Hog says it provides an extra 550 lbs. of down pressure. I'm not sure exactly how it works, since the photo only shows the mounting from one perspective. I have a photo which I could email you (not sure if I can upload a .jpg to this board). Thanks for the responses so far. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-15          33826


Bob: Thanks for your note too. Thinking the thing through again, it is true that few 3ph's are held down, and powering an auger into the ground should tend to lift the 3ph. That's what would happen with implements that use a top-link.

However, with a boom rather than a standard top-link mount, there's a chance that the cylinder has a vector that loads the top-link mount more than the lower links are unloaded when the cylinder is lengthened-- something like that anyway. I'm always glad to have a reason to think something through again.

I am curious where the cylinder goes. Maybe then I can visualize the geometry. I seldom send pictures and I don't think I ever have here. I'm not sure if its possible to send pictures, and even if it is, it's probably a good thing if it's not too easy.

To test, I put a jpg file name in the picture field of the post screen. If the picture shows up, it's a safety chain common in Canada but uncommon in the States. The grab hook has a safety bale that prevents a link from falling out of the slot if the chain slacks.
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Roger L.
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2001-12-15          33839


Bob, a post hole drill is just like any other kind of drill bit. If it is dull it will just sit on the ground and spin. But if the side cutters and particularly the lead-in screw are both sharp you probably won't need any down pressure unless you are in rock or shale. Mine even does old gravel stream beds without any down force. Try it first without the hydraulic top link. You can always add the downforce link if you have the need. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-16          33851


Thank you Roger. Short and to the point. I do get carried away with trying to figure out how things work.

I still can't visualize the geometry that would allow a cylinder to generate significant down-pressure when a 3ph could float upwards. Dang, my auger is under wraps for the winter so I can't even mount it and have a look. Finally got some frost in the ground, so no more post-hole digging till spring. Frost, but no snow cover. Maybe I should be thinking about putting straw bales on top of the septic system instead of worrying about visualizing auger geometry.
....

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Roger L.
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2001-12-16          33854


3pt geometry is difficult to visualize. To help myself, I finally made a flat cardboard model of one side of a 3pt hitch as viewed from the side. It is mounted on a larger piece of cardboard with pins as the pivots. Changes are easily made with tape and scissors and the whole affair moves up and down with fingertip pressure. My criticism of this cardboard model is that although it does a good job with showing the pivots, it doesn't show the influence of the an implement's weight. I use finger pressure to give the idea of weight, but maybe a soft rubber band would work too.
Post hole drills and 3pt booms are interesting because they have one more hinge joint than a blade or scraper. Maybe there are still some things that could be done to improve the 3 point hitches. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-17          33868


Roger: A model sounds like a very good idea. I'll have some time on my hands coming up. There's a period that should already be passed when the season's work is done (we don't have livestock), there's too much snow to walk in the bush but not enough snow for snowshoes. We're overdue for that time when I'm around the house more. Model building might lower my wife's aggravation level, and maybe a model would lower my verbiage here. Well, maybe it would be good for everybody's aggravation. ....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2001-12-17          33876


When you guys figure out how to put direct vertical down pressure of a posthole digger, let the rest of us know. The only thing I can visualize is a separate hydraulic cylinder that would pull the boom pole towards the earth and it would have to be anchored on the drawbar (?) or somewhere to the tractor frame. Then you would have to deal with forces wanting to push or pull the auger off of vertical. ....

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Bird Senter
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2001-12-17          33877


Mark, there's no way I'd be able to describe it with words, but if you go to http://www.bushhog.com (or click on the link below), then to Agricultural Products, Post Hole Diggers, and models 2102 and 2103 have the optional down force kits available. You can then click on the link to get a manual for them; 23 pages and of course you need Acrobat Reader to view it, the front page of the manual has a picture of the right side and page 9 has a picture of the left side and I think you'll understand then how the down force kit works. ....


