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David Gretzmier
05-17-2008, 10:42 AM
What method works best for going under sidewalks? I have tried the long flex drillbit thing, and that works ok for smallish sidewalks 24-36". I've never tried it for 5 footers, and I've bid a few jobs where using the expansion joints and caulking over is not really an option due to brick trim. have any of you guys tried the various sidewalk stuff out there?

I remember reading a thread about a fitting on a piece of pvc you hammer in, and someone else mentioned a hose end fitting that worked with water. What works best for Low voltage cable, running one or two 10ga?

irrig8r
05-17-2008, 11:41 AM
Lots of threads here on this topic if you search... here are a few.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=195712&highlight=going+under+sidewalks

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=201664&highlight=going+under+sidewalks

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=169666&highlight=going+under+sidewalks

Pro-Scapes
05-17-2008, 11:42 AM
Dave. I often do sidewalks 4 to 5 ft with my bit method. Works very well.

The sidewalk tunnel kit avalible at lowes for 3 or 4 bucks works very well too.

I just did 3 sidewalks ranging from 3 to 5 ft across in about 30 min including the digging with the sidewalk tunnel kit (water jet) If you use 3/4 inch pipe you can pull a couple of 10ga thru it. If I need more I either do it twice or if the soil is soft push 1 inch pipe

Dont do this under pavers unless there is a concrete base!

Lite4
05-17-2008, 12:36 PM
I have an easy sleeve that you slide a 1" piece of electrical condiut over the drive and slamm it with the sledge. We have hard soils here and the water jet just makes a big mess. Anyway, you pound you conduit under the sidewalk and pull the metal driving too back out and vwalla, instant sleeve, more or less. This thing would be fanstastic in softer soils, but if you hit a rock prepare for some pounding.

Toy2
05-17-2008, 05:20 PM
I just get a piece of metal conduit, cut it a little longer than need it , smash it flat, add some tape to keep dirt out, use a piece of wood on the other end and start driving it where i want it, then cut the smashed end off, deburr it and run my wires.....works for me..good luck.

Bill S
05-17-2008, 06:39 PM
huh, why didn't I ever think of that.

Mark B
05-17-2008, 07:31 PM
That is a good idea.

NightScenes
05-18-2008, 09:44 AM
EMT (metal conduit) is not rated for underground use and will corrode through in a couple of years.

jana
05-18-2008, 11:32 AM
You guy's are killing yourselves. After coming here last year asking the same question, some kind person recommended The Bullet Mole. It is the best tool investment we ever made ! The guys doing it have it down now to around 12-16 minutes, going through clay and rock. There is so little resistance in touch with the soil, thats the key.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=198241&highlight=jana

Bullet Mole http://www.bulletmole.com/ The video is not fluff.

Paul, did you ever get one?

edit - after reading my thread, Joey was the kind soul. :D

Pro-Scapes
05-18-2008, 12:44 PM
for longer bores I could see that being useful... for 6ft and under I will stick to my flex bit. I only need to dig a trench about 1.5 to 2 ft back ft back and then a small pit on the other side... I can then flex it enough to slip it horozontal.

The not having to dig that huge trench for a sidewalk or something smaller is a huge time savings not to mention saves significant property disruption.

Another similar method would be just use a copper ground rod and hammer it home. When I do that I like to put a bow in it.

I do like the mole idea for driveways but its so much easier for me just to sub out thoes bores

What size pipes are you guys installing ? We typically just use sch 40 pvc between half and 1 inch.

Reminds me of a funny story. We did a job last week that had 3 sidewalks... as soon as we punched em all we found the 4 inch pvc's put in during construction.

jana
05-18-2008, 01:12 PM
No water used, is why it is so good. As for a big trench, we put down a tarp at any dig spot, remove the sod layer, 4 inch wide trench only, 4 ft back, 4 inch square on opposite side, clients never knew we dug. Use what works for you.

We put non metallic conduit in 1/2 to 1 1/2 dia.

Pro-Scapes
05-18-2008, 01:17 PM
the only time I like to water jet is if its VERY soft soil or sand. Then you can slam it very quickly with minimal mess.

If the mole works for you that great. I just see it as being a pita for a small 3-5 ft punch when you only need 1 or 2 wires. By the time you dig the 4 ft trech I will be burying wire on the other side of the walkway.

jana
05-18-2008, 04:05 PM
May be true in your soil but come here and try the drill method, all it does it twist off, so it is worthless here.
At least the greenlee's have, what mfg drill are you using?

Why do you sub out longer digs, you are loosing margin? A small investment in
maybe the Line Ward or other and you could be adding more margin.

Have you been getting lots of rain lately too. I saw Shreveport got like 5 inches
in a hour one day last week.

