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View Full Version : Ground pearcing, boring, drilling


jana
08-23-2007, 08:47 PM
Yep, first post, just found the site.

Would like to know what others are using to get under driveways, sidewalks, through stone etc.

I was going to purchase a piercing tool from DitchWitch but found out the cost of the air compressor. After picking myself up off the floor, I promptly reconsidered. I had no problem paying the cost of the tool. Renting air is an inconvenience.

Your comments and feedback are appreciated. Links to you product would be nice if available too.

Thanks.

klkanders
08-23-2007, 10:30 PM
Welcome!
Under driveways I sub out to irrigation guys.
Under sidewalks I had a piece of steel made to pound a sleeve underneath.
These are also made by a company and sold as the "sidewalk sleever"
Good Luck!

jana
08-23-2007, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the welcome.

I am familiar with the Sidewalk Sleever. But have not tried it, yet.

http://www.sidewalksleever.com/index.php

Chris J
08-23-2007, 11:14 PM
I'm sure your situation and ground is different from ours, but around these parts we can usually get away with a water jet unless we are dealing with pavers. 3/4" PVC with a water hose connection will get us under most sidewalks and driveways up to about 20' with no trouble at all. But, here in N. Florida the ground is so soft and sandy I guess we are the exception. Most others probably have a much more difficult situation to deal with like clay, rock, granite, etc...

Lite4
08-24-2007, 01:40 AM
I use the sidewalk sleever and it works pretty well if you can get under the gravel base for the concrete walk. Usually can pound one through in about 2-3 minutes after you excavate each side. Sleeves with 1" conduit.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-24-2007, 02:30 AM
We dont have a lot of sidewalks or paved driveways around here... but I do know the President of this company personally... The Big Shot is a great tool for getting under things... Check it out at: http://www.footagetools.com/index.htm?bigshot.htm&mainFrame

Have a great day.

jana
08-24-2007, 10:17 AM
Have been using the water jet method, sometimes real messy and worst thing is it can create cave-ins.

Chris, how do you go under paver's without a possible cave-in ?

James, I wanted that type of tool but the air demand is quite large, needs a constant 25 cfm.

http://www.ditchwitch.com/dwcom/Product/ProductView/143

Here is another I have looked at also.
http://www.borit.com/index.cfm

Thanks for all your feedback.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
08-24-2007, 10:25 AM
Amazing how a great idea gets copied so quickly! As I understand it, this technology had been used by the Russian oil and gas industry fro a long time... then my friends company saw it, how simple and effective it is, and developed the "Big Shot" here in Canada.... A few years later and they seem to be everywhere!

I have seen these work and they are fabulous... certainly worth the cost of renting a commercial compressor for the day.

Good luck.

NightLightingFX
08-24-2007, 01:22 PM
The sidewalk sleever is a good tool. I just finished a job where I used it. This was a very difficult job. This was a house on the Columbia river VERY rocky soil. It was a challenge but it worked. It took me three tries to get the sleever through - my conduit kept splitting. This was back breaking work. I was using a 16 lb sledge hammer. The sleever would only move a hair on each hit if I was lucky. :hammerhead: I was really getting frustrated. After 2 tries spending half a day trying to get through. I couldn't think of any other solution so I tried one more time and it worked. With the amount of force I was hitting the sleever with and the resistance I was getting I am amazed the third try succeeded. I don't think anything else could have worked better. :weightlifter:
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

Chris J
08-24-2007, 05:12 PM
Have been using the water jet method, sometimes real messy and worst thing is it can create cave-ins.

Chris, how do you go under paver's without a possible cave-in ?

James, I wanted that type of tool but the air demand is quite large, needs a constant 25 cfm.

http://www.ditchwitch.com/dwcom/Product/ProductView/143

Here is another I have looked at also.
http://www.borit.com/index.cfm

Thanks for all your feedback.

Jana,
As I mentioned in my post, we use the water jet for anything EXCEPT pavers. I would never use water under pavers under any circumstance. When it comes to paver driveways, I sub the work out to a guy here that uses the same type of equipment that James mentioned. I call it "Jack and Bore" and my guy charges me $8.00 per foot for a 2" bore.

JoeyD
08-24-2007, 05:42 PM
Bullet Mole is another one. It could be a bit much for our situations but does work great. It is an awsome tool. You should all check it out.

http://bulletmole.com/oldBulletmole/

jana
08-24-2007, 08:17 PM
JoeyD, that is awesome. Do you use it ?

