Save your Back by Using an Earth Auger to Dig Holes
Installing fence posts can be back-breaking work. A shovel or manual auger can take days to remove enough dirt to insert fence posts into the ground. Luckily, most earth augers today are powered. These machines use a screw shape to move dirt from the bottom of the screw up toward the top. The auger descends slowly into the ground as the earth moves upward. Once the auger has bored down to the correct depth, it can simply be lifted out. The hole has been dug!
Types of Augers - Self Powered & 3 Point Post Hole Diggers
Although an earth auger is a simple tool, it comes in various forms. Motorized augers can be small enough for one person to use. These smaller augers can typically be adjusted to dig holes of 4” to 8” in width. While this width is perfect for fence posts, some applications require larger augers. A larger powered earth auger may take two people to use. Powered augers are also sold as attachments for tractors. Larger construction projects may use augers attached to vehicles.
Powered augers allow users to quickly dig holes without the back breaking bending up and down of manual hole digging. The primary goal of the worker is to keep the auger from twisting as it works to dig a hole.
3-Point Post Hole Diggers rely on the power of your tractor to power the auger. This set-up easily attaches right to the tractors 3-point hitch and hooks up to the PTO shaft of the tractor to power the auger. There are 3 different sizes of post hole diggers to choose from depending on the size or category hitch size of the tractor. There are also several sizes of auger bits to choose from ranging from 6" in diameter up to 24" diameter.
Quick Guide to Using an Auger
For home projects, homeowners have the option of renting or purchasing an auger. For a one-time installation, like a fence, many people choose to rent. A powered auger can drill about 30 holes in a single day. Use this number as a benchmark to determine how many days you'll need a rental auger. Purchasing an auger is a great idea if you'll be using it more than once. For example, augers are great for turning up soil in gardening.
Most powered augers available to homeowners are reminiscent of lawnmowers. Like lawnmowers, they must be primed and a cord must be pulled to start the motor. Once the auger is running, it can be placed where a hole should be. In just a few minutes, the auger will bore the hold to the required depth. 2 feet is usually a good depth for fence posts. As with any yard machinery, it's good to have safety glasses on hand. Homeowners should also be aware that augers can respond to rocks and clay soil by twisting unexpectedly.
Although earth augers may struggle with the occasional rock and dirt, they are still a much easier solution for digging holes than manual digging.