[TowerTalk] Dismal Ground Rod / Hammer Drill Results Today

Dave Tipton dave at lodave.org
Wed Aug 30 17:04:07 EDT 2006

Texas has about the worst soil conditions for putting in ground rods I've ever seen, between the rock, clay and generally dry dirt... I put 4 in within an hour and a half...  My guess is, you rented a defective hammer drill.

J A Ritter <w0uce at nc.rr.com> wrote:  With twelve rods to put in I rented a large Hammer Drill from Home Depot
today. They did not have any attachment to use with ground rods but the
clerk said I could simply insert the end of the rod into the chuck and
hammer away. 

Being an old timer... I enlisted the help of a strappin tall, in shape local
ham and we set out to "hammer" in 12 ground rods. What a frustrating
experience it turned out to be...

The Hammer Drill did not hammer - all it did was turn like a normal heavy
duty drill. No matter which setting the drill was set on the results were
(1) the chuck turned clockwise (2) the chuck turned counterclockwise or (3)
the drill ran but the chuck did not turn. There was no hammer or vibration
anything other than right or left torque.

The best we could achieve was getting three rods "twisted/pushed" in then
the drill slowed to a crawl with 3' of rod remaining out of the ground on
all 3 attempts. Every attempt the chuck grabbed the rod and it was all we
could do to get the darn drill off the rod, we finally gave up.

Either we didn't have a clue what we were doing or the drill did not work or
both. $36.00 rental fee later, plus two trips to get and return the drill
and the results were dismal. Hammer drills may work in other locations but
certainly did not in NC clay covered by topsoil at my QTH...

Can anyone tell us from experience what the three position selector lever is
supposed to do and do hammer drills really work if a ground rod attachment
is used and the operators know what they are doing? 

Jack W0UCE
Raleigh, NC


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