KB 2375 trench

   / KB 2375 trench #1  


Super Star Member
May 20, 2004
Big Island, HI
LS XR4140H (Mine) BX2380 (wife’s)
I mentioned in my thread concerning the control valve that I would post pics of my trench work, so here goes
The project is to connect the electrical from my cottage to the main house. Rough measure is about 375 feet of wire. I will bury two, 2 inch conduits in about 300 feet of trench. Only intend to run cable in one conduit, #2 copper. My purpose is to consolidate my solar PV systems from 2 to 1. I can add the PV panels from the cottage to my house system and eliminate the batteries, charger, inverter at the cottage, simplifying maintenance.

My biggest concern was getting across my drive, which is an old cane haul road. I've placed gate posts in it over the years and always a massive hole due to the rock. I didn't expect a reasonable dig with my backhoe but was pleasantly surprised.

So here are some shorts of that work. 20 ft of rigid conduit across the drive at 4ft depth. Some concrete and sand. PVC conduit attached to traverse the on traffic areas. I also added a 3 inch PVC for future use
So this is a 40 foot run I decided to use a pull box each side of the drive.






   / KB 2375 trench
  • Thread Starter
Now I need to start the trek from the drive to my tractor/utility shed where my main solar electric system is installed.

Here is the basic line. You can just barely see peak of the roof beyond the live of podacarpis trees. That is my hardworking assistant in foreground.


Starting from drive

This is point we took a break.

And 164 ft from drive starting point . This took us a bit over 3.5 hours of digging time. One of the minor inconveniences ( to me) of my Kioti TLB is the limited distance one can dig. My solution is my wife. This trench is about 2ft deep, but I can only effectively make about 4 ft length and then must move the tractor. That would be about 40 round trips from backhoe seat to tractor and back. Very time consuming and at my age, tiring climbing up and down. So, once lined up, I man the backhoe and my wife the tractor. Nice I have dug my limit, I can pop the stabilizers, wife moves tractor forward another 4 feet, resets break and bucket, I drop the stabilizers and dig. Very efficient. She just keeps following the painted line. I figure this probably saves me 2 minutes or more per move, not to mention the wear and tear on me.

Supervisors checking my work

Side view

Looks like I'm rained out for today. Just beyond the poddies I have to trench down a hill. I won't attempt unless dry.

I'll post again when more progress.

   / KB 2375 trench #3  
It looks like your repair put the bh back to new. It's nice you have a helper to move the tractor while you dig. When digging that deep, it takes many moves to get some distance like you mentioned. I still haven't convinced my wife to be the driver for me.
By the way, nice pictures and nice property.
   / KB 2375 trench #4  
Looks good, David.

Is that filter fabric on top of the sand in your trench? If so, why?

Using a helper to move the tractor while trenching is an interesting

Since my CK has HST, I reach around and push the go-pedal with the
handle of a shovel when I am ready to move. I once did about 500
feet of trench, and I am sure glad I did not have to get off the hoe
every 4 feet!
   / KB 2375 trench
  • Thread Starter
Almost... Still have a leak, but I can't see where unless I remove the metal cover. I just want to get this trench done, then I'll open it back up. I probably should have replaced all the seals, but didn't.

Technically, this is my wife's tractor since I got the Case, but never did get her the flail for it and since I did get her a Scag, guess I won't. LOL She has been really good, not only driving for the backhoe work, but whenever I have a FEL type project that needs some finessing or even running the auger as I guide it.

No, no fabric. That is just wet sand. Our sand is actually crusher fines and grey color. I put 2 tons in that section.

I did the shovel handle once, but I prefer setting the parking brake and dropping the FEL. Sure wish our seat/station was more convenient.

   / KB 2375 trench
  • Thread Starter
This is from drive to the cottage. Unfortunately, have to hand dig the final 20 ft that runs under the building.

   / KB 2375 trench
  • Thread Starter
Today was a good day. Plenty of wind and sun to dry out yesterday's rain.

Lining up from where I finished the other day.


Down the hill to tractor shed


Don't know about you guys, but using the BH to dig perpendicular to the tractor is a challenge for me. This brings the trench all the way just through the trees.


Tight quarters between the trees.




And finally down the slope to the tractor/utility shed. This is where I'll pick up the feed from my solar system.


   / KB 2375 trench
  • Thread Starter
Got the conduit in, all except about 50 ft run at the cottage.





   / KB 2375 trench
  • Thread Starter
Put wire in :)



   / KB 2375 trench #10  
Beautiful property you have. Let me know when your guest cottages are ready for visitors.

My wife and I have practiced that driving/digging partnership in the past. I have a couple of clients who have expressed a need for some trenching, being fluent in both of us working the tractor will save time for sure. Good to hear it's not just us doing that.

Kudos for putting in the solar panels. I would love to know more about the cost vs. payback time frame.


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