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Berends post hole diggers, augers and post drivers

There are five models of post hole diggers in the Berends range. All feature high quality Italian gearboxes which all have a 5 YEAR MANUFACTURERS WARRANTY. (Refer to our section on slashers as to why we can offer a competitive price on a more expensive component). Chinese gearboxes are often found lacking when used on post hole diggers, as they are put under heavy load. We have heard of teeth breaking off, seals failing, casings failing and bearings collapsing. The Italian gearboxes by contrast are incredibly reliable. We still have crown wheel and pinion sets for the gearboxes we bought when we started using them over 25 years ago.

All post hole digger drive-shafts are made in Italy and are fitted with integrated clutches which are much superior compared to a separate clutch as there is less wearing parts involved and tolerances are much higher. They are very good quality and manufactured by one of the world’s leading pto shaft manufacturers (Bondioli & Pavesi) and all meet the strict European CE Standards. There are many Chinese brands that claim to meet all CE standard when they actually don’t. They are also notorious for breaking apart after a number of years as the plastic covers can not stand up to Australia’s high levels of UV radiation. We use a heavy pto shaft with a torque limiting clutch mounted at the tractor end. This protects the pto in the event of the tractor rolling forward or backwards when the pto is engaged, a common occurrence when digging holes. If the tractor rolls forward or backward with a clutch on the gearbox end like other brand machines, the pto shaft will break. We use a more expensive torque limiting clutch as the action is better than a slip clutch for post hole digging, as it ratchets when the machine hits something rather than partially driving like a slip clutch. This stops the point getting wrapped in tree roots and the like. On all our machines, the drive-train is matched so that the clutch engages well before the capacity of the gearbox has been reached.

There will be extremely hard conditions where the 40HP gearboxes will not drive as well as the higher 75HP models. In these cases it may be necessary to modify your operation. Some suggestions are as follows:

  • Avoid digging in the driest season of the year.
  • Use a smaller auger to dig a pilot hole first before going to a larger auger.
  • Fill the half dug hole with water and let it sit overnight before completing the hole.

Compact Post Hole Digger (P/N 0258)

Compact Post Hole Digger CanberraThe Compact model is suited for augers up to 12” wide, although larger augers can be used if a smaller auger is first used as a pilot hole (or ground conditions are suitably soft). The main boom is made from 100 x 50 x 6mm RHS and is fitted with a jib hook capable of lifting 250kg. The gearbox is rated at 40HP whilst the pto shaft is a Series 3 with 2 row torque limiting clutch. Horsepower rating is not that critical as say a slasher as the machine is run at low speed, lowering horsepower (though at high torque) and the actual power required by the auger can be as low as 5-10HP.

The A-frame has been modified to suit compact tractors which have a very low lift 25 height in the linkage (Eg B Series Kubota). A chain is fitted to the boom to hold the auger up for transport and when the boom is used for lifting. The lower link pins are Cat 1 and can be reversed inwards for narrow Cat 0 linkage.

Recommended HP range of 16-30HP.

Comparisons against other brands: Many comparisons have been made in the information above so the following is a summary of the more important aspects. Most use inferior gearboxes with poor seal protection and offer only a 12 month warranty. Spare parts can be difficult to source. Most use inferior drive-shafts with non-integrated slip clutches whereas we use an integrated torque limiting clutch. Many use inferior augers which have inadequate cutting heads (see auger section)

Standard Post Hole Digger (P/N 0259)

Standard Post Hole Digger CanberraThe Standard model is suited for augers up to 12” wide, although larger augers can be used if a smaller auger is first used as a pilot hole (or ground conditions are suitably soft). The main boom is made from 89 x 89 x 5mm RHS and is fitted with a jib hook capable of lifting 250kg. The gearbox is rated at 40HP whilst the pto shaft is a Series 3 with 2 row torque limiting clutch. Horsepower rating is not that critical as say a slasher as the machine is run at low speed, lowering horsepower (though at high torque) and the actual power required by the auger can be as low as 5-10HP. A chain is fitted to the boom to hold the auger up for transport and when the boom is used for lifting. The lower link pins are Cat 1 and can be reversed inwards for narrow Cat 0 linkage. Some compact tractors under 20HP may not be able to lift this model high enough from the ground and may need the compact model above instead.

Recommended HP range of 20-50HP.

