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FIRESCOOBY
11-23-2007, 07:19 PM
I searched with no avail.

I'm looking at offering lighting within the next year or so. I have several questions, but only one at this time...feel free to expand if you'd like.

How do you guys install the wiring? Do you use a walk behind type of trencher/ bed edger? My main concern is like when running wire to a remote bed for tree lighting or such.

Thanks

Lite4
11-23-2007, 07:47 PM
Most of the time, my wire is installed along the foundations of the house. If I have a long run a wire plough could be utilized. I will probably buy a lineward this year if a couple jobs I am expecting materialize.

Mike M
11-23-2007, 07:57 PM
a wire plough could be utilized

Hey, do you have the powered one or the manual? Just kidding. I use a spade.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-23-2007, 08:06 PM
In loose soils we use a cleanout shovel, 3" and 4" wide.

Across sod we slit trench with a flat spade.

In compact soils, gravel drives, paths etc we use two passes of a pick, followed by one or two passes of the cleanout shovel. (or how ever many passes it takes!)

Across the forest floor we use the pick alot, then lay the wire in and weave it under roots and around rocks etc.

Across sheer expanses of rock... that is more tricky and must be done artfully so as to not be noticeable... I will let you figure this technique out on your own.

Have a great day.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-23-2007, 08:08 PM
Oh I forgot, when working on larger estates in Southern Ontario, with lots of lawns and meadows etc, then I will rent a vibratory plow to pull the wire runs in. Just be sure to get a full set of locates from all your utilities and the irrigation contractor!

Have a great day.

ChampionLS
11-24-2007, 04:23 AM
We use the EZ-Trencher. I've had it over 10 years. You can change the rotor to install cable, install irrigation tubing, or shape landscape beds.

FIRESCOOBY
11-24-2007, 05:03 AM
Thanks for the responses guys!!!

NightScenes
11-24-2007, 09:14 AM
I've thought about those EZ trenchers but my area is sooo rocky.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-24-2007, 10:30 AM
I've thought about those EZ trenchers but my area is sooo rocky.

Same here Paul. The rocks and roots destroy those things. Even our local United Rental refuses to bring in any type of vibratory plow to rent in the area. When I quizzed them as to why, they said that every time the machines go out in this area they come back broken. A couple of our irrigation contractors own them, but say they only used them occasionally.

Digging keeps you fit and healthy! (that is my justification anyways.)

Chris J
11-24-2007, 08:29 PM
Man I feel for you guys. I guess this corresponds to the installation time and therefore the prices we all have to charge according to our particular region. Here in North FL, I use a spade type shovel on most installs, however I do get the occasional back breaker (see other post on roots). Trenching is very easy here in most cases. The only time we really see any real complication is when we have to do long runs accross a very "oak tree" populated lawn. Even then, the only complication is getting the wire underground near the tree without killing it.
I'll post more on my technique later, but for now I'll just say that you guys with hard ground definitely have a disadvantage in labor hours versus the Florida boys.

ChampionLS
11-25-2007, 03:22 AM
I posted pictures in the Hardscaping Forum of my workshop/trailer, if you would like to have a look. Lots of cool tools!

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?p=2044600#post2044600

Lite4
11-25-2007, 01:41 PM
Anthony, Very nice setup. It is very clean and I like the flourescent lighting for those late nights. Nice Job!

niteliters
11-25-2007, 03:59 PM
Man I feel for you guys. I guess this corresponds to the installation time and therefore the prices we all have to charge according to our particular region. Here in North FL, I use a spade type shovel on most installs, however I do get the occasional back breaker (see other post on roots). Trenching is very easy here in most cases. The only time we really see any real complication is when we have to do long runs accross a very "oak tree" populated lawn. Even then, the only complication is getting the wire underground near the tree without killing it.
I'll post more on my technique later, but for now I'll just say that you guys with hard ground definitely have a disadvantage in labor hours versus the Florida boys.

Another reason for me to retire to Florida early.

MrMow
11-25-2007, 05:04 PM
Hey Firefly, what is a lineward????

Hey Champion, Which model do you use? I have been thinking of one of these machines for next season but am concerned that it will hold up. Hear in OH it's mostly clay.

Thanks Guys!!!!