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Roger L.
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2001-12-18          33885


Mark, it isn't necessary for the force to be directly vertically down. All that is necessary is to contrain the other directions that the force might want to move. Of course if you do it that way, only a small percentage of the force does useful work in the direction that we want, but force is cheap on a tractor. We can afford to waste lots of it in order to do something the easy way.
The cardboard model helped me to visualize how it worked, and besides that it was fun to make. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-18          33886


Thanks for the link Bird. From the pics and diagram in the manual it looks like a cantilever idea between the yoke and boom. Guess I can more or less see it. I don't suppose I'll really have it in mind unless I build Roger's model.

My earlier comment about it working by producing vectors that load the top-link more than they unload the lower links is pretty safe. It seems almost true by definition, but unfortunately such an explanation doesn’t do anything for the understanding. The pic and diagrams in the manual help.
....

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DRankin
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2001-12-19          33909


The picture in this case is worth a thousand words. It looks like they have created a center link for the boom to control the articulation between the tractor and the implement. So like the center link in a standard three point setup it ties the whole assembly of tractor and tool into one stiff but adjustable platform from front wheels to where the steel meets the dirt. Very clever these (north) americans! ....

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Bob in PA
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2001-12-19          33916


I must confess that I have gotten a kick out of the debate here, although it was certainly not my intent to stir the pot that much. I thought I asked a simple question! Anyway, I decided to buy the 2102 and hold off on the down pressure option for the time being anyway (as Roger suggested). The previous experience I had was with a low dollar rig, and a (almost certainly) well used auger. I live in South central PA, and the ground on my property is a heavy clay mix with LOTS of rocks interspersed in it. The ones in the top soil aren't too bad, but the ones embedded in the red clay make for some @#*$ hard digging with my backhoe. They range from golf ball size up to ones I can't lift.

I'm starting a pole barn project, and my new Bush Hog 2102 is supposed to be here tomorrow in the late afternoon. I'll let you all know how it works in a day or two. Thanks for all the responses. Bob

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TomG
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2001-12-20          33918


Yep, a good thread. 'Course, I still wonder about Mark's question whether the unit produces true vertical down-pressure; considering that 3ph's move in arcs and all. Opps, well maybe I should save that curiosity and age the whole idea for awhile--probably needs another picture or a model.

Rocks and clay, my only thought is to get a good supply of shear bolts. My pole shed project last summer was held-up for most of a day because my dealer didn't send a supply of shear bolts with the auger (the project had been held-up waiting to get the auger). So, I hit rock on the next to last hole and broke a bolt. I didn't have my spare parts bin with me, but a neighbour's bin had the right sized bolt. The only trouble was that the bolt was a harder SAE Category 5 bolt. I caught the ID markings on the bolt head before using the auger and decided to wait until I could get the dealer to definitely ID a proper bolt. Funny thing, the bolts I had in my bin also were CAT 5, and it took a trip to town to get some of the usual grunge hardware store grade bolts. More bolts from the dealer showed up by courier the following day—ahh, life in the country.
....

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DRankin
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2001-12-20          33927


My dealer told me about a guy who ran out of shear bolts and didn't have the patience or foresight to wait so he stuck a grade 5 in it place. The result was a pretzel where his drive line once was and a shattered gear box. That was all I needed to hear. ....

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Roger L.
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2001-12-20          33928


Tom, I have been trying to discipline myself to do exactly that: NOT to go to town for every little interruption in my project. Email an order and and pay shipping instead. And I was doing pretty well with it until a plumbing problem last week. Its hard to wait for the UPS man when the water is leaking into the basement...
I wouldn't waste time worrying about "True vertical down force". It is probably a mathematical fiction anyway. Most real world forces arrive with components of other vectors (directions and rotations) in them. You just use the portions of the force that you need and design so that the leftover parts of the force don't cause trouble. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-20          33931


Yes, I know. Thinking about true vertical down-force would be an intellectual self-indulgence, and maybe just a mathematical fiction. Of course, since I was an applied statistician, I'm used to mathematicians telling me that all I dealt with were mathematical fictions. What else is a vector might be a good question. Mathematicians also told me that statisticians’ notation is bad. There’s probably true since I confused bolt grades with categories. Than again, if it works and if it communicates it isn’t all bad.

