The Many Uses of Skid Steer Augers
Skid steers are one of the most useful and versatile pieces of compact construction equipment on any job site. Thanks to the range of different attachments compatible with skid steer loaders, these construction and landscaping workhorses can take on tough tasks, transforming into multi-purpose tools. One skid steer work tool attachment many landscaping and construction professionals can’t live without is the auger. A skid steer auger bit gives an operator precise digging capabilities on a range of terrain, from sand to hard rock.
About Skid Steer Augers
Auger attachments for skid steers are work tools meant to pierce into the earth and drill straight down. Augers have a long, heavy-duty steel shaft with attached blades that spiral downward in a helix shape. Think of the auger like the drill bit on an electric drill. As the auger is forced deeper into the ground, its rotating blades grab the material, wrapping it around the shaft and readying it for extraction. As the operator raises the skid steer auger bit, the rotating tool disperses the material away from the hole, leaving it hollow. The end result is a precise, clean-cut hole ready for use.
Auger work tools are designed to be universally compatible with compact construction equipment, including skid steer loaders, compact track loaders, multi-terrain loaders, wheel loaders and mini excavators. Operators can easily attach an auger work tool to the skid steer using the universal coupling functionality on the loader. When selecting an auger for your skid steer, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:
- Hydraulic system: Ensure your model of skid steer loader has an adequate hydraulic flow rate to power your specific auger. Your skid steer’s hydraulic system will determine the speed at which the auger performs. High hydraulic flow rates produce faster rotation. Always consult a construction equipment specialist before purchasing an auger drive to ensure it will work with your machine.
- Torque: Auger drives have varying torque ratings, with heavy-duty products having torque levels of up to 5,000 foot-pounds. In general, the wider the diameter of the auger bit, the deeper it can drill and the rougher ground it can break, meaning its torque levels will be on the high end. Remember that there’s always a trade-off between torque and speed. If you need to drill a big hole in particularly hard ground, you’ll have to sacrifice speed to get the torque you need. It’s important to select the right speed-to-torque ratio to ensure the cleanest digging results without wearing down the auger blades prematurely.
- Depth: Most auger drill bits have a dig depth of up to 72 inches. However, the actual dig depth depends on the model of skid steer you’re using. Extension attachments are available to increase dig depth if necessary.
- Diameter: When selecting the right auger attachment for your skid steer, consider what you’re using it for. If you’re a landscaper or contractor and you drill fence posts, choose a skid steer auger bit with a smaller diameter. If you’re installing industrial columns or footings, choose an auger with a wider diameter to accommodate thicker piles.
- Drive: Auger bits can be powered by a planetary drive, chain drive or direct drive mechanism. Planetary drives offer the most power and are suitable for rocky or frozen ground. Chain drives are in the middle — less powerful but still enough for your average dirt. Direct drives have the least power, but they’re the most affordable option.
It’s important to match the right auger to your model of skid steer loader. Following these guidelines can help you invest in the best skid steer auger for your application.
What Can Skid Steer Augers Be Used For?
Skid steer auger uses all revolve around the need to drill a hole precisely and efficiently. An auger attachment for skid steers drills deep into the earth and effectively removes the material, helping you achieve a smooth, unobstructed hole. Depending on the auger bit used, these work tools can drill into dirt, sand, clay, rock, asphalt, concrete or even wood. Below are some of the common skid steer auger uses in construction and landscaping:
1. Fence and Sign Post Installation
Save time and effort by using a skid steer auger attachment to dig fence post and signpost holes for residential and commercial properties. A skid steer auger attachment effortlessly digs a clean hole in a matter of seconds, achieving the right depth to build a strong, sturdy and even fence line. No matter the season, an auger attachment allows you to dig fence post or signpost holes, even in ground that’s frozen solid.
2. Tree Planting
Landscapers can speed up the planting process and improve their quality of work with a skid steer auger attachment. Use the auger to drill a deep, clean hole prepped for planting trees, shrubs and other landscaping plants. The auger excavates any rock and soil, leaving you with a deep and secure hole for your plantings.
3. Footing and Pile Drilling
For contractors, an auger attachment for skid steers is essential. When building foundations, the auger can drill a precise hole for pouring foundation footings or installing concrete piles. With an auger attachment, you have full control over the drilling location, depth, speed and power, ensuring you drill an accurate hole for concrete footings every time.
4. Pipe Laying
For utilities and civil construction crews, drilling precise holes in the ground is essential for proper pipe laying and drainage. Use the skid steer auger attachment to carefully drill the correct size of hole for installing underground water, sewer and gas pipelines, electrical wires, drainage and other utilities.
5. Cement Mixing
An unconventional but practical use for skid steer augers is to operate them like a mixing tool. When mixing and pouring cement, auger attachments outfitted with a cement mixing extension can easily and effectively stir up the mixture with their rotating functionality. This results in a smooth mixture ready for pouring.
6. Stump Grinding
Augers can be outfitted with additional extensions and attachments to increase their functionality. A useful attachment for the auger is a stump planer, which has rotating blades that sit flush with the stump’s surface. As the auger drives the work tool down into the stump, the planer attachment rotates, shaving down the stump layer by layer.
Shop Stinger Auger Attachments for Skid Steers
If you’re looking to extend the versatility of your skid steer loader, choose Stinger Attachments for must-have work tools for construction equipment. Shop our inventory of American-made auger drives and trenchers. With multiple sizes to choose from, you’ll find an auger attachment compatible with your skid steer.
For more information on choosing the right auger attachment for your skid steer, contact our product representatives today.