Length of Funny Pipe

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by burlap, May 26, 2006.

  1. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,379

    It comes down to time and money, in the end. It takes a lot less money to trench, than it does to plow, and the difference increases with the toughness of the soil conditions. The first time I saw a Ditch-Witch V252, with a factory-fresh blade, I didn't recognize the thing. The similar machine I'd seen used had a blade about as sharp as a baseball bat, and could barely function on glacial moraine soils. The demo machine pulled two inch poly through some dense clay and rock. Not sure how long the big DW blade would stay effective, without needing resurfacing and such.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    London: We have a Ditchwitch 410sx plow and a DitchWitch 3500 trencher. We have area's that the trencher cannot dig through that the 410 plows through with absolute ease.
  3. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    In your area of the country that might be the case however in my area that will not be the case. Out of the 30+ contractors in my area I do not know one contractor that plows in pipe. The supply houses stock virtually zero supplies for plowing , only a hand full of saddle tees.
    Out of the 8 major suppliers , 2 JDL's, Florida irrigation supply , 2 W.P laws, Simmons irrigation supply, STI and Hughes supply , they stock zero poly pipe. I am the company that the Charter communications Contractors call for help with repair work on irrigation and I know how they install the mains and drops to the residences. The major electrical contractor for Duke Power in my area, Pike electrical no longer even use trenchers for installing underground power , they use backhoes. I have seen other contractors come in from other parts of the country with plows and leave just as quick as they came. I know a contractor who tried plowing with a 400sx and ended up selling it.
    I don't know about any other part of the country but I know my area.
    Not saying it cant be done, I am saying it is not easy or cost affective.
    Granted there is some parts around here that could be plowed but not many because the ground conditions change drastically from one area to another.
    Ill ask you this do you own a jack hammer? because I do.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,379

    I know the first time I encountered red clay hardpan, I was unpleasantly surprised, and more than a bit ticked off that the owner allowed as much (heavy, but workable) topsoil to be scraped away from the hardpan area. If I had managed to get penetration with multiple plow passes, I don't think I'd have been celebrating so much as wondering "Why am I here?"
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Clay hardpan is the worse condition I've ever run into. Broke two different trenchers a total of five times during one project.
  6. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Two years ago I broke the main shaft on the boom on my J-20 from years of trenching in this stuff and the shaft is 1 1/2" square stock. I guess all the years of trenching with the rear tires off the ground did her in.
  7. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Hey, you guys ever hear of a rock saw? If they'll work in the country around Austin, Tx, they will take care of the hard stuff you dig in. Just have to charge more for the job.
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,379

    Sure. That's the next step up from the trencher with the carbide teeth, I figure. One area contractor had a nice side business going back when cable TV first appeared. None of the earliest developments with underground utilities had made provisions for cable TV, and since the directional boring tools used today hadn't been developed then, there was a call for rock saw to chew out a shallow trench in the asphalt streets, so they could drop in a cable.
  9. londonrain

    londonrain LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,129

    Here is a link to google maps with a snap shot of the color of this red clay I talk about. This stuff is like concrete in the summer. I use my backhoe for digging 12" valve boxes. I am about the only contractor in my area that manifolds a system because it takes well over an hour too dig a spot for two 12" valve box for a 5 or 6 zoner if using a mattock and shovel. 99% of contractor around here scatter valve the system with 6" valve boxes because the 6" will almost fit in the trench.
    I only wish I was joking about this clay. Scan the area and you will see it even gets darker in some places.

  10. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    I'm not sure what rock saws and trenchers have to do with length of funny pipe, but here is a guy that's for sale just on the other side of the mountains from me. Wouldn't mind stepping up with the big boys and having a better tool for cutting through the lava.


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