For ten years I have been moving further and further toward the most traditional and old-tyme methods of production. Some would say this is nostalgia. While there is certainly a risk of this oftentimes the simplest tools are the most dependable.
Today we rented the classic 2-person auger. And for the second time in as many weeks it was a miserable failure. The trick with "higher forms" of machinery is that on a small scale, their production gains don't outweigh their risk of failure. I've learned this too many times. The rented auger, by the time I pick it up and return it, even if it works flawlessly on the job, we've still used 1/2 a day of work up. Where, the most traditional of methods simply uses a clam-type post-hole-digger and a digging bar...but...this method doesn't fail. Today I needed to get 4 holes dug. Simple, but site conditions didn't allow the auger into the soil. Even if it takes an hour per hole manually, we haven't really taken any longer to do the project.
I apologize. This is a little drifty. But here is my point: Even if traditional methods take a little longer, one can plan the pace of production. Steady progess and hard work always feel good - failure never does. The anxieties and headaches that come with large scale machinery are more often than not emotionally inefficient.
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Landscape designer and Proprietor of Buffalo Horticulture