Lite4
11-25-2007, 09:33 PM
Here is a link for Lineward. I think this is probably the best wire installer out there "except for me of course" just kidding. Check it out, it really is an incredible machine. It is a little pricy around 12K new, but you can find used ones out there for around 4-6k.

WWW.lineward.com

ChampionLS
11-26-2007, 03:23 AM
Hey Firefly, what is a lineward????

Hey Champion, Which model do you use? I have been thinking of one of these machines for next season but am concerned that it will hold up. Hear in OH it's mostly clay.

Thanks Guys!!!!


Hey Guys! Thanks Tim...

MrMow- Which machine are you referring to? the Trenching Machine? What you saw in my trailer is the EZ-Trench bed shaper..a little more horsepower than the line-laying model, but it's primarily designed to shape landscape beds and with the optional rotor- install irrigation or electrical lines. It works great and it's really easy to maneuver. They make and accessory for this model to mount a spool. We have hard red shale around my area, rock to the north and sand to the south. If you go slowly, it will cut through pretty much anything. Hope you don't mind a little vibration and some raking- regardless of the shield, stones go flying all over. It will wind-row the discharged material nicely.

Anthony

MrMow
11-26-2007, 09:01 PM
Champion - it sounds like the edger is the more powerful and If that is the case why have both? Is it difficult to change from edger to trencher. What trench sizes will each machine do?
Thanks!
MrMOw

Chris J
11-26-2007, 09:08 PM
Just go to EZtrench.com and see the videos for yourself.

ChampionLS
11-27-2007, 03:17 AM
Champion - it sounds like the edger is the more powerful and If that is the case why have both? Is it difficult to change from edger to trencher. What trench sizes will each machine do?
Thanks!
MrMOw

I dont have both..just the EZ Trencher model. (it's a little bigger). Changing the rotor is done in 30 seconds. Just have to remove a 1" nut.. swap rotors and replace.

Mine will go down to about 8-9". The rotor for either edging or trenching is fab'd from carbide stump cutter teeth that are welded onto 1/2" flat stock.

MrMow
11-27-2007, 09:12 PM
Champion,
Thanks for the info!
MrMOw

Venturewest
01-17-2008, 07:51 AM
I saw an underground dog fence company using a machine that seems perfect for landscape lighting. They were burying the dog wire about 5 inches deep or so. It was a regular walk behind rototiller with the tines removed. In their place was a cutting disc and then it had a spool of wire mounted on the back of the machine and an attachment to drop it in the hole. It was so fast.

The employee told me that someone was producing the attachments and selling them.

How deep do you guys bury the cables? It sounds like with a spade you can get 5 or 6 inches at the most. Are you afraid in some areas of turf that the wires will get aerated through?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-17-2008, 10:36 AM
Venture, if you look back in this thread only a few posts before yours you will find reference to the E Z Trench product. It sounds like what you are describing.

We still do it the old fashioned way unfortunately.... Rocks, Roots, and long gravel drives are no match for spinning wheels and pull behind trenching technology.

Venturewest
01-17-2008, 01:54 PM
I am familiar with the EZ trench product. It is similar to what I saw the fence company install but not the same. This was an attachment or accessory that could be used on several standard rototillers. I spoke with the operator about it. The blade or disc it was equipped with only left about a 3/4 in trench in which the wire was laid almost instantly. I was contracting the landscape at the residence that these guys did the perimeter of a 6 acre property with some portions through wooded areas. I like my manual labor as much as the next guy but that would have been alot of pickaxeing.Venture, if you look back in this thread only a few posts before yours you will find reference to the E Z Trench product. It sounds like what you are describing.

We still do it the old fashioned way unfortunately.... Rocks, Roots, and long gravel drives are no match for spinning wheels and pull behind trenching technology.

Pro-Scapes
01-17-2008, 02:03 PM
I think the unit Venture west is reffering to is the DMR unit http://www.dogfencetrencher.com/ I think they have the ugly blade or radical blade in 14 inch diameters and up to 1/2" wide to get deep enough. Often times you have mutliple runs tho which could pose an issue and cause you to have to make multiple passes.

irrig8r
01-17-2008, 02:38 PM
Venture, if you look back in this thread only a few posts before yours you will find reference to the E Z Trench product. It sounds like what you are describing.

