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advancedlawnsolutions
02-03-2005, 12:38 AM
I've been doing installs for about 2-1/2 yrs now and only about 12 jobs. I've always used a trencher. I have found that I spend a lot of time covering ditches and the yard looks like it went through surgery. What about the vaibratory plow? How can I get 5-6 runs of 1" sch20 pvc in one ditch with a plow? What do some of you more experienced guys find more user friendly and time saving?

mickeyg
02-03-2005, 01:23 AM
My experience using a vibratory plow results in less work, faster installs, cleaner installation( no glueing) and the yard doesn't look like a war zone.
We used to do the trenching, but now we do the subsurface and polypipe installations. Trenching took to long, depending on soil condition and depth, lots of cross over trenches, then we had to go back and clean the trench, cut pvc pipe, glue,set and bury pipe by hand. We also came back a week later to fill the trench due to settling. With the plow and poly pipe all you do is plow your lines, dig holes where your going to tee into, connect and bury the small area hole. We also liked it because since we used poly throughout the system, the sprinklers could be moved/adjusted rather than fixed with PVC. With poly pipe we also used the "press fit couplings" no glueing. You can also run cable,telephone and low voltage wiring. And how much was all this equipment??? about 19K :dizzy:

Rainmaker
02-03-2005, 09:49 AM
If you don't want to use poly pipe you can only plow 1 pvc pipe at a time you can plow onther pipe about 6 inches away from it and so on. I'm not saying you can't plow more than one pvc pipe at a time I just don't recommend it. Poly pipe on the other hand we will plow three pipes at a time you can plow 5 or 6 poly pipes but then it gets to be a pain for the service point of fixing the pipes and making the initial connections. Trenchins is alot more labor intensive and on residential installs its not very economical to have the extra equipment for compacting the dirt back in the trench to keep from settling.

Rotor-Man
02-03-2005, 09:57 AM
Only way to go is a vib. plow. Fast and clean, and in this area if you used a chain trencher on an established yard, you would be out of business in a heartbeat.

Fescue Farmer
02-03-2005, 10:07 AM
I am not famailiar with the vibratory plow - we use an MT52 with a trencher - but I would like to know more about it.

How deep will it lay pipe?
How large diameter of pipe will it lay? (frequently we are using 11/2" to 2" for mainlines and some laterals)
How fast will it lay pipe?

Thanks Guys,
Fescue

Rainmaker
02-03-2005, 08:04 PM
depending on the size of the plow you can go from 1" to 2 1/2" pipe and the depth of up to 5' with a big enough machine. The standard Case Maxi sneaker you could plow up to 1 1/2" pipe about 8 to 15 inches deep depending on the blade and soil conditions. If you do alot of commercial work the Vermeer LM-42 is the best compact machine for the job even great on most residential. With a good operator you can lay the pipe in the ground on a normal 10 12 zone house in about 4 hours all you have to do is dig up for the connections. Very minimall damage to existing lawns.

2_Djinn
02-03-2005, 10:36 PM
We use a vibratory plow and a trencher on the dingo when needed. We order our 1" PVC with one end belled so that it eliminates the need for a 1" coupler. (anyone else use pvc with belled ends?)

We lay it out over the yard how we want it and glue it then start pulling. Most big jobs we can have all the pipe pulled in a half a day or so. Then the rest of the time is digging up where ya need too. Trencher IMO is the way to go if there is no grass cause ya eliminate having to dig alot to put in your tess and 90*'s.

farmer_lab
02-06-2005, 11:25 AM
A plow is the only way to go. It is so much faster and less of a mess to get to look right when you are done the same day. You can get a mini for around $1000 or get a maxi for 2500 and it would be more than enough to get started at least that is what I did.

Mdirrigation
02-06-2005, 11:53 AM
If you don't want to use poly pipe you can only plow 1 pvc pipe at a time you can plow onther pipe about 6 inches away from it and so on. I'm not saying you can't plow more than one pvc pipe at a time I just don't recommend it. Poly pipe on the other hand we will plow three pipes at a time you can plow 5 or 6 poly pipes but then it gets to be a pain for the service point of fixing the pipes and making the initial connections. Trenchins is alot more labor intensive and on residential installs its not very economical to have the extra equipment for compacting the dirt back in the trench to keep from settling.

You can glue the bell end pvc pipe together and pull hundreds of feet , I have been doing it with a plow for over 20 years . I also attach 2 or 3 chinese fingers and pull 2 or 3 seperate runs at the same time. If you are average with a machine you can plow the pipes as colse as 2 inches from each other.


I do have a ditch witch plow for sale if anyone is looking for one .

telcomac
02-07-2005, 05:20 PM
New Member! Great Forum. Started business three years ago. I have been using a Line Ward L-2 Machine. Info can be found at their web site, lineward.com.
Great machine! minimally invasive to established lawns.

