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Trencher on Mini-X (Recommendations?)

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by turfquip, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    I know Uniscaper has a trencher on the stick of his 301.8.

    The more drainage I do, the more I realize what an increase in efficiency this would afford, opposed to digging with the 9" bucket as I do now.

    Any suggestions on which ones would work well and importantly, where and how to source a used one?

    I love bucket work but when you're laying pipe, faster is better.
  2. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    What type of drainage work are you thinking of doing?
  3. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    Sorry, I should have been a little more specific. Over the last year, I have done several downspout drainage jobs. I use 4", SDR 35 almost exclusively and the trenching depth varies from 8" to 24".

    There are more jobs lined up and I sense, that there are many more to be had. I have the right size mini for the work but I need to improve efficiency.
  4. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    For some reason, hooking a trenching attachment on a mini does not excite me nor does it seem to be the right tool/attachment for this type of work. I would think a walk behind dedicated trencher would be a better choice. Skid trenchers start at $3k and go to $6k from CEAttach, and those are for skids..you can purchase a small walk behind for far less and use that instead of tying up your excavator trying to dig trenches which would only really work efficiently on long runs. Everyone I see around here does it that way, I have never seen an excavator trencher for that type of work around here.
  5. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,617

    sounds hard to operate on a mini ex, maybe a smaller bucket?
  6. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    seems to me that trying to use slip joint pipe in a 5-6 in ditch would be a pain in the a$$. and i really hate trenchers you have the right machine to do the job, i think you just need to do it. i find that alot of the time you waste to much time trying to find the "easy way". when if you would just get to work it would be done
  7. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Also with a trencher you will have too clean the trenches out by hand .
    I have done them both ways and a mini ex may take a little longer but there is less manual labor.
    That slip joint pipe in a 6 inch trench is tough too say the least.The trench has too be perfectly straight.
    Anytime I ever use rigid drain pipe I always get a mini ex.
    I often end up with multiple pipes in the same trench as well.
    Here in many areas we have too stay away from tree roots and actually the properties inspected by Arborists.
    So by the the time you trench multiple trenches for multiple pipes a common trench can be faster.
    Plus you only have one trench too compact.Compacting is no small job on a 6 inch trench 2 foot deep and is very time consuming if done properly.
  8. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 860

    You guys are right. I'll just learn to do what I do a little faster(better).

    Compaction is easier cause the tread width matches the bucket width. I just would prefer more crumbly soil that a trencher would produce. The benefits don't outway the disadvantages though...no way.

    I'll keep doin it with the bucket, as my old boss used to say...shut the **** up and keep digging :laugh:
  9. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    i think a trencher would be too narrow for that work...we install a lot of drainpipe for downspouts because its required on all new houses around here now and we always dig it with a backhoe and a 2 foot bucket, that way you can hop in the ditch on tough jobs and make sure you have just the right amount of fall on the pipe
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I think you would have to be in vary favorable conditions. Mini excavators don't generate a lot of hyd. flow. I would think that in hard ground it would be slow going, not to mention difficult to control especially on rough ground.

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