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Residential Trenchers?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SamIV, Aug 23, 2002.

  1. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Most of you reccomend the large chain type trenchers, but I only do small residential jobs. I usually run main lines no larger than 1.5 inches. Most of the yards only have a 3/4 meter with 48psi static and 15 gpm max.
    I've tried the Ditch Witch and these seem to do too much damage to the turf. Also used one called EZ Trench. It is a ground saw and trenches faster and does a lot less turf damage but the trench is barely 2 inches wide. It will trench 13 inches deep. Also when you hit a tree root it grinds right through it like a stump grinder. When you hit one with the ditch witch it's not a pretty sight.
    I'm curious if any of you can give any insight on the reliability of this unit. There's also one built by Little Beaver called Quick Trench. Any one familiar with this unit
    Both are in the $3500.00 range. As I don't do irrigation full time yet they are in my budget. Would anyone reccomend either.

    Accent Lawn & Garden
  2. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I wouldnt recomend a trencher, Iwould recomend trying a cable plow, Mini sneaker or Maxi sneaker by Case. or a ditch witch 255SX or a 4ooseries
  3. Currier

    Currier LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 564

    Just curious...anyone ever used the trencher with the power-trac?
  4. Mataman

    Mataman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    here along the coast of the panhandle of florida, you generally don't use a ditch witch . Kwik Trench or EZ trench is the norm. Easy digging, very little rocks but you do have problems with roots just like anywhere else.

    I like the kwik trench which is a push. Correct me if I'm wrong but the EZ is a pull isn't it?
  5. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    I appreciate the reply Mataman. Is the Kwik Trench as fast as the company says it is. Also how well do they hold up.

    One of my customers is going to buy me a trencher. He owns a rental company and is going to put a mini trencher in his fleet for me to use at any time. I'm going to install irrigation for him. Seems like you prefer the Kwik Trench.

    I'm a little lucky here I guess. Customers tell me to put in irrigation, new beds, drainage or what ever and tell me just to bill them. I do have people who do want a price occaisionally. But half of them don't even ask.

    The fellow that owns the rental company said I think I need sprinklers. Told him I would do the install but I have to rent a trencher from someone else. He reached for his cell phone and told his manager to buy a trencher and that I would let him know which one to buy. So if you can give me your input on the Kwik Trench.

  6. Mataman

    Mataman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    pro's for kwik trench
    • fast
    • light weight
    • easy to manhandle
    • cuts through roots up to 3/4 inch fairly quick, larger ones will take a bit of time
    • economical

    If you get your choice, get the 4x12 or 3x12 trencher. Never had a problem with them.
  7. cspurr

    cspurr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    If you don't mind doing a little extra work, but want a seemless job - SCREW the pipe pullers - most contractors use these up here but I don't like them - I have used both. Here is how to do it for a QUALITY INSTALL: Use a small sod cutter, and then use the EZ Trench Groundsaw 9100. Here's why: If you have a pipe bonding problem do to poor adhesion...you know EXACTLY where the problem is when you charge the system for the first time. Additionally, when you pull pipe, if a big tree root scored your flimsy pipe, you have to wait for the water to pool before you know where the problem is. Oh, by the way...most guys tell you you are crazy...but I like giving my clients quality - that is why I use the thicker walled pipe. If you want a good guide...check out this book...Simplified Irrigation Design By Pete Melby. Cheers! Talk to you all later.

  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,087

    We like the "Trenchmaster" with the Honda 8hp engine. They a 12", 9" and 7" bar with cutters for different soil conditions. It works slick to use the 12" to get the main & wire in then cruise over the top with your laterals. We're on our second one and speak well about the quality and friendly service from the factory. http://www.brownmfgcorp.com
  9. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    I've found it's just as fast and cost effective to have a couple of guys trench with sharpshooters and trench shovels and we're able to save the sod so it looks better when we leave.

    Trenchers do more damage than they're worth and are guaranteed to cut at least the phone and cable lines.
  10. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,087

    Hand labor works for teeny-tiny sites, I guess; factoring in L&I and insurance, I'd be power trenching. By the way, you're not doing irrigation right unless you hit something; it happens to us all with hand OR power trenching.

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