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Attacking Pole Barn Rocks in Holes

Breaking Through Rock in Holes

Post frame (pole) buildings are maybe the easiest to construct and most affordable permanent structures known to human kind. Once the holes are dug and the columns are set, it is pretty well nothing but go-go-go.

The intangible is what is happening below the surface of the ground.

When I was a post frame building contractor back in the 1990’s we offered a free site evaluation to our potential clients. We would check grade for level to see if longer columns might be needed to compensate for excessive grade change. Wooden stakes were driven at approximately all four corners of the proposed building, to give the new building owner(s) a feel for what the footprint of their new building was going to be.

Most importantly was – being on the lookout for hidden obstacles (otherwise known as rocks).

It seemed to me nearly every post frame building I ever constructed myself would end up with a rock the size of a Volkswagon Bug about the very last hole.

Any good (and fair) post frame building contractor has a “hard rock” clause in their agreement to construct. Here was ours from when we were builders: https://www.hansenpolebuildings.com/2014/03/hard-rock-clause/

In doing our site evaluations, I coached our Building Designers to watch any cuts along nearby roads or driveways – eyeballing for presence of rocks. At the site, they each carried a long steel rod used for staking out concrete forms and a sledge hammer. If they could drive the rod in at several points along the proposed building perimeter, then it would provide a much better idea as to the potential for hitting rock.

And when rock was found – the most practical solution ended up being to rent a “ram hoe” (aka concrete breaker) attachment for our skid loader. The Hydraulic Breaker makes quick work out of a tough job. The smart and efficient design provides a workhorse with only two moving parts. Vibration and shock are controlled by shock absorbing polymers, minimizing machine wear and sound while improving operator comfort level. One can easily smash through concrete, even on an incline, with the hardest hitting breakers in their respective impact energy classes. It has only two moving parts, one grease fitting. Also features low recoil and minimal hydraulic pressure spike, as well as unique trapezoidal shock wave for greater breaking power.

Fear no rock – the rock will fear you!