[TowerTalk] Driving Screw Anchors

Patrick Greenlee patrick_g at windstream.net
Wed Jan 8 16:51:18 EST 2014

Be careful, I have flattened all the flutes (?) blade thingies on a 12 inch 
augur with my tractor PTO.  The augur started to try to "thread" itself into 
the ground eliciting a pull it up out of the ground command to the 
hydraulics.  It pulled it up but flattened the "threads?"  Next time I will 
kick the clutch, disengage the PTO, and then use a huge pipe wrench and 
cheater to unscrew the augur, if possible, or dig it out manually as a last 

My Augur will permit drilling at an angle but you'd have to back off the 
throttle significantly to avoid excessive RPM.  Retarding the throttle too 
much will take the little diesel below its peak torque and make the engine 
prone to stall.  PTO speed of 540 RPM (one of two most common standards) is 
at a rather high RPM for screw anchors.  IF I took the RPM down to a level 
just high enough to be practical I'd get about 250 RPM or so, still a bit 
fast, eh?  Hydraulic drive like an augur on a Bobcat would do the deed.

Patrick NJ5G

-----Original Message----- 
From: Grant Saviers
Sent: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 2:36 PM
To: Wilson ; towertalk at contesting.com
Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Driving Screw Anchors

Several times my PTO auger became an unplanned screw anchor, it could
instantly screw all the way down into wet/damp CA adobe.  The grade 5
3/8" bolt shear pin also sheared.  With no reverse and no way it was
going to pull out, it was a big digging job.  Take off the auger, go get
and attach the backhoe (55hp JD tractor).  We learned to peck drill
carefully if into damp adobe. Hydraulic drive augers have reverse and
lots of advantages and can probably be feathered to a slow speed with
the valve. I don't think a telescoping shaft would be needed as the 3pt
hitch can be in float mode.

btw the JD5410 tractor, front loader, backhoe, auger with downforce + 2
screws, box scraper/ripper with hydraulics, HD single point
ripper/cable/pipe puller, hitch mounted boom and wand sprayer is for
sale near San Jose, CA, can deliver locally, contact me off list Also a
ride on Ditch Witch and Komatsu D21P dozer if any interest.

Grant KZ1W

On 1/8/2014 9:28 AM, Wilson wrote:
> Has anyone used a post hole auger on a tractor to drive screw anchors??
> I think they are a bit too fast, but might handle the job if properly 
> managed.
> I'd rig a telescoping shaft, like on the pto driveshaft, to go between the 
> auger drive coupling and the anchor eye.
> Wilson

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