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  1. #1
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    Envious Of one

    Default Trencher Speed

    Hey folks,

    I've gotta dig a 70' trench that's 18" deep to lay a 1.25" gas line. My local Sunbelt Rentals has one that goes 24" deep and is self propelled. My soil is basically just hardly compact loam (hard enough to make digging a big pain) but not too rocky.

    My first time using a trencher and I'm trying to plan out the day. How long would you expect a 70' trench like this to take with a trencher? 1 hour? 2 hours? 4 hours? 8 hours? More?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Silver Member tractorski's Avatar
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    southern Vermont
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    Branson 3510

    Default

    I just rented one of those for a 40 foot run. It took me about 45 minutes

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  3. #3
    Gold Member msb1766's Avatar
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    SC2450 Cub Cadet/Yanmar

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    I would say 15-20 minutes.
    I rented a trencher to run power to my pool I have hard clay soil and went about 200' took me about 45 minutes
    I lowerd the trecher all the way down 24" because once you start trenching and it is not deep enough you can not go forward and try to go deeper because the dirt it pulls out is piled up by the wheels.
    Cub Cadet/Yanmar TLB Sc2450, Ratchet Rake, Front Snowblower, Back Blade, Spreader, Middlebuster.
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  4. #4
    New Member
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    Envious Of one

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    Wow, that's great. That's what I hoped for but the rental company was more like "You should probably be able to do it in 8 hours. All depends", which just didn't leave me with much confidence. Very cool! Thanks!

  5. #5
    Elite Member czechsonofagun's Avatar
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    Old Dominion
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    Kubota B1750

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    I suggest you line up other jobs - like drainage, electricity and such - to effectively use the machine the whole time you paid for.

    Just my $0.02
    Regards,

    Prokop


    I was put on Earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Now I'm so far behind, I'll never die!

  6. #6
    Silver Member dschuffert's Avatar
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    Jun 2012
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    Beecher, IL
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    John Deere 3720 Premium Cab

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    I rented a self-propelled trencher (Ace Hardware, $98 for a half day rental) last summer to lay tubing for my geothermal heat pump. I am mostly hard clay for soil type. The unit I rented went to a depth of 48" which is the frost line around here. I went just shy of 60 feet and 48" deep. It took me about 30 minutes to actually dig the trench. It took longer to load, transport the trencher, and unload it than it did to use it. It also took longer to clean it after I used it than to dig the trench. I ended up paying for a half days rental. The most annoying part of this job was loose clay falling back into the trench. Being four feet deep the trench was a pain to clean the loose clay out of only because I didn't have shovels with extended handles. I had to lay on the ground and scoop the loose clay out.
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  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Columbus, Georgia
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    Kuborta B2400, L2900, L4330; Caterpillar D3B, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    I have similar experiences to those mentioned just recently putting in about 1,500 feet of water line. But where I had frequent rocks (even small grapefruit size ones) and roots over an inch or so in diameter, it really slowed down, and reared up pretty often. The only thing worse than rocks and roots is a going along a hillside; on what I thought were mild slopes I had to tie the monster to an uphill tree to keep it from sliding.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member Qapla's Avatar
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    Gator Country
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    New Holland TC40D HST 4WD FEL/BH

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    With a "ground saw" I can dig 70' of 13" trench in about 10-15 minutes. With a self-propelled walk-behind trencher I can dig 70' of 24" trench in about the same time.

    If you are using a chain trencher that is self propelled and walk behind (actually, you walk in front of them as they move toward you and away from the dug area of the trench), keep in mind that they are not the easiest thing to steer and control, so be sure you know exactly where you want that trench before you start.

    Also, they make a 2" wide trenching shovel that will do an excellent job of cleaning out the trench, once dug. If you don't want to clean the trench and your soil holds the ditch fairly good, dig the trench a bit deeper since it will have an inch or two of lose "fluff" dirt in the bottom. Have the full length of the pipe laying in a continuous run near the ditch before you dig. Put the pipe in the ditch as soon after digging as possible and you will cut the disk of cave in way down.

    Be sure to pack the dirt in the ditch when you back-fill, forcing most of the dirt that came out back into the ditch, or you will have a depression where you dig once the dirt settles. If you don't have a "back-fill" blade/tool, use a garden rake of a square shovel as it will help with moving the dirt into the ditch. You should be able to fill the ditch with the dirt from one side of the ditch, then step it down with you full body weight and finish with the dirt from the other side of the ditch.

    Like was previously mentioned, make sure you have the trench as deep as you want it when you first start because you don't get a re-do with a trencher since they pile the dirt right next to the trench. Believe me, next to the ditch is where you want that dirt when you start putting it back.
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  9. #9
    New Member
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    Envious Of one

    Default Re: Trencher Speed

    Thanks everyone. End up doing 2 trenches 70' long since it went so quick. Both were done in under 2 hours.

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