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 05-07-2001, 01:20 Post: 27831
JonB



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 Trenching techniques

Well, I've found another reason to wish I had a bigger tractor, or at least a wider tractor. I used a potato plow to dig a trench for irrigation line, then added a furrow to get the dirt out. So far, so good. Furrowing the trench pulled the dirt (and rocks) out along the sides of the trench. So the next time I wanted to pull the plow and furrow (to make the trench deeper) I was riding on top of the loose dirt furrowed out. Making it impossible to steer straight or travel quickly. The tractor also couldn't plow deeper as it was riding higher on the mounds of dirt. My solution was to take a landscape rake, and with the tractor perpendilar to the trench, rake across, down into the trench, and up the other side. This cleaned the loose dirt on top away, and did a fair job of cleaning the trench out too. The next time I pulled the potato plow the trench was deep enough, around 10 inches. Some places I've had to clean out the old fashioned way--with a hand shovel. I'll try finishing up with the landscape rake this week. So ... the landscape rake is quickly becoming an extremely versatile tool. But a wider tractor might have kept me from needing this extra technique. I don't think a trenching machine would have worked. In some areas there were more rocks than dirt, rocks from 3 or 6 inches in diameter. Anyway, have any of you with smaller tractors run into this problem? What was your solution? Thanks in advance for advice and comments. JonB






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 05-07-2001, 07:15 Post: 27833
TomG

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 Trenching techniques

Well, not exactly the same problem, but it's kind of funny to think about. Sort of the equivalent of painting yourself into a corner. I was trenching for underground electrical service between two buildings. I realized that if I went from one building to the other I'd have the tractor rad against a wall and about 20' of trench left to dig by hand or from the side. I didn't want to do that, so I figured I could dig some trench at one building, then at the other and meet in the middle. Then I realized 'Yikes!' I'm going to end up with one trench, a building at either end and a set of wheels on either side. So; could I leave enough trench to drive over and finish by hand, could I drive over the trench without a front wheel dropping into the trench, or could I place enough railroad ties to drive over? Fortunately, I anticipated the problem before experiencing it. I dug most of the trench, put in conduit and then backfilled. I then did the rest of the trenching and drove out over the backfilled part. Anyway, I still have visions of myself and tractor straddling a trench between buildings and wondering how to get off the trench without burying a 15 tire. A bigger tractor with bigger front wheels, and I probably would have just driven off the trench.






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