cost per foot to dig a trench

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jrumbaug, Aug 2, 2008.

  1. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    Amen to that!:clapping::clapping:
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Steep words from the guy who usually pushes the "launch" button on these threads!:)
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,168

    5, 4, 3, 2 , 1, launch.

  4. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,792

    find a local cable installer , he will probably have a plow , pay him to lay the pipe . Watch how the machine works , you will buy one real quick.
  5. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    From the outside looking in, I would suggest you first look at machine trenching before you dive head first into pulling pipe. I have done a couple systems, and rented a trencher. First I rented a dedicated trencher and on my two most recent jobs, I used a Dingo with a trenching head. The Dingo is very maneuverable and digs just as fast as the huge Vermeer I rented first. Pulling with a plow and assembling a system that has been pulled is a completely different working environment. If you're used to glue and fittings, I would look for a rental trencher for this job, and then start investigating whether you want to stick with PVC or switch to poly. Both have their ads and disads.
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    Check with your local DW dealer. DW makes a similar machine. Either way, you should be able to rent a 410 or SK500 with plow and trencher to get a feel for installing with a machine..
  7. HooKooDooKu

    HooKooDooKu LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    8" Wide ???

    How many pipes were you laying in that trench?

    Now I'm only a homeowner with the only experience I've got is installing my own irrigation system. I can tell you that I was able to dig at a rate of about 10' per hour when I only had to dig 12" deep, 4" wide. That time does not include removing the sod, laying pipe, or backfilling. It was in rocky clay soil, but the soil was moist (going was MUCH slower during the dry season).

    In several places, I hand trenched. I was doing such a terible job at restoring sod that I just decided to hack it
  8. jrumbaug

    jrumbaug LawnSite Member
    from WV
    Messages: 9

    8" is a guess of the top of my head. I had a few narrow shovels, and a few regular ones. The most pipes I had to lay was 4 of 1"poly, so 4" may of worked. But if I factor in sod removal and re-filling the trench, your 10 feet an hour MAY be 6 feet an hour net. Therefore, I am not to surprised at the 4 feet an hour I got from 2 uninspired workers that also had to dig around some tree roots by hand. ( long story there, involving a demanding homeowner )

    I happy with my numbers now.

    Jim Rumbaugh
  9. HooKooDooKu

    HooKooDooKu LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    8" for multiple pipes makes sense... and no, you can't get 4 - 1" pipes in a 4" wide trench... not without stacking the pipes.

    I found that working with 3/4" or 1" pipe, you had to account for 2" of space when placing multiple pipes in one trench. So 8" wide for 4 pipes side-by-side make sense (and the easiest to repair if anything had to be dug up). If you wanted to stack the pipes, you would have had to dig down at LEAST 14" to keep the upper pipe at that 12" level.

    I was suprise at how quickly I filled a trench using multiple pipes. When I installed my system, I had 8 pipes in one trench running away from the manifold. I had to dig down an entire 24" to get 4 - 1" and 4 - 3/4" Sch 40 PVC in the one trench. (Yea, I know, it's a disaster waiting to happen... but that's why I used Sch 40 on laterals, screened the backfill, and the top of the top pipe is at least 12" below grade.)
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,168

    "The pipe that blows is always on the bottom, never stack pipe".

Share This Page