We still do it the old fashioned way unfortunately.... Rocks, Roots, and long gravel drives are no match for spinning wheels and pull behind trenching technology.

James do you or your helper use the manual trenching tool I've seen on the CAST website?

Pro-Scapes
01-17-2008, 02:43 PM
James do you or your helper use the manual trenching tool I've seen on the CAST website?

Gregg.... I have it... it hangs in my shop. In soft soils you can slam that thing in and it wont bend like a spade can. Its a beast. FOLD has one thats about 18 inches wide and im sure in the sandy soils of fla it works great but here we got a rockier clay in most areas unless its been ammended well. Another thing is the cast one is a bit narrow... hard to get your foot on it if you wanted to kick it in... For half price and shipping you can have mine :)

Im my opinion of trying both I preffer a good quality spade. I like the short ones with the D handles and for trenching we use a clean out shovel like James does. Sometimes you gotta chop things up good before you can use the clean out shovel but usually in beds its great.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-17-2008, 02:58 PM
James do you or your helper use the manual trenching tool I've seen on the CAST website?

I haven't seen it Gregg

My armada of digging tools includes:

2 Pick Axes (Hickory & Fibreglass)
2 Flat Spades - one long handle, one standard. (slit trenching lawns)
5 Cleanout Shovels (2", 3", 4", 6" wide with a variety of point/tip shapes)
1 6' Pry Bar (lifting granite risers)
Various hand trowels for tight work between pavers or dry laid granite.
2 Hard Rakes (gotta put it all back nice and neat)
2 Fan Rakes (one steel, one composite)
3 Brooms

If you are looking for work in 2008, I am committed to hiring my installer a good sturdy labourer! :)

Venturewest
01-17-2008, 09:58 PM
I think the unit Venture west is reffering to is the DMR unit http://www.dogfencetrencher.com/ I think they have the ugly blade or radical blade in 14 inch diameters and up to 1/2" wide to get deep enough. Often times you have mutliple runs tho which could pose an issue and cause you to have to make multiple passes.

I never thought about having to make several runs. I could see how that could pose a problem. Still would be handy in some situations I could imagine.

Guess the good old fashioned pick and spades are the lighting contractors' choice. I am bidding a lighting job right now on a couple of acres. There are several groups of post oaks and redbuds that are about 100 or 150' apart that the owners are wanting to uplight. This is a thick bermuda lawn. I just can't imagine hand trenching 600' of wire through the bermuda roots and clay. I may have to get a little creative.

Pro-Scapes
01-17-2008, 10:03 PM
I never thought about having to make several runs. I could see how that could pose a problem. Still would be handy in some situations I could imagine.

Guess the good old fashioned pick and spades are the lighting contractors' choice. I am bidding a lighting job right now on a couple of acres. There are several groups of post oaks and redbuds that are about 100 or 150' apart that the owners are wanting to uplight. This is a thick bermuda lawn. I just can't imagine hand trenching 600' of wire through the bermuda roots and clay. I may have to get a little creative.

See if you can sub out that burial... or rent the required machinery. Ask around about a lineward or vibe plow

ChampionLS
01-18-2008, 03:01 AM
Ha... they are not far from me. The problem with slow spinning wheels is they don't remove any soil. Most of it will wind up back in the trench.

Pro-Scapes
01-18-2008, 09:11 AM
i never used the DMR... And as far as I know its good the soil ends up back there because it slits and trenches at the same time. Bermuda heals fast...Get a ground saw or ex trench from your local yard but the clean up is gonna be a pita. I bet We could bury 600 ft with a good sharp shovel before you could do it and clean up from a trencher... the vibe plow and it looks like the DMR have little residual property damage.

Irrigation is one thing you need to be well aware of before using these machines among other shallow utilities. Often times by sitting and figuring out the easiest way or quickest way to do things you could of grabbed a shovel and been done with it. Just get er done and be glad its not august.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
01-18-2008, 10:58 AM
I am 100% with you there Billy. I often feel like putting off the big digs as it were, but then once I get into it I am amazed at just how fast, effective, neat and clean you can hand dig, bury and cover up.

Just compartmentalize the job and get down to it. Keeps your ticker healthy too!