Please discuss augers and bits for skid steers.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Green Pastures, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I'm looking to get an auger and several bits very soon.

    I know about Caterpillar's models but would like to see what else is available.

    Please discuss and provide links.

  2. TerraFirma Excavating

    TerraFirma Excavating LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    I was looking at Bobcat augers and also saw McMillen augers. I don't own either yet, but was told the McMillen was a heavy duty dependable unit. I would recommend getting the most powerful unit your hydraulic flow can power. You may also have to decided upon final operating RPM's of the auger. The low torque models will turn faster than the high torque models. How big of holes are you looking at digging and through what material? Here's a link to ABCGroff which sells McMillen augers (ABCGroff)
  3. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I'm interested in digging holes up to 36" for planting trees from nurseries.

    I'm on the Virginia peninsula in south eastern Virginia the soil runs from sand to clay, very little rock if any.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,170

    There are two basic styles. One has a hydrualic motor with a reduction which is chain driven. The other is a direct hydrualic motor set up. I have a Lowe 1650E and have had it for the last ten years. It is a low flow system and I have run it on my high flow skid steers for as many years. Last year I just replaced the chain. I have dug tens of thousands of post holes over the years in extremely rock ground and it still runs as well as it did when I bought it. My augers are Mcmillan. I was going to sell it and get a new one just because its time. I will next get a Mcmillan although I have no problems with Lowe.
  5. wroughtn_harv

    wroughtn_harv LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    I have the next to the biggest Lowe even though I have a small skid steer. The Lowe wants 30 gpm and my machine provides fourteen and a half on standard flow but twenty eight plus on high flow.

    I went for the big Lowe recommended for backhoes etc. because I wanted to be able to move up in tractor without buying another auger motor.

    On standard flow it just turns slower. I use standard flow when I want better control over the auger like when I'm close to utilities etc. Standard flow is operated with a foot pedal.

    High flow is via electric switch so it's either off or on. That is great when just punching holes but inconvenient when situations need a gentle touch.

    Something to consider is your vendor is wanting to sell the auger, big commission, and the consumables aren't really in his interest. But it is most definately in yours.

    The consumables, consider them sacrificial parts, are what wear out so the important stuff doesn't.

    I prefer Pengo consumables. You can get different styles of teeth for different conditions. You can get them carbide or tool steel. I recommend going with the carbide.

    Something most people don't pay any attention to is the pilot or fishtail. A sharp one not only makes it easier to dig the hole, it makes it easier on the auger, the flites, and the tractor.

    Another thing to consider is the shaft style on the auger. The most common is the round with a pin. I wouldn't have that on a bet. All the pressure is on the pin. When it wears it'll start wallowing out either the auger shaft, the sleeve on the bit, but most likely both.

    I recommend the hex. I have the two inch hex. Keep in mind the pressure is on the shoulders of the hex sides and not the pin. The pin is just a locator.

    When I started tooling up bits I got adaptors from two inch hex to two inch round, two and nine sixteenths round, and two inch square. That was so I could rent or borrow a bit I didn't own. Of course I didn't get adaptors to go the other way. That keeps others from borrowing my bits.

    I bought components and welded up my own bits. The reason I did this was because I didn't like the standard lengths. My augers are heavier than standard and I go through quite a bit of trouble to keep them up.

    A worn auger (cone shaped) is begging for trouble down the road on fence and arbor posts. Clay movement, like frost heave, wants to push up. When the hole is cone shaped this is easier to do.

    In summary, buy bigger than you think you'll need, buy all hydraulic (fewer moving parts), buy a hex drive, and search for a bit supplier that will not only sell you quality bits but keep you in consumables.

    You understand that when you're going to be needing a drill to do your work you're better off with a quality drill designed for your application. But you also need good sharp drill bits. The same principles are true for boing holes in the earth.
  6. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    I've located the Lowe website, is there a link to a Mcmillan website?

  7. lx665

    lx665 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I just bought a Cat auger with a 12", 24" and 36" bits. I looked at the McMillen, Lowes, and some other off brands. I'm pleased with the Cat. GP you ought to get a good deal from Cat since you just bought a skid steer.

  8. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    My machine is not a high flow machine.

    Did you get the A19 or the A26?

    Did you go with Cat bits? Why did you choose those sizes? I'm pretty sure I need a 36" and 24" 18" and 12".......

    Were they comprable in price and quality to Lowe and Mcmillan?

    I'd just as soon go with Cat, but I thought I'd ask around and see what the consensus was.

    Thanks for posting!
  9. lx665

    lx665 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 147

    I bought the A19. The bits are CAT. I bought the 12" for fence post, 24" for plants, and the 36" for trees. I use the auger for pole barns and other construction projects. I'll add an 18" later. Price wise, the auger was a little higher but the bits were cheaper, so it evened out. The quality is as good or better than the McMillen or Lowes. One other reason I went with CAT was the salesperson. He was outstanding and CAT's service is excellent.

  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Thanks John, that's a lot of help.

    Did you get the stepped bits that drill a narrower width at the bottom of the hole. I think Cat is calling them the "tree" bits......

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