David Gretzmier
05-18-2008, 04:39 PM
I'd have to say the Borit looks impressive. gotta get a Heavy duty drill to go with it, so your looking at 350 bucks or so for 2 bits and some pipe. It seems whenever I am needing to go under a walk or a drive , the homeowner always has something else they want in there- an irrigation valve over there quit working, the gas line to thier street lamp is out, etc. maybe it is easier to do the drill abd just pull one wire, but putting in a 1 1/2 to 2 " sleeve solves alot of problems homeowners might be willing to pay a premium for a true sleeve over a wire pull only.

renting an air compressor and bullet from the local rental yard is almost the cost of a borit.

I went ahead and ordered the circus tent stakes, got 2, 1 inch x 42 inches and 1 1 and 1/8 " x 42" for 64 bucks shipped and everything. they'll be great for 1 inch and 1 1/4" sleeves on 3 foot sidewalks and smaller.

for 4,5 foot sidewalks and driveways, I'm getting a borit kit to put in sleeves.

Pro-Scapes
05-18-2008, 05:20 PM
May be true in your soil but come here and try the drill method, all it does it twist off, so it is worthless here.
At least the greenlee's have, what mfg drill are you using?

Why do you sub out longer digs, you are loosing margin? A small investment in
maybe the Line Ward or other and you could be adding more margin.

Have you been getting lots of rain lately too. I saw Shreveport got like 5 inches
in a hour one day last week.

I use greenlees... been using the same one for about a year now.

I dont sub out longer digs, I sub out long bores. We just did several long runs but due to the nature of the area and future use we pulled a trench most of the way then when the forest turned to turf we hand dug it.

im not losing margins on it. Any cost of bores simply get added to the invoice.
As for buying a boring machine like a ditch witch or lineward I wouldnt use it enough to justify the cost of it.

We got a fair amount of rain this week. Some nasty thunderstorms and a handful or tornadoes. When I got to my jobsite thursday morning I had planned to program the UPB but there was no power.

jana
05-18-2008, 05:55 PM
I meant bore.

Efficiency is what I look at. I will invest in what I know will increase margin and reduce project man hours while keeping pricing steady.
No reason to bust a$$ when you don't have to.

Happy tunneling ! :laugh:

Pro-Scapes
05-18-2008, 07:26 PM
I meant bore.

Efficiency is what I look at. I will invest in what I know will increase margin and reduce project man hours while keeping pricing steady.
No reason to bust a$$ when you don't have to.

Happy tunneling ! :laugh:

That is EXACTLY why I sub out bores too long for me to do quickly on my own. Your mole thing might be a good idea but right now I can do it faster with zero investment or lost man hours and at zero cost to my company with no investment in new equipment.

When I can no longer sub them out easy I will find alternatives.

While the sub is doing the bore I can be doing something else. So in that sence it decreases man hours. I write him a check for it and add his invoice price to my invoice.

Chris J
05-18-2008, 09:14 PM
I posted about this at length on another thread, and I still feel sorry for all of you with hard soils. I use the water jet method on 95% of the jobs we do, and up to about 30' (concrete slabs only, of course). Our soil is so sandy I can do most jets, regardless of length, in less than 10 minutes including the bore pits. On difficult, very long jets or pavers I will call my sub. $8 per foot. As you can see, this is one area where I have a big time advantage over the guys with rock/clay.

Lite4
05-19-2008, 01:50 AM
Just installed 2 sleeves this evening with the EZ sleever. Very similar to the borit tool, slide the 1" conduit over the bar and pound it through. Just pull out the bar and you have a sleeve all ready to go. The thing only cost around 50 bucks or so. It is pretty handy. Man Billy, I wish I had the nice soft sandy loam soils that you and Chris have. I am always fighting clay and rock. Oh Well, at least I don't have to deal with the humidity.

Pro-Scapes
05-19-2008, 08:10 AM
Just installed 2 sleeves this evening with the EZ sleever. Very similar to the borit tool, slide the 1" conduit over the bar and pound it through. Just pull out the bar and you have a sleeve all ready to go. The thing only cost around 50 bucks or so. It is pretty handy. Man Billy, I wish I had the nice soft sandy loam soils that you and Chris have. I am always fighting clay and rock. Oh Well, at least I don't have to deal with the humidity.

I deal with more than my fair share of clay and rock as well as an abundant supply of tree roots so its not all a cake walk.

Lite4
05-19-2008, 10:05 AM
Sorry Billy, It sounded like you had a lot of sand there too. My bad.

The Lighting Geek
05-19-2008, 03:24 PM
I like the bullet mole and I think we will get one soon. BUT, I have not had to under any concrete in over a year! I bought a concrete cutter and diamond blades and groove the existing expansion joints. I just did 100 feet in about 20 minutes. I can fit up to 4 home runs in one groove and the customer doesn't even know I was there. I don't go all the way through and we don't cut the steel, you can tell when you do. But I have had a paver drive and they already had sleeves, but I think this bullet mole would have covered it.

