Best, no, easiest way to drive in a ground rod?

Discussion in 'Antennas, Feedlines, Towers & Rotors' started by N4FFL, Dec 28, 2018.

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  1. N4FFL

    N4FFL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey all,

    I tried to do a search about driving in ground rods and didn't find much except where to drive them in instead of how to drive them in.

    What is the easiest and/or best way to drive in a ground rod? I'm only friggin' 5'7" tall, so I'll have to start out on a ladder (oh joy) to drive in an eight foot ground rod. I have two to do and I'm not looking forward to this, so I'm hoping any tips and/or tricks would help.

    I was going to use a "mini" sledgehammer that I got at Home Depot or Harbor Freight (forgot where I got it from) to try and do this. Will the 5/8" copper ground rod bend while I'm trying to drive it into the ground? If so, what's the easiest way to try and keep it straight while driving it in? Especially when you start at 8 feet above the ground. :-o


    Thanks in advance,
  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    8' ground rods normally aren't copper, they're copperclad steel and quite strong.

    I'm not tall, either (5'8") and rather than use a ladder to get started, I usually just drive them in at a bit of an angle; as long as almost the entire length gets buried in undisturbed soil, the "tilt" or angle doesn't matter much.
    N4FFL likes this.
  3. KK4JW

    KK4JW Ham Member QRZ Page

    20 lb sledge and a rotation of two or three big guys taking turns wailing on it. Or rent a hammer drill.
    N4FFL likes this.
  4. N4FFL

    N4FFL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I did find this video. I have a rotary hammer drill that I bought earlier this year to drill a hole through the brick of the house to install the coax from the antenna. :) But it isn't some super duty one, but very similar to his in the video. Only thing I would have to get is the SDS+ Ground Rod driver. It's like $38 on Amazon. I'm just wondering if it is worth trying this. Looks like he had loads of fun. I'm afraid of running into issues like him. LOL!

    Only other choice is to do what KV4JW mentioned and I'd have to buy the 20# sledge and find at least a couple of other "willing" friends to help. Uhhhh...ya. LOL! :p
    W4PG, N4FZ and WB5THT like this.
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Rotary hammer drill is the ONLY WAY IMO to drive a ground rod

    You can rent one for under $50 for 4 hours at Home Depot - depending on your soil, you can drive an 8 foot rod in as little as THIRTY SECONDS. Even in rough rocky soil I've driven them in under 5 minutes with a hammer drill.

    I ended up buying a hammer drill last summer, just to have on hand and can lend out to friends. It was $220 complete with ground rod bit, purchased used from a pawn shop.

    N7ANN, WB5THT, NL7W and 4 others like this.
  6. N4FFL

    N4FFL Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are correct sir. Sorry, I miswrote. I meant the copper clad steel ground rod from Home Depot. :)
  7. N4FFL

    N4FFL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks, Dave. :) Looks like it is a good idea to just buy the SDS+ Ground Rod driving bit and give it a go and see what happens. :) I was hoping to be able to do something like this because if I'm hammering it (even with a regular sledge), it is going to take me 10 years to drive that darn rod down in. :eek:
  8. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    If you've got the means, yes BUY A DRILL!! And if you're a nice guy with a local club, get the word out you have one and help others out with their rod driving.

    I've found it takes me longer to position the ladder and run the power cord than drive the rod!

    The one I bought is a Bosch model 11264EVS which is the one I rented from Home Depot. Not cheap new - $549 So I just started searching online and found a pawn shop that had one for sale complete with ground rod SDS bit, in excellent condition, for $220 shipped!!

    N7ANN, NL7W and AE8W like this.
  9. AD5HR

    AD5HR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Look up "T" post driver, a lot cheaper than a hammer drill, and
    you can use it for fence building too.
    N5ST, K4TTJ, WD0BCT and 8 others like this.
  10. K5WY

    K5WY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've never tried the hammer drill method, but it sure looks easy. I used a T-post driver until it was most of the way in, then switched to a hammer. Soil dependent, I'm sure, but it was pretty easy, and I already had a T-post driver.
    AD5HR and WB5YUZ like this.

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