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Pearl Sutton
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Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
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I bought a vintage 3 point post hole digger to plant trees with! Yay!
I need a quick bit of information about it's use...
It has the 3 point hook up, and the PTO shaft, does it need (or have? It's missing some bolts) a way to hold the head still as you dig holes? I'm thinking it has a lot of weight on the auger, and once it bites I can't see it moving much. But I was told by someone (who often lacks good information) that it would require all kinds of weird bracing to stabilize it. I don't think I believe her, but the seed of doubt is in my head now, and since I'll be doing my first holes alone, now would be the time to learn if I must do work on it.
Thanks for any advice, and and any suggestions on it's use
40 baby trees that came in the mail 3 days ago appreciate any help you give me, they want dirt on their toes!

 
wayne fajkus
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You have 3 conections plus pto shaft? That's what mine has. The 2 ends that connect to the "up/down", and the bar that adjusts the angle.

It can drill at an angle if it's not buttoned up tight. My tractor has turnbuckles on the arms. I get those tight so it's not floppy. It's an aftermarket item. It did not come with the tractor. Or someone can hold it while it's drilling to keep the angle right. You have to weigh the dangers of this.

Front to back, you'll need to move tractor front or back to get that angle right. An extra set of eyes helps.

The biggest tip I can give, and it has helped a lot. Get 2 concrete blocks, or jackstands. Put them unDer the arms while your drilling. The auger can't spin in reverse. If the auger starts getting stuck, you can't lift it out without drilling down also. The jackstands bottoms out the auger so it can't go down. This forces dirt up the auger, clearing it out so it can be lifted out.
 
Pearl Sutton
Posts: 135
Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
9
chicken food preservation goat
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Wayne Fajkus: Thank you for the jack stand idea! Makes sense...
I have learned to make sure my tractors arms are tightened (after having the brush cutter slinging all over the place!) good advice!

I reread my post, and I wasn't clear, my apologies. Where I'm concerned about with this thing is the modern post hole diggers don't have a folding elbow at the top of the bit, they are one long piece that can't lay flat on the ground like this one is doing in the picture, they always stand up. It's that elbow joint that I am wondering if it needs to be bolt locked or something to keep it from pivoting without permission....
 
Dee James
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Location: Back and forth between Florida and Alabama
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Hey Pearl,

My suggestion would be to hook it up.  You seem very bright and intelligent.  So I think your gut will tell you if it needs the bracings your friend told you about.  Have confidence in your gut.  When you hook the auger up and go to digging you are gonna know.  Plus, you can throttle it back and keep the PTO low for safety.  If it starts to shake like Elvis on stage then you will probably need to get a machine shop to craft you some bracings or Craigslist it. 

I agree with you.  I don't think it needs bracings.  Mainly, because our farm has a really old one and it doesn't have bracings it just hangs.

But trust your gut.....My suggestion would be just to find some soft ground at first.  Maybe a little moist after a rain and then move to more firm ground.  The old equipment is really well made (as you know) and often times heavier than the newer equipment.  So it could have been designed without bracing like my trusty auger or they could have been lost.  Your probably not going to know until you test it.  A lot of those old units didn't have bracing.  The biggest advice I can give you is to don't test in any ground with roots.  Obvious, but great to keep in mind and to remind your help if you have any.  The torque from hitting the root is going to be more than needed in a test.  The pivot doesn't bother me.  I would think you could build a stand for that too.  That way you could make hooking up to the three point even easier when your by yourself.  Also, get yourself a good nickname for the old beast.  The old stuff has a soul and deserves a good nickname.  Plus, if it breaks and you want to cuss it a nickname will help you get through the day.  I have to laugh or cry with my old equipment.  .   D
 
Pearl Sutton
Posts: 135
Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
9
chicken food preservation goat
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Dee James: Hahah. Yes. I haven't named it yet All my old stuff has names My 1983 Kubota 17 hp tractor is named Tetsuko, The Lady of Steel  after a (possibly fictional, I don't recall) Japanese female warlord. I love the quote "if it has tires or testicles, you'll have problems with it" it already has tires, I can make sure it doesn't have testicles too But OH DEAR!! I had to have her tires worked on, the big jack was busy, so the shop used a forklift to lift up the back end... that forklift and my Lady of Steel? I fear I'm going to have a litter of lawnmowers in the spring!!

And yeah, I plan to just try it when I can, I haven't been able to do so yet, thought I'd see if anyone knew right off if I had to do anything clever to it to use it. If so, I can fix it BEFORE it does something horrible.... It's a neat weird chunk of machinery, I like rusty metal
 
Fred King
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I think bracing would not let the angle of auger to arms that support it change as the hole got deeper. That would cause binding and a lot of stress. I agree with trying it as is and making change only if necessary.
Funny I heard it was tires or tits. Fred
 
Pearl Sutton
Posts: 135
Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
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Fred King: Oooh, good point about the angle change as it drills! I think you win the game!
Will be testing it soon, hopefully it JustWorks (TM)

And, as someone with tits, I'd try to claim "Well *I'm* not a problem!" But all of the men in my life would laugh themselves sick at that. So you may be right there too
 
Fred King
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Pearl is it strange how "friends" advice always seems to make things more complicated. If I were trying this for the first time I would set the auger down so it would be supported on both ends then start it spinning and be ready to shut down if things get strange.  That said I don't think you'll have any problems but just in case how fast can you run?  Seriously if the ground is really hard and it auger isn't making much progress I have had good luck filling the hole with water and letting it soak for an hour or two.  Fred
 
Pearl Sutton
Posts: 135
Location: Zone 6a, on the edge of 6b
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Good idea with the water. Right now the reason I haven't bee able to test the auger is because it's raining. So I'll test it on good damp dirt when I do...

And yeah, I said the friend "lacks good information" but since I have never done this before, and definitely not with this funky old tool, I figured I should rule out missing pieces parts

Thank you
 
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