05:49PM | 10/01/01
Member Since: 09/30/01
2 lifetime posts
I have about six fence post holes (about 30" deep) to dig in a backyard with limited access, and I'm having trouble digging these holes.

The soil is fairly hard clay.

I rented a one man 8" gas-powered auger, and the thing would not go anywhere. It just spun but didn't go down. I tried to apply a little weight to it, and it would bind and stop spinning. I couldn't get anywhere with it. Very frustrating.

I really hate to try to do this by hand.

The holes are close to some obstacles so I don't have much clearance.

Any advice? Maybe I just got a bad auger? Can anyone recommend a decent auger to rent?

I'm in the Oakland,CA area.



05:43AM | 10/02/01
Member Since: 03/13/00
1675 lifetime posts
I've had good success with a 2-man gas powered auger. With another person helping you get much more control. Worth a try. As I recall, the 2-man unit was cheaper to rent as well. Surely you could find a friend, relative, or neighbor who'd assist for half an hour. 6 holes shouldn't take any longer.

Jay J

09:58AM | 10/02/01
Member Since: 10/26/00
782 lifetime posts
Hi Drewb,

Is the auger 'drilling' in the right direction???

Jay J -Moderator

PS: God Bless America!


10:09AM | 10/02/01
Member Since: 09/30/01
2 lifetime posts
Yes, the auger was rotating in the correct direction!

I'm dumb but I'm not THAT dumb. :-)

I could only get 5 or 6 inches down. I'd put a little weight on it, and the auger would bind and stop. Maybe it needs a little more horsepower.

Does a two-man auger require clearance around the entire auger? A have very little clearance on one side.




03:26PM | 10/02/01
Member Since: 09/23/01
242 lifetime posts
Drewb, Know your problem well, lived on the other side of the hills for awhile. Make sure that the power auger that you rent is not an old belt driven one, they bind up fast. Two other options...burke bar, posthole digger and a neighbor kid or water jet and posthole digger.


03:23AM | 10/03/01
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
Couple of things:

1. Did you look to see if there was a rock or other obstruction? It could even be a large tree limb buried when your house was built. I've seen amny obstructions digging post holes, especially close to a house. Last summer we ran into an old rusted dirt rake (not a leaf rake). Its not enough to look into the hole, you have to nose around it with a shovel. Obstructions get covered with dirt when removing the auger so you can't see the obstruction.

2. If there are no obstructions, then water the 6 spots the day before drilling. A good soaking will help a lot.

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