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The PC Auger

I’m getting a little ahead of myself, but I can’t help it after this weekend.

Our plan for our property is not only to build a home but to power it with solar power. Jer and I set out for the property this weekend to dig eighteen, twelve-inch diameter holes that needed to be three and a half feet deep. This will allow us to cement the poles to build the solar rack on the ground.

If you’ve ever built a fence with a manual post hole digger, you know how difficult that is. Jer has done this several times. We decided it just wouldn’t be reasonable to do this by hand, so Jer rented an auger and three-foot deep, twelve-inch drill bit. The guy at the store referred to it as a two-man auger. Being that we work in a field where equality is important, my husband corrected him, “A two-person auger.”

“Yeah, like I said, a two-man auger.” Obviously, he didn’t understand Jer’s point. Not that we get too caught up in wording, we let it go.

Once we mapped out the spacing, Jer put the auger in the tractor and brought it to the spot we'd be working. This is where I need to explain, the auger weighs seventy-four pounds without the bit. The steal bit that stand more than three feet, weighs even more. Now we have over a hundred pounds of metal with two long handles opposing each other, hence the two-person auger.

I have little arm strength and would hook the handles insides of my elbows right at the base of the motor just to lift the machine to the beginning point. Once the auger begins to turn, you must lift it repeatedly as to allow the dirt to fall out. I was okay for the first foot but by the second foot I was barely able to lift, and anything beyond that I struggled horribly to help Jer pull the bit up enough to drag it out of the hole. Wet dirt is heavy.

Several times, we had to take the auger off the bit and Jer, with pure brute strength, pulled the heavy-laden auger full of dirt out of the hole by himself. I apologize because I wasn’t stronger. He apologized because he needed to take breathers between each round. We still have a good six to eight inches to complete on each hole but we did dig all eighteen holes.

Seriously, the guy at the rental store was telling the truth, it really is a two-MAN auger. I wasn't built for this. Now, to nurse our sore muscles.

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