Why Does My Auger Keep Getting Stuck?
Why The Auger Got Stuck
There are two reasons your auger may have gotten stuck. The first reason is likely because the terrain you are penetrating is too challenging. This can be because there are heavy accumulations of dirt around the auger teeth or a significant object, like a rock that the auger cannot get through. The second reason is that you are applying too much force or torque to the auger while rotating. Excessive force can cause damage to the auger, such that it cannot be released from its positioning, or its teeth are dull or broken.
How To Remove a Stuck Auger
Step 1: Turn the Auger Off and Back Up
You are likely already frustrated and have tried wiggling the auger. Step back and think. The auger can be dangerous equipment, and many accidents occur when people become frustrated.
Step 2: Remove the Surface Soil
Accumulations of dirt at the surface may be preventing the auger from pushing any more dirt out and removing it would allow you more room to wiggle.
Step 3: Dampen the Soil
Applying water around the base or down the hole will allow dry dirt to become soft, further allowing more rigid materials like rocks to shift more easily.
Step 4: Clean the Teeth
Cleaning the teeth, like removing dirt from the surface will allow you to wiggle the auger more and might allow it the space to keep turning. Again, turn the auger off first and then scrape debris with a shovel or long-handled blade. Be careful to avoid cutting the auger itself.
Step 5: Widen the Handles and Use Two People
Widening the handles will allow for more leverage. Wider handles may be available, but you would also attach a pole through the T handle to create longer handles so that two people could turn. Again, be careful when attempting this technique.
Step 6: The Last Resort
Unbolt or unsnap the auger head and pry. You do not want to break the equipment but if the auger is still stuck you can pry with various tools. If the auger is stuck relatively shallow, you may attempt using a crowbar to get fully under it and lift it out, slowly. Even as a last resort, you may attach a rope with enough slack to the auger and a vehicle to pull the auger out gently.
Step 7: Inspect for Damage
Thoroughly check the auger for damaged blades and more. Replacements or repairs may be necessary before the subsequent use.
How to Prevent an Auger from Getting Stuck
Step 1: Check the Condition
Cleaning your auger and replacing parts as needed is necessary. Check for corrosion, which is visible as stains, pitting, or flaking.
Step 2: Check the Terrain
Being aware of the obstacles you may encounter is ideal, but dampening the soil before use may eliminate a step should it get stuck.
Step 3: Use Less Force
Aside from the terrain, excessive force may play a part in the auger getting stuck. Remember to use less force and stop as soon as there is an unbreakable obstacle.