1. You’re gonna sweat!
Getting something that’s about 20 or even 30lbs to move up and down repeatedly takes a lot of work. You can see this by watching the “Manual Post Drivers in Action Video” on our website. Even on a cool day you are going to sweat. Remember you will be sweating about half as much (or less) compared to using a gas powered auger, mixing concrete and getting rid all of your excavated soil. If you want to sweat a little less, you can use a pneumatic pounder. Call us at 1-877-778-5733 for information on renting one from us.
2. Relax your grip on the pounder!
Relax your grip on the down-stroke to minimize vibration fatigue. If it’s possible hang on to the shaft of the pounder versus hanging onto to the handles. The handles will tend to give off more vibration and shock. You’ll be a little less sore in the morning as well. Clever Joe suggests that “throwing” the pounder down can avoid this completely. In other words, release your hands completely before anchor and pounder impact each other.
3. Take a break!
Breaking down the most demanding physical part of your project into smaller chunks will make it easier. Slow down and enjoy yourself. You’re still going to finish faster than if you had to auger, mix concrete and clean up.
4. Your anchor can get out of level very quickly.
After your anchor is about 18in. into the ground, begin to check for level at about 6in. intervals during penetration into the ground. This will slow you down significantly but ultimately will save you time by avoiding a severely crooked anchor.
5. Get down on your knees!
Use cardboard box as a mat for your knees when you get down so far into the ground. This position for obvious reasons is the way to go at lower heights.
6. Watch your head!
I’ve had the post pounder hit me in the head once or twice when getting a little too rigorous on the upstroke. When the pounder comes up just above the anchor, on the down-stroke (especially if you’re tired), you can get a little off center. Because you are powering it back down, you might hit the top of the anchor. When this happens, it can cause the post pounder to come down unto your noggin. This is primarily an issue when the pounder is being used at head level or above. If you have a hard helmet, why not wear it? Don’t be afraid to look like a slightly anal safety inspector. Those guys and gals have jobs for a reason.
7. Use Gloves
If your hands are not conditioned to manual work, you may want to wear gloves when pounding to avoid blisters. This is especially true on very warm days as the skin on your hands begins to sweat.