The Benefits of Using an Auger

The Benefits of Using an Auger

Holes are incredibly useful things! From tree planting to gate posts, building foundations to telegraph poles, holes are the basis for many of the things we see and use every day. But have you considered how the holes are made? How do you make a neat cylindrical hole and remove the earth at the same time? Welcome to the wonderful world of the augur!

What does an auger do?

You may have guessed by now that the function of an auger is to drill holes! The auger consists of a central drive shaft, with a spiral surround and a cutting head or blade. By rotating the shaft, the cutting head digs into the ground, in a similar manner to a screw going into wood. The debris from the hole then moves upwards on the auger’s spiral surround, acting like an Archimedes screw, clearing it from the drilling head and hole. It is these twin actions, drilling and debris removal, which make the auger such a useful tool.

Auger graphic

What types of ground and materials can an auger drill holes in?

Augers come in all sizes and can be used for making holes in many materials. A garden augur might be used for drilling through domestic soil for bulb planting or installing fence posts. Ice augers are used for ice-fishing, or any time you need to drill through a thick layer of ice. Earth augers can drill in soil conditions ranging from loose soil and sand, all the way to concrete and solid rock. The cutting head on the auger as well as the pitch of the spiral, is optimised for each type of material.

How wide and how deep can an auger drill?

The deepest hole in the world is an incredible 7.5 miles (or 12,262 metres) deep, and took 20 years to dig. Whilst we are not suggesting an auger alone can be used to drill holes that deep, the limit on hole size is a function of the size of your auger (width, and length including extension arms) and how much power you have available to drive the screw action.

For most projects, a comprehensive range of augers allows drilling of 6″ to 48″ diameter holes, with standard augers being 1.2m long and optional 1m extensions being available.

Auger drill

What drives the auger head?

Whilst smaller augers can be hand driven, larger ones will require mechanical power. An entry level handheld power auger uses a small petrol engine and gearbox to drive the head. It is suitable for drilling holes in the ground, frozen soil, and ice. It is typically used in gardening, tree planting, and providing foundations for domestic fencing or pergolas.

Bigger holes require larger, heavier augers. The power needed to turn a larger auger comes from either a crane mounted power head or an excavator mounted auger drive. As an example, a typical crane mounted head weighs around 450 Kg and can provide 12,500 Nm or torque, turning an 18” auger head at around 60 RPM.

Auger head

How can Autoguide help?

Autoguide specialise in providing earth drilling and augering solutions. Our comprehensive selection of augers allow drilling of 6″ to 48″ diameter holes and can drill in soil conditions ranging from loose soil and sand, all the way to concrete and solid rock.

Our range of Auger drives are compatible with excavators from 1.5 to 15 tonnes. We can check the most suitable machine based on compatibility, hole size and ground conditions.

We also provide auger drives for lorry mounted cranes. Either a Rope Wind-Up or Hydraulic Fold-Up bracket is designed to allow the head to be stowed for transport and the crane to be used for pole work without removing attachments.

Whatever your hole drilling requirement we have the tools, equipment, and experience. Get in touch to see how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you.