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I have bid an irrigation system for a commercial building. Rain Bird did the design for me and I used their recommendation for quoting - - Cost x 3 = Cost to Customer (installed). I need to rent a trencher, does anyone have a recommendation? Does anyone use vibratory plows?

Thanks in advance for your help.



LawnSite Member
Paris, Tn.
The trencher you rent should be sized for the size of the job. If there is a lot of wide open, long runs, get the ride on type, if there is a lot of tight areas, trees, and short runs, a walk behind is the ticket.
If you have never used a trencher, or put in irrigation, get something smaller so you can learn as you go. The vibratory plows are great in sandy loam with no tree roots and rocks. Again, you should have an idea how the systems go together before using the vibraplow.
I would get a small trencher, take my time, dig plenty deep (24") and learn how the systems go together. After putting in a few systems you can worry about other trenchers, vibraplows and the like. If you put many systems in it pays to own the trencher. We were renting 2 to 3 days twice a month @ $150.00 a day. I bought a Vermeer V1850 walk behind for $11,500.00 with payments of $310.00 per month.

Good Luck,
Greg Pierce, CTP
Thanks for the post. I checked at Nations Rent and they have both the Vermeer and Ditch Witch available. Both have the chain trencher and vibratory plow. So many people have asked if I can do irrigation because many of the firms that will do it want only the new commercial jobs. This first one of mine happens to be commercial but they are far enough out of town no one would return their calls.

How about my pricing? Does it seem to be in the ballpark?

Thanks for your help. I'll rent the Vermeer this time around and the Ditch Witch next. Then I will be able to compare both.

Matt Kelley
Spring Valley Landscape & Fence Co.
Seems a little light to me. Double the cost of your materials, charge your going rate plus $ 2 per hour more, bill the rental equipment at cost, but get your time transporting. This is where you start to make money off equipment. Read Gregs post about renting versus the buying part. Rental yards make 35 % to 40 % GM. You'll save the time transporting. The first two months you rent more than your payment, you need to buy, then charge the job the same as a rental and then pay yourself.