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Earth drills ease work for municipal landscaping jobs

Drills bring versatility, efficiency to municipalities


February 18, 2022
By Joe Haynes

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Having a versatile earth drill that allows crews to better utilize labour safely, while also outperforming other methods, can have a major impact on efficiency. Photo credit: Little Beaver.

Municipalities have their work cut out for them. Whether it’s city maintenance workers or general contractors hired to sustain parks in a city, town or borough, a day’s work can involve several industries’ skills rolled into one crew. They can be installing fence posts in the morning, replacing sprinkler lines mid-day and find themselves planting trees in the afternoon.

With so much variety, working smarter, not harder, is paramount to overall productivity. And having versatile tools that allow crews to better utilize labour safely, while also outperforming other methods, can have a major impact on efficiency.

The right earth drill can do just that. Some earth drills even enable safe one-man operation with nearly two times the productivity of other units. It’s just a matter of finding the earth drill that best meets the municipality’s needs.

Two popular earth drill choices for grounds crews are mechanical and hydraulic drills. 

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Mechanical earth drills
For work in towns and cities that includes planting a lot of small greenery, installing fences or taking on other tasks that require crews to dig numerous footings quickly, a mechanical earth drill is a good choice. Perfect for fast, narrow hole drilling, some manufacturers even design these drills to allow for safe, one-man operation while providing the speed to help crews excel.

Look for manufacturers that offer augers in a variety of diameters and lengths. Additionally, some manufacturers offer multiple gear reduction ratio options to give the flexibility to choose a mechanical drill with a high RPM for loose, soft soils or one with a lower speed that is better suited for dense, rockier formations. 

With a mechanical drill, crews can quickly install a long row of shrubs and then shift to setting a pole for a basketball hoop in denser soil – all without missing a beat.

To further increase municipal staffs’ versatility, some manufacturers offer horizontal boring kits for mechanical earth drills. The horizontal boring attachment allows grounds crews to install everything from sprinkler systems and lighting wire to drainage pipes and more, all with an easy-to-connect attachment.

But, if heavy-duty applications and anchoring are abundant and soil types are consistently rocky and dense, hydraulic drills might be a better choice.

Hydraulic earth drills are designed with powerful torque, which is perfect for installing anchors or digging holes for large playground equipment, awning supports, sizable landscaping and other tasks that require deep, wide footings.

Hydraulic earth drills
Hydraulic earth drills are designed with powerful torque, which is perfect for installing anchors or digging holes for large playground equipment, awning supports, sizable landscaping and other tasks that require deep, wide footings.

Like with mechanical drills, look for manufacturers that offer augers in a variety of diameters and drilling depths. With auger options and the increased torque of hydraulic drills, crews can take on lighter tasks like planting landscaping and then quickly shifting to heavy-duty construction, like installing support beams for a sunshade. This gives crews the flexibility to divide and conquer whatever the municipality throws at them.

Hydraulic drills with precise auger rotations at low speeds can be perfect for anchoring. Some manufacturers offer anchor adapters for various applications from anchoring poles and beams to installing tent stakes, making them a versatile solution for municipalities. When pairing an anchoring attachment with a hydraulic earth drill, crews have an anchoring machine to secure footbridges, large playground equipment and more.

The extensive tasks that await city maintenance crews and contractors don’t have to mean an extensive set of tools. With a little knowledge about the applications, crews can choose an earth drill to carry them through the day – safely and efficiently.

Joe Haynes is president of Little Beaver, a three-generation-long manufacturer of drilling equipment, including augers, extensions, points and blades.