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[TowerTalk] Digging the hole

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Subject: [TowerTalk] Digging the hole
From: (Jim Lux)
Date: Thu Feb 20 12:41:13 2003
At 07:54 AM 2/20/2003 -0800, Steve Katz wrote:
>I think it's impossible to estimate without knowing the soil, and if the
>conditions you describe remain constant all the way down to six feet.
>In standard undisturbed earth, a 4x4x6' hole takes one person with a shovel
>and a wheelbarrow (to haul away the dirt) about a full day to dig.  It goes
>a lot faster with two people.  It goes a lot slower if there are lots of
>heavy rocks involved!
>It goes really slowly as you get deeper, since you'll be climbing in and out
>of the hole a lot, unless you're Yao Ming (7'6" center for the Houston
>Rockets).  But if you are Yao Ming, you'd probably want to make it more like
>6'x6'x6', so you'll have room to bend your elbows!
>"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure with no loss of
>enthusiasm." -Winston Churchill
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: VeeAthreePL []
> > Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2003 4:57 AM
> > To:
> > Subject:      [TowerTalk] Digging the hole
> >
> > Just wandering how long (in hours perhaps) it will take to dig 4 X 4 X 6
> > feet deep hole in medium to heavy clay using just hand tools like a
> > shovel and stuff by one person. I am looking for ball park number of
> > hours in order for better planning to put up my TX-455 crank up tower.
> >

While not denying the putative benefits of healthy exercise in the outdoors 
(at least, that's what I tell the kids), a trip to the local equipment 
rental place might turn up some things that will make this job a lot 
easier, and might not be all that expensive to rent.

I'm thinking, specifically, of a motorized posthole digger (auger). If 
nothing else, such a device would allow you to "drill" a bunch of 1 foot 
diameter holes 6 feet deep in a matter of minutes, loosening up the soil a 
lot.  An hour's rental drills many postholes.

It will need the assistance of another person though, unless you spring for 
the tractor mounted version. But if you can afford that, then you might as 
well rent a small backhoe (as used for excavating for spas and hot tubs), 
and have some fun developing a new skill, as well as trenching for the 

But seriously, go to the rental yard and tell them what you want to 
do.  You might find something really handy, or, someone (i.e. a local 
contractor) who is already good at quickly digging holes, and can stop by 
on the way to or from another job.  Power tools are your friend;  unless 
you are on one of those PBS shows where they deliberately take away the 
modern conveniences, or you want to do all by hand, just to show it can be 

Jim, W6RMK

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