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Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Richie@, May 11, 2012.

  1. Richie@

    Richie@ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    Anyone know of a good fairly priced small trencher - digging depth 12 inches maybe 3 inch wide cut.
  2. Classic Lighting

    Classic Lighting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    I use a bed edger by Brown Mfg. They sell several blades. I bought a 12"x2". Great for prelandscape install. Turf and Garden carries them
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,255

    New to lighting installs, I just bought a 1/2 inch by 7" rotor for my Brown Bed Edger. I had occasion to talk to one of the company owners and he told me about a new machine they have which digs and feeds the wire into the trench.

    But by Richie's description, it doesn't sound like that is what he's looking for.
  4. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    ah, trenchers.

    I have often wished for an invisible fence type device for landscape lighting wire, one that would be useful on multiple long runs in turf. but then the price, usually in that 3k to 5k range. and then I see how fast my guys do the shovel and stomp and fit 3-4 wires in, I am not so sure it is faster to do multiple passes with a machine.

    I have looked at that sod cutter like machine that digs the v edge like you see on the edges of some flowerbeds. pull up small strip of sod, lay wires, replace sod.

    having recently done a job with 300 plus feet of trenching 24" deep for 100 amp service panel, I can tell you traditional trenching is no fun times 10.
  5. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    The best trencher I have ever used is a 3" wide wolverine trenching shovel.

    Oh, did you mean that you wanted something to slit trench into sod? The best tool for this is a standard flat spade.

    Bottom line you can do it faster, cheaper, with less fuss and more accuracy "by hand". Hit one significant rock with a machine trencher and you are heading to the repair shop. (no I am not talking about vibratory plows... those are great but in a whole different league of equipment)
  6. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,255

    I'm laughing. James, let's go head-to-head on a line to the back of a 200-foot lot. You use your spade. I'll use my bed edger with its 9 hp Honda engine and a very heavy-duty rotor. I'll be drinking a lemonade waiting for you at the finish line.
  7. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    I think you may finish the trench first, but take the total time- lay the wire, and clean up your work, and then give a score of how each looks when the clean up is done, and having done ways both multiple times, I gotta tell you, there is a reason why we use a spade for landscape wire. that being said...

    If we did more turf work, no question I would dump the spade for a small vibratory or invisible dog fence type cable bury-quick,no clean up and way, way easier on feet. as mentioned, I have wanted one if not for speed, but for reducing my long term arthritis outlook.

    There is no doubt in my mind I have taken tears of life off my feet, and I will not be jumping on a spade past 50 years old. and it is coming faster than I like.
  8. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Hey Phil, I take you up on that challenge, only I want you to come up here to one of our properties! I guarantee you I will be done first, and your machine will be toast. Aww heck I will even go down to you, where you may very well be done faster, but sure as heck my way will be invisible to the owner. I will place client satisfaction over speed any day of the week. :)

    David: They are called employees... great things for your ongoing health and well being!
  9. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,255

    James, you spoiled my trump card, that is, the contest was going to be here in northern Ohio where the Great Glacier flattened the land. I can't imagine trying to bury wire in some of your terrain. Seriously, I'm hoping the new 1/2 inch rotor I am awaiting will make minimal mess in turf.

    Nonetheless, the spade is certainly the tool of choice in landscape beds.
    Last week, on one of my first jobs, I learned to allow more time for burying wire.
    I should know better from my landscaping experience: the "amateur" pros who dump mulch on mulch on mulch. Around here, the amateurs' choice is chipped construction wood (pallets, etc.) which is dyed black. The trouble is, this mulch doesn't degrade fast enough. So, previous years' mulch gets crusty before they add another two inches each year.. I found myself trying to spade through as much as 6 inches of crust in some spots before reaching soil to go down another 6 inches.
    I spent about three times the labor I had planned. Work and learn.
  10. Richie@

    Richie@ LawnSite Member
    Messages: 187

    We have 4-5 of the smaller trench shovels and then 3 of these heavy duty boys :cool2: - http://www.wolverinehandtools.com/popup.htm?./tall/fl800.jpg

    I have owned trenchers in the past and your better off subbing out large trenching jobs but just wanted to know if anyone used smaller trenchers for like 50-100 ft runs 6 in deep.

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