Rainmaker
02-07-2005, 08:36 PM
You can glue the bell end pvc pipe together and pull hundreds of feet , I have been doing it with a plow for over 20 years . I also attach 2 or 3 chinese fingers and pull 2 or 3 seperate runs at the same time. If you are average with a machine you can plow the pipes as colse as 2 inches from each other.


I do have a ditch witch plow for sale if anyone is looking for one .


Never tryed to plow more than 1 pvc pipe at a time we mostly just use pvc for main line and poly for laterals unless otherwise specified Thanks for the info I will have to try that on my next all pvc install

cenlo
02-15-2005, 03:02 AM
Whats wrong with the mini trencher? A trench 1" wide by 8" deep doesn't wreck the yard!

Mdirrigation
02-15-2005, 07:21 AM
Whats wrong with the mini trencher? A trench 1" wide by 8" deep doesn't wreck the yard!

A trencher takes longer than a plow , trenches settle , dirt has to be shoveled back into a hole , more seeding , more damage to the lawn , did I say slower.

Turf Dancer
02-16-2005, 06:19 AM
One guy here lays all the pipe out then just cuts the sod folds it out of the way and then trenches, puts the pipe in the ground, then connects the tee's, hooks up the funny pipe and leaves it sticking out, once all conections are glued he fills it all in and connects the heads! If you have all your dirt on the bottom of your sod that is flipped over then you have minimal problems associated with settling because all the dirt that came out it going right back in the same hole it came out of. Once this is done he adjusts the heads and he is done.

Mdirrigation
02-16-2005, 03:52 PM
Eliminate cutting the sod , folding it away , trenching , and backfilling the trench . Thats the advantage of a plow

Turf Dancer
02-16-2005, 08:51 PM
Eliminate cutting the sod , folding it away , trenching , and backfilling the trench . Thats the advantage of a plow

That is a fair and true statement. I was just trying to point out that you can use a little thought and cut down on the amount of damage you do an established lawn while still being able to use a trencher. There are some of us out there that are solo operators, doing lawn maintenance and irrigation installs can run a guy a little short in the pocket book for high dollar equipment such as a plow which would get used maybe 6 to 8 times per year. I for one could much easier afford a trencher than I could a plow, at the moment I am putting a bunch of money into an enclosed trailer and a mower so money for a plow is not in the budget. I was only trying to make a point referring back to the comment about trenchers leaving a lawn a mess. I was not arguing the fact that plows do save time. I am planning to add a couple of employees this next year if all things go as planned. Therefore a plow may be in the budget for the next year or even this fall. I would like to get to the point where I can run a maintenance crew and an install crew.

For future reference what plow do you recommend ? I will only be doing light commercial and residential for the most part.

Mdirrigation
02-17-2005, 01:14 PM
I am also small , by choice , what I have found is that equipment is cheaper than labor. You do 6 systems a year , ok , with a plow you could do tripple that in the same amount of time . I can lay all the pipe for a 6 zone system in 2 to 3 hours on adverage . The lawn looks like you were never there , (another selling point) .

I have a burkeen and a ditch witch 350 sx . I prefer the more powerful machines which are fine on small residential to commercial . Plus my burkeen is 20 years old , just minor maintenance done to the machine , It was $ 22,000. new that breaks down to a bit over $ 1000.00 a year so far . If I had to trench I would have been out of this line of work years ago .

Turf Dancer
02-18-2005, 11:02 PM
I suppose that I am mvong into a larger market it may pay for itself over time as I build my business. The problem is the market I am in is a smaller market and it makes it tougher on a guy when you have a limited amount of work to go around.

Mdirrigation
02-18-2005, 11:15 PM
If no one else is using a plow , the market will be yours . Limits , there are none. Equipment is better than man power , more reliable , efficency is the key . I bought my burkeen for 22 grand I was 22 years old . i now have 3 houses , in aa county maryland ( not a cheap area ) 2 are paid for , numerous cars trucks garage ets , paid for . I was the second contractor to buy a plow . There were guys in business trenching for 10 years and I overtook them in my first 2 years , because I was cleaner faster and better . Have the dealer demo a plow for you , you will be impressed

cenlo
02-19-2005, 09:04 AM
A trencher takes longer than a plow , trenches settle , dirt has to be shoveled back into a hole , more seeding , more damage to the lawn , did I say slower.