Comparisons against other brands: See compact post hole digger comparisons

Heavy Duty Post Hole Digger

Heavy Duty Post Hole Digger CanberraThe Heavy Duty model is suited for all size augers right up to 24” wide, ground conditions permitting. The main boom is made from 89 x 89 x 5mm RHS and is fitted with a jib hook capable of lifting 250kg. The gearbox is rated at 85HP whilst the pto shaft is a Series 3 with 3 row torque limiting clutch. Horsepower rating is not that critical as say a slasher as the machine is run at low speed, lowering horsepower (though at high torque) and the actual power required by the auger can be as low as 5-10HP.

A chain is fitted to the boom to hold the auger up for transport and when the boom is used for lifting. The lower link pins are Cat 1 with Cat 2 bushes. This model is also fitted with an auger control handle for easy positioning Recommended HP range of 30HP +.

Comparisons against other brands: See compact post hole digger comparisons

Hydraulic Down Pressure Post Hole Digger (P/N 0262)

Hydraulic Down Pressure Post Hole Digger CanberraThe Hydraulic Down Pressure model is suited for all our augers right up to 24”” wide. The main boom is made from 100 x 100 x 6mm RHS and is fitted with a jib hook capable of lifting 250kg. The boom is heavier than the standard and heavy duty models and has a heavier A frame fitted with Cat 1 & 2 stepped pins at Cat 1 width. The A frame is extended above the boom and a hydraulic ram (2 ½” x 8”) fitted between this extension and the boom to achieve weight transfer of approximately 1000kg making it ideal for penetrating hard grounds. The pivoting action of the A frame relies on the tractor linkage being in the lowest position and being able to float. The ram mounting point on the boom is adjustable to suit different tractor models. The pivot points are all bushed to take the extra pressure.

The gearbox is rated at 85HP whilst the pto shaft is a Series 3 with 3 row torque limiting clutch. Horsepower rating is not that critical as say a slasher as the machine is run at low speed, lowering horsepower (though at high torque) and the actual power required by the auger can be as low as 5-10HP.

A chain is fitted to the boom to hold the auger up for transport and when the boom is used for lifting. The lower link pins are Cat 1 with Cat 2 bushes. This model is also fitted with an auger control handle for easy positioning. All Berends hydraulic post hole diggers are fitted with an easy to adjust stabiliser mounting stand. This allows the digger to be connected and disconnected from the tractor for storage with little effort. Recommended HP range of 30HP +.

Comparisons against other brands: See compact post hole digger comparisons. There are few genuine competitors who make a hydraulic model using quality components and sufficient frame strength. Some other brands are also very difficult and time consuming to mount to the tractor.

Planetary Post Hole Digger with Hydraulic Down Pressure (P/N 0260)

Planetary Post Hole Digger with Hydraulic Down Pressure CanbertraThis model is suited for all our augers right up to 24”” wide. The main boom is made from 100 x 100 x 6mm RHS and is fitted with a jib hook capable of lifting 250kg. The boom is heavier than the standard and heavy duty models and has a heavier A frame fitted with Cat 1 & 2 stepped pins at Cat 1 width. The A frame is extended above the boom and a hydraulic ram (2 ½” x 8”) fitted between this extension and the boom to achieve weight transfer of approximately 1000kg making it ideal for penetrating hard grounds. The pivoting action of the A frame relies on the tractor linkage being in the lowest position and being able to float. The ram mounting point on the boom is adjustable to suit different tractor models. The pivot points are all bushed to take the extra pressure.

Instead of using a pto driven gearbox, the unit if fitted with a heavy duty European Planetary Drive gearbox. Therefore, the tractor will require 2 pair of hydraulic remotes to operate this machine. This type of set-up is safer than regular models as it eliminates the need for a pto shaft and no clutch is required. The gearbox can also be operated anti-clockwise if entangled in roots simply by reversing the oil flow. The torque on this gearbox is 2,452NM and suits tractors with an oil flow range of 27 to 75l/min. The maximum pressure of the gearbox is 205bar whilst the ½” hydraulic hoses have a burst pressure of 20,300 psi.

A chain is fitted to the boom to hold the auger up for transport and when the boom is used for lifting. The lower link pins are Cat 1 with Cat 2 bushes. This model is also fitted with an auger control handle for easy positioning. All Berends hydraulic post hole diggers are fitted with an easy to adjust stabiliser mounting stand. This allows the digger to be connected and disconnected from the tractor for storage with little effort. Recommended HP range of 30HP +.