I do not hesitate to purchase products that will increase efficiency and margin.

Chris, If I see another 3 wide driveway again, I will own a pneumatic piercing tool. :laugh:

NightLightingFX
08-24-2007, 09:36 PM
WOW!!!
That "Bullet Mole" is cool.:cool2: I wish I had that for my last project. That hands down is the best tool for putting conduit under sidewalks and driveways. I wish I would have known about that 2 weeks ago I could have saved a lot of time, and not to mention the $100+ I spent on the sidewalk sleever. Thanks for the heads-up Joey
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

JackTorsed
08-24-2007, 09:41 PM
Looks great, but pretty hefty price for case hardened steel no?

NightLightingFX
08-24-2007, 09:49 PM
Yah, but did you look at the video. You can easily add on extentions and go under a driveway. In the past I wouldn't even consider attemping going under a driveway. After seeing the "Bullet Mole" in action, I might consider going under a driveway if I had to now. And when you consider the time, frustration I went through on my last job with the "Sidewalksleever" it seems like you could make-up the difference in price just by the ease of using the "Bullet Mole."
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

JackTorsed
08-24-2007, 10:05 PM
Yah, but did you look at the video. You can easily add on extentions and go under a driveway. In the past I wouldn't even consider attemping going under a driveway. After seeing the "Bullet Mole" in action, I might consider going under a driveway if I had to now. And when you consider the time, frustration I went through on my last job with the "Sidewalksleever" it seems like you could make-up the difference in price just by the ease of using the "Bullet Mole."
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

indeed but the extensions are even pricier than the original 4 ft bar. You need to get a part time job to afford it.

Chris J
08-24-2007, 11:15 PM
You guys need to just add the cost to the job and sub this stuff out. I'm not about to swing a sledge hammer in this heat. I'm thinking at $8.00 per foot, I can have my sub do this for a whole lot of jobs before I justify paying that kind of money to do the manual labor myself.

NightLightingFX
08-25-2007, 02:54 PM
It is definatly expensive. I am not about to drop a small fortune on a "Bullet Mole" right now. I haven't had to do a lot of tunneling under concrete. If I start running into a real need I will consider the Bullet Mole. Hopefully my "Sidewalk Sleever" will take care of the situations I occasionally run into. But I was impressed with the Bullet Moles website. On the other hand, If I had a "Bullet Mole" I could be a sub for other professionals that need to go under driveways and sidewalks. In the video on the website they had a huge granite boulder right in the way of tunneling under a sidewalk. That Bullet Mole was able to go through it. No subs in my area would be able to do that unless they a very specialized tool. I don't have the luxury of hiring someone for $8.00 a ft. Plus there is nothing like swinging around a 16lb sledge hammer to get the testoserone pumping.:hammerhead:
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

NightLightingFX
08-25-2007, 03:02 PM
Jana,
What are you going to do/use for your project?
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

JoeyD
08-25-2007, 04:11 PM
A friend of mine who is a larger electrical contractor has a Bullet Mole with estensions so to answer the question if I had used it the answer is yes I have it worked like a dream. It is a bit expensive but if you guys come across the hard ground like we do out here in CA then this tool is a life saver. There isnt a driveway I could not get under with this thing.

NightScenes
08-25-2007, 04:47 PM
Some of use do not have access to someone with a boring machine. I have been trying to find someone for 3 years with no luck. I think this Bullet Mole is the best product I've seen yet for my part of the country.

JoeyD
08-25-2007, 04:55 PM
No kidding Paul. When we did that class I couldnt even put a stake in the ground in Austin. I dont know if the Bullet Mole will work for you, I think you need to enlist someone with an explosives liscense so you can use dynamite to bore your sleeves and trenches!!!

NightScenes
08-25-2007, 05:58 PM
It's not like I haven't thought of that too Joey!!

Pro-Scapes
08-25-2007, 06:29 PM
I am really surprised no one brought up the borzit tool in this case. I think its borzit.com I am thinking the entire set up including the hole hawg milwaukee drill can be had for less than 600.. You still need water with this but you can shoot entire driveways.

