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Trenchers?


hobbyfarm
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Hoping to put a pasture watering system in.  Conservation district and usda grazing specialist are working on design.  Pretty sure the design will include several 1000ft to trench.  This is a cost share conservation program that would allow me to move animals more frequently.  They agree to price/specs etc and anything I can do to keep costs down saves me on my percent of the cost share.  

I started browsing at trenchers.  Would a 36" walk behind cut it if I worked at it as I had time?  Pretty good topsoil, some shale, red dirt.  I don't have remote hydraulics on my skid steer.  I could hire it done but then I don't save $.

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ive ran a couple diff trenchers over teh years my favorite was ditch witch and went 4 foot on drain lines in pastures. 

my second would be a trencher on a Skid Steer - for 1000s of feet no way in the world i would use a walk behind that would be miserable

it would also depend on what kind of soil/rocks you anticipate dealing with 

here i can rent a BIG skidsteer with at 6 foot trencher for about 500/day for all of it. a week rental would be 1500 

trenching prices here are around 3.00/4.00 foot for water line thats easy math to pay for the work/costs and then varies with type of pipe/size. 

Neighbor had plastic gas line installed yest for 2.75/foot 

once u get onto the skidsteer trencher and if its good dirt you can cruise right along - speed will vary with depth of course and soils w/out roots n rocks - guessing at least 200'/hour would be reasonable 

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We bought an older Case Davis trencher for a few jobs like you are describing. We did a few miles of trench with it before the old Wisconsin V-4 engine gave up. We were still money ahead on it even if I never get it fixed. Most of the stuff we were running it in I would describe as pretty tough stuff, but we averaged 60-75 feet an hour. 

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If you are laying plastic roll pipe and have good dirt, you might be better off renting a vibratory plow. It can play the pipe for you as you go along. We are currently pulling in a few miles of conduit for a big fiber project right now.

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6 hours ago, searcyfarms said:

ive ran a couple diff trenchers over teh years my favorite was ditch witch and went 4 foot on drain lines in pastures. 

my second would be a trencher on a Skid Steer - for 1000s of feet no way in the world i would use a walk behind that would be miserable

it would also depend on what kind of soil/rocks you anticipate dealing with 

here i can rent a BIG skidsteer with at 6 foot trencher for about 500/day for all of it. a week rental would be 1500 

trenching prices here are around 3.00/4.00 foot for water line thats easy math to pay for the work/costs and then varies with type of pipe/size. 

Neighbor had plastic gas line installed yest for 2.75/foot 

once u get onto the skidsteer trencher and if its good dirt you can cruise right along - speed will vary with depth of course and soils w/out roots n rocks - guessing at least 200'/hour would be reasonable 

$3 to $4 a foot.  I haven't seen the proposal yet.  Im starting to think this is going to have a bigger price tag then what I realized.

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1 hour ago, hobbyfarm said:

$3 to $4 a foot.  I haven't seen the proposal yet.  Im starting to think this is going to have a bigger price tag then what I realized.

yes its not cheap - and the ride ons go pretty good and easier to manipulate -  the thing about the skidsteer is you get a kink in your neck going backwards 

not sure what specs/size you are putting in but just 1inch pvc plus glue/couplings is going to run close to a buck a foot. so 2 bucks a foot for trenching is cheap also. You would be pretty hard pressed to find that around here that is why i said more likely close to 4. 

I used the gasline from yesterday to compare because its plastic pipe and only 5/8 inch and it was 2.75/foot. 

so yes 1000 feet of contracted price is 3 to 4 K bucks you have a substantial project on your hands. Minimum for water lines here would be 48" for our temps you might need deeper there ? 

are you just putting in hydrants at the end of these runs ? 

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41 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

yes its not cheap - and the ride ons go pretty good and easier to manipulate -  the thing about the skidsteer is you get a kink in your neck going backwards 

not sure what specs/size you are putting in but just 1inch pvc plus glue/couplings is going to run close to a buck a foot. so 2 bucks a foot for trenching is cheap also. You would be pretty hard pressed to find that around here that is why i said more likely close to 4. 

I used the gasline from yesterday to compare because its plastic pipe and only 5/8 inch and it was 2.75/foot. 

so yes 1000 feet of contracted price is 3 to 4 K bucks you have a substantial project on your hands. Minimum for water lines here would be 48" for our temps you might need deeper there ? 

are you just putting in hydrants at the end of these runs ? 

Everything would be underground with hidden valve that accepts a quick connect fitting.  Picture a 6 inch or larger pipe that I could reach down into to plug in.  Water needs to flow fast enough that the cattle don't get ahead of it and dump the tub.  Low point in system can have a drain valve to drain things down in winter but I think depth will equal longevity.  A bunch of this is tillable ground so it needs to be deep enough to not cause issues.  Where there is a valve it could be marked just like a tile line input.  Plans include a new well.  Everything would be 50/50 cost share based off their estimate and then actual footage run.  They give the specs.  If I can follow the specs and do it for less they still pay 50% of estimate adjusted for actual footage.  This basically allows me reduced out of pocket for any labor I put in it.  Some people are able to get it down to 20% out of pocket to even 0.  Hence my crazy self trench ideas.

Might be able to see a cost estimate tomorrow.  In our application all the visible black pipe would be in the ground.

Screenshot_20211020-222035.thumb.png.8a2e7426c8b0e16503fd77f1cd64a946.png

 

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We bought a Vermeer V-5800 last fall, have installed close to 3,000' of field tilecwoth it so far and have probably put 100 hours on it doing backhoe work.  Nice thing about a ride on vs a skid steer trencher is once you get a ride on started you can get off and let it run on it's own.  In our soils I'm usually around 200' per hour digging an 8" wide 48" deep trench, for waterline it could be narrowed to 4" and travel speed would be much faster.

