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[TowerTalk] Re: Digging Holes

To: <>
Subject: [TowerTalk] Re: Digging Holes
From: (michael watts)
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 09:51:22 -0800 (PST)
What's wrong with just having the backhoe dig a hole
as close to those dimensions as possible and use a
little extra concrete?

Admittedly, I think we overdid it here.  The hole came
out about 4.5' x 4' x 7'.  Backhoe operator thought he
had done me a favor by making it bigger than requested
for no extra charge!  But we just rebarred it all up
and pored.

--- Stan or Patricia Griffiths <>
> wrote:
> >      Here's something that I'm trying to change in
> regard to US Tower
> > installations. It's almost impossible to dig some
> of the holes that are on
> > their drawings and in their catalog. For example,
> your tower in the catalog
> > calls for a 3' x3' x 6'6" deep hole. This is
> impossible for a backhoe to dig.
> > There's not enough room to articulate the bucket
> and do the excavation. You
> > can't dig it by hand; not only is it dangerous but
> also there's not enough
> > room to use a shovel. I don't think anyone from
> UST has actually installed
> > one of these bases - it's really a stupid design.
> My advice is to get an
> > engineer to design a more "practical"
> configuration.
> Well, I've dug 30 or 40 holes of this description,
> by hand, personally.  After
> the first two feet or so, the technique is to use a
> steel bar to break up about 3
> inches of soil in the bottom on the hole.  You use
> the bar vertically so you
> don't actually need more room in the hole than you
> need to crouch in it when
> scooping up the dirt with a bucket.
> It can be argued that this is unsafe, as the sides
> of the hole COULD cave in and
> bury you, but you ARE allowed to use some common
> sense once in awhile.  For
> example, don't do this in loose sand.  Compacted
> clay would probably be OK.
> Nobody said doing this was not a lot of work.  It is
> a lot of work, but I have
> always rationalized it as being "good for me" since
> I have spent most of my
> working life as a sales engineer for Tektronix and
> did not get a lot of exercise
> doing that.  I never did it alone and always had a
> buddy to empty the bucket for
> me so I did not have to climb out of the hole a lot.
>  You can't make much per
> hour doing this work but that was not why I did it.
> If you want to save a little labor, you can always
> rent a power post hole digger
> which will dig holes straight down with an auger and
> you can clean them up by
> hand.  Be careful if you try to use a power post
> hole digger.  It can tear your
> arm right out of your shoulder . . .
> Stan
> --
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