I still don't get it! If I trench an 1 1/4" wide by 8" deep trench with an earth saw, how much damage could there be? All of the dirt or roots are reduced to small granulars which would make backfilling very easy. The mini trencher could also go on lawns at any time. If you bring a plow onto a small lot say 3000 ft2 would it not leave some damage at the turns,........ and what about the weight of the plow (leaving ruts). Also, if you are in an area where you can only do 10 residential jobs per year, then spending a few hours more trenching shouldn't matter (especially with 20k in my pocket). I agree with Turf Dancer, it comes down to your area and your other areas of business. To spend 2k on an earth saw for the first year or two seems like a smart idea. Then if you grow too big, buy the plow! (And you will still have your trencher) I can't imagine a client being upset with a 1" wide strip of dirt, it should be almost hidden by the grass blades! :)

Mdirrigation
02-19-2005, 09:45 AM
You will save 1 day minimum on the install , Your install will look better . That day youu save is worth money , you can be somewhere else. If its too wet to leave ruts , its too wet anyway to dig you will make mud . You have to see one work , dealers will demo one for you . I have only needed a trencher 2 times in 20 years . If there are 10 jobs available to you , there is more , create the need . The plow has sold more jobs than I can count , when a potential customer sees you working and asks when are you putting in the pipe and you show them you are done , you just sold another job .

crosson lawn
02-20-2005, 12:44 AM
I live in florida and don't know of this plow. everyone around here uses a trencher. Where do u get the polypipe? can u use pvc thin wall? and what are the different kinds to choose from? I may just hire someone to mow my lawns and start putting in sprinklers if i can use this system. If i am the first one down here with it then i will get the business.

Mdirrigation
02-20-2005, 10:08 AM
I dont use poly pipe , all thin wall bell end pvc , just glue it together and go . Manufacturers of plows are vemeer , burkeen ,case and ditch witch . In Florida sand installing with a plow would be like slicing butter with a hot knife .

crosson lawn
02-20-2005, 11:24 AM
Thanks i just wonder why i haven't heard of anyone using it here. I will definately check into it.

YardPro
02-20-2005, 07:29 PM
the problem i have seen with a plow is that you can cut your pipe pretty easially. if the plow skirts a rock or sharp object, then the rest of the legnth of pipe would scrape it.

also if you cut something with a trencher you know where it is cut. I have seen cable guys here pull 50 feet of pvc out of the ground. it was our irrigation line. we had a heck of a time finding the end.

also
plowing is not THAT much of a time savings, brcuase you have to carefully dig out each tap in.
with my mini trencher, i have all my pipe and fittings glued on and just lay them in the trench. backfilling does not take that long to do.

that's the only time savings, is the backfill. i think a lot of that is offset by the digging of each fitting.

also when you have to tee in, that is MUCH more time consuming than a tee with trenching.

no i cannot argue that it is less dammaging, but my little 2 inch trench grows in in a month or so. All the warm season grasses will spread over the trenches, so here there is no need to reseed.

Mdirrigation
02-20-2005, 08:27 PM
the problem i have seen with a plow is that you can cut your pipe pretty easially. if the plow skirts a rock or sharp object, then the rest of the legnth of pipe would scrape it.


I have installed over 200 systems in all types of soil and never had that problem, or ever heard of that happening .


also if you cut something with a trencher you know where it is cut. I have seen cable guys here pull 50 feet of pvc out of the ground. it was our irrigation line. we had a heck of a time finding the end.


If you cut something , than it wasnt marked correctly by the locating company , or the machine operator screwed up . It happens both ways . If I cut something that isnt marked its not my responsibility


also
plowing is not THAT much of a time savings, brcuase you have to carefully dig out each tap in.
with my mini trencher, i have all my pipe and fittings glued on and just lay them in the trench. backfilling does not take that long to do.

This I strongly disagree with , after the pipe is pulled , it takes on adverage less than 10 minutes per head , thats dig, connect , fill and tamp . Backfilling a trench and compacting the soil takes quite a while compared to plowing and digging a small hole to make a connection .


that's the only time savings, is the backfill. i think a lot of that is offset by the digging of each fitting.


This I have to disagree with also , a plow and a trencher side by side on a 500 foot run with 10 heads 12 inches deep , clay loam soil using 1 inch poly , the man on the plow will be done in less than 1/3 the time, and look better when done .


also when you have to tee in, that is MUCH more time consuming than a tee with trenching.


That takes about 3 minutes longer than making a head connection , and 99 % of the time you plan your tee where a head goes , 1 hole serves 2 purposes.

no i cannot argue that it is less dammaging, but my little 2 inch trench grows in in a month or so. All the warm season grasses will spread over the trenches, so here there is no need to reseed.


Trenches settle , and time is money , how a job looks when its done vs 2 months after the fact is a big disadvantage when the competition is plowing .
Once you learn the tricks and shortcuts with plowing you will only trench when absolutly necessary .



Yard pro , you have a toro dingo , dont you ? demo a plow for that machine
I assume you have never installed with a plow , until I found this site I figured no one trenched , I thought that went out in the mid to late 1970"s since I started in 1981 and I had my plow back then . I have electricians that own trenchers , they pay me to plow in conduit since I am faster , and there is no lawn damage , its cheaper for them to pay me $ 2.00 a foot with a $300.00 minimum than tie up 2 electricans that can be billed out at $ 75.00 an hour plus materials .

YardPro
02-20-2005, 10:35 PM
i can understand your points, but consider this.