20211016_154455.jpg

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No way. You would be so beat up and wore out from a walk behind before you ever got done, and you would be hard press to get it in deep enough. A couple hundred feet sure, you could make it work. I've used plenty of walk behind, and they are slow, gutless, and did I mention slow.  We ran a RT40 ditch witch trencher for a long time, and I could trench 2000' of good soil a day. Now that's tough to do but can be achieved. Point is renting one for a weekend and possibly having someone else to swap seats with would be possible. I wont say I never had a spade shovel wedged in the seat and a bungee on the steering wheel.  If memory serves me correct we installed a 2" water line in good dirt once 2800' and back filled in 2 days. Limiting factor was actually engine temp as we would have to back off the machine somewhat to let her cool down. Yah we were pushing it but that's what contractors tend to do unfortunately. 

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Neighbor here uses a walk behind and does thousands of feet of tile with it in his spare time. I have a Davis T-66 that I use---NEVER ride on it either, I always walk and keep an eye on my grade with it. I go 42 to 48 inches with it. Slow in your eyes but it gets the job done and way cheaper than the hire guys!

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poof and there it is, the ditch witch, case or vermeer trencher with 200' per hour and another 2000' per day at a long 10 hour or more day likely, and the costs, weeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllll, its gonna be spendy, digging teh well will be a bunch!!! my cousin had a well dug here last spring/summer and it was over 10K for 200 feet

what did you think it was going to cost ? 

17 hours ago, hobbyfarm said:

Everything would be underground with hidden valve that accepts a quick connect fitting.  Picture a 6 inch or larger pipe that I could reach down into to plug in.  Water needs to flow fast enough that the cattle don't get ahead of it and dump the tub.  Low point in system can have a drain valve to drain things down in winter but I think depth will equal longevity.  A bunch of this is tillable ground so it needs to be deep enough to not cause issues.  Where there is a valve it could be marked just like a tile line input.  Plans include a new well.  Everything would be 50/50 cost share based off their estimate and then actual footage run.  They give the specs.  If I can follow the specs and do it for less they still pay 50% of estimate adjusted for actual footage.  This basically allows me reduced out of pocket for any labor I put in it.  Some people are able to get it down to 20% out of pocket to even 0.  Hence my crazy self trench ideas.

Might be able to see a cost estimate tomorrow.  In our application all the visible black pipe would be in the ground.

Screenshot_20211020-222035.thumb.png.8a2e7426c8b0e16503fd77f1cd64a946.png

 

 

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1 hour ago, searcyfarms said:

poof and there it is, the ditch witch, case or vermeer trencher with 200' per hour and another 2000' per day at a long 10 hour or more day likely, and the costs, weeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllll, its gonna be spendy, digging teh well will be a bunch!!! my cousin had a well dug here last spring/summer and it was over 10K for 200 feet

what did you think it was going to cost ? 

 

I was guessing 25k?  I may be low.  Water is abundant but if we want good gpm we may need to go bigger then a standard well for a home.  Trencher or trenching cost is going to be big it looks like.

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1 hour ago, hobbyfarm said:

I was guessing 25k?  I may be low.  Water is abundant but if we want good gpm we may need to go bigger then a standard well for a home.  Trencher or trenching cost is going to be big it looks like.

all depends on how deep well ends up and how far u wanna dig lol - let the games begin - if it comes in at 25K you will half that will likely be the well or close to it. Be hard to save any $$ on that - maybe by you doing some of the trenching work you can save a little to offset some of the well costs. 

I know on the RATES for shared costs on anything related to FSA/NRCS contracts that I have been engaged in they have set prices they go by regardless of what you get for bids or someone to do it for. I am talking rates for land contracts such as CRP - mowing, spraying, disking, drilling, etc...........

they may do your type of situation different it would be worth an ask so you dont have to waste time on bids/pricing if they are going to go by a regional standard avg cost. 

 

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2 hours ago, searcyfarms said:

all depends on how deep well ends up and how far u wanna dig lol - let the games begin - if it comes in at 25K you will half that will likely be the well or close to it. Be hard to save any $$ on that - maybe by you doing some of the trenching work you can save a little to offset some of the well costs. 

I know on the RATES for shared costs on anything related to FSA/NRCS contracts that I have been engaged in they have set prices they go by regardless of what you get for bids or someone to do it for. I am talking rates for land contracts such as CRP - mowing, spraying, disking, drilling, etc...........

they may do your type of situation different it would be worth an ask so you dont have to waste time on bids/pricing if they are going to go by a regional standard avg cost. 

 

Pretty much like you say with the CRP.  They have a set price for everything.  I would pay up front and then get reimbursed once it is completed to spec.  

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2 hours ago, zleinenbach said:

Also, with way PVC prices are, look into pex. Way less fittings and fairly easy to work with

nice catch its a lil less expensive and would go quicker laying it down w/out the couplings to glue/leak 

https://www.outdoorfurnacesupply.com/1-pexworx-non-barrier-plumbing-pex-tubing-500-blue-tnb1-500-b.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxazll5Hd8wIVAuDICh2c8wtBEAQYAiABEgJhifD_BwE

 

 

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Make sure you understand the pipe specs as to what types of pipe are acceptable. At least in Missouri, PEX does NOT meet specs for livestock pipelines. If you’re doing this through EQIP, you may want to schedule half or less to be completed one year and the rest the next.  You can always work ahead in the contract. The problem comes when you get behind. Spreading it out schedule wise gives some flexibility. You have to have one contract item completed and paid in the first 12 months of the contract. 

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