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trenching with lines

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by dwc, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. dwc

    dwc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    Just wondering if any of you have any tricks for trenching when there are a lot of lines (phone, cable, power)? Around here a lot of times the phone and cable lines are about 3-4" deep so is there a good way to get around these without a lot of hand digging? Another bad thing is our soil around here is clay and it is hard as a rock so it could be really easy to hit a wire even when hand digging.

  2. 1-800-dig-tess
  3. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Getting a utilities locate is one possibility but you will always need to pothole to make sure how deep some of the lines are. Seems that there's just no way around it sometimes.

    If possible you can always change your trench routing based on the other utilities. Not always practical but sometimes worth an extra ell or tee to go around.
  4. dwc

    dwc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    I am aware of the locate company, but seeing how they want you to allow them 4 feet for their incompetent locator people's mistakes, that can mean a lot of hand digging.

    I just thought maybe someone had a good way of doing it. The pothole and reroute seems to be the only thing I could come up with also.
  5. I've got a buddy who disconnects a phone wire at the house and uses his 521 to track his own wires. With fiber optics these days that may not be feasible. Could probably do same with cable. Sometimes gas has a wire run with it. we hook up to copper water lines and track all the time to find missing dca boxes. As for the 4' thing that is a new one on me. I expect them to be dead on.
  6. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,274

    You might expect them to be spot-on but ask them and they will tell you that they have a leeway of 1.5' on either side of the mark. Protects them a little bit also. And that was the way it was in Texas and it's the same in Wisconsin.
  7. dwc

    dwc LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 626

    here in OK it is 2 feet on either side of their mark. I had my lawn marked the other day for a fence then they had to come back and remark it and they were off by 1 foot from their first mark. That is crazy! I wish everything I did I could have a variance as much as 4 foot! Might as well just tell me which lines that are in the ground and that they are somewhere over in that area of the lawn.
  8. By the way do you see Barry?
  9. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    By witching I can tell there's something in the ground but what it is would be unclear. When I trench around utilities I don't go as deep and I run our trencher just above "stall mode" so it will stop if it hits conduit or pipe.

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