View Full Version : Trencher Preferences

03-05-2006, 06:49 PM
Does anyone use mini-trenchers for their residential irrigation installations? I've wondered if they would be easier to use than a traditional trencher and if they can trench up close to house foundations, walks and drives (to get away from having to T-in so much). I want ease of use and one that trenches at least 10 inches deep. I've seen the various models online and wonder if anyone owns one and how they like it. Thanks. If you own one does it also trench well in hard or wet soil? Thanks for the input.

Dirty Water
03-05-2006, 08:18 PM
Are you referring to something like this?

I've had a hard enough time trenching with a small rental barretto trencher in moderatly rocky ground, I couldn't imagine doing irrigation work with anything smaller.

Then again, I'm spoiled by the 410sx and 3500 we have.

03-05-2006, 08:47 PM
Hey Assured-----

I have used (rented) a ground-saw, by E-Z trench. At NationsRent at the big box store. Cuts (saws) a 2 1/2" wide trench up to 13" deep. Self-propelled. A little tight on the width, as far as working 'in' the trench. But can put most together outside or lift up out of the trench. Minimal damage to turf. Need at least 18" clearance of fence, house, etc., so, that means no trenching right next to fence line. Does NOT work in wet/damp soil, clogs up. In dry soil, tends to make the dirt real fine, no clods, for backfill. Over all, I have been pretty satisfied using it.

Hey Jon-----

Who makes that little thing, that trencher you posted a picture of? Just curious....

See ya----kerdog

Dirty Water
03-05-2006, 09:38 PM
Kerdog, that oddball trencher is made by Homelight.

It looks like a modified chainsaw.

03-06-2006, 08:00 AM

Knowing the ground conditions in the DFW area you will have a difficult time with a mini trencher (rock, caliche, hard clay etc). Unless you have lots of time and energy and productivity is not high on your list, do not bother with them. You would be better off with renting or buying a used walk behind trencher that has hydrostatic drive for the same $. All the mini's usually run 5-6 hp and the next step up is 13-15hp for the wlak behinds.

03-06-2006, 08:33 AM
that is great, never seen anything like it. that would be a heck of a workout trenching here in kansas.

03-06-2006, 08:37 AM
Wonder if that small thing would work in some of our parking lot planters? Even our "dinky" DW is too large for planters. :laugh:

03-06-2006, 10:24 PM
the riding trencher is always king for going over multiple curbs, especially working around parking lot islands, heck ive seen riding trechers trench with two wheels off the curb and not even miss a beat.

nothings worse that having to fight a walkbehind trencher up a curb, or on any sort of incline.

03-06-2006, 11:35 PM
Anything By Case (ih) For Me!!

Mr. Vern
03-07-2006, 12:22 AM
Try a Dingo with the trencher attachment if you can rent one. They are awesome, you can take the boom all the way up so the trencher is at almost a 90 degree angle, or reach way over a curb and trench without having to get in the bed. Any of the minis should be able to do this. If you get the track version you can actually cross your main trench while digging the laterals and not even knock dirt in the hole. No more fighting that great big heavy Ditch Witch or Barreto on wheels. You can trench all day long and not even be tired. Man I don't miss the wheel driven walk behind rental days one bit. Well worth the price of admission; especially if you do more than 2 sprinkler jobs a month. You can buy a Dingo on payments for not much more than 2 rental charges each month.

03-07-2006, 08:19 AM
A Dingo might be a good idea but I don't think I could convince the boss to add it to the arsenal since we really don't have to do parking lot planters that often. Many years ago the planters were done with drip systems but over time we found out that they were a PITA because of poly always being cut up constantly. Everything has been hardpiped from the beginning for quite some time now and there's no problem with that. It's those rare poly to hardpipe conversions where we have the problem trenching in these confined spaces, often with plants/trees already growing.

03-07-2006, 08:52 AM
Hayes, the trencher for you bob cat you have mentioned wanting will do a similar job, only with a wider ditch. (seems like 6" ditch is the smallest that attachment will dig, but I could be wrong) The mini-skids are nice from this standpoint from a maneuverability perspective. The positioning of the trench bar is more versatile, etc. BUT, this post was started by someone from DFW and there and in many areas, the ground is more often 3 rocks to one dirt. The question was about trenching CLOSE. If you don't like to buy concrete, dig it by hand. It can be a full size skid steer, ride on DW, etc. You grab a rock and your going to buy a side walk if you haven't left yourself some clearance. Have I gambled and run that boom part way under a walk.......sure. But it is gambling!