[TowerTalk] Dismal Ground Rod / Hammer Drill Results Today

john at kk9a.com john at kk9a.com
Wed Aug 30 21:38:00 EDT 2006

I have never installed ground rods with a hammer drill so I will be
interested in seeing the comments.  I will someday also need to install a
lot of ground rods in NC clay.  How large of a hammer drill did you rent?.
I own a small 1/2 one and it has a switch for hammer and non-hammer modes.
Perhaps yours did too and it was not on hammer mode.  I also never imagined
that you would clamp the ground rod in the chuck and spin it,  I thought you
would clamp some type of socket and just used the hammering motion on the
ground rod.

John KK9A/4

To: towertalk at contesting.com

From: "J A Ritter"
Date: Wed, 30 Aug 2006 16:33:49 -0400

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

More information about the TowerTalk mailing list