As for the Borzit, I almost broke both elbows and shattered my forearms 20 years ago because the drill caught a rock or the bottom of the concrete and spun the drill which wound the cord around my arms and I could not let go. The lock had been bumped on in the process and I got lucky when it unplugged it self. It was an odd position and I was drilling shoulder high. I only had very sore arms and joints for about 3 weeks, but it happens very fast. Never used one again. Same thing happened to a friend of mine because of all the rock here, only he was a bit more lucky.

NightScenes
05-19-2008, 09:59 PM
You guy's are killing yourselves. After coming here last year asking the same question, some kind person recommended The Bullet Mole. It is the best tool investment we ever made ! The guys doing it have it down now to around 12-16 minutes, going through clay and rock. There is so little resistance in touch with the soil, thats the key.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=198241&highlight=jana

Bullet Mole http://www.bulletmole.com/ The video is not fluff.

Paul, did you ever get one?

edit - after reading my thread, Joey was the kind soul. :D

I tried to order this a long time ago but the website was down and I couldn't get any info. I will check into it again now. Thanks for the new link.

NightScenes
05-19-2008, 10:00 PM
The Borzit is a real mess maker and like Tommy said, it can break an arm!

JoeyD
05-20-2008, 10:35 AM
Looks like they got the website back up. This is still the best boreing device I have ever seen!

http://www.bulletmole.com/

David Gretzmier
05-20-2008, 10:45 PM
bullet mole is expensive. 500-1500 bucks for some kits that you hit with a sledgehammer? This thing is just made of steel right? I listened to the video, impressive, but then the borit looks impressive too. It does sound like the borit makes a mess, but I like the idea of pulling the pvc through or leaving the galvanized pipe as your sleeve. look at the bullet and they remove the bullet and then put in the pvc. I'd say the bullet is way better than the Tent stakes, but if the tent stakes work 90% of the time...and only 15 bucks apiece...

costwise, a good used stihl concrete saw is around 600 bucks or so, but you can't really use those on the brick/concrete walks and the patterned concrete I am starting to see more and more often. Also the look on folks face when you say you are cutting a groove as opposed to going under...but on plain old concrete I am there on the concrete saw.

Pro-Scapes
05-21-2008, 12:02 AM
I used to cut driveways all the time for CATV lines. I agree we are seeing more and more stained concrete different types of stamped or stone surfaces so going under is usually the best choice.

Gooving is really good for hiding wires when core drilling stuff. We just cored in 2 more novas and had to groove for the wire runs. Came out great.

The thing I worry about most with gooving is making sure the wire is protected expecially at the edges. The mole is kinda pricey for what it is but looks like it could be a life saver in some situations especially thoes with no acsess for the sk350 and boring attachment. Some scenarios just dont have the room for it.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-21-2008, 01:19 AM
I have posted this before, and I still maintain that this tool is "Da Bomb" for boring under sidewalks, driveways and even road beds. (Yep its true, I used one last year to travel 36' at a depth of 18" under a private roadway... and it took about 10mins to do the job)

http://www.footagetools.com/u215.htm

Precision Lawns
05-21-2008, 01:50 AM
We're still talking about sidewalks right? For anything under 5 foot, we use the sidewalk sleever (EZ Sleever). I did a lighting job a few weeks ago, we did 2 sleeves in about 10 minutes through the rock base under a poured sidewalk. The sleevers are small, cheap, and easily replaceable.
For anything longer than 5 foot, Rotowitch.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-21-2008, 01:58 AM
I have posted this before, and I still maintain that this tool is "Da Bomb" for boring under sidewalks, driveways and even road beds. (Yep its true, I used one last year to travel 36' at a depth of 18" under a private roadway... and it took about 10mins to do the job)

http://www.footagetools.com/u215.htm

Oh, and I forgot to mention, once you have the hole dug on either side and the BigShot hooked up you get to relax a while and let it do the work! No slamming anything with a sledge, no risk of having your arms twisted off either. The BigShot is one slick tool.

David Gretzmier
05-22-2008, 04:56 AM
I have rented big shots before, they are great. all you need is a huge ( trailer) compressor to run them. 36' of sleeving. dang, THAT is a driveway !

Chris J
05-22-2008, 07:15 AM
My sub uses a big shot, but I'd much rather let him do the work and pay him a reasonable $8/ft. rather than rent/buy one. A 16' driveway only cost me $128, and the work is already done and ready to go when I get there. Same thing for the electrical work. I have all this done beforehand so I'm waiting for nothing when it's time to do the install. Very efficient time management.

NightScenes
05-22-2008, 08:53 AM
I wish I could find someone around here who does this kind of work because I would sub it out every time.

