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I think you have to ask yourself how many post holes you will be digging and is a one-shot and done job or will you have a continual need to be digging post holes.

I have no experience with the stump bucket but I don't think it would work very well for post holes as you would end up having to dig a very large diameter hole to get any depth for the post.

If you see a lot of post holes in your future then perhaps a tractor mounted unit would be warranted.

Have you considered renting a powered post hole digger? These can be rented for a very modest sum. Most require two people for ease of operation.

You can even BUY a 2-stroke post hole digger for around $200. The one shown below is from Amazon and comes with the augers shown. I'm sure it isn't commercial quality but for a one-time job it should be fine.

 

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I have drilled many holes with the 2305. I have been able to find 3pt Attachments at local rental centers. Works great for things you use rarely like a post hole digger. The only reason I rented a mini skid steer to do my fence last month is allot of large sandstone and tree roots. The only reverse on the PTO is a pipe wrench on the shaft. The mini skid steer was hydraulic so it had reverse. It also had down pressure on the mini skid steer which helped with the roots.

The two times I used the tractor was in old field area and it worked like a charm. Pictures are from my last house in WI.

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Discussion Starter #5
That looks like the wrong tool for the job. As stated above, if you don't plan on drilling a lot of holes, go rent, I bought a PHD with my 1025R as I know it will get used every summer.


I was thinking of a PHD but had second thoughts seeing folks struggle with them on YouTube. My soil is pretty bony for the most part, how do the augers perform with rocks?
 

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I was thinking of a PHD but had second thoughts seeing folks struggle with them on YouTube. My soil is pretty bony for the most part, how do the augers perform with rocks?

See attached link: Post Hole Digger, Any Tips On What To Look For? - Page 3

My advise (which I learned from others on here and from experience) is to go slow... as slow as your tractor will run at idle. Keep the teeth sharp, have one hand on the 3 pt lever to move up immediately and clear often. With all that, be prepared to with a large pipe wrench when the inevitable happens. If you find yourself needing to back it out by hand, be sure to move your PTO selector to the mid position.

Again, and as others have said... it all depends on how many post holes you intend on drilling. We own our PHD and the 2520 handles it fine but when I know we are going to tackle a lot of holes where rocks will be present, I use my step-son's skid steer and post hole attachment just for the luxury of hydraulic reverse.
 

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Good advise, go slow and clear often. I like using a post hole digger and in our part of New England we know about rocks.:hide:
Another thought buy a used one lots out there do all your holes and sell again, don’t think you will lose much, buy right might break even:bigthumb:
 

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I was thinking of a PHD but had second thoughts seeing folks struggle with them on YouTube. My soil is pretty bony for the most part, how do the augers perform with rocks?
The PHD is by far my least favorite attachment for a 1-series. However, it is the best tool to dig a post hole if you have only a 1-series. So, yes, frustrating, but still the way to go.

All this talk about 'go slow (idle)', 'pick it up often to clear it', etc goes out the window as soon as your PHD tries to dig its way to China and kills the tractor. There is no way the 3 pt can pick it up when it decides to dig in forcefully (especially at idle). No amount of go slow, or clear often can keep it from this in many of the conditions I have used mine. Moving the 3 pt lever 1/8" is sometimes enough for it to seek new underground oil reserves.

So, why do folks have such differing opinions on PHD's? Simple. Different soil conditions. Some holes work beautifully. Often the PHD works like a dream. Dig the hole in about a minute, with no issues at all. After digging a few of those, it becomes easy to convince yourself that you are an expert, and others must simply be mis-using the implement. However, you might drive up 10 feet, attempt the next hole, and be humbled.

After enduring hundreds of comments on our YT video instructing me that my technique is the problem, I'm over it. Next time I need to use the PHD, I'll invite the hundreds of experts over to do it for me. ...and I'll confiscate all crow-bars, and large pipe wrenches. :) They can dig it out with their fingers :)

Ok, enough complaining :) ....Get the PHD to dig your post holes. ...but get a long pry bar and a large pipe wrench (to screw it backwards) to fetch it when it decides to throw a tantrum!


Tim
 

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I have the Artillian stump bucket and love it. But it will only dig a hole as deep as the bucket itself, then the back plate is hitting the ground. So not ideal for fence posts. Great for making messes however!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The PHD is by far my least favorite attachment for a 1-series. However, it is the best tool to dig a post hole if you have only a 1-series. So, yes, frustrating, but still the way to go.

....Get the PHD to dig your post holes. ...but get a long pry bar and a large pipe wrench (to screw it backwards) to fetch it when it decides to throw a tantrum!


Tim

Thanks for the response Tim. I enjoy your videos & your trials & tribulations with the PHD made me consider other options. (I don't have the backhoe) Was thinking the Stump bucket could be a poor man's backhoe. I don't mind a big hole. Filling in is easy.

I have a hand operated PHD that used to work well when I was in my 20s but no longer functions as designed for some reason.
 

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I have the Artillian stump bucket and love it. But it will only dig a hole as deep as the bucket itself, then the back plate is hitting the ground. So not ideal for fence posts. Great for making messes however!
Used the Artillian Front Hoe Bucket for the first time a week or so ago myself. I agree, it is a wonderful tool. Good 'bang for the buck'.

