Pipe Puller vs Trenching

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by dmc456, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. dmc456

    dmc456 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    I'm researching and considering expanding services to include irrigation systems. I'm going to start with my own system this spring.

    My question is...What are the advantages of a pipe puller over a trencher?

    Using a sod cutter to remove sod, trenching, install system, and then replace everything is simple enough but will take some time.

    How much faster is a pipe puller?

    What happens when you hit rock the size of a basketball with a pipe puller?

    How do you start and end runs with a pipe puller? I invision using a gas post hole digger at the start and end of each run and when there are joints. I would then use the pipe puller to connect each of the holes. I would also use the post hole digger on every rotor and then clean up with a spade.

    Please provide feedback on this technique.
  2. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,702

    The best way to learn is to watch someone else and or work for another company. Irrigation is a bit more involved but not difficult. If you are intrested I have a plow for sale with trailer .
  3. DGI

    DGI LawnSite Member
    from SE Mich
    Messages: 173

    You dig your holes after you have the line pulled in. The exception would be pulling from a valve pit, but you shouldn't dig it first unless you're sure you won't need to make any of your runs towards it.
  4. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    The first thing I would plan out is how to handle service. When someone just put in 5K worth of sod, and it's 90 degrees, they won't understand if you " can't get there today ". You will also need to know a little about pressure and flow, doesn't hurt to know city code req. for the tap you need to run either. A forman, plumber, and 6 labors ( experienced ) should be able to do 2 to 3 residental installs per day.
    As an occasional buissness I would look closely at subcontracting out and simply marking up the price .


    Jim L

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    In our area, a pipe puller is as worthless as tits on a boar. Too many rocks, soils hard as rock etc etc. I only wish we could use a plow. Make sure you area will be condusive for the plow, or else buy a trencher. Plan on dropping 10K for a Ditch Witch walk behind.
  6. DieselDeere

    DieselDeere LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 411

    What would happen if a pipe puller hit a 1" poly pipe line?
  7. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    The pipe puller would just cut right through it like a hot knife through butter. You may or may not feel resistance depending on soil conditions, but you will know when you go to turn it on and water flows out through the slit you made pulling the pipe.
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,702

    Or depending on the soil conditions , it would pull the pipe thru the ground a bit streaching it then pulling it out of the ground.
  9. activelandscaping

    activelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 241

    Depends on the depth, soil and blade. A ultra-thin will usually slice it. A install blade will generally pull it up. Unless your pulling shallow, because the blade is cocked back enough to let the pipe slide off after it stretches and crimps it, feels just like the roots your pulling through. :realmad: Just keep a pair of kwikcut's handy and cut the pipe, no problem.

    With the exception of a few commercial jobs I havn't had any trouble getting the Burkeen blade through anything. I'v snapped 4" roots and pulled up chunks of concrete that I couldn't lift, came back with a few L shaped blades though. If the Burkeen isn't cutting it, or we have to trench deep and pot out, then you need a machine with frost/rock teeth. One job I snapped 3 chains and the drive sprocket twice, not a good week. :cry:


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