How Much Does a Skid Steer Auger Attachment Cost?
One of the reasons skid steer loaders are such a popular piece of heavy equipment is their incredible versatility. With the right attachments, you can put these machines to work on just about any job site, for applications from agricultural to landscaping to new construction. And, as far as attachments are concerned, augers sit near the top of the popularity list.
You find hydraulic earth augers on any jobsite where precise digging is required. Dig depth varies based on the skid steer it's attached to, but you can expect your auger to handle depths up to 72" (or 6'). If you need to go deeper than that, you can add an extension, but make sure your equipment can handle it. Finding the right auger attachment requires knowing your equipment's pressure ratings and hydraulic flow. Otherwise, you won't know if your skid steer has the power necessary to operate your auger.
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Choosing the Right Auger Attachment
Just as you wouldn't buy just any sized blade for your lawnmower, you can't attach just any auger to your skid steer.
To choose the right auger attachment, you need to know the following:
- The hydraulic flow and pressure produced by your skid steer
- The bit design that best matches the ground conditions of your drill area
Even when relying on the recommendation of a dealer or vendor, you still need this information in order to get the product that best fits your needs. If your auger is too big for your equipment's hydraulic system, you get fewer rotations. But, if it's too small, you get less torque. If you have to drill through hard soil conditions and you choose a head with straight-lined teeth, you guarantee the job takes longer and puts more wear and tear on your equipment – both your loader and your auger.
Choosing the Auger Drive
Hydraulic flow rate dictates auger drive size, which in turn dictates the attachment's power supply. At the low end, you're looking at operating flow rates between 10 and 14 gallons per minute (GPM), which works well for most smaller auger bits. Larger bits (ranging between 36" and 48" in diameter) require an operating flow rate between 30 and 45 GPM.
Ground conditions help determine your bit needs. If you're working with loose, non-compacted soil, a lighter duty bit should handle your needs. Clays, compacted soil, and frozen ground require a heavier duty bit.
In addition to ground conditions, consider the size of the hole (both width and depth). Larger diameter augers drilling in rough ground require a unit with higher torque, which is more important for these jobs than speed is. Typically, you have high speed or high torque but not both.
Finally, consider how the auger drive is powered.
- Planetary drives offer the most power but also come with the highest price tag.
- Chain drives are next up in terms of cost. Their power is lower than with a planetary drive but they're generally strong enough to handle most jobs.
- Direct drives have the lowest cost and the lowest power level. These are mostly good for lighter duty applications and smaller machines.
How Much Does an Auger Attachment Cost?
With so many sizes, capabilities, and other factors entering the equation, auger attachment pricing varies greatly. Even among the same manufacturer you may find vendors with widely varying pricing, particularly in different parts of the country. In general, though, you can expect to pay between $2,500 and $3,000 for the drive. Bit pricing varies much more, from around $200 to $2,500. However, the average price you can expect to pay for the bit ranges between $300 and $700.
To give you a better idea of what you should budget for an auger attachment, we offer the following examples:
- Bobcat skid steer attachment BP201: Hex planetary auger drive (2"), universal skid steer mount, 15" bit, 46" long, ranges between $2,250 and $2,750
- Lowe Manufacturing 750: Classic series, hex auger drive, post hole digger unit, ranges between $1,200 and $1,600
- McMillen X975: Hex planetary auger drive unit, 6-15 GPM, with mounting bracket, cradle, couplers, and hoses, ranges between $2,300 and $7,500
- MTL attachments extreme skid steer auger: Direct planetary drive, 12" bit-ship, 12" x 4' HD bit, 2" hex drive, ranges between $1,800 and $2,200
- Premier MS14Pd: Planetary drive motor, 12 GPM, 60 RPM, and 3500 PSI ranges between $1,750 and $2,250