[TowerTalk] Dismal Ground Rod / Hammer Drill Results Today

K3GM k3gm_qrp at verizon.net
Wed Aug 30 19:09:15 EDT 2006

Sorry to hear about the poor results, Jack.  You didn't mention what brand 
or model drill you were renting.  For hammering ground rods, I'd recommend 
something like a Hilti TE-74 or TE-76.  Hilti is top drawer, and I know our 
Home Depot rents them up here.  A TE-76 is one BIG hammer drill and unless 
you use it on a regular basis, it's not cost effective to own as it's runs 
well over a grand..  I own a TE-5, and it will hammer thru my 12" concrete 
basement walls like proverbial butter.  Hilti makes a special ground rod 
driver bit and fits the TE-76 in particular drills.  You may have very well 
hit ledge, and getting thru that's another story.  I think this was a case 
of using the wrong tool.  You shouldn't have had to chuck up the ground rod, 
and it shouldn't have spun like a bit.  Give it another try with the right 

7 3,
Tom Hybiske, K3GM

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "J A Ritter" <w0uce at nc.rr.com>
To: <towertalk at contesting.com>
Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2006 4:33 PM
Subject: [TowerTalk] Dismal Ground Rod / Hammer Drill Results Today

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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