Post hole digging: Landscape Design  -- Landscape Discussion Forum and Review Post hole digging: Landscape Design -- Landscape Discussion Forum

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 06-30-2010, 16:52 Post: 171977
BigE44



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 Post hole digging

I am having a problem digging post holes for a fence that I am installing. I have very dense clay that I need to get through and the auger that I rented went down a good 4" in 2+ hours. Then it refused to go any further. There is no room for big equipment since this is in my backyard and I live in the city. I am at a loss!






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 06-30-2010, 17:59 Post: 171980
auerbach



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 Post hole digging

Test the hole with a pick for a rock, and try a hole in softer ground to confirm it's not a hitch problem. Then wet the ground, sharpen the leading edge of the flyte with an angle grinder, and (unless you have power-down) add lots of weight to the implement or hitch.






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 06-30-2010, 19:16 Post: 171986
earthwrks

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I'd look at the travel at the hitch, more specifically the top link which may be inhibiting downward movement.

Also, look at the bottom of the auger for a flat plate just above the lowest point of the teeth. If it has one, it is called anti-submarining or plunging plate. It's designed to prevent the auger from digging too quickly. Most likely the clay is getting balled up under the plate acting like ball bearings, or it's roots or stones doing the same. I had this happen when helping a guy use a 2-man auger from Home Depot--it took everything we had to push the auger down and pull it up. And it had the plate I mentioned.

You could cut it off with an angle grinder, but be advised that if you do, the auger could screw itself into the ground. The only way to get it out is a big pipe wrench to unscrew it. My skid steer has an auger but it reverses. There have been times I've screwed into the ground and liting it straight up ain't happenin'---and I can lift over 5,000 lbs






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 06-30-2010, 19:20 Post: 171987
kthompson



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BigE, is this on a tractor or hand held auger?

Is the auger clogging with the clay or not cutting into it? Grass over the cutting edge will also slow you up. If this is tractor mounted then do follow Auergach suggestions.

One other thought, some soil will cut better slower than faster, try varying the speed but be careful as high speed and it catches. Also if on tractor are you sure you are letting the lift down sufficient?






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 06-30-2010, 20:37 Post: 171991
BigE44



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I was using a one man auger from Home Depot. The issue is definitely not rocks or stones. The clay is incredibly dense and does not absorb water very well. Can't get a tractor in due to limited space. Unfortunately there is no softer ground to test on, and renting an auger by the hour will get very expensive if it take a couple of hours per hole. Sounds like I'm screwed!






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 06-30-2010, 20:38 Post: 171992
BigE44



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The auger is not even cutting into the clay beyond the first 2 inches of the bit.






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 06-30-2010, 21:22 Post: 171996
kthompson



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BigE, check around there are augers, that are larger probably for rent, that still will roll through an area a push lawn mower will fit. At to rental don't price it by the hour, as per day or even three day rental. The shorter period of time you rent by the harder they know you plan to run it. Here small machines for a week is about a three day rental price.






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 06-30-2010, 21:36 Post: 171999
earthwrks

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 Post hole digging

Sounds like the end of the auger pilot screw is really worn or missing. But I go back to the plate keeping it from digging too especially since it's a one-man---they don't want to you to auger too fast.

Back to the pilot screw, there are different types---ask. Them if they havew what is called a fish tail type. It looks like two twisted prongs. These really stir and loosen the soil. The other type looks like a Dairy Queen as a tip and are useless.

I'd ask to rent a Toro Dingo which will fit through a gate and an auger head and auger. It has down force and about 800 lb of up too.






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 06-30-2010, 21:43 Post: 172000
BigE44



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Thanks for the suggestions. I will give them a try.






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 06-30-2010, 21:52 Post: 172002
hardwood

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I'm going to take another route here on the auger thing.
Not many mechanical things scare me too much, but a three point mounted post hole auger scares me to death. I bought one used it once and couldn't sell it quick enough. The little gasoline powerd ones like EW used aren't too scary, but will either make a real man out of you or kill you from all the pulling, lifting, etc., did that too.
There is a fellow in our neighborhood who has a post driver on his skid loader, he does custom fencing.
After the tractor mounted auger scared me out I hired him to pound eight inch, eight foot long woooden posts for a new cattle yard fence. It didn't take him long and they were still rock solid after twenty years when we sold the farm.
Frank.






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