When working in the construction or agricultural industries, drilling is a regular occurrence. Whether this involves setting poles and electrical utilities or drilling down into the soil for planting crops, having the right tools at your disposal will certainly make your life easier.
You’ll often find that the ground’s geological make-up is unpredictable, and conditions can vary within a small area. For this reason, professionals in the trade like to have quality equipment to hand, like an auger drive.
This post will tell you everything you need to know about the auger drive: a must-have tool for large-scale drilling projects. We’ll start by giving you the lowdown on what an auger is and its primary functions before explaining how an auger will benefit your operations. Finally, we’ll provide you with some tips to help you choose the right auger for you, so you can take advantage of those amazing benefits.
What is an auger?
An auger is one of the most reliable earth-drilling tools around. An auger is a spiral-shaped tool fitted to machinery and used to drill holes into the ground or other hard surfaces. While it works as a large drill, it also carries out the materials it has dug up, like a screw conveyor.
Earth augers began as an agricultural tool but now come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with certain models built to work on surfaces. Furthermore, there is often a suitable selection of attachments that are intended to make the job easier, more efficient, and faster.
Why we love earth augers
Augers are typically used for one primary purpose, namely, drilling holes. In more industrial settings, an auger can be used to drill holes for solar posts, telephone poles, or deck posts.
However, augers really get their chance to shine in agricultural settings. Here they have multiple purposes, including drilling into wood or trees to extract maple syrup. In a domestic setting, handheld augers can be used for gardening projects, digging out perfect holes to plant seeds, seedlings, or even more established plants.
They are extremely versatile and durable, changing what has previously been a backbreaking task into something that can be repeated easily hundreds of times over the course of the day. What’s not to love?
How will an auger change your life?
Augers don’t come cheap. These complex tools should be considered a long-term investment. However, especially in the context of a business, it is an investment that’ll pay for itself many times over.
If you are on the fence about whether investing in an auger is a good decision, here are some key benefits that may sway your decision.
A good-quality auger will improve the quality of your digging, both in terms of power and speed. This means that the task at hand will be completed to the highest standard but faster than if you had attempted to dig a hole manually. As a result, time and potentially money is saved, as you can complete more work in the day, whether it’s digging more holes or other agricultural or construction work.
One of the biggest advantages of using an earth auger is its extended reach. In some cases, you’ll need to drill deeper holes. The greater reach provided by the auger attachment means that the drill can work over a whole array of obstacles such as holes, shrubs, and fences. Moreover, this improved reach means the auger allows you to tackle those tougher jobs. Just to bring this point home, a typical auger is about 1.5 meters. At the end of the day, an earth auger drive has greater scope than you would get with a handheld drive or manual shoveling.
Better for the worker & you
We have already established that an auger helps save time, but it also has health benefits for the person using it. Naturally, digging holes can be backbreaking work that puts huge physical demands on your body. Using an augur, it will take much of the pressure off and make the exercise less physically intense.
As an auger can also work more effectively than a person — even a team of people — digging, it also allows you to make better use of your workers’ unique skills, whether it’s specialized or solid labor. You can then run a more effective business without needing to hire more people, while also limiting workplace risks related to manual digging.
An auger drive is an exceptionally versatile tool because it allows the user to swap out different elements to tailor the device for the task at hand. For instance, various attachments can be used to tackle drilling on tougher surfaces, such as rocks or to drill different-sized holes. Even one auger drive can handle a range of surfaces and tasks when it comes to digging. This means you do not need to invest in additional machinery and instead rely on your auger drive for a great number of jobs.
Choosing the best earth auger for you
Now that you are eager to buy your earth auger, the hardest task is upon you: choosing the best earth auger drive for you and your work. This is no easy feat, with so many options on the market. Selecting the right auger tool is important in terms of ensuring you can complete the job successfully and receive a good return on your investment.
However, having had decades of experience in the heavy machinery world, we have some useful industry insights. So, we have come up with a handy list of factors you should consider when shopping for an auger.
Mechanical vs manual
One of the first things you will need to consider when looking for an auger drive is the type of operation you want from the drilling unit. It is possible to choose between manual models or engine-operated auger drives. With manual earth augers, you have a scooping mechanism incorporated in the unit, but you will need to exert some strength when it comes to operating it.
Manual augers are fine for lighter work, such as extending irrigation trenches, but you will need to opt for a mechanical auger for more arduous digs.
If you are going to look for a mechanical earth auger, you will have to decide whether a gas or electric engine-powered version is more appropriate for you. Gas engines have the propensity to tackle a broader range of surfaces, including clay and soil. They can also move rocks during a dig, which is extremely useful.
The primary difference you have when using an electric auger is that you can avoid dealing with fumes during operation. Electric augers are also very flexible in that you can change the blades depending on the nature of the job you are tackling.
What size fits best?
Next up, you will need to consider the diameter and depth of the auger needed. Some models allow users to change the diameter of the drill to increase the performance of the device. For instance, if you are working on soil, an auger with a diameter of about 4 cm (1.5 inches) will suffice. However, if the job requires more power or grunt, you will need a larger diameter on the auger.
Another feature worth looking out for is the gear-reduction function which will allow for the use of large diameter augers on industrial drilling tasks. It is also wise to check out auger drive models with snap-on extensions, which make the process of switching between various diameters far more straightforward.
How deep are you digging?
Another factor you will need to consider when choosing the ideal earth auger is its depth capacity. The requirements of some projects mean digging deeper. If you plan on digging deep, you will need to ensure that your auger drive of choice has a powerful engine and can handle long auger drill bits. The size of auger drill bits ranges from 75 cm (2.5 feet) to 2.2 m (7.5 feet), so bear this in mind when thinking about the nature of work you will be using the auger for.
Again, it is helpful to choose an auger where the drill bits are easily interchangeable. This ensures you can use it for a range of tasks without having to buy another machine further down the line for more diverse drilling work.
What’s your budget?
Finally, we cannot overlook the matter of cost. Complex machinery like auger drives aren’t cheap, so you will need to consider the financial implications of such an investment. Prices range quite dramatically, but it is worth thinking about the long-term costs and choosing a product that is versatile and can fulfill multiple functions.
Do not forget that if something seems too good to be true, it is. So, opting for a middle-range price to get a better-quality auger drive is likely to be far more cost-effective than purchasing a cheaper product. It is also worth considering the availability of attachments and other auger parts when making your final decision.
The final word
An auger drive is a great drilling tool, especially for those working on large-scale industrial or agricultural projects. Investing in a good-quality auger drive will most certainly speed up the drilling process and reduce the physical effort needed to get the job done, even if you are digging deep holes through tough terrain.
Although investing in an auger drive is a bit of a no-brainer, choosing the right one for you isn’t so straightforward. But the guide above should give you a good indication of the qualities and features you should consider when shopping for your auger drive. Then, all you need to do is visit an online store to find the perfect auger drive for you!