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I'm going to be picking up a post hole digger this year for my 1026R. Does anyone have any tips on what to look for?

I looked at the Speedco unit at Princess Auto for $500 plus auger but it looked like it was built light weight. I looked at the Braber Equipment one at Peavy Mart for $700 plus auger, it looked much beefier than the Speedco. The Frontier is on sale for $1,150 but I don't know if that includes the auger, kind of pricey give the 9" auger at the other stores is $200, I never looked at it except in the flyer.

So other than the strength of the frame and tube and possibly the size of the gear box, is there anything a guy should look at?
 

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No help here I have started to look for one as well. Everything attachements had one for 700 as well. I'm sure there will be some better ideas posted soon.

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Do you really need one of those evil things?

Unless you're going to be digging a lot of holes; I'd rent one on a skidsteer or hire it done.

You haven't lived until you get one stuck in clay/hardpan up to the gearbox, especially since PTO powered ones don't reverse to help unstick them.

I traded my Bush Hog 2102 (as I recall the model number) in as a down payment on a lawn tractor. I used mine for a whopping 12-holes; though I had plans for more at one time.
 

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Do you really need one of those evil things?

Unless you're going to be digging a lot of holes; I'd rent one on a skidsteer or hire it done.

You haven't lived until you get one stuck in clay/hardpan up to the gearbox, especially since PTO powered ones don't reverse to help unstick them.

I traded my Bush Hog 2102 (as I recall the model number) in as a down payment on a lawn tractor. I used mine for a whopping 12-holes; though I had plans for more at one time.
You left out, no down pressure, Just Sayin!
 
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You left out, no down pressure, Just Sayin!
The alternative to this is a loader mounted system. I explored this once for a deck project, but there isn't enough hydraulic flow rate available on the subcompacts.

I tried renting a self powered unit, which was a piece of junk thanks to all off the "prebusers". Plus, the ground here is more rocks than dirt. The final solution in my case was the good old backhoe. Job was done in no time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
HMMMM, you got me second guessing myself. I wonder if anyone has a positive experience with a PHD?
 

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I have a SpeeCo that I will be testing out soon. Just got it at the end of last season on clearance.

If it needs more down force I'll make a bracket for it that holds some suitcase weights.

Jim
 

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The alternative to this is a loader mounted system. I explored this once for a deck project, but there isn't enough hydraulic flow rate available on the subcompacts.

I tried renting a self powered unit, which was a piece of junk thanks to all off the "prebusers". Plus, the ground here is more rocks than dirt. The final solution in my case was the good old backhoe. Job was done in no time.
Been there also.
Hit a rock, either it stops or the hole will wander. I have one and I use the manual post hole digger or the backhoe.
 

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I've used PHDs, and they can be a very, very useful tool. A bit of an art to running one though. The tip needs to be in good shape, and you can't take too much of a "bite" at one time. Dig a few inches, lift and clear. Go a few more, lift and clear. This depends on your soil type, sometimes you can go deeper and a bigger tractor can lift more. Letting one screw itself all the way into the ground, especially on a small or mid sized tractor can be a recipe for problems. Or a big pipe wrench to unscrew it, just like if you hang a big rock or a tree root. :laugh:

If you do find you need additional down pressure, most units can have a hydraulic cylinder added that runs off a hydraulic service on the tractor to help.
 

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I have used one a few times and it worked great, Think the key is as 56 mentioned, dig a little and clear the hole, do not let it go too far into the hole....take your time, besides its seat time......
 

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I have an old Deere 31 phd with a 12 inch auger and my dad has a Danuser with a 9 inch. I've built a deck, two pole barns, and planted lots of fence posts with them. Well worth the money if you have more than a few holes to make. I would think you could pick up a used one for a couple hundred bucks.

