How to Use a Skid Steer Post Hole Digger & Concrete Mixer Attachment to Install Fence Posts

Posted on: 13 May 2016

Installing a fence around your yard can require a lot of work for digging the post holes and mixing concrete for the footings. When you rent a skid steer loader, you can add the right attachments to the loader to help you do much of the heavy labor tasks. Here are instructions to help you use a post hole digger attachment and concrete mixer attachment to help you install the posts for your new backyard fence.

Dig the Fence Post Holes

Using your skid steer with its post hole digger attachment, you can quickly dig each post hole to its required depth through any hard clay and rocks in the soil. When digging your fence post holes, you need to dig each post hole to a depth of one-third to one-half the height of each post. For example, if you are installing posts six feet long, dig the post hole two to three feet deep. The diameter of each post hole should be three times the width of your fence posts. So, for a four-by-four post, you need to dig a hole measuring 12-by-12 inches. 

Pour a six-inch layer of gravel in the bottom of your post hole to help give your post footing stability. Tamp down and compact the gravel with the end of your fence post. Set the post into the hole and align it vertically, using a level to make sure it is straight, preparing to set it with concrete. 

Mix & Pour the Concrete

You can use a concrete mixer attachment to finish installation of your fence posts. It is always recommended to wear protective work gloves and protective eye goggles when mixing concrete. Dry concrete mix can irritate your skin and eyes if it comes in contact with them. 

Read the instructions on your concrete's mixing instructions to determine how much water you need to add to the mix. To prevent making your mix too wet, always use a little less water as you mix it up, then add any extra water at the end until you have the right consistency. 

Add half the water to the mixing bucket and turn on the bucket rotation on your skid steer. Add the dry concrete mixture to the bucket, allowing it to combine for a minute. Then, add the remaining portion of water until the concrete is the right consistency, allowing it to mix for three to five more minutes. The concrete should look like thick oatmeal. You can check its consistency by taking a gloved handful of concrete and squeezing the handful in your fist. When you release a handful of properly-mixed concrete, it should hold its shape without crumbling.

Keep the mixer running while you are setting your fence posts to prevent the concrete from setting. Pour concrete from the mixer into a wheelbarrow or bucket and shovel it around your fence posts. Fill the concrete to just above the level of the soil, sloping the concrete away from the post to help with moisture drainage and to prevent post rot. 

Remember your skid steer concrete mixer is mobile. As you pour concrete into each corner post, you can move the skid steer to each location and save yourself the work of carrying mixed concrete in a bucket or wheelbarrow.

Install a Straight Fence Line

Now you have your corner fence posts installed, you can run a plumb line of twine or string between each corner post. The plumb line will be a guide line to help you position the remaining middle line posts for the rest of the fence. Tie or attach the plumb line with nails onto the bottom of each corner post, approximately one foot from the ground. Use this plumb line to line up and position your post holes, excavating them with the post hole attachment. 

As you position the holes, space each fence post from six to eight feet apart. Install each fence post with gravel and mixed concrete following the previous post-setting instructions in this article.

These instructions help you use the power of a skid steer to do much of your post-setting installation work. For more information or assistance, contact companies like LAX Equipment Rental.