How best to install heads after pulling pipes?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by ddthomas2, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. ddthomas2

    ddthomas2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Just did my first job using a vibratory plow. Boy, am I sold. I love the speed, but most importantly, you almost couldn't tell we were there.

    I am looking to purchase a plow immediately, preferably a Line-Ward L2, as most of our work is in very small lawns(200x200). If anyone knows of a used one, email me at

    I am looking for input on the best and neatest way to install the heads. How are the rest of you doing it?


  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I'm oldschool, I still use PVC and regular tee's. When business slows down in the fall I'm going to expirement with laying poly instead of pulling.

    Anyways, I dig out the pipe for each head. I dig about 12" upstream of where the head is and put in my tee there, then I flip a swing joint out to the head.

    Takes about 2-3 minutes from start to backfill in decent soil.
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    Small lawns today , big lawns tomorrow . Buy a burkeen , ditchwitch or a vemeer , the line ward is for installing catv wire . My burkeen is 23 years old and going strong .
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I agree, buy Ditchwitch 255sx or 410sx and you won't regret it

    Mdirrigation: We have a 20 year old Ditchwitch VP12 that is still going strong (though its on its 3rd engine), we use it for lawns the 410 can't fit in.
  5. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I have a vermeer LM35 it has a new duetz diesel
  6. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    That would depend on what you are using for laterals. Poly - I LOVE blazzing saddles. Class pipe - I still like blazzing saddles, but I've seen some new snap tees w/ built in funny barb that I would like to try next time the customer requests rigid laterals. Sch pipe - snap saddles, either the new ones w/ the swing barbs, or the standard threaded ones to drill out. I have a 3/8"x18" drill bit that I cut a length of swing pipe to fit so it can't drill through the pipe, only through the saddle. There are a lot of guys out there that don't like saddles though. Even some poly guys. For glue on snap saddles, I also prefer to use a quicker (hotter) wet/dry blue glue, instead of clear medium body. This is a personal prefrence. I like the faster setup, both for the saddles and for bell ends prior to pulling.
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    AHA! Another convert to IPS 725 or glues like it.

    I use it without primer too.
  8. ddthomas2

    ddthomas2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    On this job, I used PVC with drill through saddles. On poly, I too would use blazing saddles.

    Do you attempt to place the heads above the pipe in the slits made by the plow, or in a separate hole offset to the side?

    I am trying to learn the fastest way to install heads, for the normal installs.

    Secondly, I am considering a marketing strategy to perform a surgical or invisible installation, thereby allowing me to charge well above market rate to avoid the unsightly trenched or "war zone" stage. For this, I need to install the heads so that it will be imperceptable that they were recently installed.

    Any suggestions?
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    I have lots of 4x8 tarps. I fold them in half, and keep all my dirt on them. Thats half the battle.

    The other half is to KEEP ALL SOD, and put it back when your done.

    If you get both of those right, you can do an almost invisible install.
  10. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    plastic garbage bags for your dirt. cheap, disposable, and effective.

    we try to dig the holes first, then plow through the middle of them. it is quicker to dig the hole without the plow there. if I owned the plow, and it would be there always, I'd use the plow to loosen the soil for easier digging, then dig the holes, then pull the pipe.

    we pull the wire too if needed.

    we use the orange plastic saddles that require no tools. work well except if ambient temps are below about 55 degrees, in which case the pipe collapses sometimes instead of pierces. Also some of the "better" pipe doesn't pierce easy.
    One problem I have yet to find a solution for is the ends of the runs. We have been using teh one inch poly to funny pipe straight connectors, but if there is any rocks of any kind, and you don't get hte line TOTALLY blown out, the rock will run down to the end and plug hte line. This is EVERY SINGLE TIME for every little teeny rock. But, if you cap the line and run a saddle, I'm worried about it getting blown out correctly in the fall. Any thoughts????

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