DIY Heavy-Duty Auger

Build This Auger for a Skid Steer Loader in Your Shop in Just One Day

Dan Miller
By  Dan Miller , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
Welder Joel Ort designed and built a heavy-duty auger for his skid steer loader in a single day, using scrap parts and salvaged pieces of steel already in his shop. (DTN photo)

For less than $300, welder Joel Ort converted an old three-point, PTO-driven posthole digger to a hydraulically driven digger mounted to the front of his Bobcat skid steer loader. Ort, from Hortonville, Wisconsin, is always showing us how he can build something new and useful from old parts and scrap.

See the project video here:….

This project took a day, not accounting for the hydraulic connections.

Except for the skid steer adapter plate, a high-torque, low-speed hydraulic motor and hydraulic lines, the rest of this project was fabricated from scrap steel and the auger's old gear box (which must operate in both directions for the conversion to work).

Here are some steps to watch in the video:

-- Adaptor Plate. Joel stiffened the plate with two pieces of tube steel. The tubing does not inhibit the driver's view.

-- Brackets. Two 1/2-inch steel bracket assemblies give the auger the capability to pivot in two directions -- out and back, left, and right. The design gives Joel the ability to dig postholes on uneven ground.

-- Pump, gearbox, counterweight. The gearbox and hydraulic motor are key pieces to this posthole digger assembly. The motor is married to the salvaged gearbox with a bushing machined to connect their differently sized shafts. Joel asked a friend to machine the bushing.

-- Counterweight. Watch Joel's details for mounting the counterweight.

-- Spin Control. To keep the pump from spinning, Joel welded two pieces of steel plate first to the gearbox and then to a plate he made to which the pump is mounted.

Cost: $300 (Joel had much of the material on hand).

Time: Two days, including hydraulic hookup

Difficulty (1-10): 9

Dan Miller can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @DMillerPF

Dan Miller