Comparisons against other brands: See compact post hole digger comparisons. There are few genuine competitors who make a hydraulic model using quality components and sufficient frame strength. Some other brands are also very difficult and time consuming to mount to the tractor.

Augers

Augers are available in 4”, 6”, 8”, 10”, 12”, 15”, 18” and 24” models. All are right hand (clockwise) rotation and fit a 2” output shaft. We can make the same sizes in left hand (anticlockwise) to order for other brand machines. All augers are 4’ (1.2m) long and fitted with Pengo double cutting heads which have a 35° cutting angle. These heads penetrate far better than the old blade type system, dig faster and have separate replaceable (and reversible) teeth. The teeth can be moved to even out wear and there are different teeth available for different applications.

  • Earth teeth (fitted as standard) – hardened steel, suitable for most applications.
  • Tungsten tipped teeth or hard faced – for high wearing abrasive conditions.
  • Serrated tungsten tipped teeth – suitable for areas where high penetration is required.
  • Carbide Insert teeth – for extremely abrasive soils but with limited impact.
  • Ridge Breaker teeth – for difficult, hard surfaced soils, hardpan, shale, compacted soils and some rock.

The pilot is a bolt on attachment and there are heavier, harder wearing ones available for abrasive soils. We also offer a conversion kit to update old style systems.

In excessively hard conditions, a heavier Trimax auger is available which consists of a complete cast steel head with teeth set at a more aggressive 45° angle. The Trimax auger is also fitted with a Tri-flow pilot which is more effective in guiding the auger and therefore stabilising the tip in hard conditions. There is less pitch on the 6mm flights which allows for an easy flow of dirt from the hole.

Comparisons against other brands: Most are cheap Chinese copies using inferior, often ill-fitting, parts. The angle of the cutting heads are often not aggressive enough, the main pipe is not heavy enough and the flights are sometimes too light. Many a customer has been caught out buying a cheap post hole digger only to find the auger is not up to the job. Many are only a single cutting head (therefore single flighted) which is less effective at digging and clearing the hole.

Post Driver (P/N 0263 & 0270)

Post DriverThe Berends post driver was originally designed to provide a more affordable driver to the agricultural market. Based on simple but strong designs, the post driver runs off a single set of remote hydraulics. No plumbing into the back axle is required. The hydraulic ram (2 ½” x 8”) controls a lever arm which is connected to the weight by a 10mm wire cable. The cable has a stainless steel insert which minimises stretching. The weight is approximately 160kg and is capable of driving a 9’6” post (with the driver on the ground). As the weight is basically a free falling mass, Berends don’t need to fit as heavy as weight as other brands as they often have 27 some friction resistance in the way they are operated. A sliding clamp holds the post vertical whilst driving and can accommodate a range of post sizes from star pickets to strainer posts. The ram is connected to a single bank control valve mounted on the post driver and then into the tractor. With the tractor remotes set on constant pumping, the operator can lift the weight up and down at the unit.

There is a safety cage fitted around the unit as required by OH&S regulations. The cage is a two part cage which enables the lower section to be opened up when using in existing fence-lines. The cage is fitted with a limit switch and solenoid valve which shuts the hydraulics system down when the circuit is broken. This prevents it from being able to be operated when the cage doors are opened. The wiring for this needs to be connected to a 12 volt supply at the tractor end. The machine has a ratchet adjusted side tilt mechanism which keeps the main beam straight when working on hillsides. Fore and aft tilt is provided by adjusting the top link. Both these manual adjustments can be converted to hydraulic operation and connected through an appropriately sized control valve. There are many Berends post drivers in the field being used for a variety of jobs from general fencing repair work to complete establishment of vineyard plantations of 5000 post or more. The overall height of the machine is 3.9m whilst the weight is approximately 450kg. The tractor using this machine will have to be capable of lifting this weight. This post driver meets all the regulations as per the WorkSafe 2008 Industry Safety Standard.

Comparisons against other brands: There are many more complex and much dearer post drivers on the markets designed for continuous contracting work however there are also many farmers doing a lot of work with ours. It doesn’t have all the ‘bells and whistles’ of these other models but then most farmers don’t need them. It just does what it is designed to do, does it well, does it safely and does it at an affordable price. Most of the lower end of the market post drivers, don’t meet the strict WorkSafe regulations and therefore selling one may put you at great risk of being audited and fined.