I am in the process of digging T-post holes in some mighty hard caliche / Limestone rock.
How am I doing it - I just bought a Dewalt DW 25551 Rotary Hammer Drill on Ebay to drill T-post holes using a 1 1/2 in diameter Carbide bit. This is an 11 amp drill that will drill using up to 5 inch core bits in concrete. You can find them on Ebay by doing a search for Rotary hammer Drill. Bosch, Hilti, Hitachi, etc are other brand names for these BIG drills.
The drill allows me to put posts where I WANT TO vs where the rocks want me to.
Sounds like a neat solution considering your limestone challenge. We've been "mashing" most of our t-posts in with a loader, but when we hit rock, unless we're quick to back off the pressure, we fold the post in half.
"In some places here we use an electric bocsh jackhammer."
A jackhammer is much the same as the rotary hammer drill, just bigger yet. I drill the holes because I want a hole of a certain diameter (1 1/2 inches) by a certain depth (about 14 inches) to hold the T-post securely. Buying the drill on Ebay cost me $200.00 and the bit was about $60.00 with shipping. I already have a friend who will buy them from me when I am done with my holes. Therefore my net cost is zero.
Just bought one of these.... http://www.belltec.net/post_hole.html
We have acres of solid rock and broken bassalt, so, in order to get a good fence up, we decided to take the plunge and invest in one. Those hammer drills would do me in well before I even got started!
Too much! But, with having to dig at least 500-700 holes on this ground and a high percentage of them in rock, it was much cheaper to purchase this machine for $6k than pay someone $50 bucks a hole.
Maybe we can even get a little bit of our cost back by drilling some holes for our neighbors!
Are your rocks getting out? I had a 'discussion' with a rich neighbor a few years back... he wanted me to help pay for half of a useless fence... I told him my pine trees very rarely wandered off... and if any did, I'd be glad to pay for whatever damages they might cause... So I was justa wonderin, if the ground is so hard you have to drill holes for your tposts, what you were fencing in, or fencing out...
If your ground is that hard, I take it your fencing for goats?
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Seneca
Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival. W. Edwards Deming
................Even the Bel Tec augars won't dig in very hard rock as well as some might think . I've watched them dig down a few inches and then just quit digging because the cutting teeth needed to be sharpened . I suppose the electric hammer drills might be somewhat effective but for real hole drilling authority there is only one machine .....i.e. the rotary Air Hammer drill and an aircompressor to power it . We knocked the face plates off the Tposts and used the 1.5 inch bit . It takes Big Gonadista's too run one of these air powered rotary hammer drills and most folks under 250 pounds have a hard time keeping the drill in the correct spot . lol , fordy
With such tough places to dig the holes, it would be easier to just buy the holes at the farm store.
Army surplus stores are great too; buy a large bomb crater that can be sliced up in to several smaller holes. Left-over pieces can be minced finely into tiny holes that can be glued together with rubber compound to make irrigation hoses.
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"So I was justa wonderin, if the ground is so hard you have to drill holes for your tposts, what you were fencing in, or fencing out..."
Sheep and goats and an occasional steer. Fencing out predators and deer.
"i.e. the rotary Air Hammer drill and an aircompressor to power it . We knocked the face plates off the Tposts and used the 1.5 inch bit . It takes Big Gonadista's too run one of these air powered rotary hammer drills and most folks under 250 pounds have a hard time keeping the drill in the correct spot . lol , fordy"
The electric rotary hammer drill is a smaller cousin to the big rotary. I have limestone and hard caliche which don't require heavy construction equipment, yet do require the holes drilled. If I don't drill the holes then the rocks determine where my posts go. This way I GET TO DECIDE where they go. Otherwise, we do it the same as you posted.
Last edited by YuccaFlatsRanch; 10/12/07 at 08:34 AM.