Tim
 

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If you use a 12" auger to dig a post hole for a 6 " post,, the post will NEVER be as tight as a hole dug with a 9" auger,,

If you loosen the ground by digging with a stump bucket,, expect to have a "floppy forever" fence.

You could back-fill with concrete,, but, that would take a yard of concrete for a half dozen posts,, :flag_of_truce:

My neighbor was replacing a section of fence betwee his land and ours,,
I offered to dig the holes with my PHD,, at the time, I only had a 12" auger,,

He said no,, he would hand dig them,, so that the hole was only slightly larger than the 5-6" posts he was using,,

That fence was tight and strong from day one,, and is still in use 30 years later.
 

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Rodehard I was up in Walpole a few years ago helping to install Vinyl horse fence we used Bobcat T300 with the bigger auger motor from BC we ran into a lot of rock. Worst rock job for fencing we ended up getting a $600. rock bit attachment for the auger. For some we had to use a Deere 310 to dig the holes ended up having to put Sono tube in and backfill then pour the concrete. I used to do excavating in CT and I wouldn't use a 3 point PHD unless it was near the Sound or the shore. I would use a mid size skid loader and heavy duty powerhead. As far as the P&H (Pinehandled Payloader) I never could find a key for one. I hear they induce profuse sweating and mussel ache.
 

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The PHD is by far my least favorite attachment for a 1-series. However, it is the best tool to dig a post hole if you have only a 1-series. So, yes, frustrating, but still the way to go.

All this talk about 'go slow (idle)', 'pick it up often to clear it', etc goes out the window as soon as your PHD tries to dig its way to China and kills the tractor. There is no way the 3 pt can pick it up when it decides to dig in forcefully (especially at idle). No amount of go slow, or clear often can keep it from this in many of the conditions I have used mine. Moving the 3 pt lever 1/8" is sometimes enough for it to seek new underground oil reserves.

So, why do folks have such differing opinions on PHD's? Simple. Different soil conditions. Some holes work beautifully. Often the PHD works like a dream. Dig the hole in about a minute, with no issues at all. After digging a few of those, it becomes easy to convince yourself that you are an expert, and others must simply be mis-using the implement. However, you might drive up 10 feet, attempt the next hole, and be humbled.

After enduring hundreds of comments on our YT video instructing me that my technique is the problem, I'm over it. Next time I need to use the PHD, I'll invite the hundreds of experts over to do it for me. ...and I'll confiscate all crow-bars, and large pipe wrenches. :) They can dig it out with their fingers :)

Ok, enough complaining :) ....Get the PHD to dig your post holes. ...but get a long pry bar and a large pipe wrench (to screw it backwards) to fetch it when it decides to throw a tantrum!


Tim

All good points but let me add some more. I have a PHD 300 for my 3025E so similar HP as a 1 series just a bigger heavier tractor. My soil is nothing but clay and rock as far as you can dig. I was having issues digging holes for a fence with the 9 inch bit that came with. I sent my wife to the local TSC and had her get the 12 inch bit. Seems counterintuitive to get a bigger bit if you having problems with the soil but boy did it make life easy. Of course it meant I had to add more cement to my holes but a small price to pay. I went from 10-20 minutes per hole to maybe a minute. I think because the head of the bit was different than the one supplied by JD is why it dug so much better.

I have found if you get stuck with the PHD that if you move slightly forward/aft to wallow the hole a little you can sometimes save yourself. I have also found if the PHD grabs and tries to suck the tractor down the hole, it usually means you are hooked on a root. At least that is what has happened to me.

I get the rent a PHD concept and for some folks it probably works but that would require a lot of planning on my part due to the distance I live from the nearest rental place. I like being able to just wrestle with hooking it up to the 3 point (which can be a real PIA) and going.
 

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Filling holes is one thing, tamping is another

Thanks for the response Tim. I enjoy your videos & your trials & tribulations with the PHD made me consider other options. (I don't have the backhoe) Was thinking the Stump bucket could be a poor man's backhoe. I don't mind a big hole. Filling in is easy.

I have a hand operated PHD that used to work well when I was in my 20s but no longer functions as designed for some reason.
Keep in mind that filling a hole is easy but if you are building a fence, you have to tamp that fill dirt tight. That's almost impossible with a big hole that has slanting sides. It's aggravating even with an oversize vertical hole. In my ideal world the hole is just enough larger than the post to be able to get a tamping rod down beside the post- all the way to the bottom of the hole.

As Tim and others have said, conditions are everything. That's true if you are hand digging post holes, using an auger or driving posts. Right now, I could go almost anywhere on our farm and drive 6" posts 4' deep using the bucket filled with dirt. We are sloppy wet and assuming the tractor didn't get stuck, it would be easy to drive posts. In the middle of a dry spell in July I might splinter a post trying to drive it in the same spot. Conversely, we've got spots that I literally could not dig a post hole right now as water would fill in and cause it to slump faster than I could dig but that same spot in spring would dig beautifully. Same post, same location but different conditions.

If you rent a PHD, make sure you have the hand reversal tools necessary plus some shear bolts. We use a PHD on larger tractors and those usually can lift the auger out even if we stick a root but it's not guaranteed. As Tim said, when conditions are right you can drill holes quickly and easily. The only tricks are making sure you are in line and get the holes vertical because as you go down you need to very slightly move the tractor forward due to the geometry change as the PHD frame comes down.

Treefarmer
 
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