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Hi All 

Any heads up on spades my teams keep on breaking them and thought I would ask the community what everyone is using for general border work? Thanks

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  • PRO

    This is what we use - virtually indestructable and good value!


    Wickes Professional Steel Trenching Post Shovel - 1000mm | Wickes.co.uk
    Wickes Professional Steel Trenching Post Shovel - 1000mm
  • Other than telling your guys that a spade is not a crow bar, rabbiting spades are pretty tough, something like this


    Rabbiting / Poachers Spade
    Small but strongly made MYD ash handle 700mm total length easily carried
  • You should go for solid forged spades. I went through 4 stainless steel spades from a well known brand, with a ten year guarantee, in a short space of time, before giving up. Are they using the spades appropriately? Often a mattock would be my first choice over a spade, in certain situations.

  • Thanks all it seems I need to look at the solid forged spades, on it now.

  • PRO

    Not really a general digging spade, but for strength and cutting through roots, clay etc I find this great http://www.bulldogtools.co.uk/products/farming/spades/premier/tread... similar principle to the rabbiting spade. As has been mentioned soild forged is the way to go although generally heavier, I find the weld goes on non forged spades. 


    Treaded Tree Planting Spear | Premier Spades | Spades | Bulldog Tools
  • Some 25 years ago I bought a "fencers graft" spade.......... whole thing is one solid piece of steel,  very heavy and absolutely unbreakable.......... you could run a lorry over it and it might bend slightly but thats all. Paid some £40 back then but it's certainly paid for itself.   Meant for digging out deep, narrow fencepost holes but absolutely fantastic for digging out stumps, shrubs, anything really.  If your "teams" are breaking their spades on stubborn things, get them one of these..... they'll never break them!  https://www.diy-fence.co.uk/product/excavator-fencers-graft/

    Excavator Fencers Graft Type A
    Long arm fencers graft, the ideal excavators digging tool. A must have tool in the fencing industry. Heavy duty hardened steel graft.
  •  We use the ox brand ones blue in colour. Pretty much bomb proof 

  • Maybe some further training wouldn't go amiss Jessica, as 90% of breakages are caused by carelessness.  However, I know what it's like and after 45 years employing, I have come to the conclusion that 'if it can be broken, one day it surely will be'.

    No amount of 'there's always a tool for the job' lectures, seem to make a lot of difference. EG, for really heavy work, we had a lovely, all steel digging graft - indestuctible...... you might think. Indestructible it was, 20 years old and beautifully worn in, until one of the lads tried levering out a stump by jumping up and down on the handle!

    Interestingly, there will always be a wide ratio between  'Bosses breakages / employees breakages' and 'Pool' tools are most at risk. A 'one man/woman, one tool' policy works well as guys become very posessive over 'their' tools and maybe worth a try.  




    • PRO

      I had the same Colin. New guy, steel graft and instruction of don't use as a lever. 5 minutes later he had bent it! I've had more breakages the last year since taking on a crew than the whole of my working life so I now tell them that broken tools are lost pay rises. Its getting better :-)


  • PRO

    Have a look at Bulldog. I've been using them a long time. Had nearly 15 years out of my first border spade. Got broken this year by one of the guys using it as a lever...doh. Replaced with two new ones. Just get the standard handle one. Plenty strong and british made too.


    Border Spade (Standard) | Standard Spades | Spades | Bulldog Tools
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