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Installing wire/ trenching?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by FIRESCOOBY, Nov 23, 2007.


    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    I searched with no avail.

    I'm looking at offering lighting within the next year or so. I have several questions, but only one at this time...feel free to expand if you'd like.

    How do you guys install the wiring? Do you use a walk behind type of trencher/ bed edger? My main concern is like when running wire to a remote bed for tree lighting or such.

  2. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Most of the time, my wire is installed along the foundations of the house. If I have a long run a wire plough could be utilized. I will probably buy a lineward this year if a couple jobs I am expecting materialize.
  3. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    a wire plough could be utilized

    Hey, do you have the powered one or the manual? Just kidding. I use a spade.
  4. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    In loose soils we use a cleanout shovel, 3" and 4" wide.

    Across sod we slit trench with a flat spade.

    In compact soils, gravel drives, paths etc we use two passes of a pick, followed by one or two passes of the cleanout shovel. (or how ever many passes it takes!)

    Across the forest floor we use the pick alot, then lay the wire in and weave it under roots and around rocks etc.

    Across sheer expanses of rock... that is more tricky and must be done artfully so as to not be noticeable... I will let you figure this technique out on your own.

    Have a great day.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Oh I forgot, when working on larger estates in Southern Ontario, with lots of lawns and meadows etc, then I will rent a vibratory plow to pull the wire runs in. Just be sure to get a full set of locates from all your utilities and the irrigation contractor!

    Have a great day.
  6. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    We use the EZ-Trencher. I've had it over 10 years. You can change the rotor to install cable, install irrigation tubing, or shape landscape beds.


    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Thanks for the responses guys!!!
  8. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I've thought about those EZ trenchers but my area is sooo rocky.
  9. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Same here Paul. The rocks and roots destroy those things. Even our local United Rental refuses to bring in any type of vibratory plow to rent in the area. When I quizzed them as to why, they said that every time the machines go out in this area they come back broken. A couple of our irrigation contractors own them, but say they only used them occasionally.

    Digging keeps you fit and healthy! (that is my justification anyways.)
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    Man I feel for you guys. I guess this corresponds to the installation time and therefore the prices we all have to charge according to our particular region. Here in North FL, I use a spade type shovel on most installs, however I do get the occasional back breaker (see other post on roots). Trenching is very easy here in most cases. The only time we really see any real complication is when we have to do long runs accross a very "oak tree" populated lawn. Even then, the only complication is getting the wire underground near the tree without killing it.
    I'll post more on my technique later, but for now I'll just say that you guys with hard ground definitely have a disadvantage in labor hours versus the Florida boys.

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