How big is too big?
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    How big is too big?

    I ended up with a TSC Post Hole Digger last year as part of the deal when I sold a wood chipper. It came with a 12" and 14" auger. I finally got around to testing it last weekend and it worked OK.

    Here's my question - I am wanting to plant a LOT of trees around here. I HATE to dig with a shovel, so I'd like to use the PHD as much as possible. But, the 14" auger doesn't make a big enough hole for the size trees/shrubs that I'm planning on putting in the ground.

    I talked to a nursery person who recommended either a 24" or a 30" auger. Do you think that the TSC PHD can handle something that big? I can control the feed depth with my 3 point controls. And, I barely ran the 14" past idle and the tractor never worked up a sweat.

    I was going to rent a 24" auger from a local place, but theirs was a 3" shaft and my PHD is only a 2" shaft, so no dice.

    Just looking for opinions on how big can I go. Opinions on a good place to pick one up would be welcome too.

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    A lot of it will be situation dependent. What kind of soil are you augering into? How deep? If loose topsoil, loam, sandy soil, that is not dry and hard and going 2-3' I'd say it could work based on your comments-but if hardpan, clay or rocky soil then you might think twice.

    A lot of it will depend on your ability to find a larger auger with the proper 2" stem. If you do check out the machine specs for them and see if yours meets what the larger auger calls for.
    Last edited by balrog006; 10-12-2017 at 10:11 AM.
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    Most of the soil around here is fairly loose. A lot of it is old forest/woods floor, so a lot of top soil before you hit the nasty stuff. I won't be going that deep - usually 18" or so.

    There are a couple of places on-line that sell 24" and 30" augers. They are pretty pricey though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    Most of the soil around here is fairly loose. A lot of it is old forest/woods floor, so a lot of top soil before you hit the nasty stuff. I won't be going that deep - usually 18" or so.

    There are a couple of places on-line that sell 24" and 30" augers. They are pretty pricey though.
    The TSC brand PHD's and augers are SpeeCo made https://www.tractorsupply.com/static...00220_Man1.pdf and their manual lists up to a 24" auger for these models for Cat 1&2 tractors. The similar Woods brand PHD's manual lists up to 30" augers for Cat 1 35 HP tractors http://www.woodsequipment.com/files/...GERS_INTRO.pdf so Id say if you can find an auger from one of them to fit you should have no issues running it.
    Last edited by balrog006; 10-12-2017 at 03:05 PM.
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    I would not even be concerned about the auger size,, 36" would not concern me.

    I know for sure that my PHD's have hit rocks that have stalled the tractor because I run the engine slow.

    A stalled auger is no different than a large auger.
    A large auger will just stall sooner.
    Go for it!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark02tj View Post
    I talked to a nursery person who recommended either a 24" or a 30" auger. Do you think that the TSC PHD can handle something that big? I can control the feed depth with my 3 point controls. And, I barely ran the 14" past idle and the tractor never worked up a sweat.
    The PHD should have a shear pin on it so any major jolts should snap that before it damages the PHD gearbox. I looked at some of the 24" and 30" augers months ago and like the one your rental place had, many of them are 3". Most manufacturers up the PTO HP rating required to run them but, if they'll dig, they'll dig. It's all about your soil conditions. I have a hard enough time getting a 9" auger into the ground around here. To many dang rocks!
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    How many trees?

    I'm all in favor of you spending money but have you considered just drilling multiple holes close to each other with your current augers? You can't overlap the holes but I'm thinking if you left an inch or two on the sides it really wouldn't be hard to knock those down.

    My only concern with the larger augers would be if you hit a root and drilled under/through and then stalled. We've had a 12" auger and a much larger tractor have a bit of trouble pulling the auger up when the edge of the auger was under an oak root. The other issue with a large auger might be the length. Make sure you have enough lift to get the auger clear of the ground.

    Treefarmer
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    I used a PDH 300 with my 3025e and I have a 9 inch and a 12 inch auger. The 12 inch works better in the rock/clay around here for some reason. My 9 inch would barely drill in the ground, the 12 inch dig right through it. Now, I run my PDH at 540 rpm since it is PTO powered implement and that's what it's rated for. Couple of you have stated you run it at just above idle. I am not sure what that gets you, more control?

    As a poster previously stated, the soil condition plays a large role in how well things work but I think auger bit design does as well. My 9 inch and 12 inch are completely different at the business end of it. Part of the problem with drilling multiple holes close together is you still have to use the shovel. If you are shovel averse then that's not a good solution because you will do some shovel work to clean it up.

    Yes, the 24 inch and bigger bits go up in price significantly, I discovered that this summer when the wife want me to plant trees/bushes. If you are going to use it a lot then it's probably worth the money. If its a one and done thing then maybe rent the auger bit and PDH to go with it if the bit size doesn't work for your PDH. I went with the 12 inch bit instead of the 24 because I didn't want to drop over $300 for the bit. Everything worked out for me but none of my trees/plants were very big. I will say a PDH is the bomb if you have a lot of stuff to plant and I did. The wife likes plants! Good luck with your decision.
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    I researched this earlier this year. What you'll find is that arborists recommend digging a hole twice the width of the rootball and the same depth. That pretty much eliminates an auger as a digging tool unless you're talking small trees in 2.5 gallon buckets or something. What I ended up doing that worked great for me is to till up a square the size of my tiller width (5') through the sod and then use the bucket to dig it out to the depth of the rootball. Worked great in my nice black dirt soil. The trees I was planting had rootballs 2.5 to 3' in diameter - too heavy to move without the forks on the tractor. Your mileage may vary if your trees are smaller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 69project View Post
    I used a PDH 300 with my 3025e and I have a 9 inch and a 12 inch auger. The 12 inch works better in the rock/clay around here for some reason. My 9 inch would barely drill in the ground, the 12 inch dig right through it. Now, I run my PDH at 540 rpm since it is PTO powered implement and that's what it's rated for. Couple of you have stated you run it at just above idle. I am not sure what that gets you, more control?
    I have used a PHD100 on my 1025r with a 9" and 12" auger. My experience is the same, with rock/clay. I think the additional weight of the 12" provides rotational inertia that makes it dig as you would expect. The lighter weight 9", in the same soil, broke so many shear bolts it was driving me nuts!
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