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HMMMM, you got me second guessing myself. I wonder if anyone has a positive experience with a PHD?
I love mine, would not be without it. :good2: I have augers from 6"-24", down pressure unit and a depth extension. I can and have and do drill any hole that I may need. Takes a whole 5-6 minutes to put it on or take it off. I've never been able to figure out why so many people hate them so much. :unknown:

Do I use it a lot, no, but it's there when I need it. I can't even imagine having to rent a machine to do this on a sudden need. :cookoo: If I could find one for rent on a moments notice, it would take up more than a half a day for me. I guess if you lived next to a rental yard it would be different, Me I would be driving for hours to get there and back. :bye:
 

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I have used one a few times and it worked great, Think the key is as 56 mentioned, dig a little and clear the hole, do not let it go too far into the hole....take your time, besides its seat time......
I have what I consider to be one of the best PTO PHD available and normally use it with what most consider a bigger tractor (75hp, 12,000lbs). I can dig pretty much any hole in any of our ground (DG, which is like rock in the summer) in less than 2 minutes. I NEVER go down more than a foot at a time. Down a foot & raise to clear, down a foot and raise to clear, etc. This is ALL done with the engine at an idle. There is NO reason to have the RPM up.

Just my experience, others will vary. :bye:
 

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I have a Bush Hog brand with 12" auger. Works great. As others have mentioned, clear often. Don't screw it into the ground. Keep the cutting edge sharp. If ground is excessively dry, wet it thoroughly before digging.

As for things to look for: shear pin type. When I bought mine, the dealer delivered the wrong shear pins. I couldn't figure out why the pin kept falling out. So, it got lost pretty quick. (I was new to these things and pretty naïve). It was a custom shear pin. I ordered 5 more from the dealer. Got the bill for $45! I about fell out at the cost. Anyway, I tried one more. Still wouldn't stay in. Called dealer. He said, I think I gave you the bigger PHD and the shear pins are for the smaller version. He said my PHD just used common soft 3/8" bolts at $1 a piece. These work great. Needless to say, I returned all 5 of the $9 roll pins for credit. I'd hate to have to pay $9 every time I sheared a pin, and could only get them from dealers. Look for ones that use simple cheap common soft bolts for shear pins.
 

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I also strongly recommend building a stand similar to Brian's. Without support while hooking them up, they can be a real bear. I don't have a good place for such a stand that is not out in the weather. So, I disassemble mine into two pieces at the gear box pivot . This makes it much easier to handle (though still real heavy), but you don't put it on unless doing several holes. For just one or two holes, about the same amount of work to just dig by hand. So, if you want to use it for just a few holes at a time where you will be taking it on and off a lot, build or buy a good stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, lots of good pointers here. I don't have a lot to do with it but I'm the kind of guy that finds work once I have the tool. Most of my soil here is sandy clay so relatively easy to dig, but I have a lot of bush in some areas that will give some root problems, but the roots will be an issue no matter how I drill the holes.

I'll let you know what I buy in the end. Of course we are two months away from the frost coming out of the ground so I have time.

Thanks again! :drinks:
 

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I don't know, for just a few or even a couple dozen holes I would hire it out! My Pole Barn needed 15-18, 24" dia holes 48" deep. Guy came in with a front mounted BobCat rig and did it for $17 dollars a hole! No muss, no fuss no storage etc. It was 'boney' soil (Old Barn foundation) Ask around to fence builders, Pole barn folks and see what makes sense for you. ~Scotty
 

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I've dug many miles of holes with our ancient 12" 3pt PHD. The only problem we ever had was busting through the dry hard pan once the teeth go dull and the auger tip wears down too much. We hung a railroad tie off the end and then just had one person sit on it. Probably not OSHA approved...

With new teeth it only takes about 30 seconds to hit 48" deep behind a 130 PTO hp tractor at idle. No clean outs, just straight down. If you have the hp, the extra weight and friction of the dirt on the auger helps it dig. A sandier type soil.

If you don't have the hp I could see how it might be easy to get them stuck without regular cleaning of the dirt.


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I tried renting a self powered unit, which was a piece of junk thanks to all off the "prebusers". Plus, the ground here is more rocks than dirt. The final solution in my case was the good old backhoe. Job was done in no time.
I recently rented one to dig a 12" diameter x 54" deep hole and it was better than doing it by hand; but the 9 - 11 HP gas engine still had problems digging in our claycrete that was still damp from last year's September floods. It didn't have enough oomph to reverse itself out of the hole. I ended up lifting the clay filled auger with the tractor's bucket as I couldn't budge it. And yes I drilled a little, lifted the auger out, scraped the claycrete off the auger, and repeated many times.

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