Anyway, I successfully avoided this particular self-indulgence. It was difficult, because just now I have little to do but wait for the base of snow-pack that Art mentioned elsewhere to build up. We've had a very late freeze-up here, but there's a 24-hour slush storm going on to be followed by low temperatures. Maybe I'll finally get a base for my blower.

My patients wore out last week when I was pushing snow with my loader. Tried to use the blower for my neighbour's drive entrance off the highway. The blower promptly sunk into the gravel, threw up a gravel blizzard, caught a broken piece of asphalt and broke a shear pin. Shear pin! I do try to make my ramblings relevant to a thread somehow. Hope that the fan still turns and is in balance the next time I use the blower. Hope the water in the basement wasn’t too bad.
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TomG
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2001-12-21          33942


I may be carrying on too long here. However, I think it's worth noting that Roger contributed an engineering perspective several times. The idea was 'creating forces and then selecting a desired one and throwing away the rest.’ I think such perspectives are invaluable contributions to this Board, which provides a haven for people who are interested both in how tractors work as well as how to use them. Thanks.

I did think of an illustration of the idea--at least in the way I grasp such things. It's the rocker arm/valve stem action. It's advantageous to have the cam in the engine block for many reasons, but valves have to be pressed down. Force is taken off the cam and brought up above the valves by push rods. The force then is moved over the valve stems and reversed by rocker arms. However, rocker arms move in arcs so there is both vertical and side-thrust force. The valve guides constrain the valve stems to vertical movement, and in effect throw away the side thrust. As always, there is a cost to throwing away things. Valve guides wear out of round.
....

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Roger L.
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2001-12-21          33947


In the midst of all of of our gum beating it is nice to hear that Bob did indeed buy that post hole drill. Bob, I'll be interested to hear how it works out. Maybe we ought to start a new thread about poll barns. I like that form of construction, have a couple of them, and am always ready to learn more.
Back to diggers, I don't know exactly what kind of post hole digger that mine is. The gearbox and gin pole are rugged construction and the round shaft that comes out to turn the auger is a standard diameter. After a while I discoverd that the difference in post hole drills was in the augers....not in the gearsbox and 3pt parts. You can buy augers over a huge range of prices with various flute and tooth configurations. Right now I own three augers for the same gearbox and they are very different. One requires an adapter piece. I don't know the best one for clay with rocks, but don't be shy to use your head. Just think of it as experimenting with your power drill to see just what speed and angle gives you the neatest hole through plastic. That is the medium that seems to me to be most similar to clay. When I've drilled holes in medium loam, the problem was usually to be careful that the post hole drill didn't dive too fast. Just let the 3pt down a tiny bit at a time and give it time to sling the dirt away. Like using any tool, its an art. ....

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DRankin
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2001-12-21          33952


Ok, Roger. I think I have a better understanding of the force containment and vectors now. It is really a gravitational assist. The auger is already going in that direction(down) and all we are doing is giving it a push in the direction it wants to go anyway. If we were trying to drill straight up then we would have a much bigger problem with tipping and off center errors. I used gravitational assist every day at work before I retired. Any time I got a very combative drunk that needed arresting I usually let mean old Mr. gravity do most of the work and all I had to do was to make sure the force vectors didn't get too far out of line. Same principles...... well sort of....... Mark ....

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Greg Crowe
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2001-12-21          33956


Why not just weld a bracket on the boom and add tractor weights, or something, as needed to add down pressure... ....

