A Guide to Post Hole Digger Rates. How much should you be paying?

Post Hole Digger Rates

How much should you be paying to hire a machine with a post hole digger?

DIY Hire (Dry Hire) Rates for a Post Hole Digger

  • Post Hole Digger: One man hand operated boring machine, dry hire - $95 + per day
  • Post Hole Digger: Two man hand operated boring machine, dry hire - $145 + per day
  • Mini Loader with post hole digger attachment: $125 + per day
  • Dingo Loader with post hole digger attachment: $145 + per day
  • Kanga Loader with auger attachment: $155 + per day
  • Mini Excavator (1-3 tonne) with auger attachment: dry hire, $385 + per day
  • Wheeled Skid Steer (small) with auger attachment: dry hire, $420 + per day
  • Posi-Track Skid Steer or Bobcat with auger attachment: dry hire, $455+ per day

Digging post holes in a speedy and precise way is a really common earthmoving task in residential, civil and commercial construction. This means there are literally an infinite number of different ways post hole digging can be done, and a heap of plant hire companies offering you a range of very low cost, to higher cost ways to dig a post hole. The largest factor will in choosing the right machine and attachment for the job will be the type of rock or materials you are trying to dig through.

Harder materials, like rock, clay or limestone, will mean that you will most likely need to use an auger attachment affixed to something with a bit of grunt (a large engine) and a bit of purchase (tracks). A skid steer loader, large dingo digger or mini excavator would do the trick. Basically, if you are going to dig a six in hole in very firm material, you're going to need the motor of an earthmoving machine to drive the auger through it. Conversely, if you are displacing really loose and light material like soil or sand, then you can get really wide holes by using just a hand operated post-hole digger.

Even though auger attachments affixed to earthmoving machines are much more expensive ti hire on a daily dry hire basis (compared to a hand operated device) a skilled operator can whip around a site in a matter of minutes and puncture a large number of post holes. Hand operated devices are much slower, so you more often see them on DIY residential job, but they are perfect for a weekend warrior guy or gal.

With Operator Hire (Wet Hire) Post Hole Digger Hire Rates

  • Dingo digger with post hole digger attachment: $75+ per hour (min 4 hours hire)
  • Kanga loader with auger attachment: $80+ per hour (min 4 hours hire)
  • Mini Excavator (1-3 tonne) with auger attachment: $90+ per hour (min 4 hours hire)
  • Posi-Track skid steer or bobcat with auger attachment: $105+ per hour (min 4 hours hire)

If you are not willing to post hole dig on a DIY basis, then you can easily hire a local wet hire operator who will come to your site with a machine & attachment and dig the holes for you. Wet hire operators are skilled on their machines, work very quickly and usually have a heap of auger attachments in a range of sizes. If you hire an auger with a machine on a wet hire basis, you can usually expect to pay another $20 an hour on the base wet hire machine rate for that attachment. If you have heaps of post holes to dig, having a professional come to do the job can often be the most cost effective and productive way to do it.

How big does the auger attachment have to be for post hole digging?

Standard Auger Attachment Sizes and their applications;

  • Pool Fences: 6 inches (150mm)
  • Garden Fences, Deck Supports, Pier: 9 inches - 12 inches (250mm - 300mm)
  • Building Supports and Foundations: 15 inches, 18 inches, 20 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches and 36 inches (3500mm, 4000mm, 4500mm)
  • Tree Planting: 20 inches, 24 inches, 30 inches, 36 inches

Above are some common auger attachment sizes for skid steers, mini loaders & mini excavators.

Auger attachments for skid steers, mini loaders & mini excavators come in fairly standard sets of sizes in terms of width of the auger shaft, but they come in a variety of hardnesses depending on the type of aggregate you're trying to spin them through.

A lot of manufacturers make augers, and some make massive ones for huge excavators on drilling rigs. You can get augers in so many sizes and fitted for so many machines. At the end of the day the machine and attachment you use will come down to two factors; what is the density and firmness of the material you are excavating and what is the width.

There are many specialist auger attachment manufacturers that make augers in a range of materials, from soft steel to titanium (and there are even some diamond augers around). Some of the really high-end augers can add a couple hundred dollars or more to the hire rates of your machines. A lot of iSeekplant members pride themselves on their specialist attachments. If you are in the market to hire a specialist auger attachment, we can do the hunting for you and get you the best rates available! Just click here to get a quote.

Hand Operated Post Hole Digger sizes and applications

Single-man diesel powered post hole digger: 150mm, 200mm, 250mm, 300mm

  • Single-man post hole diggers are usually used for digging fence posts, retaining wall posts or even posts for piers, and can be operated by a single person
  • The come in petrol and diesel variations

Two-man diesel powered post hole digger: 150mm, 200mm, 250mm, 300mm

  • Two-man post hole diggers can go deeper than single man diggers and are faster to operate
  • Two-man post hole diggers are used for digging fence posts, retaining walls and holes for planting trees
  • They come mostly in diesel variations- but there are petrol variations

 

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