We water jet some but another great way for installing small sleves (small flex conduit works really well for this trick) is a Diversa bit. One of thoes 6 ft long flexible drill bits with either a 3/4 head or a 1 incher if you can find it. Do your small excavations as normal and chuck the bit up in a good cordless drill and pass it (usually rather easily) under your walkway. Used the snatch (chineese finger trap thing) and a bit of duct tape to slide your conduit back thru as you pull it back out. I bet I can install 2 or 3 of these faster than you guys drag out the hose and water jet. This works especially well when your a good distance from water. A copper ground rod with a slight bend in it and a small hole in the tip will work well too then place a monkey wrench or large channel locks on the rod for a place to hammer it back out if need be.

We sub out long bores. Price varies depending on lengh and number location of job ect but its VERY reasonable and simply added to the invoice for the client. In some cases you can water jet small driveways tho. Just depends on the soil conditions. Mostly clay here so its tough.

NightScenes
08-25-2007, 06:36 PM
I've seen the Borzit in action and was not impressed. It made one hellofa mess and it took longer to get under a sidewalk than it does with the 6' bit that I use.

Pro-Scapes
08-25-2007, 06:44 PM
I've seen the Borzit in action and was not impressed. It made one hellofa mess and it took longer to get under a sidewalk than it does with the 6' bit that I use.

Borzit is overkill for sidewalks. I really like the 6 ft bit method. Quick... hardley any mess.. Its not always the best option tho. If your in soft ground and need a 1" conduit then waterjet it. If you can get away with 2 or 3 smaller conduits then the diversabit method shouldnt disapoint you. Wish they had an 8ft model with a bit heavier shaft. I snap em every so often

jana
08-27-2007, 10:15 AM
As far as subing out, for the sub's I have talked with it is avg. $100 for them to show up then the per foot charge.
I am to picky to sub out my work, since I have had to re-do some in the past. Keep it in house baby. :laugh:

The "Borit" and "Borzit" tools look very similar to me. I am not to sure of either, since I want to get away from water use.

I am going to contact Bullet Mole today to ask some ?'s. It's would me nice to see before you by though.

Here is another I found. www.underwunder.com/

NightLightingFX
08-27-2007, 12:07 PM
It seems like the Under Wunder is a lot more complicated than the Bullet Mole.
One thing that I thought that was real nice about the Bullet Mole is that you don't have to create a long ditch to get started. You just keep adding other stages no matter how long your destination is. And there isn't any water mess.
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

SamIV
08-27-2007, 12:53 PM
I own a Borit. That thing will kill you in heavy clay. Believe me, I have used it many times when I used to to irrigation work. Then I got smart and subbed all of it out. The thing makes a perfect hole but I now like Billy's method. The one inch will zip through heavy clay under a side walk in seconds. I find a good heavy duty electric drill has more power though.

SamIV

Pro-Scapes
08-27-2007, 03:55 PM
well of course it has more power amigo but I have never had much of an issue with my 18v drill on low with a good battery.

I had to do one last week where I needed a 1 inch sleeve... I water jetted it and nearly got a hernia trying to get this thing under 5 ft of clay and stone. I was able to leave it over night for the water to dry up but man I miss that sandy soil on the coast

jana
08-27-2007, 04:26 PM
What is your 6' bit method ? Is it the diversabit, do you have a link or more info ?

Pro-Scapes
08-27-2007, 04:36 PM
What is your 6' bit method ? Is it the diversabit, do you have a link or more info ?

diversabit its a flexible drill bit avalible at home depot and lowes. The range from 3 ft to 6 ft in lenght.

Dig a small trench about 2 ft back on one side and a pit on the other. Drill under the walkway... Attach flexible PVC conduit to the diversabit and pull it back thru. Very simple. Very quick and no watery mess.

Your 100 to show up and then per foot might be a good option on larger jobs. A sidewalk should not take you that long at all to pass. If you have large driveways or many long crossings call the sub contractor and allow them to do the job under your supervision and add that amount to the invoice. Keeping everything in house is not always the best option.

SamIV and I did one a few weeks back where we were able to remove the wood from the expansion slot and get the wires nice and deep in there. We had to rip some new wood to lenght on site and use a wood post to drive the 1x6 back into the slot but the end result was well worth it. Looked much better than it did before we started the project.

If you want to keep it in house look at renting, training, and assuming the liability of operating a boring system. Ditch witch makes a nice one for about 20k.

NightScenes
08-27-2007, 05:48 PM
Hey Billy, I haven't been able to find that bit in 1". Where did you find that puppy?

TXNSLighting
08-27-2007, 06:52 PM
the longest 1" ive found is 54". would like to find a 6 foot.