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Bird Senter
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2001-12-21          33958


Greg, that's the cheap way to do it all right, and nothing wrong with that. A lot of times in my area, you see two people working together and one of them is trying to put his weight on the digger to push it down. Pretty dangerous if they're not really careful. I've seen at least one new post hole digger (don't know the brand) that had an extra pipe welded on the boom and came with a longer, slightly smaller pipe that would fit into it for someone to use as a lever to pull down on it while standing behind the digger. I suggested that to a neighbor so he welded a pipe on the top of the boom on his, then has a smaller pipe that fits inside, drilled a hole through both so they can be locked together leaving the one pipe stuck out about 2' behind the digger. He then had two 75# sash weights that he hung on a chain on the end of that pipe. Works great. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-22          33960


The only trouble with adding weight to the auger that I can see is that it's always there. Like Roger mentioned, sometimes an auger digs too fast. Unless I ride the 3ph, the auger sometimes disappears down the hole like dropped rock. Then, the hole may be slightly curved and the auger and have a bunch of dirt on top of it. They can be hard to get out of a hole, and I hear it's not uncommon for them to get stuck. One advantage of hydraulic augers is they reverse and can back out of holes. Extra weight also might lug the engine in a hard dig.

My auger may not even be 3' long and there can be a foot of dirt on top when I'm digging 4' holes. It's good to periodically lift the auger partially out of the hole to clear some dirt. Lifting also straightens the holes, which I think have a tendency to curve. Care must be taken when lifting an auger. The are very dangerous at PTO speeds if they come completely out of the hole.

Regarding gravity and verticals: I'm not sure that gravity is all that great—police work not withstanding. Quite a few holes I dig want to take off at a slant, and I often reposition the tractor a bit by using the curl on the loader bucket. If on a side hill, I put a level across the hitch arms and use the 3ph side leveler to get a vertical. People who have a choice between locked and lateral float on their 3ph's might contemplate which would work better.

I'm probably going to use pole construction for a machine shed next summer. I'm starting to think about it and discussion would be good. We came close to pole construction for a wash shed last summer. We had to raise the floor 3' above grade to get a drainage angle into a gray-water leeching pit. Used ground contact rated 6" x 6" posts down 4' and 6x6 rails across the post tops on the loaded wall sides and conventional framing for the rest. I guess it's actually closer to a post and skirt foundation. Without the wind resistance of high barn walls, I figured that we didn't need to run expensive ground contact posts to the roof.


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Bob in PA
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2001-12-22          33983


Well guys, we (my brother-in-law and I) started the building today. Laid out the batten boards, squared the sides, marked the post holes, and mounted the new Bush Hog PHD. The thing digs through the clay with ease. The rocks, on the other hand...... Anyway, Tom's advice to have a good supply of shear bolts on hand proved prophetic. One of the first holes took 3 bolts until I got a little quicker on the controls. The 40D at 1000 or so RPM's snapped them like twigs when a rock was encountered. Roger, you were right about the weight of the PHD alone being sufficient. The double flight 12" auger works quite well sans down pressure. There are still a few holes to go, but the new tool makes the thought a lot more tolerable. All in all, I am very happy with the unit. Now, anyone interested in buying a large quantity of fresh picked rocks, various sizes? ....

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Roger L.
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2001-12-23          33989


Bob, I'm glad its working so well. And I sure am glad that Tom mentioned the quantity of shear bolts that you can go thru, because I flat forgot. Nothing worse than sitting in the field with your nice new implement and hearing the bang as the last shear bolt lets go! I don't go through many bolts because of running my own PHD at fairly low RPM. I use the lowest PTO range while running my diesel at the typical "fast idle" speed that works for me - which is around half of the full PTO-rated RPM. Even running so slow my auger can dive too fast. It has never needed down pressure, but has needed to have the teeth and auger screw sharpened. The 4 replaceable digger teeth can be sharpened with a grinder. I'd guess that most auger screw tips can be sharpened a few times. Mine was so beat up after loaning the PHD to a neighbor that it was easier to replace it. It had to be ordered, and the cost was most of $100!!! But it does the job. The tips seem to come in a couple of standard shank sizes plus half a dozen different geometries. A little ingenuity will mount most of them. ....

