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Discussion Starter #1
I need to dig a footing 8" wide, 30" deep and 18' long. I can't use a backhoe due to space limitations. The soil is hard clay so I don't want to dig by hand. My two ideas were to rent a two-man auger and bore holes and then dig out the space between holes by hand -or- rent a walk behind trencher and dig two trenches on the edges and then dig out center by hand. I've never use either of these machines so I don't know how hard they are to operate and control. Anybody want to comment or have an alternate suggestions? Here's a pic of the soil.
 

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I think the two-man auger would be the way to go if you have alot of holes to dig. If its just one i would bite the bullet and dig it by hand. That ground looks like it all clay and very hard so if you have more then one hole yes some mechanical way would be the way to go.
 

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Jody,

Seems he needs a footing, not just holes.

Ground sure looks hard. You might want to take this picture and others showing where you want the footing to the rental place. Maybe they can give you ideas which would be best, an auger or a trencher. Why do you need it so deep? What's it for?
 

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use the trencher -- i used one to lay in a water line years ago-- it made it much easier than digging by hand-- I trenched in a 100' line -- bigl22
 

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OK i miss read i thought he needed to dig a footing 8" wide, 30" deep and 18" long. But i see now its 18ft not inches:D That is more then a hole. I think bigl22 has the right idea.
 

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Lay 18' of detonation cord on top in a straight line in the center of your proposed footing!! It wont be hard for long and scoop out your trench by hand!!

But it's just a suggestion and what I'd do!!
Dean
 

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You say that you don't have room for a backhoe, but what about a mini-excavator? They can get into just about anywhere, and with their articulating booms, you can even be sitting in one spot without having to swivel to dump.

Just a thought since you have hard clay - that's no fun to dig! Good luck with your project.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My brother knows someone who'll let me borrow his two-man auger. I'll try that first and see how it goes. Mini-excavator might work - I'll check around and see what's available. I like the trencher idea too, but the walk behind units that I've seen that go down 30" look like a handful. If the auger doesn't work I'll check into that too. I'm getting the auger Wed or Thurs - I'll report back.

The footing is for the concrete approach to my shed. The footing is to prevent frost heave below the sliding doors. 30" is the frost line around here.
 

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Get in touch with Chipmaker and have him bring his dynamite...he'll get the job done for you:D

The trenchers that dig 30" are a joy to use...you basically walk with it to guide it in the direction you want to go...
 

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Don't feel bad Jody, I thought it said 18 inches at first too! :duh: Man!!!!!!!!! That stuff looks harder than Chinese 'Rithmetic!!!!!!! I would suggest looking into renting a tractor with a post hole digger that has a down pressure kit on the PHD if you can fit this in the area you are considering. Then break up the area's in between each hole as you mentioned. That is gonna be one nasty job! turtle
 

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It might be a lot easier digging with a PHD provided you use the smallest auger possible. That will make for much faster digging and a LOT more control of the PHD.
 

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Originally posted by Argee
Some of Chips work:lmao:
<img src=http://www.tractorforum.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=54670>


The only thing left.. were the moles:furious: :furious:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Progress report: My brother says the guy has two augers, one 6" and an 8" two-man. I say bring the 8" ( 8" wide trench). So he shows up 3 hours late with a 6" one-man 3hp two stroke Tecumseh ratty lookin' thing. Says this one runs better. I'm a little pissed but I figure WTF, it's free. So I get to drilling holes and this POS actually does a pretty good job. The dirt wasn't nearly as hard as I had feared (6" rain two weeks ago must have helped). Anyway, like Chief said, the smaller bit was much better. I could manhandle the auger and drill at an angle and pretty much use it like a jack-hammer. Loosened up the dirt and scooped it out with a spade. So we got half the trench dug and it wasn't too bad. Have to wait on the other half until the Bobcat finishes bringing in the base layer of rock. Thanks for the replies.
 

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Glad to hear it wasn't as bad as you thought.
 

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Jd332…

My first choice is Dean’s option :lmao:

Otherwise…
I’m with Bigl, use the trencher.
We dug a footing for a 30ft x 30ft building
12in wide x 3ft deep using a ditch witch.
2 passes wide left just about an hours work
for 2 guys to clean up the loose stuff in the 12in trench.
 

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Hard packed clay is a bear with a two man auger. I just dug two pier holes for my deck. The frost line is 36" in my area. A friend and I were using a two man auger rented from Home Despot. It had the 12" auger, so it took a lot of muscle and a 12 pack of beer to dig just two holes. The clay was very tough to cut through and weighed a ton if you let it build up on the auger.

I could barely walk for the next two days. That probably had something to do with me stepping into hole number one while going for beer number 5.
 
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