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Forums > Active Threads > General Tractor Discussions > Operating and Attachments

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Post hole digger

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imtools
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 34 Ridge, NY
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2004-02-01          75644


I just bought a post hole digger at an auction and didn't ask until afterwards how many horsepower is required (someone said 30 HP). Well, yesterday I tried it on my 16 PTO HP Kubota B7100 and it worked fine-even in frozen ground. The only problem is that it screwed itself into the ground and I couldn't get it out. My 3 PT hitch couldn't lift it even after I removed the PTO and turned it in reverse manually a couple of turns. I had to disconnect the whole thing from my tractor and was able to use a long pry bar on the loop above the gear case to pull it out of the ground.
My questions are:
1. Is the HP rating there more for the lifting ability than the ability to turn the auger?
2. Why don't PTO and/or the attachments have a reverse so that in a case like this, it could be unscrewed from the ground while lifting?
Paul

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Post hole digger

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2004-02-01          75647


Paul I have a 35 hp JD4400 I still get mine stuck, Occasionally, I used it for years on a 19-20 hp ford 1500.

You really only need a BIG pipewrench. Shut tractor down release pto brake if it has one and turn the auger backwards.

You also use a bar if you weld a small loop up on the auger to stick bar in and turn out.

I just use a 36" pipe wrench cause I have one.

They probably do not put reverses on them because someone would try a dig a hole in reverse then complain about a defective auger or point. We have guys at the shop that try it with power drills, but thats another story...

Good Luck Harvey ....

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Post hole digger

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plots1
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 563 mo
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2004-02-01          75649


We got my neibors stuck on his JD6410 and let me tell you It was no fun at all to free up. couldn't turn it backwards with nothin.had to have two other large tractors hook onto top and pull up with there loaders. Look at my pics to see his machine. ....

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Post hole digger

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2004-02-01          75659


Unavoidable things happen such as rocks shifting into the hole and catching the bit. Reverse is handy but available only in hydraulic PHA's that are too pricey to justify for most homeowners. Few PTO operations require reversing, so I imagine manufacturers don't provide them due to costs.

Stuck PHA's can be minimized by pulling the auger up frequently when digging to clear dirt off the top of the bit. Repositioning the tractor with the loader curl if necessary to keep the hole going straight also helps. A 3ph lowers in an arc. If there's a long plug of dirt on top of the bit then the 3ph has to lift a long plug of dirt against a curve. My auger is one of the few operations where I can lug the engine (24 hp into a 12" bit and sandy soil) if I don't lift it fairly often. The engine lugs because both the pto drive and hydraulics are demanding power. ....

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Post hole digger

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2004-02-01          75680


Sounds like you were trying to drill down all in one pass. Especially with a 3pt auger and no way to reverse--regardless of soil conditions you should be only going down 3 - 4 inches at a time, raising it to get rid of the spoils and drop it again. Yeah, it takes longer but all it takes is one good stuck! Plus it is easier on the auger's drive shaft top end (which can shear off quite easiy) and machine as a whole.

The HP is there for PTO power not the lifting ability--which corresponds to not necessarily the avaiable HP but the practicality of being able to lift using the 3pt hitch without lifting the front end or worse---breaking the rear axle and/or housing. I can screw my 24" auger into the ground with my hydraulic auger head on my 70HP skidloader, or jam it on an egg-size rock. Luckily I can reverse it hydraulically--when that doesn't work I can put 5,500 lb. of lifting into it and (usually) pull it straight up. ....

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Post hole digger

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beeshup
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2 Burlington
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2010-10-29          174848


Normal tractors of any size do not come with reverse pto gear. That would be dangerous for the neophyte (you). Caution! Digging postholes in frozen ground or ground with roots, rocks, wires (esp. live electrical ones) can be tricky. Your digger pulled itself into the ground as opposed to digging out the dirt. One precaution rule is to let the auger down s-l-o-w-l-y by feathering hydralic controls making sure hole is cleaned out and roots are cut as auger descends. Also carry a pipe wrench to manually reverse auger (pto in neutral)!
Try to come home with all the digits you had when you left the house. -Hopefully unbroken. It is dangerous.
God bless and keep you safely.
Hugh ....

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Post hole digger

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2010-10-29          174855


That was nearly 6 years ago, so I would think he's got them drilled and posts in by now. ....

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