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TomG
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2001-12-23          33991


That sound like a pretty good result. It's a good thing those spear pins snap like twigs. An auger with a slip clutch instead of shear pins would be an alternative for persons who are going to use an auger a lot in difficult soil. I minimize the pins I break by using a heavy 5' tempered prybar to break up rocks in the hole and a clam-shell type hand digger to take out broken pieces.

Sounds like you did a better layout job than I did. After 8" end posts were set in, I strung cord between them to pumps up the 4" centre posts. I couldn't believe that I completely missed the location for several 4" posts with a 12" auger. Takes some sloppy work with cord stretching, spray markers and tractor backing I guess. I concluded that layout is best a job for two people.

However, there was one thing other than my sloppiness that threw me off. The fence is a cedar post and rail construction. I notched the posts and rails with a chain saw and lag bolted them together. The trouble was that I marked the postholes on centres. With the rails attached to the post sides, the 4" posts have to be aligned with the edges of the 8" end-posts rather than the centres. To make a straight fence line, the 4" posts have to be off-set from the centre line, and they won't be in the centre of a hole located on a centre line.

I think I added to the problem by not thinking through which side of the posts the rails would be before I did the lay out. Anyway, that's probably pretty basic stuff for people who have built a number of fences. It was a 'duh' thing for me after realizing what I had done. I also think layout is best a job for two people.
....

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2001-12-23          33998


Bob, When I read about your pile of rocks I thought of little guy in a place (yes it's true) called Rockville Minnesota. I can still hear the sound of that old John Deere B model chugging slowly across the fields in the spring while my brother and I picked rocks and flung them on the trailer . Every now and again we would come upon a rock too large for a 5 and 7 year old to handle and grandpa would tie off the steering wheel and jump down to handle the problem and then jog to get back on that old tractor again. I hated the work then but thinking about your pile of rocks and the piles we made nearly 50 years ago in the low spots of the fields brought back pleasant memories of grandparents, warm farm houses and more carefree times. No, I don't need any of your rocks, but thanks for mentioning it and Happy Christmas. Mark ....

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Old Forge
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2002-02-07          35380


Bob, I am looking at the same PHD, can I ask what deal you struck on the 2102 PHD? ....

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Bob in PA
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2002-02-21          35789


Old Forge, first, my apologies for the delay in answering. I have been spending a good bit of my free time on the new pole barn, and haven't been on the board as much lately. I just saw your question tonight. Hope this isn't too late. Anyway, I spent an even $1 K for the PHD with a 12" double flight auger. It is a good heavy unit and works well. Bob ....

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Bob in PA
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2002-02-21          35790


Mark, belated Seasons Greetings to you, also. I hope that you enjoyed all the blessings of Christmas, and that your new year has started well. Your description of the field work conjured up an image of a time when life was slower and simpler, and the world was an easier place to live. Best wishes, Bob. ....

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JimTN
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2002-03-01          35971


Have just ordered Kubota B2410, and have started looking at various discussion boards. I find this topic very interesting. I looked at the Bush Hog site and reached the following conclusion. A 2" single acting cylinder using tractor hydraulics should produce several times 500 pounds pressure on the push rod. Therefore, the machine is absorbing high amounts of pressure to push 500 pounds because of inefficient leverage of the components. Just some thoughts from an old might have been engineer. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-03-02          35987


Jim: You bring up the other side of the down force issue. We spent so much time figuring on the geometry of how it would work that we forgot about the tractor.

An auger does have a long boom back the to top link bracket, and it looks like there's enough leverage for a down force kit to apply quite a bit of compression force to the top-link bracket. I'm not sure the leverage would be as great as with a backhoe (also discussed at length) but it is something to think about.

I did read a discussion once where an auger reportedly sheared off a top-link bracket mounts. However, I don't recall that the auger had a down-force kit. Augers can wobble and bang a hitch around a lot unless they're operated carefully.
....

