We felt that there had to be a better way to put posts into the ground then to beat the poor posts until the tops splinter and break. The cost of a new post pounder scared us so we came up with this idea. We bought a used vibratory plow without the plow part. Our TV140 tractor has a second hydraulic pump system that puts out more then 35 gallons per minute of flow and so it is able to drive the hydraulic motor that turns the vibrator. In other words we vibrate the post into the ground rather then pounding it. We have sandy soil so we can put 6 foot posts into the ground in less than 10 seconds, mostly from 4 to 7 seconds. In the following picture it is a 10 foot post that we pointed. We put 8 foot posts (6 to 8 inch diameter) through 8 to 12 inches of frost, they took on average about 6 minutes, this included moving the tractor and lining up the posts.
This post is 10 feet tall; here it is about 1.5 feet into the ground.
Here the post is in the ground; ready to have the gate hung on it.
This is what the post looked like when we had it in the ground. As you will notice, the top is not mangled. We have had posts with paper stapled to the tops of them that a person could still read the paper, it hardly had a mark on it.
We welded a round plate 1.5 inch thick to the bottom of the vibrator, we added a ten inch diameter ring by 2 inches deep so that the post can not slip off the "hammer" part. This also allows us to guide the post into the ground, or to try to make it go into the ground so that it ends up relatively straight.
This is a picture from the top, all we really did to this was weld the bracket on the vibrator so it would fit on our tractor and we welded the hammer part under the vibrator. A hydraulic motor drives the vibrator.
Normally we have a rod on a short chain hanging from the bottom of the hammer so we can tell when we have the post in the ground at the right depth. When I wrote this we have not weighted the contraption but it seems to be rather heavy, more then 1 ton, for most posts we can put the loader arms into the float position. If the post is stubborn we can put some down pressure onto it and it will go in.
Updated April 21, 2003.
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