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  1. #11
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    1,256
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Tractor
    JD 4410

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    Why tear up 4 times more of the yard than is necessary? Depending on how much drain and wire he has to install, I would sure rather spend a couple hundred to rent a trencher than deal with a 16 inch trench settling for the next 3 or 4 years.
    4410 ePR, 3rd SCV, Skid Plates, TuffTop Canopy
    430 FEL, 48 BH, MX-5, Bush Hog Chipper, and more.

    455, 60" deck, MC-519, 3pt hitch

  2. #12
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2007
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    874
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffinsgf View Post
    Why tear up 4 times more of the yard than is necessary? Depending on how much drain and wire he has to install, I would sure rather spend a couple hundred to rent a trencher than deal with a 16 inch trench settling for the next 3 or 4 years.
    You will have to wheel roll it to keep this from happening

  3. #13
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    1,256
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Tractor
    JD 4410

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    You can roll all you want, it's still going to settle. All I am saying is, better to have a 4 - 6 inch wide area to rehab, versus a 16 inch wide area to rehab.
    4410 ePR, 3rd SCV, Skid Plates, TuffTop Canopy
    430 FEL, 48 BH, MX-5, Bush Hog Chipper, and more.

    455, 60" deck, MC-519, 3pt hitch

  4. #14
    Platinum Member
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    Jul 2007
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    874
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

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    Make sure to get a bucket full of dirt or gravel then roll it in with your front tire along the trench. Swing your backhoe to help add weight if possible. Go back for a final pass slightly above grade. Maybe 1-2". Good luck!

  5. #15
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    4,131
    Location
    Grants Pass, OR
    Tractor
    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffinsgf View Post
    You can roll all you want, it's still going to settle. All I am saying is, better to have a 4 - 6 inch wide area to rehab, versus a 16 inch wide area to rehab.
    I am not certain that is the case. I have a plate compactor which fits inside the trench my 16" bucket makes. Cures the settling problem completely.

    Would not work at all with a 4-6" trench.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

  6. #16
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    250
    Tractor
    Oliver 1655

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    Most trenchers I've seen for rent will not dig a wide enough trench for 4" pipe which is actually close to 4 1/2" wide to fit into.
    - An earlier poster mentioned a banana bucket. If it is a curved piece of flat metal without sides, but rather has re-enforcing on the back side so it will not clog up, it would be ideal. One made out of a length 6 or 8" wide flat would be fairly simple to make up. It would be narrow enough you wouldn't need teeth so you could get a flat bottom out of the trench & the sides of the trench will keep the dirt on the scoop. Another option would be to take a pair of chisel plow shanks without the shoes & use them on the back of the curved flat. They are tempered, strong & ready. They will made it easy to form the flat with. Tack weld one end of the flat an inch or two past the bottom of the shanks then draw the flat down to the shank with pipe clamps & and a hand sledge hammer, tack welding as you go.

  7. #17
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    16
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Tractor
    1997 Kubota L35

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    Thanks for all the feedback. I am really more interested in making up something like the banana bucket idea. Anybody got photos or links?

  8. #18
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2012
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    1,115
    Location
    Ma
    Tractor
    Kubota b2920

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    I have a 16" bucket too and have done a lot of burying (mostly 4" PVC, french drains and electrical conduit). In all cases I just dug a 16" trench, not ideal, but not a big deal either. I haven't had settling issues, I pack and wet it down and it seems to stay pretty well. A smaller hole is good, but in my opinion it's easier to use the tool I have vs renting. Now if it were 100's of feet or really tough digging for some reason with the BH I may reconsider. My longest run has been maybe 100' at a shot.

  9. #19
    Gold Member vic4news's Avatar
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    May 2007
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    286
    Location
    Merrimack County, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030

    Default Re: Help! I've got a 16-inch backhoe bucket and need to dig a 4-inch wide trench...

    All my trenches are 18" wide. Doesn't matter if I'm laying 4" pipe or putting in a 1/2" propane line. Never had an issue with settling either.

    Also, it would hard to get all the 2 foot wide rocks out of a trench any more narrow.

    Vic
    Last edited by vic4news; 05-24-2013 at 02:02 PM.

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