Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by NY Landscape Lighting, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    Toying with the idea of getting a trencher for next season. Have looked at the Ez trench that lays and buries wire,though the depth is only3-4 inches. Also looking at DMR trenchers,which is local. Anyone have any ideas on a good trencher or cutter.It will be for Lighting only.

    Thank You
  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,209

    I use a step-on edger, I believe it's called a "green bull", that I got at the home depot. This cuts the ground to 5". That really is the minimum depth that I will go. I tried an EZ trench and now it would make a great boat anchor. Wire burial is the hardest part of this job and unfortunately, it isn't getting any easier. What ever you do, don't use a regular trencher to install lighting. The last thing you want to do is tear up someone's manicured lawn.
  3. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    Thats why I won't go with a regular trencher, I have had clients come home and couldn't tell where the wire went underground, so I'd like to try to find a wire trencher that works but is neat.. I have tried to find the step edger you have but they were out. What didnt you like about z trench

  4. Frog Lights  LLC

    Frog Lights LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    Merry Christmas, and thanks for the kind comments. Please give me a call after the holidays and come in. Have a great NEW YEAR !
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,209

    The EZ usually only gets about 2" and that just doesn't get it. You end up having to go back over it with the step cutter anyway.
  6. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    If you want to keep the lawn looking like you were not there you need to rent or purchase a vibratory plow that is if you have to use a machine . I have used a Vermmer LM11 to pull one inch PVC in 150 foot lenghts and it pulled it with no problem through heavy clay. Customers were very impressed with how the lawn looked after I was finished. This was for irrigation installs. I think they sell for around 8 grand new. Someone here wants to sell me a very used one for 4 grand. The guys here who lay cable use this exact machine. I use them to pull my wire when the runs are too long or I'm just feeling lazy. Just as cheep for me to hire them as to rent the machine. One other thing you might try is see if your local guys will bury the wire for you.

    Bluebird is advertising a new trencher designed for landscape lighting. It trenches, lays the cable or wire and backfills the trench. I have never used it or seen it used. Tried to find their website but could not find it to give you more info. Also I have never used and EZ trench but have used a Kwik Trench and it will produce a clean 2 inch wide trench at depths up to 12 inches even in my hard clay here. It cuts through rocks, cement and 4 inch roots. It is a lot of work as it is not self-propelled and you have to back fill.

    Most of my wire across a lawn I use a slammer or whatever you might call them. Go to the Cast site , they have one which works well. I have one that is about 16 inches wide and one that is about 8 inches wide. When it gets real hot and dry here I can only use a flat blade shovel as the slammers will not penetrate the soil.

    Oh by the way, I think code for low voltage direct burial is 6 inches. It is tuff sometimes to abide by this, but I do my best. Do you guys bury your wire in landscaped beds or do you just lay it under the mulch?

    If you don't already know this here is a hint for boring under sidewalks. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and but a 3/4" flexible bit in the electrical department. They come in different lengths, but get the 4 foot one. Dig a trench about half the length of the bit one side and a smaller one on the other side of the sidewalk at the appropriate depth. I use an electric 1/2" drill and this bit will bore under the sidewalk in seconds. You can easily fit a 10 gauge wire through this.

    Accent Outdoor Lighting
  7. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    Thanks Sam, We bury in the beds usually unless we see shallow irrigation pipe. I worry about just going below mulch when the time comes for their landscapers to turn the beds. I looked at the site for bluebird, the trencher looks nice but the depth only goes to 4 inches. If they are marketing it towards lighting which it seems they are, why not make it go at least 6 inches. Here is the link

    Thanks for your input.
  8. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,209

    That Bluebird looks like it would make a pretty nasty looking trench. I try to make it look like I was never there until it gets dark. If I used a machine like that, I would get run off of most of the properties that I work on.

    That dog fence trencher looks interesting though.

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