HERE we have NO ground freeze, so most residental irrigation systems are only 7-8 inches deep. With my trenchmaster here in the sandy soils I can trench a 1500 linear feet system in a little more than an hour. our properties are really small and tight. the big plows are too big ans unmaneuverable. I see the cable guys struggeling with them all the time. Also the wheeled units get stuck in the sandy soils A LOT. i see a lot of that too.
also i have seen cable guys (the ONLY people here that use plows) strip a slit out of a cable wire from a piece of concrete and have to come back and rerun it ( this is where they hit our line)

it takes me about 1 minute to glue in a 1X3/4fpt tee and a swing pipe elbow. i don't have to dig at all. I really think this will ofset a lot more of the time that a plow saves.

now if i had to use a large chain trencher i would be singing a different tune.

and as for the settling issue. since out soils are almost pure sand, all we do is to use an angled blade i have for a mower, and drive over the trench. there is no setteling issues at all.

i am not arguing that where YOU are with YOUR conditions the vib plow is the way to go. BUT here i can use my 10 year old $1500.00 trencher ( that i also use for bed edging, different blade of course). that one man can load into the back of a pickup. I also do trenching for electricians and plumbers with my trencher. The guys i sub for have ditch witch chain trenchers, but my unit is so much FASTER and more agile, and the cleanup is so minor, that they use me for the same reasons your contractors use you.

it's all a regional thing. I'll guarantee you that if you brought your machind here and tried to work with it you'd change youe mind

Most homes here are 3-5 zones ( each zone is about 12 gpm and 45psi). Me and a helper can do them in a day. elaborate yards with lots of drip, will spill into a second day.

i have been toying with the idea of demoing a vib for my dingo, but for the 5K I doubt it would be cost effective for me to make the switch.

mickeyg
02-21-2005, 06:08 PM
I have used both types of machines, chain trenchers and vib. The vib wins hands down. And I have been using trenchers since the 80's. Trenchers, IMO are no comparison in time. With the vib you could pull or lay pipe. I have done both. Yes you can do some damage to pipes if you pull, but if you lay the pipe you get no damage.

YardPro
02-21-2005, 08:12 PM
i toally agree with the chain trencher being inferior. My statements are on small blade type trenchers.

i absolutely hate using the chain trenchers.

justgeorge
02-22-2005, 12:38 PM
I have used both types of machines, chain trenchers and vib. The vib wins hands down. And I have been using trenchers since the 80's. Trenchers, IMO are no comparison in time. With the vib you could pull or lay pipe. I have done both. Yes you can do some damage to pipes if you pull, but if you lay the pipe you get no damage.
I've demoed a Dingo with the plow attachment and pulled some pipe in. How exactly do you lay pipe using a plow (vs pulling pipe)?

mickeyg
02-22-2005, 03:34 PM
The attachment came with the plow at an extra cost. The attachment can be sized for different pipe sizes. The attachment/plow basically feeds or lays the pipe while operating, less stress and stretching on the pipe. We can also attach a chain at the end of the attachment and pull the pipe. The attachment has like a chute, so that the pipe goes into the attachment while your plowing and feeding the pipe. Its sort of hard to explain but your dealer should have known about it. Before I purchased the vib I was under the impression that all pipe had to be pulled. I'll try to get some pics of the plow with the attachment

justgeorge
02-22-2005, 04:00 PM
The attachment came with the plow at an extra cost. The attachment can be sized for different pipe sizes. The attachment/plow basically feeds or lays the pipe while operating, less stress and stretching on the pipe. We can also attach a chain at the end of the attachment and pull the pipe. The attachment has like a chute, so that the pipe goes into the attachment while your plowing and feeding the pipe. Its sort of hard to explain but your dealer should have known about it. Before I purchased the vib I was under the impression that all pipe had to be pulled. I'll try to get some pics of the plow with the attachment
The dingo and plow that I demoed had a chain that attached to a chinese finger trap that help the end of the pvc. This was last fall, and it got too wet for me to actually use it to install a system.

mickeyg
02-22-2005, 06:45 PM
I know what your talking about. That pulling attachment comes with the vib, so I was told by the rep, but I also ordered the other attachment for laying the pipe. When I got the vib plow it was missing the pulling attachment, I called the rep and he informed me iI would have to pay extra for the pulling attachment, needless to say I was upset :angry: but in the end the rep no longer works for toro. :blob3: I still dont have the pulling attachment. Are these icons neat?

mickeyg
02-23-2005, 04:57 PM
Here are three pic of my vib plow attachment. The first pic shows the feed chute open and youcan see the pipe inside the chute, the second pic is of a different angle. The last pic shows the chute closed, and thats how it is used during plowing. The pipe is never not pulled with this attachment. As I am plowing, the pipe lays inside (the ground)what the plow has just opened in the ground. Hope this helps.

justgeorge
02-24-2005, 07:55 AM
Ok, so that looks like a different blade. It also looks like it only lays poly pipe? I don't see PVC making the big bend.....

