View Full Version : How do you dig a 10" wide trench with a 8" wide trencher??

09-07-2011, 11:25 PM
I'm sorry if my question is quite honestly dumb, but I have access to a 8" wide(cutting head) trencher but need at least 10" of trench width. I have only used wheeled trenchers and have learned that once the soil berms up on either side of an opened trench it becomes difficult to travel atop the bermed soil without pushing the soil back in, etc..

What is the proper trenching technique (or creative way) that a 10" wide trench can be achieved with a lesser machine(8")?

I realize that all trenched/excavated soil can be relocated so the trencher can travel atop the ground for another pass, but there has to be a better way.

Thank you for your help!

DVS Hardscaper
09-07-2011, 11:51 PM
Use dynamite
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
09-08-2011, 01:16 AM
an 8" trencher will probably do wider than 8".

Your cutting earth. Not a piece of plywood. it'll probably end up at 10-11" when its said and done.

Just like a backhoe bucket. A 24" bucket doesnt cut a 24" trench. It's wider.


09-08-2011, 01:46 AM
how deep do you need the trench? and how deep does the trencher go?... you can always (if the trencher goes deep enough) trench deeper than you need and shave the walls with a shuvel to get the extra with you need... trenching it twice does not work that well you will have a lot of earth filling up the trench because it does not cary dirt out it pushes it out sort of like a snow plow...

09-08-2011, 08:20 AM
Thanks guys for the replies.

The trench needs to be 28" deep. I just found out that I will be renting a tracked Toro mini skid with a trencher. I believe they said it will trench up to 48" deep.

Ok, if the 8" trencher cuts actually 10" wide than I'm all set.

Or else, I see what you are saying, dig a deeper trench, spade the sides wider, excess soil falls to bottom where it will stay.

For those that have used a Toro(or any tracked mini-skid) any operating tips that you can share?

Thanks again for your help!

09-08-2011, 09:52 AM
How far do you have to go? A dingo would STRUGGLE in the south to dig 30" and 8" wide. I would get a mini excavator, Even the smallest one will work better than the dingo and probably about the same cost. It may take a little longer but definately less hand work.

09-08-2011, 09:56 AM
Agree that a mini excavator is the way to go. They are very smooth even for the beginning operator. Much easier to push soil back into the hole as opposed to hand digging more out of it. You will make quick work of it and they are compact enough to get into some tight areas.


DVS Hardscaper
09-08-2011, 11:01 AM
Im Having a hard time envisiOning a 8" trencher on such a small machine. Our skid steer trencher is 4" and cuts a 5" trench.

8" is really wide for a dingo? You sure that's right?
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DVS Hardscaper
09-08-2011, 12:33 PM
My comment about plywood.

In other words the ground is not going to slice clean like plywood does when you cut it.

If you slice a trench with a 4" trencher, and you put the trencher back in the trench - it's not going to have a tight, snug fit. It'll be wider. As the earth that the 4" slice is attached to will break free.

(unless you have PERFECT soil with no rocks, no clay)


09-08-2011, 12:36 PM
It's funny, I just stopped in a local rental house and spotted the mini-excavator and thought to myself a little more time, but the same if not better outcome.

It will be a Bobcat rubber tracked excavator w/12" bucket. I have used this piece of equipment a few years ago with great results. Not sure the model number off hand.

I really wanted to use a small mini tracked skid. Ok well, maybe next time.

Thanks again for all your input!


DVS Hardscaper
09-08-2011, 03:11 PM
Don't foregit to have the public utilities marked.
Posted via the hardscape god

09-08-2011, 03:59 PM
you will save time using the mini-x the dingo will not trench that deep without considerable drop in performance.

if it is a little more to rent it it will be easier on your back with a faster learning curve on the machine.

09-08-2011, 07:36 PM
Im Having a hard time envisiOning a 8" trencher on such a small machine. Our skid steer trencher is 4" and cuts a 5" trench.

8" is really wide for a dingo? You sure that's right?
Posted via Mobile Device

I have used the 12 inch chain on the dingo many times for 8 inch pipe and believe it or not, it works pretty well (even in the south). There are times when it struggles just like any trencher, but overall it's performance is pretty close to the 4 inch chain. The 4 inch chain is consistently 4 inch teeth in every link, where as the 8 or 12 inch chain is built like a pyramid so the chain doesn't bog down as much.

09-08-2011, 09:43 PM

You can get a 12" wide cutting chain for a trencher on a mini-skid/tracked machine? If so, probably not a common piece of equipment for a rental house to carry.

Thanks again and I look forward to your reply.


09-08-2011, 10:27 PM
Yes, you can definitely put a 12 inch chain on the dingo trencher. How readily available it is at your rental shop I don't know. We discovered it at our local rental shop here, which is a big one. They let us rent the chain and we had to do the switching of the chains. Changing the trencher chain is a 2 man job and the first time you do it it will take about an hour most likely. That being said, it's not that complicated, just loosening the tension bolt and removing the original and then putting the other one on and extending the bolt back.

09-08-2011, 11:24 PM
Thank you for that information. I will see if I can find the 12" trencher chain in my day to day travels.

Have a good one!