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JimTN
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2002-03-03          36028


Tom,
More 'food for thought', considerations which might have been overlooked.
Place tractor with post hole digger on flat and level pavement; draw line on the pavement from front out the back centered with the top link. With the auger removed, raise the 3ph to it's highest; drop a plumb-bob from the center of the auger mount to the vertical plumb spot on the pavement. Lower the 3ph until the lower arms are parallel with the pavement; repeat the plumb-bob spot. I think you will find that the auger head moves further behind the tractor as it descends from fully raised to horizontal lower arms. As it goes below the horizontal lower arm position the point will again move closer to the rear of the tractor. If this is correct, we have established a fixed arc of movement for the digger power head.
If the tractor is on forward / backward slope the movement through the arc relative to the ground changes. If you add side slope, you have a compound difference of arc from the ard of the 3ph. Since swivel motion permits the auger to hang vertical; down for the auger is not the same as the fixed down arc of the 3ph.
If all the above is relevant, these could contribue to various pressures on the auger and the linkage which yield unintended results in the hole and equipment.
I stop here. I can be as verbose as you.
Jim ....

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JimTN
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2002-03-03          36029


Tom,
Just remembered that the digger head arc is relative to the upper arm more that the lower arm of 3ph. However the arc factors will be relevant to the arc of the UPPER arm. Everything will depent on the amount the upper arm moves through the 3ph arc.
....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-03-04          36048


Interesting to think it through. Dang! I have to go to a meeting, but I'll get back to this. ....

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TomG
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2002-03-05          36103


I'm not sure I can translate the arc idea into stresses on the tractor. However, the 3ph arms certainly do move in an arc. I believe that's the reason why I frequently reposition the tractor slightly in the middle of a hole. It's easiest for me to move the tractor a few inches by digging in the loader blade and using the bucket curly to move the tractor. I do this if I notice the auger is not digging vertically or if the auger is excessively wobbling. Because I can reduce the wobble, I assume that stress on the tractor also is reduced.

It's a good observation that the auger can plumb itself front to back but not side to side, but again, I couldn't translate that into stress on the tractor. I use the 3ph leveler on side hills to plumb the auger. I've gone so far as using a master level across the hitch arms to get a good vertical.

I do edit my comments and try to keep the lengths down, and obviously Iím not always successful. Most of the time length results when Iím trying to think something through in which I lack formal education. I hope at least a few others are in the same boat and find Ďthink throughsí helpful. Itís how I learn about things.
....

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JimTn
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2002-03-05          36108


Tom,
I agree that the 'think through' process is good for all of us. The more minds that are thinking through, the better the understanding & solution will be. U.S. Army ended my formal education after 2 years in college (mechanical engineering). By the time I got out of the Army, I had married and our first child was on the way. So my 'masters degree' is from "S.O.H.K." (School Of Hard Knocks).

Didn't mean to offend by my 'verbose' comment. I had picked that up from one of your previous comments. As you can tell I am equally guilty. Some things can not be conveyed in a few sentences.

If the tractor is tilted both front to back AND side to side, the auger will seek verticle position at the begining of the hole. As the 3ph is lowered it moves to the side (slightly) and front to back. As the auger gets deeper in the hole, will it not have greater resistance to side to side - front to back movement? How well does the upper portion of the auger cut the sidewall of the hole? Is it not possible that such action places a twisting strain on the upper link mount? During this phase, hitting a rock in the sidewall of the hole with the upper auger would cause considerable banging around of the digger.

Now I have gone on too long. I'll stop at this point. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
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2002-03-05          36111


Not offended at all. I send myself up frequently as reminders to myself that long isn't always better or desirable. I am frequently amazed at the word count of comments before I edit them. I'm given to sidelines and speculation I guess.

Myself, I had two fairly unsuccessful college years followed by four volunteer years of Air Force and then back for six more successful years of school. There were some hard knocks, but the hardest was that four years were volunteered and given in service to country, but in 1970, veterans had a very hard time in the job market.
....