Thanks for the pictures.

George

Venturewest
02-24-2005, 08:59 PM
I started in irrigation a year ago. I currently use a Toro dingo 220 with a 2 foot chain trencher. I would love to get into plowing if it would be practical in my market.

I am in Oklahoma and NO ONE here plows at all. They claim that our clay soil is just too dense and heavy. Do any of you have any experience with that?
If I could figure out a way to make plowing feasible I would run away with the market here.

Would a wheeled model Toro Dingo have enough traction to plow through heavy clay?

If you were doing a 40 foot stretch of pipe, that had 5 heads, would that still be faster than trenching? How manueverable are the plows?

I am really interested in any specific information I can get to see if this would be the way to go in Oklahoma.

Today I finished up a 5 zone system. 78 spray heads on an 8,000 sq foot lot minus the house. With all those connections and turns, would a plow still be faster??

Thanks for your help.

Venturewest
02-24-2005, 09:06 PM
Looks like a neat machine.

Mdirrigation
02-24-2005, 09:20 PM
The easiest way to find out , demo one from the dealer . I was wondering 78 heads on 5 zones , that seems like a lot , your flow and pressure must be great .

farmer_lab
02-24-2005, 09:32 PM
I pull through a-lot of clay and have no problem with my sneaker. I have more trouble in rock because I can't get enough traction. If you demo one you will know.

mickeyg
02-24-2005, 10:29 PM
I have the toro dingo 222 (1997) when they first came out, and I had to do some modifiications to the dingo in order to use the vib plow correctly. The modiffications are pretty much mandatory, although I got no input from the sales rep. First off , when you attach the vib to your dingo you will be off center, you will be front load heavy. When the rep came to demo the vib it was on the 425, and it has a longer wheel base and weight. What I did to my dingo was put new turf tires and have them foam filled, each wheel now weighed over fifty pounds. Even with the foam filled tires and added weight it was still front load heavy. I bought the steel tracks for the dingo and installed them, it eliminated the front load problem. Also before I did any mods to my dingo I was unable to go forward or backwards because of the frontload problem. When I had the tires installed I was able to travel but very slowly, I operated the vib at that time just to see what it would do, it did nothing, the vib went down into the ground but I was spinning the tires, going nowhere. All this was eliminated once the steel tracks were installed. Now my dingo rips! Believe it or not, I also cut asphlat with the plow, its that powerful, I no longer have to rent an asphalt cutter and spend all that time cutting asphalt. I do a light scoring on the asphalt than go back and rip, super fast. The only reason I bought the plow was to install Toro's subsurface irrigation systems, so my pipe chute will accept no pipe bigger than 5/8" diameter. And we have pulled over 100ft of 3/4" poly with no problem at a total cutting depth of 15 inches. The plow attachment actually cuts deeper than where the pipe lays If the surface area is to hard we make several passes at different depths to break up the tension, but it still is alot faster then chain trenching anyday. I will try to post some pics of the subsurface irrigation we installed on another heading.

YardPro
02-27-2005, 08:44 PM
mickey-
you ever hear from lee about the adapter plate.
i'm still getting the run around on mine.

crosson lawn
02-27-2005, 10:14 PM
i need to price the poly and have searched for it but can not find it could someone give me a site or even a better name to search for.

mickeyg
02-28-2005, 12:25 AM
Yardpro, No I have not. I was going to wait to see when you got yours first, I am interested, just want to see how yours turn out. I thought you already had it by now.
Crosson Lawn. I get my "poly" pipe from my local irrigation supplier(s). I think it is also called polyvinyle (spelling/) not the PVC. It is black in color and comes with a blue stripe on it. hope this helps.

jerryrwm
02-28-2005, 01:53 AM
Actually it is polyethylene or PE pipe. Poly Vinyl is PVC.

Irrigation supply houses may carry it, or plumbing or industrial supply houses.

mickeyg
02-28-2005, 12:00 PM
OOPS sorry , thats wright... right ahh.. rite, Oh whatever! moon spots were heavy last nite, or were they sun spots. brain activity slowing down need more U232.

YardPro
03-01-2005, 08:35 AM
Yardpro, No I have not. I was going to wait to see when you got yours first, I am interested, just want to see how yours turn out. I thought you already had it by now.
Crosson Lawn. I get my "poly" pipe from my local irrigation supplier(s). I think it is also called polyvinyle (spelling/) not the PVC. It is black in color and comes with a blue stripe on it. hope this helps.

mickey-

got ours last wed. while i was out of town at the icpi certification.
it was at the shop and i didn't even know it.
unwraped it yesterday, and it looks really well made.
i am impressed.

i'll be using it next week with the bobcat trencher.

mickeyg
03-01-2005, 11:09 AM
Yardpro, if you can post some pics

Critical Care
04-05-2005, 07:03 PM
With all the talk about using plows I thought I'd check on trying one out, but so far I haven't beeen able to find one. It seems as if all the rental companies are just going with trenchers.

