Trenching with middle buster plow: Trenchers  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Trenching with middle buster plow: Trenchers -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 03-07-2000, 00:00 Post: 13537
Robert Pittman



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 Trenching with middle buster plow

I need to trench 150 feet to lay some electric cable. The trench needs to be 18" deep. Is it possible to do this with a middle buster plow. The soil is clay like, but I plan to do this in early Spring when the ground is still soft. Anyone have experience using a middle buster plow to trench? How deep can I go with a middle buster? I'm using a 30hp 4wd JD 790 tractor to pull the plow. Any advice / comments would be appreciated.Robert Pittmanbiff@caltel.com






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 03-07-2000, 00:00 Post: 13541
TomG

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 Trenching-with-middle-buster-plow

Several people have made comments that single bottom plows work well for doing that. I can't comment about a 790's ability to pull the particular plow.

My comment is about whether it's a good idea. I imagine that the line is for a branch circuit off a main panel to an out building, and you're planning to use direct burial line. If you did that around here, codes would require 3" of sand all around the line and also protection by planks above the sand. Deeper trenches are required for lines without plank protection, and still deeper for lines that go under vehicle drives. So (if codes are important) will the sort of trench left by a plow allow filling the bottom with sand, laying the line, more sand, plank and then backfill? Don't know myself, but I doubt my inspector would have been very happy.

I did run 24" trenches and lay DB line in 3" drain used as a conduit. The inspector was happy, and I probably could have gotten away with 18" since the soil here qualifies as sand. Using conduit is a real good idea since the line can be replaced without digging it up.

Codes in your area might approve DB line in conduit at 18" without sand or plank protection. You might be able to plow a trench, assemble conduit above ground, pull the line, and shove the whole thing into the furrow. Might work. I used a back hoe myself.






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 03-07-2000, 00:00 Post: 13543
Murf

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 Trenching-with-middle-buster-plow

What you are contemplating is possible, it may take several passes, but possible. We have done similar for outdoor lights many times. I had a 'plow' fabricated that is basically a 'middle buster' with a flat 'foot' on the bottom to hold depth instead of diving down under power, and a small wing out each side that curves upwards to remove some of the dirt and widen the trench. At the back of this whole affair at the very bottom is a hook with which the cable can be pulled through the trench. Over the years we have discovered the easiest way to do it is by laying either 1.5" i.d. plastic water or gas pipe in the ground with the cable (even DB) inside that, the chances of hurting the cable are less, and if it ever needs to be replaced or doubled-up a cable can be fished through the conduit. Best of luck.






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 03-07-2000, 00:00 Post: 13548
MichaelSnyder

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 Trenching-with-middle-buster-plow

Robert,
Take this as you will, but I tend to agree with the prior postings. I understand your pain, Just finished paying someone to dig a trench about the same distance as you. Naturally, I closed it myself. However, I do wish that I would have thought to run the wires through plastic conduit. But the electric company & electrician had things wrapped up before I had a chance. Take this as you choose, but like my father always said. "If we don't have the time or money to do it right the first time, how do we manage to afford the time and money the second time?" Whole lotta truth to that statement.. I'm not saying your taking a short cut, nor do I know what your using it for, but 18" sounds pretty shallow to me.






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 03-10-2000, 00:00 Post: 13630
RCH



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 Trenching-with-middle-buster-plow

I've buried water lines with a subsoiller or middle buster by taking 1-1/2 plastic electrical conduit stick it on the tractors exhaust to heat it up and curve it gently. Then ,using worm gear clamps, clamp it to the back of the subsoiler and then feed the plastic pipe through it as you go. I suppose the same would work for wire,being more supple than plastic water pipe.If you do this with wire inside of plastic pipe the curved conduit has to bigger than you think. I too,however, have reservations about shallow AC lines






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 03-12-2000, 00:00 Post: 13693
SteveofNJ



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 Trenching-with-middle-buster-plow

Robert,
Have a new 790 4wd, with turf tires. Ran a short distance of 6" drainage hose.
Used a Sub-Soiler, took about three passes (for proper depth and width). Still had to "clean" up the trench with the bucket a little. I found that using the Sub-soiler didn't even phase the machine. Was like just driving forward while dragging the brakes a little. No one mentions this, but I will, DO NOT DRIVE FAST WITH THE SUB-SOILER ALL THE WAY DOWN. You will either rip the machine apart or do a wheelie if you should catch a rock. I almost found out the hard way. First gear or second in low range 4wd engaged works great, and gives plenty of time to raise the hitch if you should grap a rock.

I found that (in playing around just for fun) if you use the sub-soiler to start the trench, and then go back with the bucket (assuming you have a loader), you can dig virtually any width or depth (with-in reason) wire or pipe trench. 18"-24" with not much effort should be easy.

good luck.






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 03-29-2002, 16:54 Post: 36855
stuart
2002-03-29 00:00:00
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 Trenching with middle buster plow

I've had some experience using a middle buster (potato digger) and my JD655 (only l6 HP) 4WD in attempting to dig a trench for a double row of 4" flex drain line. In order to obtain the maximum depth (I don't recall it being anymore than l6-l8"Wink yeah right I had to adjust the top link such that the large V-plow was just a few degrees short of being vertical to the trench. This positioning coupled with our clay earth resulted in bending the bottom of the V blade and its heavy metal attaching shoe about 90 degrees backward. I couldn't believe my little l6 HP could do so much damage to a pretty heavy piece of equipment. Subsequently I used my HD rear-tine rototiller making numerious passes to obtain the desired width and depth. I've also done DB wire both in and out of pvc conduit. I agree that its better to run in the PVC. I consider it to be relatively cheap insurance. One caution though is to make the entire system "water-proof" by also using the necessary above ground pvc waterproof fittings/boxes (even with DB wire) so as to prevent the accumulation of water in the conduit. I don't know what code says about this but water and electricity tend to be incompatable and in my mind there is a big difference in having DB wire exposed directly to the earth (and natural moisture) as opposed to being continuously submerged in water for an infinite amount of time.






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 03-29-2002, 16:59 Post: 36856
DRankin

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 Trenching with middle buster plow

Do you remember which brand of middle buster you broke? I don't want to buy the same kind.






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 04-10-2006, 21:19 Post: 127520
acerguy



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 Trenching with middle buster plow

I used a middle buster with my JD4100 to dig a 300' trench about 12" deep so that I could run ethernet cable in 1 1/2" irrigation pipe. Worked just fine although I did make several passes to get the depth right. Only problem I had was that it rained between the time I dug the trench and had to go back and cover the whole shee-bang back up with my rear blade. THAT was a mess and took twice as long!






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