Lite4
05-22-2008, 10:52 AM
So would I Paul. I have a company here called accurbore. I will have to check out their rates.

MarkOlex
05-22-2008, 11:23 AM
James, that is really a nice tool. My question is what kind of compressor are you using with the BigShot? I have seen contractors use a similar tool before but the compressor was huge.

JoeyD
05-22-2008, 03:55 PM
I found these other tools as well.

http://www.southern-tool.com/store/uw_boring_machines.html

http://www.littlebeaver.com/prod_accessories.php

http://www.sidewalksleever.com/?gclid=CPLtn93jupMCFQhsgwod0xfhDA

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-22-2008, 06:43 PM
James, that is really a nice tool. My question is what kind of compressor are you using with the BigShot? I have seen contractors use a similar tool before but the compressor was huge.

Mark, you need a high volume compressor for sure, one of the tow behind types used for Jack Hammers or the kind that irrigation companies use to do system blow outs.

I dont own a bigshot or the compressor as I hardly ever need it. When I do, I can either rent one or sub-contract out to a company that does this type of work.

David Gretzmier
05-23-2008, 12:09 AM
lighting geek- your concrete saw inspired me today.

I did something new. I bought a 4 1/2" diamond "tuck point" blade ( 34 bucks at lowes) for my angle grinder. it is 1/4" wide or so, and perfect for widening/deepening those expansion joints in sidewalks and drives. it took all of 3 minutes to deepen and widen a joint on a newer small stamped concrete sidewalk, and about 15 minutes to do a 16' wide driveway with a 1' wide stamped concrete "brick" edge. I easily put in a 10 guage wire, probably could tightly do 8 guage. I'm looking at a 10 amp dewalt or milwaukee angle grinder rather than my 19 buck chinese cheapie, as the driveway put a good load on the blade.

covered the wire in the concrete with quickcrete premixed crack filler, it is a sandy grey/latex and self leveling, so no wierd ripples or blops. just a nice glass smppth surface. It costs about 6.50 at lowes for a quart dispenser with a ketchup bottle tip and tip cover. cheaper and easier than grey silicone caulk.

going under sidewalks is good, going over them seems much easier. but then I'm only talking one wire at this point. doing more than 2 wire runs I'd definetly consider other options.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
05-23-2008, 12:13 AM
David, you might want to use a sleeve or conduit over the wire before you pour concrete or mortar of any kind onto the wire. The lime in the concrete etc will eat into the jacket of the wire over time.

Regards.

David Gretzmier
05-23-2008, 12:26 AM
It's actually not concrete that I put over the top of the wire in the widened joint. it is a latex based crack filler for concrete. It looks like grey caulk that has been thinned out a bit. It dries like rubber.

JoeyD
05-23-2008, 10:56 AM
Another good trick we teach when cutting and sinking wire in expansion joints is to not sweep up and trow out the dust. You leave it on the concrete, then once you filled your joint with some filler like the stuff you describe David. You sweep the dust back over while it is still wet. This gives it the exact color match and makes it so you cant even tell anyone ever went into the crack.

I also use a 4" disc grinder/angle grinder and piggy back 2 4" diamond blades to it. It cuts really well, just like a skill saw. By piggy backing 2 blades you get a nice wide cut.

David Gretzmier
05-24-2008, 01:42 PM
sweet ! great idea!

Lite4
05-24-2008, 10:35 PM
how do you guys deal with colored concrete when you are cutting the joints. The joint filler you put back in won't match? Neither will the dust since the concrete is still grey under the color release they apply.

The Lighting Geek
05-24-2008, 11:19 PM
You need to be careful to use wider joints and don't rush the cut. Let the blade do the work and you just guide it. If done right and the joint is the right size, you can't tell you were there. I don't even caulk most of the time and the customer is always amazed how we do it. Be sure to send them to the store or something before you core or groove...LOL They kinda freak when you jump up on the mantle of an outdoor fireplace with a wet bore unit and let'er rip. LOL;)

David Gretzmier
05-25-2008, 12:40 AM
I think to get away with not caulking I'd have to go deeper, and my 4 1/2 " angle grinder is not up to that task. I'm not sure if I'm ok with not caulking, I just started widening grooves and "going over" last week. My jumbo ( 1 1/4" x 42" ) circus tent stakes came in yesterday, those are fun to show off to customers. " Now this here is a NAIL ! " :drinkup:

jana
05-25-2008, 09:44 AM
This is the stuff for expansion joints http://www.deckoseal.com/index.htm

Pour the filler that closely matches the deck, then brush a matching color of aggregate on the top. Then your client
will ask if you can do the others since it looks so wonderful.

The heck with caulking mess. :drinkup:

jshimmin
05-25-2008, 02:47 PM
Be careful when and where as well. NEC says 6" under the concrete for non vehicular areas.