Could someone tell me how easy it is to use a plow around tree roots?

nocutting
04-05-2005, 09:58 PM
Is this in regards to layin poly pipe?...the plow has a cutting blade, i've had no problen 5-6 ft away from a mid size tree, there is aways "Blasting Caps"...mmmmh, You might try looking at a large irragation supply company , they often rent equipment..."Good Luck"- regards Saxon

Wet_Boots
04-05-2005, 11:27 PM
Vermeer has a dealer in Portland. www.vermeer.com - You will hear different opinions, but if I had to get through tough conditions with a standard vibratory plow, I'd pick a Vermeer LM-42, for its sheer weight and power. You might experiment with different plow blades to deal with tree roots. A thin blade with a sharp edge might perform better than a thicker blade. Your particular conditions will determine what works.

Rental companies often avoid vibratory plows, because of the cost, and their ability to literally beat themselves to pieces. (after many hours of productive use, hopefully) You might be able to rent a machine with an operator, which would be a good first-time introduction to vibratory plows.

Critical Care
04-06-2005, 10:55 PM
I'm a long ways from ever buying one of these things, and unfortunately Vermeer in Portland is a hefty distance away as well.

I noticed at one of the rental places today that they have a couple of the little Bobcat MT52 or MT55 mini track loaders. Perhaps I'll go back there and check whether they have the plow attachments.

I'm surprised that these vibratory plows also beat themselves to pieces, but then I don't really know how they operate. This area is very rocky with lava and basalt, and trenchers get a good work out... so do the guys running them. Its a bit like trying to hang on to the tail of a wild stallion that overdosed on caffene.

Wet_Boots
04-07-2005, 12:17 AM
Local support is important, especially if you aren't completely familiar with the equipment. There's a Case dealer in Bend http://www.cascademachine.com/products.htm and they want to sell you stuff. The <a href=http://www.casece.com/products/products_detail.asp?RL=NAE&ID=79>Maxi-Sneaker</a>
is also a good vibratory plow, if a bit lighter than the Vermeer.

bicmudpuppy
04-11-2005, 12:15 AM
I guess I am truly fortunate in that the KC area has lots of opportunities for me to rent a plow. I have only averaged around 10-15 installs per year. I can't compete with the larger outfits running cheap labor and installing cheap systems at near cost, BUT I do love fixing the crap the install!!! If an economical residential plow is your target, I don't like the dingo. The SK500 from ditch witch is just as good a machine, and the ditch witch shaker box is twice the plow that toro sells (and it will fit on the dingo in that's what you already got). The attachment from ditch witch is the same plow they put on the 255. The one major draw back to the dingo, SK500 or that small bob cat mini steer is weight. BUT, if you've ever hit a major root or large rock with a 410, maxi sneaker, etc. you know you get 4 tire prints to fill in and fix if the machine stops dead on a good run. with the tracked SK500 or Dingo, all you do is burn some turf that grows back almost before you get gone from the site. Another BIG tip for all you pipe pullers out there. It doesn't matter what machine your pulling with, add 6-10" of chain between your grip or sock and the blade. This reduces the wear on your sock or grip, and it allows you to disconnect and reconnect at your hand dug locates to put the pipe back under the cable or phone line. (This does assume you did hand dig the required trench at the locate.) When you get to your locate, lift the blade slightly, pull past the cable (far enough to provide slack), back up ever so slightly and release your chain. You can then lower the blade back past the cable, reconnect and keep pulling.
For the guy insisting on tamping 1" pipe into a 1.25-1.5" trench instead......your working yourself to death. Yes you have to dig a small hole to connect a tee or elbow for pvc or poly connections, but the pipe in your pull line is usually slack until you either run back over your plow lines with the machine or give them a couple of days to settle in or tamp them. This makes PVC connections very easy and poly connections at least easier than trying to beat the pipe into a trench it barely fits in. I just wish I had known about plows in the early 80's when I was learning this business. Back then I always liked a 4" ditch because my #13 irrigation tool fit in so well to tamp them back in. (#13 irrigation tool = #13 steel toe boot, it is also a magnificent attitude adjuster) Also, with saddles becoming so much more economical, there isn't near the need for connections that we used to have. I do not install poly risers. All my heads are on swing pipe and I LOVE the Blazzing saddles w/ 3/8" barb for swing pipe. I have learned to like poly laterals vs. pvc laterals. I still strongly believe main line should always be rigid PVC. Class 200 minimum pipe. And as to the question about pulling multiple pipe.....works great as long as the plow bullet is large enough. I often pull 18/13 multi-strand control wire, 1" class 200 pvc mainline, and a 1" poly lateral in the same ditch (neat part of using poly lateral and pvc main...I know which one is which with no guessing). That brings up the other dislike I have for the Dingo plow...it comes with a small bullet blade and a pull behind bullet.....I like my bullet attached to the plow blade.
As far as time frame to plow in a system. I have plowed in as much as 400' of PVC main and 1800' of poly laterals and returned the machine w/ less than 3 hours of hour meter use back to the rental yard. Let me see you do that with ANY trencher.

drmiller100
04-28-2005, 12:55 AM
i recently moved and started a business up in a resort town. the place is booming, and a fair number of projects going.

no one up here had ever seen a plow. I had used one of the vermeers, and loved it.
I convinced the local rental yard to buy one for their mini-dingo track thing.