SamIV
08-27-2007, 07:52 PM
I have not found the 6' either, but I know that Lowes has the 1" in 54 ihches. They also have an extention you can add to it which is 54 inches also I think. These are made by Greenlee.

Billy, I mentioned the electric drill because I don't have the butt action behind me that you do for that added push.

SamIV

Chris J
08-27-2007, 09:18 PM
You guys do know that you can always take these bits to a fabrication shop and have a welder add on another few feet of steel, don't you?

extlights
08-27-2007, 11:15 PM
We have used the bit and it works ok. The only problem we have found with it is the reliability. Sometimes it works great, but depending on the soil it can be a headache. We did buy the sidewalk sleever and used it today for the first time. Very rocky soil, but it took all of 15 minutes to get done...from digging the trench to pulling the wires. So far it's the best $100 bucks we've spent.

Pro-Scapes
08-27-2007, 11:38 PM
I have not found the 6' either, but I know that Lowes has the 1" in 54 ihches. They also have an extention you can add to it which is 54 inches also I think. These are made by Greenlee.

Billy, I mentioned the electric drill because I don't have the butt action behind me that you do for that added push.

SamIV

hey now...Not my fault you cant hack it like the big boys.

klkanders
08-28-2007, 01:33 AM
Dave I had one of those sleevers made by a tent stake company. Shipped to me it was under $40 Sorry to bring it up now after you bought one. I got the idea from someone on this forum.

Pro-Scapes
08-28-2007, 08:20 AM
Hey Billy, I haven't been able to find that bit in 1". Where did you find that puppy?

Sorry I missed your question before... I think I found it at fastners inc or someplace. Lowes can get it from greenlee on special order I think. You should have a tool dealer near you that carries greenlee. Try an electrical supply house

bmwsmity
09-12-2007, 12:20 PM
Borzit is overkill for sidewalks. I really like the 6 ft bit method. Quick... hardley any mess.. Its not always the best option tho. If your in soft ground and need a 1" conduit then waterjet it. If you can get away with 2 or 3 smaller conduits then the diversabit method shouldnt disapoint you. Wish they had an 8ft model with a bit heavier shaft. I snap em every so often

Have you seen the drill bit extensions that Greenlee makes? They are about 3-4 feet, up to 3/8.

I personally use a 72" 3/4" auger bit that you mentioned, and I've never had a problem getting under a sidewalk. I use it in conjunction with an 8-amp corded hammer drill. Gets me under the sidewalk in about 20 seconds! Definitely better than making a huge mess with water.

jana
09-15-2007, 11:22 AM
Got the Bullet Mole 3 days after JoeyD posted it in here. Sure works great !!! Thanks for the heads-up on that one JoeyD.

They are coming out with a version 2 at first of year, so will be looking to add the new version also.

bmwsmity, are you using an extension with the bit to get the 72" length, if not where did you get one that long?

thx

JoeyD
09-15-2007, 04:00 PM
right on Jana. I hope it works well for you like it did for me! You should get some pics sometime of you doing some boring so the guys here can see how cool that tool really is!!!

EOL
09-15-2007, 04:07 PM
Hey billy I also used that bit by greenlee from Lowes last weekend. Dug my ditches and trenches no big deal and bored under three sidewalks in under an hour. I first started off with my small electric drill untill I smelt it burning:laugh: Then pulled out my big bertha drill, went in like butter. Hey and Joey thanks for the advice on that Hilti drill for sinking my Nova fixtures in the slab, worked out perfect.

JoeyD
09-15-2007, 04:09 PM
No Sweat, glad I could help. We really try and stay on top of the best tools out there for trick install work.

NightScenes
09-15-2007, 04:10 PM
Joey, the link for the bullet mole no longer works and I can't find their information anywhere. I would like to revisit this product but I have no idea how to get it now.

bmwsmity
09-15-2007, 10:33 PM
bmwsmity, are you using an extension with the bit to get the 72" length, if not where did you get one that long?

thx

Got it at Home Depot...the bit itself was 72", with a 3/4" auger tip. The extensions they sell are 36" at either 1/4" or 3/8" diameter.

The bit was $40, and the extensions are $20. Super cheap compared to the time you save!

Landscape Illuminating
09-15-2007, 10:36 PM
What size conduit are you using with the 3/4" bit? 1/2" or 3/4"?

-LI

jana
09-17-2007, 09:38 AM
JoeyD or EOL, what Hilti model do you like? I was just the Hilti store on Lemmon Ave in Dallas last week looking for new toys. lol

Paul, I have a contact number if you are interested. I did not post it since it is a personal cell number.

