Single man or two man auger which to get? For planting and fencing.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by rawtoxic, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. rawtoxic

    rawtoxic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    I have been considering buying a auger for a few things. We do about 4-5 fences a year as part of larger jobs and then for shrub and perennial plantings we do almost every other week. Plus a few odds and ends could be handled by it. I have one guy who sells custom mailboxes who refers us to install them I put in 8 of those last year.

    I don't have much experience with the one man units as I usually rent a two-man as our small local rental place that's all they offer other than a skid steer unit.

    Is it a good idea to use augers for shrub and perennial plantings I have not done this personally I just thought it would be a good way to lower our labor costs on planting jobs because sometimes the guys really have to work hard to get those plants in and many times when it's that hard the may have tendency to under-dig the plant holes which is something I want to avoid.

    I just want some feedback on what you all recommend and use. We are in the rocky mountains (mountains west of Denver,CO) so keep in mind it won't be light duty. We did plant holes on some jobs with rock bars the digging is so rough then some more metro regions have heavy clay which can be just as bad!

    I know I don't want to own two augers so which one should it be?

    Also what I should look for in purchasing a used auger ? I am leaning toward a two-man with a budget of about $750. That way it might pay for itself this year or next? If your in the Rockies and have one for sale now might be a good time to contact me!~
  2. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 3,065

    I would def. go with two man.
  3. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    for fencing 2 man, and a large Stihl 2 cycle drill with various size augers for planting
  4. rawtoxic

    rawtoxic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    The thing is I have no interest or budget for buying two more pieces of equipment that will be seldomly used. I think just one purchase would be justified here based on my demand. By the time I buy a two men fence auger and a stihl drill with the amount of necessary auger bits (very lucky if I can get it all used in fair condition) I will be set back at least $1500 - $2k and that will take 2-3 years to recover my investment and you never know about used equipment and maintenance and the fact accidents happen moving the stuff around. Maybe I should pass on the auger and go with the drill would probably get more mileage out of it, does anyone have experience with it for plantings larger holes for like 5 gallon shrubs?

  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    just like any tool it depends on the conditions, if the area is rooty or rocky you will have issues, but overall it saves labor. the tool is great when you do a layout, you can run around and drill the holes and all you need to do is tune up the holes with a shovel. I also have a machine called a dynadigger although it is very expensive it has paid for itself many times over with reduced labor costs. For transplanting I will never be without it. if you never seen a dyna digger before (most have not) you should check it out.
  6. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    i hate two man augers.. someones hips are going to get beat up... we use a few of the one man earthquake augers for like 1 gallon material.. they work great, i bought two last year on sale @ tractor supply for like $225 each....
  7. Oasis-Outdoor

    Oasis-Outdoor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I primarily do fencing, and supplement it with landscape and some lawn work. I had a 1 man Earthquake brand auger. I had practically no issues with it until recently (10 years of steady use) I had the hand throttle actuation bar linkage break when I was installing a fence along the front of a cemetery. I didn't have time to get it fixed immediately, so I went to Lowes and bought a new one (Earthquake brand as well). I have not tried a 2-man auger, as I work by myself. I would highly recommend the Earthquake brand if you choose a 1-man type. I can't see a hand held unit being able to bore a hole large enough for plantings, though.It really takes a lot of torque to bore out enough soil, etc. for planting purposes. I just run a 8" bit on mine for 4x4 wood posts. I get the depth with the auger then enlarge the hole out to about 10" with a sharpshooter spade. Here lately, due to osteoarthritis in my back, I bid extra on the fences and rent a Toro Dingo with an auger attachment and a bucket. Even at that, it is difficult to get the Dingo hydraulic auger to bore into Kansas soil at times! Good luck with your purchase, whatever you decide!
  8. rawtoxic

    rawtoxic LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    How does the dynadigger do with rocky soil does it loosen the rocks for you? Interesting product this maybe the best fit for what we need! Have you owned yours for a while is it reliable / easy to get parts if needed?
  9. cflipper

    cflipper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    get a one man little beaver just my two cents i did about 250 posts with one of these last year
  10. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 741

    That dynadigger is pretty cool.

    What about one-man augers for use in heavy clay soils down here in the South? My two-man 5hp honda unit goes right in, but I need a unit I can use by myself.

    It'd be used for a few tree and shrub plantings here and there in really tough soil that hand digging is just not an option on as far as I am concerned. In the past I have taken a 7-8" auger and bored a series of holes next to each other then finished it up with a shovel. So if it digs easily and can handle some rocky soil at times, I don't mind just digging several holes as needed.

    What I don't want is a unit that bogs and won't turn in heavy soil. 3' deep would be about as deep as it'd ever need to go. I've used a little beaver type machine and see a heavier 9hp version that works on the same principle but the little beaver is over $2100 and a little bulky to cart around.

    What hp/torque engine does one really need to get a useful one-man machine? I have used 5hp types and they are actually more than enough.

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