The Power Planter starts to dig into the soil but then stops turning and makes a strange ratchet sound.
Answer: This is the sound of the electronic clutch on your drill activating.
This is a common reason for the Power Planter not working well. The dial around your chuck (with the numbers) is used to control the Electronic Clutch. People often mistakenly think this is controlling the drill speed, so turn it down to number one. What it actually does, is to control the amount of torque (power) the drill will give before disengaging the motor.
This is actually a good thing when used on the right settings, because it protects you from any kickback hurting your wrists when you hit something solid like a big tree root or rock.
The key is to turn it up to the maximum number (eg 15) so that you can have the power to dig, but not have any jarring. When you meet heavy resistance like a big rock... you will hear the ratchet sound which means the motor has been disengaged to protect you.
If you have good arm strength and a side handle on your drill, you may be able to switch the drill over to drilling mode (not screwdriver) This is a symbol on your drill that looks like a drill bit. This gives you the maximum power but please note.. you will get the drill twisting out of your hands sometimes and you will need to let go and reverse out of the hole. So only use this setting if you are confident in controlling the power of the drill. Otherwise use the above mentioned screwdriver setting with the clutch turned up to the maximum number and the drill speed set on the lowest number.
My drill runs flat after only 2 holes.
Answer: You need to have a drill which is 18v or above. If it is older (eg. over 3 years) it may just be worn out, or not a great quality drill.
12V drills are really just screwdrivers and not powerful enough for a Power Planter. Remember, cheap drills are cheap for a reason. They might work ok, but if you want to dig into the hard ground, you would be better to invest in a well known drill brand.
The combination that works best is
18v or above
Large Capacity battery (4 or 5A/h)
I personally use a Dewalt 985 which has proved excellent.
Please do let us know if your problem is not on this list. We are here to help. There has been very few issues we couldn't solve. So don't give up.
Either by email
or call Mark Jones +61 423 248 746
Thanks for giving it a go.