Trenching or pipe pulling

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Just curious how many of you use a trencher or a pipe puller/mini-sneaker/vibratory plow when installing systems? I usually pull the pipe but do use a trencher occasionally. Pulled one system yesterday and cut the phone line. But they are not charging me because the locates were way off. Even the Qwest repairperson couldn't find where we cut it. Had to run a new line. First phone line - ever. I've cut tv cable but never phone.
  2. here in AZ noone pulls that I know of.....doesn't the soil actually have to be soil and not sand and rock?

    Pulling seems to be faster? Not sure about all them new-fangled parts you pullers use though, radiator type clamps and insert fittings.........huh !!!!!

    Can't wait to learn though DanaMac!
  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Pull almost exclusively up to 1.5", trench or pull 2"-usually trench, over 2" is all trenched.

    When we used pvc exclusively for residential we used to "push pipe". I had a 3.25" bullet on a few links of chain behind the blade. We'd create all the mole tunnels without digging holes. We'd then dig holes, putt 2 pieces of duct tape over the end of the pipe and push it down the tunnel. All pipe was then at the same level with no big holes or digging back to get it down to the same level.
  4. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Pushing the pipe sounds interesting. Can't say that I would want to try it though.

    Tony what's the soil like in Phoenix. In C. Springs we have it all. Sand, sandstone, clay, rock, etc. Pulled in clay on Monday. It was a pain but clean up with the clay would have taken a while w/ trenching it. What do you mean with the radiator clamps? I still use pinch clamps. Do you use saddles? I've never been a big fan of them. Seen to many that had moved and would leak. Or the guys (me included) forget to cut the hole. Not too many saddles here. I know they are easier though.
  5. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Spring for the new "Blazing Saddles" and that eliminates your issues. They are from one of the King companies. Not cheap but work like a dream.

    Push pipe in straight lines in fairly clean soils and have a hole larger than what you might pull through. If you have rocks, roots or other debris that might come back in the tunnel, just pull the pipe.
  6. Our soil is sand/rock....don't think it would pull, hard as hell sometimes cannot use trencher have to use pick

    We don't use saddles or clamps....I was kidding with you about radiator clamps

    We cut pvc tees in and use slip thread 90 degree elbows
  7. Wick

    Wick LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    I'm new to this site, so be gentle. Up here in southern N.E. almost everyone pulls. In some circumstances trenching can be a viable option, but it is way more labor intense.
  8. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Tony - I didn't even think about you using PVC. I'm so used to poly. Not many resi installs here with PVC. Most big commercial is though. Have you ever dealt w/ PVC freezing down there? Not fun.

    One thing with trenching is getting it properly backfilled so it won't settle. I guess since I was taught to pull a job first, I stuck with it. Most my installs are on existing lawns, so pulling is cleaner.

    Oh yeah, snowed here last night.
  9. Dana
    Snowed at my house too! My wife called all happy about it...nothing stuck to the ground....Snowed today up there too!

    I can't wait to do my first system pulling! Seems like it might be less labor intensive just like Wick said. (did you notice he asked us to be nice, he must have read the archives and realized the irrigation guys here are MEAN!)

    The pipes here never freeze. About all we get is a frozen PVB bonnet once in awhile.....I got another thing coming don't i?
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Have you seen what it does to PVC? It will pretty much shatter it. It will look like a big spiral crack, or it may look almost like feathers or splinters all down to broken piece. I'll try to save some if I run into it this year. Lots of bonnets, split copper, cracked ball valves, even the body to the RPs will crack open, cracked manifolds, valves.

    And yes, us irrigation guys seem to have a complex don't we. I'll admit now.

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