How does one send pm's here? I will call him and ask first if it is ok to pass it along.

Firefly Lighting
09-17-2007, 09:44 AM
Hey there- I own a Vermeer LM-11 that is a vibratory plow machine with a boring attachment. I have had it for about 7 or so years and it has more than paid for itself, a really nice machine. Also it is small enough to drive through any gate and is on tracks like a tank.

JoeyD
09-17-2007, 02:10 PM
Joey, the link for the bullet mole no longer works and I can't find their information anywhere. I would like to revisit this product but I have no idea how to get it now.

It looks like The Bullet Mole hasn't paid their bill for their website? Kind of strange.

NightLightingFX
10-03-2007, 11:00 PM
Got the Bullet Mole 3 days after JoeyD posted it in here. Sure works great !!! Thanks for the heads-up on that one JoeyD.

They are coming out with a version 2 at first of year, so will be looking to add the new version also.

bmwsmity, are you using an extension with the bit to get the 72" length, if not where did you get one that long?

thx

Jana,
Can you get me some contact info for the Bullet Mole. I have a 15ft driveway I may need to tunnel under. I would like to know the price of a 15ft Bullet Mole application. Their websit isn't up. How long of a Bullet Mole application did you get? What was the cost. As I recall it isn't cheap, but it looks like it works great - which will save a lot of time and head ache.
~Ned
www.nightlightingfx.com

NightScenes
10-03-2007, 11:08 PM
I need that contact info as well. Jana, you can private message it to me if you like. Thanks

edit - you can't post an emaill addy at the site...please list a phone number or contact through PM. Thanks, Mike

PlantscapeSolutions
09-28-2014, 03:27 PM
Have you seen the drill bit extensions that Greenlee makes? They are about 3-4 feet, up to 3/8.

I personally use a 72" 3/4" auger bit that you mentioned, and I've never had a problem getting under a sidewalk. I use it in conjunction with an 8-amp corded hammer drill. Gets me under the sidewalk in about 20 seconds! Definitely better than making a huge mess with water.

Did you use the type A (http://www.toolup.com/greenlee_12-04-72a_dversibit-type-a-auger-34-x-72.aspx) or the type type C (http://www.westwayelectricsupply.com/08-03-72c-bit-dversibit-500x-187x72-00-c.html?gclid=CjwKEAjw456hBRDQ4eqg8MzA2W0SJABI2gJ8dPyc0CXqqWAspTADsdaRHMPWyDGvU_W21oihXJj-0hoChNnw_wcB) bit. Reviving old post. Are you still using this method with luck?

PlantscapeSolutions
09-28-2014, 10:53 PM
I also contacted the Bullet Mole folks and told them if they could make a kit with 12-24" sections it would be much easier to use on sidewalks so our trench doesn't have to be nearly as wide. The joints are the weak points but if they can make it functional in shorter sections that would make using the tool even easier.

jana
09-29-2014, 10:11 AM
Think your better off with the 4' length. Your going to waste more time breaking it down and adding sections. Were under
a walk in way under 10 min. and usually takes 5-7 swings with a 16# sledge. Going under 3 wide drives are fast too.

Builders here dump all there trash and debris under the walks and drives. None broken, no problems! Great tool!

I also contacted the Bullet Mole folks and told them if they could make a kit with 12-24" sections it would be much easier to use on sidewalks so our trench doesn't have to be nearly as wide. The joints are the weak points but if they can make it functional in shorter sections that would make using the tool even easier.

Lite4
09-29-2014, 11:53 AM
I use the type C bit when I only have one cable to cross. Works well unless the base material is crushed and compacted stone, then I have to go deeper.

Lite4
09-29-2014, 11:55 AM
For multiple cables, I will usually just buy some 3/4" EMT conduit and flatten one end. Drive it through and cut off the flat end- instant, permanent conduit.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-29-2014, 07:02 PM
I just talked to a place that sells the 4' Bullet Mole version and it's about $2000.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-29-2014, 07:07 PM
For multiple cables, I will usually just buy some 3/4" EMT conduit and flatten one end. Drive it through and cut off the flat end- instant, permanent conduit.

I guess you could try black iron pipe as well.

Lite4
09-29-2014, 07:08 PM
I just talked to a place that sells the 4' Bullet Mole version and it's about $2000.

I can buy a whole lot of EMT conduit for 2k- Wow!!