First pull of the year, new piece of equipment, new crew that has never seen a puller, and we did 1100 feet in just over 2 hours clock time. That includes lessons, and placement discussions, and lessons on saddles, and various other BS.
Then we have a lesson DO NOT RAKE OUT THE HUMPS WHERE WE PULLED. water it, and they go away.

I will say the vermeer big unit had better vibrate. However, I'll also say the tracks gave better traction. The toro I ran had the bear minimum of horsepower. Kind of nice to have more traction then power.

Between funny pipe, saddles, and the puller, my crew thinks I am a god. Two of them had done trenching before. What a pain.
Sure, a trencher can dig almost as fast as a plow can pull. But when I get done pulling pipe, I AM DONE. Almost no shoveling. Got to put some T's in, which is pretty easy using a torch and squeeze clamps.
Poly also MIGHT survive a freezing if you don't get it blown out. PVC won't. Poly will survive scrunching it some. Poly will survive movmeent, and bending, and even kinking.

Grass Cake
04-28-2005, 04:58 PM
I've been in the CATV construction business all my life(i'm 44).

Most contractor's have gone away from plows and trenchers.

Missile's are the way to go.

Cut the sod, lay it back, dig a small pit for the missile,shoot it another
70-100 feet to your next pit, repeat,rinse.

It will leave NO damage to the yard between the pits. Once you've shot your missile ,push your pipe thru the created tunnel and close your pits. :)
Poly,PVC,Wire,...the tunnel doesn't care.

Trenchers make too big of a mess,plows can cut underground utility's and you may not know it for days. Missile's almost always skirt,deflect off obstacles unless they make a direct hit( i have seen crews dig directly on the CATV,Telephone, throw a missile in the pit and it would follow whatever utility line was there and never cut anything).

There "is" a danger of geting your missile stuck(wesson oil in the hose will usually free them,they shoot forward and reverse) but at the shallow depth of sprinkler systems you'd have no problem digging it out.
Not to mention you can shoot under driveways,sidewalks etc.

I've seen skilled crews missile 3-4k a day with a 2" missile.

Just another option.

Critical Care
04-28-2005, 08:50 PM
I would think that air missile boring would be a bit tricky in less than ideal conditions. For boring under a driveway, something like that would seem great – as long as you didn’t end up getting hung up on a rock. Long distances, and uneven terrain would be tough. And, if the missile is several feet long, and you want to bore a line out two feet beneath the surface, wouldn’t you have to dig a pretty good size pit to get the thing started horizontally?

Of course there is also horizontal directional drilling… another way to go.

This next week I have an install to do where there will be lots and lots of tree roots, and more than likely rocks. I don’t know, but this job seems too much for anything else other than trenching.

By the way, could someone using a plow to pull pvc post a picture of how you’re rigging up the chain to the pipe.

Wet_Boots
04-28-2005, 09:02 PM
but they cost, and you need one for each pipe size. But they do work. <a href=http://www.blazingproducts.com/products/grips/>one manufacturer</a>

Mdirrigation
04-28-2005, 11:10 PM
I have a 2 and a 3 inch missile , use them quite a bit , but the plow is faster. The missile is very handy and great for different situations , but not to install a whole system . I have been in irrigation since i was 20 , I am now 43 .

bicmudpuppy
04-29-2005, 08:37 AM
I've hear talk about "missiles", but never seen one. What dimmensions? and price are we talking about? Sounds like the cat's meow for a lot of situations.

Grass Cake
04-29-2005, 05:01 PM
I have a 2 and a 3 inch missile , use them quite a bit , but the plow is faster. The missile is very handy and great for different situations , but not to install a whole system . I have been in irrigation since i was 20 , I am now 43 .

I bow to your irrigation experience :p

Like i said.....only another option.

Grass Cake
04-29-2005, 05:06 PM
I would think that air missile boring would be a bit tricky i

snip

Of course there is also horizontal directional drilling… another way to go.

snip



I'd think directional boring would be overkill and very expensive.
:cool:

Mdirrigation
04-29-2005, 11:36 PM
I've hear talk about "missiles", but never seen one. What dimmensions? and price are we talking about? Sounds like the cat's meow for a lot of situations.


