Today, we are trying to find out how much frost is in the ground. We are going to be augering post holes to illustrate the purpose of using down pressure and the downriggers or rear stabilizers on the skid-steer.

We monitored the pressure by using scales and a gravel and concrete company. We drove the skid-steer so the auger bit was pushing on the center of the scale. The back tires were positioned off the scale. The front tires were lifted up off the scale so we could measure the down pressure. The down pressure at the tip of the auger was 1,160 pounds.

Then we raised all four tires of the skid-steer off the ground by lowering the downriggers or rear stabilizers in the back of the skid-steer. It was positioned in the same position on the scale. The down pressure went from 1,160 pounds to 2,940 pounds, almost 3,000 pounds of down pressure. That is very important, naturally, to dig through frozen ground.

In a test, we attempted to dig two holes, one with the regular down pressure and the other with the added down pressure.

We used a Danuser Auger. It’s about five years old. We want to illustrate that it is still operating as good as the day we purchased it. It is the Danuser HP-3060 which means it is high pressure. It can handle pressure up to 5,000 pounds which is important because as time goes on the skid-steers develop more and more pressure. Most auger drives have a maximum of 3,000 PSI. This one goes to 5,000 PSI.

The first hole we dug with the regular down pressure it basically just turned and scratched the surface, kicking up a few stones.

When we put the downriggers down the auger started digging into the frost, literally chewing it up in chunks. There were rocks, there was pit run under the gravel and it was going right through it, tearing the stones loose, breaking the stones loose and pulverizing it and bringing it up.

Any time you have resistance you have to meet that resistance with greater resistance or nothing happens. With the downriggers down we are able to meet that resistance, exceed it and penetrate the auger through.

The frost ended up being about 2.5 feet deep. With the nearly 3,000 pounds of down pressure we were able to auger post holes in frozen ground much easier than without using it.

I hope this demonstration proves that with the proper equipment it is easy to dig through frozen ground.