First, make sure the drill has a torque bar. This addition protects operators from the harmful effects of a drill’s torque by transferring kickback from the auger to the power source. By distributing force to the engine carriage as opposed to the handles, one person can safely and comfortably operate these drills. In addition to protecting the operator from harm, torque tubes reduce operator effort and fatigue.
Torque tubes are the only way to ensure safe operation of a one-man drill. The torque tube eliminates the kickback common with competitive earth augers, making one-man drilling safe, fast, and productive. Many two-man drills exist, but if they’re not operated correctly, they present a handful of potential issues. If one operator slips or lets go, the other operator risks being thrown and injured. A one-man earth drill is designed to be a safe and efficient piece of equipment.
Additionally, mechanical drills are often equipped with a centrifugal clutch. If the auger encounters an object beneath the surface or if it’s overloaded, the clutch automatically slips to protect the operator from serious injury.
Besides underground utilities, you should have a general idea of what lies below. Fill material, wood, rocks, and more can be hiding underground. Take a good survey of your site beforehand. Not only does this provide another level of safety, but it helps you decide on which kind of drill bit to select.
Avoid loose-fitting clothing, including gloves. If work gloves are too loose, they can hinder your ability to appropriately operate the drill. Wear work boots or quality athletic shoes, avoiding hanging shoelaces that could get caught in the auger.
Once the auger is running, position it perpendicular to the ground for the best possible control and optimal results. Touch the auger to the ground before you start rotating. For the best control, adjust the downward pressure based on the soil conditions. If the soil is soft, ease up slightly. If the ground is harder, apply a little more pressure, but not so much that rotation slows or stops.
Once you’ve reached the desired depth, there’s a proper procedure for safely removing the auger from the ground. Release the throttle control and allow the auger to come to a complete stop. Once the auger has stopped turning, it can safely be removed from the hole. Hydraulic rigs feature a forward/reverse lever to make it easier to lift the dirt out. This allows the operator to ease the drill out of the ground as opposed to tugging heavily on the equipment, greatly minimizing the physical effort required to get the job done.
By following a few easy steps, you can ensure your drilling operation is safe, efficient and injury-free.