Wire trenchers

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Southern Night Lighting, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Southern Night Lighting

    Southern Night Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    We were wondering what you all would suggest to bury wire. We have done some investigating and the wire trenchers that are new are very expensive. We are just starting out and don't really want to go to the expense of buying a new wire trencher.

    Does anyone have a used one that is in good shape they would like to sell? Or does anyone have any suggestions?

  2. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Kingsland, Texas
    Messages: 2,214

    I suggest doing it the old cut and tuck method. Cut the ground with a step edger like the hound dog. This will get you to about 6" depth, then tuck the wire into the cut and step on it. Not only will this do the job well but when you are done the client will be happy that you didn't trench the hell out of their yard.
  3. NY Landscape Lighting

    NY Landscape Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    We purchased a used one at the beginning of the year. It is a converted rear tine tiller similiar to the DMR machines. It is similiar to the MTD machine with a similiar attachment to DMR. They are close to us in NY so I went there and he modified the feeder for us. Hindsight I should have waited and purchased one of his new machines. Mine is not as powerful and the blade is off center needing a second person to guide you straight. The DMR honda models are centered and have a better attachment feeder with springs to keep the wire feeding deeper into the trench. For long runs it works pretty well with little damage to the turf. As Paul said, hand digging usually is our preference. The trencher has been nice to have for long runs. We just had a client who wanted 1 little birch lighted at the end of a circle driveway making us go around the house to get there. What would have taken 2 hrs to bury took 15 minutes with no damage. Went back 2 days later to add a fixture to system and you couldn't tell.
  4. extlights

    extlights LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    We have two different trenchers we use. One is the ez trench, and the other is the Ditch Witch 1230. I bet this year, we've used the ez trench a total of 5 or 6 times and the 1230 once. They're nice to have in case of super long runs, but not something I would run out and purchase right away.

    As little as trenchers are used, you might be better off not buying one and go rent one on the projects where you think you'll need it. I think Home Depot rents the ez trencher for somewhere around $45 a day.
  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    the ex trench makes kinda a mess in my opinion. We are going to try and fab one up this winter but when all is said and done if you needed one the DMR with the honda set up looks sweet. We hand bury for now. If it was a long run in hard ground we would prolly rent one. I would worry more about perfecting your bore and sidewalk punch techniques.

    I also try and route wires as close to the foundation as I can. cuts down on the risk of cut wires in the flowerbeds. We try and avoid running lines thru areas where annual color and such is planted. Even if I would get paid to go replace a wire I would just rather not
  6. Firefly Lighting

    Firefly Lighting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 98

    I have a Vermeer LM11 that we have had for about 5 years. I would have to agree with extlights though, the problem nowadays is that there are so many irrigation systems, utilities, dog fences, and mosquito misting systems that you may spend more time repairing cut lines and pipe that you know. I still use ours for long runs when utilities are marked but the best part of the LM11 is the boring attachment. We go under roads, driveways, wide sidewalks it has been such an asset to have on almost every job we do. I even have another lighting company that pays me to do there bores. I would highly recomend a machine that you can put a boring attachment on. Vermeer has a section for used equipment that they are selling on their website.

    Good luck,

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