>I would be VERY VERY careful about recommending anyone hand dig such a
> hole. If the walls of the hole cave in, you will literally be digging
> your own grave. There was a bit on the local news last year where two
> men were in a four foot deep hole and the sides caved in. One
> perished, the other was badly injured. With a full load of dirt, your
> chest cannot move, and they were done.
In this case I think people are worrying about the wrong thing. Clay and
hard pan are highly unlikely to cave in, but there is a hidden danger far
In holes that deep you can easily run out of Oxygen without ever knowing it.
You don't get short of breath, you just go to sleep/unconscious. Any one
going in to get you runs the same risk.
In industry we had to wear a harness and have two good size men on the other
end to haul you out should you keel over. No one goes in to get you without
a complete self contained breathing setup. More than once they've not only
lost the one working in there but one or two more trying to rescue them.
The risk is there even with much shallower holes if you bend or kneel down
to work on the bottom.
> I prefer to have a machine dig my holes. The sides are less than
> perfect, but I just add more concrete to make up for it. I built a
> form above ground to make it "look nice".
The soil he described and what we have here would pose little danger of
caving in unless you were really deep. It's wet in the Spring, but turns
into something akin to concrete later in the season.
This is the type of soil to which I refer.
> Tom - VE3CX
> On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 8:31 PM, Rick Karlquist <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>> On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 3:38 PM, Bill Gaines AD8P <email@example.com>
>>>> Some many months ago I either asked on this reflector or read on it
>>>> the particular piece of equipment some of you have used to dig a 3-1/2X
>>>> 3-1/2X 7-1/2 deep hole for an LM-370 tower. I am at the point I can
>> Probably a minority opinion here:
>> I have dug by hand three holes that were only 3x3 feet across and 6 or 7
>> ft deep. I used a short handled spade, a small pick, a bucket,
>> a small ladder, and a yardstick to measure 3 feet. The last
>> one was a virtually perfect 3x3x6; almost hated to pour concrete into
>> it. Exactly 2 yards did it. BTW, this was dug through waterproof
>> "cemented hard pan." No rocks though. The other 2 holes were dug
>> ordinary clay (watered first) but with rocks.
>> Getting down to 7 1/2 feet may require a helper to pull the bucket
>> up with a rope and help with the ladder.
>> It can be done!
>> If you want to use a machine, get a well digger truck with a 4 ft
>> auger and make the holes a 4 ft circle. They will be very accurate.
>> Rick N6RK
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