A missile or mole is a air operated device that goes thru the ground in a straight line ( hopefully) . Generally used for going under roadl , drives or sidewalks. Its commonly used in situations where machine digging will cause too much damage . They are great for re installing water service lines. sizes differ , but my 2 inch is 2 inches around and 5 foot long . Prices start around 3 grand . Its powered by a tow behind air compressor . They are expensive new but used are reasonable . Its not necessarly needed in irrigation , but it is a timesaver.

bicmudpuppy
04-30-2005, 12:46 AM
A missile or mole is a air operated device that goes thru the ground in a straight line ( hopefully) . Generally used for going under roadl , drives or sidewalks. Its commonly used in situations where machine digging will cause too much damage . They are great for re installing water service lines. sizes differ , but my 2 inch is 2 inches around and 5 foot long . Prices start around 3 grand . Its powered by a tow behind air compressor . They are expensive new but used are reasonable . Its not necessarly needed in irrigation , but it is a timesaver.
5' long? well, ouch, but I'm still curious. How much control do you have? lateral and vertical? Is it as unpredictable as a boring rod hitting rock and threatening to dive or porpoise? Or do you have some control? can you make a bend (banana peel)? I had a situation last year where the right answer would have been to move over 900' of mainline and wire to beneath a set of islands (contractor installed said line right on prop line and off prop. The same owner/agent leases all the properties in question and for cost purposes, we left it alone, BUT the deciding factor was the length and expense of borring over 900'!

GrazerZ
04-30-2005, 09:29 AM
Missles seem cool. But, and there are some big ones, like the cost. one missle can run you from $2500.00 to $4000.00 each, ouch! Also when speaking to some folks who have used them, they all seem to tell stories of how they have "lost" missles that have hit something and dove down to oblivion. Then once the thing hits bad strata, it can't be reversed out, You can then either cut the hose and walk away, or you can get an excavator out to "look" for it. Small driveway shots seem like a good Idea, but I would never use one other than that.

Mdirrigation
04-30-2005, 09:33 AM
5' long? well, ouch, but I'm still curious. How much control do you have? lateral and vertical? Is it as unpredictable as a boring rod hitting rock and threatening to dive or porpoise? Or do you have some control? can you make a bend (banana peel)? I had a situation last year where the right answer would have been to move over 900' of mainline and wire to beneath a set of islands (contractor installed said line right on prop line and off prop. The same owner/agent leases all the properties in question and for cost purposes, we left it alone, BUT the deciding factor was the length and expense of borring over 900'!


Its not as unpredictable as a boring rod , but its a straight line device .
A dirrectional bore unit would have done what you needed, they get 15 dollars a foot here to do that . They are capable of steering up and down and back and forth.

bicmudpuppy
04-30-2005, 10:53 AM
yes, I know directional bore would have and I had a quote for a double shot (comming from each way, meet near the middle) at $11/ft. but by the time you added slop, that was over 10k just for the bore, no pipe or wire.......was way to expensive

Dirty Water
05-04-2005, 11:20 PM
Been plowing for years with a Ditchwitch VP12.

I've pulled up to 3 1 1/4" pipes at a time up to 200 feet.

A common mistake for plowing beginners is to design a system with lots of lines running in the same "trench". You need to think of what is easiest to plow, instead of laying it out like it was going to be trenched.

Recently we've upgraded to a Ditchwitch 410sx, the pre-cutter blade on it keeps the yard damage down even more. Most of the time, we can install a system and you cannot tell we were there.

advanced irrigation
01-23-2006, 12:11 AM
so could a man use an 8" auger at every head and connection? aroud here (west texas) Ewing doesnt even carry poly pipe, absolutly no one here plows pipe in. where can i learn everything needed and the techniques used. say you have a 10' wide strip with a house on one side and the other side is a curb. half way down is an electrical pole and a guy wire. could i plow 1" pvc or is the only way to do it is using poly? if using pvc how do you glue tee's in? are saddles the only way to do it. what about cost as compared to trenching pvc using cut-off risers as compared to saddles? this is very intreging to me. so many questions :gunsfirin :dizzy:

Dirty Water
01-23-2006, 12:22 AM
We plow PVC and do not use saddles.

We dig up where each tee will go, cut the pipe and slide it (sometimes you need someone to tap it with a mallet at the end).

advanced irrigation
01-23-2006, 12:26 AM
what about dirt getting into the pipe? is digging at every head and every connection more time consuming than backfilling? it just doesnt make sense that no one here plows.

Grass Cake
01-23-2006, 09:17 PM
Missles seem cool. But, and there are some big ones, like the cost. one missle can run you from $2500.00 to $4000.00 each, ouch! Also when speaking to some folks who have used them, they all seem to tell stories of how they have "lost" missles that have hit something and dove down to oblivion. Then once the thing hits bad strata, it can't be reversed out, You can then either cut the hose and walk away, or you can get an excavator out to "look" for it. Small driveway shots seem like a good Idea, but I would never use one other than that.

option 3: fill your air hose with about a quart of wesson oil

I've seen it work many times!

Grass Cake