trenching for conduit

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Old 12-08-18, 08:16 AM
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trenching for conduit

I've never used a trencher. At what point will be the frost be to deep to use one for a 2' trench for conduit?
 
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Old 12-08-18, 09:47 AM
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18" is all that is required.
 
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Old 12-08-18, 10:01 AM
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Thanks Ray, I'm going a little deeper just to give the inspector on less thing to think about. Have you ever used a trencher? I'm curious if it can get through the first few inches of frozen soil
 
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Old 12-08-18, 10:13 AM
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The Terra trencher will do it ...... youtube/watch?v=mgzC9Yy3sXI
Where are you located to already have a few inches of frozen soil ?
 
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Old 12-08-18, 10:15 AM
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I've never used one but have been on jobs where they were being used. They come in different sizes so I assume the answer depends on which one. They should be able to answer your questions at the rental place.
 
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Old 12-08-18, 10:24 AM
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I'm a bit south of Albany NY. Its been pretty cold here the last week or so. I don't thnk the frost is more than a few inches. I don'tknow much about trenchers and didn't want to pay $300 to rent it only to find out the ground is too hard.

Terra Trencher looks neat but looks like a tough machine to use
 
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Old 12-08-18, 02:15 PM
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Friday I just had to trench power to a monument sign. We had our bobcat excavator there to do the digging. There is about 12" of frost in my area and the excavator could not rip through the frost even tough the soil was sandy. We had to use a jack hammer to bust up the frost and then we could dig with the excavator. Was not a fun day.

Unless the trencher is a large, powerful machine I think it will have a tough time getting through the frost. Especially if you have clay soil.

The Terra trencher looks like a pretty narrow trench.
 
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Old 12-08-18, 03:23 PM
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This is the trencher I'm thinking of renting. It pretty heavy duty

Barreto 2036 Track Trencher - Country True Value
 
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Old 12-09-18, 06:12 PM
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I would ask the rental place. They probably would know best.

I know the trenchers I've used aren't all that powerful. It gets through roots pretty well though, so could probably get through a few inches of frozen soil, but I would imagine it would be a pain in the rear if you have more.
 
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Old 12-09-18, 06:20 PM
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We've got a few sunny days comimg with temps in the 30's. I covered the area where the trench will be with dark plastic tarps. I think that will help thaw the ground a little.
 
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Old 12-09-18, 08:02 PM
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This is the trencher I'm thinking of renting. It pretty heavy duty
I agree with Zorfdt. A small walk behind machine is not going to be able to cut through the frost. You need something like a ride on Ditch Witch or a skid steer with a trencher attachment.
 
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Old 12-10-18, 03:27 PM
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I don't know if I'd call the one I linked small. It weighs 1600 lbs
 
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Old 12-11-18, 09:44 AM
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That's pretty small for digging through frozen soil. Make a couple test holes along the path with post hole diggers. If you can't make a pilot hole without resorting to a mattock, a trenching machine will struggle. If you only have a couple inches of surface frost you'll probably be OK. But if the soil is hard frozen, even a powerful excavator will not make it through without a frost tooth.

You could see if the rental shop has electric ground warming blankets. We use these on jobs when you absolutely have to dig in winter.
 
 

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