How to Use a Tractor Auger

If you’ve got a ton of holes to drill on your large property, how to use a tractor auger is a skill you need. 

Read on to learn how to use your PTO auger for the best hole drilling results. 

how to use a tractor auger
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How to Use a Tractor Auger 

After you’ve made your way through installing your tractor auger, it’s time to learn how to use your PTO. Once you’ve finished your first hole, you’ll realize how convenient a tractor auger is and probably will never go back to using a manual handheld auger again. 

Steps: How to Use a Tractor Auger 

Here are 4 steps on using your PTO for the first time. 

  1. Call Before You Dig 
  2. Moving Your Tractor and Auger 
  3. Start Digging 
  4. Clearing the Hole 

How to Use a Tractor Mounted Post Hole Digger 

Step #1. Call Before You Dig 

Make sure that you call your local government, county, or municipality and even the power and gas companies before digging on your property so that you avoid hitting power lines and gas lines. Once you’ve got the OK, you can go ahead and mark out your holes for drilling. 

Even if you think you know everything about your property, it’s most likely a law in your area that you have to call before you dig.  Be smart and do this first before you get too far into your planning. 

Marking your holes is super important and saves you time and effort in the long run.  Then there will be no mistakes about where it’s safe to drill. 

Step #2. Moving Your Tractor and Auger 

So you’ve got your PTO attached to your tractor.  First, you lift up the PTO so it’s far enough up so that it won’t drag on or hit the ground.  Make sure that you’ve secured your PTO with the pins on the side to keep it from swinging from side to side or moving around too much while you move to the area where you’ll be drilling your first hole. 

Once you’re positioned accurately, use the leveling crank to lift the auger into a vertical position. 

Then, slowly lower the auger until it touches the ground. Continue to move the tractor until the auger is perfectly positioned at a 90 degree angle above the marked area. 

Step #3. Digging Your Hole 

Put your tractor in idle and engage your PTO, gradually increasing the speed so that your auger begins to penetrate the ground. Continue to drill while lowering the three-point hitch, making sure the hole is at a perfect 90 degree angle.  Each auger and tractor has a different RPM range and top speed, so slowly work up to that while drilling.

Step #4. Clearing Your Hole 

Once you’ve reached the desired depth, raise and lower your auger two to three times to clear away any excess dirt. You can then remove the auger, turn off the PTO, and maneuver the tractor to your next hole.  You might need to manually remove dirt from your holes because some dirt might be left in the hole after you lift out your bit.

As an important tip, make sure you maintain your bit after you’ve finished digging for the day. Keeping moisture and dirt on the bit will lead to rusting and deterioration over time, causing you to invest in another auger for tractor.
Be sure to use a dry cloth to get rid of any traces of moisture. Alternatively, you can store the bit in a well-ventilated area so that it can dry.

How to Get a Tractor Auger Unstuck

Getting a tractor auger unstuck should be completed by following the steps below.

  • Stop the tractor and engage the parking brake.
  • Check the auger for any visible obstructions, such as rocks or roots, and remove them if possible.
  • Use the tractor’s controls to try to back the auger out of the hole. If the auger is stuck in a downward position, try raising it slightly
  • Try digging around the auger with a shovel to remove some of the soil and create more space for the auger to move.
  • This should work to get your auger unstuck.

It’s important to use caution when using a PTO auger. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when operating your auger, and to be aware of your tractor’s abilities.

Transporting Your Post Hole Digger

Anytime you move your post hole digger for your tractor, the auger must be fully raised and watch for anything that could get in the way of moving your auger. This will help avoid any damage to your equipment.

Storing Your PTO Digger

Check out this post we wrote with details about how to store your tractor auger on a homemade PTO stand. We even included links and videos to designs.

How to Video

Excellent video of how to use a tractor auger that we found on Youtube for you to check out. Sometimes seeing is better than reading when learning these sorts of things.


How to use a tractor auger is a skill every large property owner and homesteader should know.  Drilling holes for building fencing, securing buildings, and creating foundations is a key component of being self-sufficient. 

When Should I Use a Tractor Auger?

Tractor or PTO augers are best suited for drilling in rough soil conditions and also when you have many, many holes to drill.