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TomG
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2002-03-05          36113


Yikes, I completely forgot about augers. I'll have to think through some geometry. If I have your idea, it's that the arc travel of the 3ph arms also creates a side to side arc on side hills irrespective whether the 3ph leveler is used. I think you may be right. There is a possibility that 3ph lateral float would work similar to the front to back swing of the auger head.

I suspect that these issues are why I pull the auger up a bit every foot of hole or so.
....

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Ted @ Abbeywoods Lan
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2002-03-06          36138


While I have both a Woods 3pt hitch auger, and a Worksaver 714H with removable mount on my two backhoes' dippersticks, I prefer the 714H because of the cylinder force available from both the boom and dipper. I'm not sure if the 3pt. hitch type with down force cylinder reacts the same as my backhoe unit, but I'd still like to offer a word of caution. If I use the boom float position, regardless of the CC hoe or the Kubota hoe, the weight of the auger and hoe combined provides plenty of down pressure. But beware, under some conditions (heavy clay and rocky soil) if the boom is taken out of float (cylinder is pressurized) while the auger is turning, sometimes the auger torque can really sway the machine violently. That short moment going from float to pressure, for some reason, alters the plumb of the auger. It works best with the cylinder always under pressure, feeding a tiny bit of down or up force at a time. Unrelated to this, TomG, I was SAC from 68 to 76, when I "early outed" for college. You are sure right though, those were tough times, period! ....

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TomG
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2002-03-07          36159


I get what I'd call violent sways sometimes unless I'm careful and I've got a standard 3ph-auger w/o down pressure. I believe this arc and plumb business.

Thanks for the words Ted. Pretty much ancient history now and functional adults should have solved life's problems by now. Hope I have. I was Communications Command but on SAC bases 62 - 66. Guess I shouldn't spin any more words on the subject because I'd have to put them in the 'just for fun' directory.
....

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JimTN
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2002-03-30          36894


Tom G.: Now I have had first hand experiences such as you have described before. I borrowed my cousin's PHA and used it on my Kubota B2410. 15 holes 12" diameter and 3 feet deep. Sure am glad that I took part in this discussion BEFORE trying it myself. Had the slight side hill problem along with the front to back adjustment and a lot of shaking.

I learned to stop the PTO while the auger was still about 10" in the hole but on the way out. If I let the auger come completely out of the hole before stopping the PTO, the shaking was much more violent. I suppose the dirt sticking to the auger would make it out of balance, if nothing else were wrong.

I also understand your comments about having a 12' hole to be able to set a 4X4 post where you intended. Hate to admit it, but I even had to shave the side of a few 12" holes. Maybe next time I will do better - or just have my grandson do it for me.

I enjoy this board and have learned quite a bit reading it regularly.

HAPPY EASTER ....

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TomG
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2002-03-31          36907


Jim: PHA's are fun, right? Glad the hole got drilled. I didn't recall how long this thread became. I don't remember if I mentioned that I control the PHD banging around by lowering engine RPM and also by slightly repositioning the tractor. I dig in the loader bucket blade and can move the tractor a few inches forwards or backwards with the bucket curl.

I take a lot of care when lifting the 3ph while the auger is still running. It can fail around and is extremely dangerous if it comes completely out of the hole at any rpm. By the same token, if it isn't lifted occasionally, there can get to be a curved hole and so much dirt on top of the auger that the 3ph can't lift it. It's always good when finishing a hole to stop the pto before lifting the auger. That way loose dirt stays on the auger rather than in the bottom of the hole.

My experience in spotting and drilling fence posts leads me to want to buy a transom and never do it along again. Sure is embarrassing to have to shave hole sides to get straight fence lines.
....

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dsmarsh
Join Date: Mar 2012
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2012-03-10          182710


I have one of these units and it works just fine! The auxillary cylinder applies the weight of the tractor to the drill and is especially effective when drilling with large diameter drills. ....

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kthompson
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2012-03-12          182730


dsmarsh, glad to have you here. ....

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