stupid install Q's

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Mike M, May 16, 2007.

  1. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I live in an untapped market, so I don't think I can find a facility to rent a trencher made for lighting cable. I bought a "slammer" and have some nice shovels, but I can't imagine doing 200 feet of turf manually (recent request by a customer).

    I need a trencher built for the job. This is a question I already posted a while ago, but again, what product is the way to go? I can invest some money, but I am just starting out.

    Also, I pounded some 1 inch conduit under a sidewalk, but what exactly is the most efficient and professional way to do this? I was told an auger, but what kind?

    Thanks in advance,


    Oh yeah, does anyone out there sharpen their manual install tools?
  2. High Performance Lighting

    High Performance Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    from So Cal
    Messages: 326

    Get yourself a nice heavy duty long flat blade garden spade and forget about the power tools. 200' is not that long . I have done 6 acre projects alone by myself with no power tools and with my trusty garden spade and hand trowel only. I'm working on two multi acreage properties right now . One for a very famous musician who'd you all know. Both of these are pre-wire during landscape construction jobs so some of the labor is saved by installing in sprinkler trenches if i'm lucky enough to be on the project the day the landscapers have the trenches open, the rest is all hand dug with trenching shovels and an occasional pick ax. I'm busting my ass out there and you are complaining over a 200' run. Really it's not that bad and it goes fast with a flat blade through turf grass. Get her down about 6". I don't know what kind of "slammer" you got but where I'm from that word has several different connotations none of which are pretty or suitable for this forum.
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

  4. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We have the ez trench. We don't use it much, but when we do, it's well worth it. We bought it about 3-4 years ago for around 2 grand I think. I think now most Home Depots actually rent them, so if a trencher is really needed you could check there. Don't buy's not worth it for the few times you'll break it out. As far as getting under walkways....we do the same thing....Just pound some pipe through if it's needed.
  5. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Hi guys, I also hand trench all my stuff. Ya know some days you just feel lazy. I have given some thought to a trencher, Possibly the line ward brand. But most of the time I group multiple strands of wire in 1 trench usually next to a foundation where you just aren't going to take a machine. For getting under walkways check out a product called EZ-SLEEVE. The thing is freekin awesome. You can pound a sleeve under a walk in a matter of a couple minutes.
  6. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    jeez, the guy asks for advice on a trencher and you guys lecture on laziness. you kill me. no wonder so few folks post here. If the guy wants to make his day easier, let him buy an ez trench. it's not about calling him a whiner, "I do 2 acre jobs by hand in the snow by myself uphill etc", it's about time savings.

    it is simply quicker to use a sharp spade than to do the ez trench and then clean up the mess it makes.

    I love hard work, but when I look across that yard, and it ain't rained in a while, let's just say it is not very fulfilling to me to spade 200 ft of hard soil. I'd love to have a small walk behind vibratory plow for runs across turf. those guys that lay cable for the cable companies have them and they are QUICK.
  7. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    I bought this installation tool (file attached), but I had to cut my turf with a stick edger, then use my manual edging tool, before I could use this, and it was still tough going through. We've been having a drought, and I'm going through centipede turf. Should I sharpen this thing?

    I don't mind manual labor, as long as I'm using the right tools/methods.

    Should I soak the turf first, too?

    Thanks, guys.

  8. ZX12R

    ZX12R LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 795

    I have wet the turf at times and it sure makes things easier.Where did you get that tool and how much was it?
  9. Mike M

    Mike M LawnSite Bronze Member
    from usa
    Messages: 1,988

    Florida Outdoor Lighting sells them (look on line), and Cast offers one, also.
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    It will help to sharpen it, but it will also cut through burried cable and irrigation pipes a whole lot quicker. The wider the blade, the harder it is to get into the ground. I modified one by cutting off the corners to make it a little less strenuous to get into the ground.

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