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Ready to buy a trencher - any advise?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by TuffWork, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I've been doing repairs for quite a while, and I have only needed a trencher a few times. However, I'm getting alot of requests for installs and have managed to land three in a row. I start my first this week, and am willing to rent again for this one if need be. I'm going to need to buy one to be profitable long term, however.

    I'm going to start my shopping for a trencher tomorrow. I'll report back sometime soon with my findings. However, I would like to know of any fair warnings one might have or recommendations before I go look and get an itchy trigger finger.

    I'm really liking the idea of spending the extra money and getting a mini skid that can operate lots of different attachments. As that will help the landscaping part of my business as well. Am I wasting money when I could just get the trencher for cheaper?

    Is a wheeled or a tracked model better in certain situations? Is there an industry wide preference for a dingo or a ditch witch? If I go with ditch witch what size model would best suit me?

    I'm leaning toward the ditch witch because there is a dealer here and they can repair/ supply parts. The other thing I was thinking was whether it might be worth the risk to buy used? I bought my Walker used and it has been a great machine. However, most people who have these types of machines are companies and not owner/operator types. Meaning that the guy who is driving it is probably not the guy who owns it. Which is scary.

    Enlighten me. Thanks.
  2. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    I just realized I put advise instead of advice. Sorry.
  3. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    I have 3 track dingos and just bought a dw sk650. I like the sk650, probably going to buy another one next week and sell two dingos. I dont see how anyone can do landscaping without a dingo, they go out everyday on my jobs.

    Definately go track units.

    Messages: 18,668

    Amarillo heavy clay? Do you get into rock? Amarillo is a great texas city. Hiked palo duro many a time. What have you previously rented?
  5. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    The sk650. I like it quite a bit. Although it was a pretty abused rental unit. I've used it as a bucket and a trencher.

    We don't get into rock much. Unless you count the clay. Which can be almost as hard some times. You learn to use water occasionally to aid in digging. Whether it be for an irrigation repair or landscaping work.

    I'm hoping this unit will allow me to move my landscaping to a larger scale, and allow me to make money on the installs. As renting a unit eats up alot of profit.

    Side note: Having Palo Duro so close is pretty cool. I used to go there pretty often when I was younger.

    Messages: 18,668

    My first trencher 30 years ago was the case Davis trim line 10. Most had the DW 7 I believe it was called. Dedicated trenchers. Used it once twice a week at best. That dingo looks sweet. Drill posts. Haul stuff. Trench. Does it pull? Might use it to run new wire. I think early in your biz you need to look at versatility. Something that you use almost every day. Get big enough then you can buy equipment that performs specific tasks. Just my two cents.
  7. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,445

    Start off with a walk behind unit like i did. unless you are rocking and rolling in the business and dont mind splurging on the dingo or sk-ditch witch.

    ive had a tracked dingo
    and a dw 3700 diesel ride on
  8. TuffWork

    TuffWork LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 506

    Well, although the sk650 is great it is a bit pricey for my taste. I'm thinking about getting a used sk350 with about 630 hours on it. It's from the dealer and I think I can get it with a bucket and trencher attachment for under $10k. Plus it comes with a 6 month warranty I believe. I plan on using it as a demo on wednesday before I make my final decision. I really do need a unit I can use for all sorts of things. Sometimes we do landscapes and fencing as well. Plus you can use a leveler attachment for sod etc. The dealer rents out attachments for $70 a day. That's much cheaper than renting a whole unit.
  9. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Yeah I bought both of mine used. I bought one sk650 for $7650 and the other for 10k but it came with a few attachments. I might want a little more horsepower than a sk350 in the long term.
  10. tonydirks

    tonydirks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Personal preference: But we like the Boxer`s the best, just bought a brand new 427, its a sweet machine. I have never liked the narrow tracks on dingos and dw, but again, maybe thats just a personal preference.

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