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Power Upgrade #2: Trenching

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Blog entry by Nate Meadows posted 528 days ago 1709 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Power Poles Part 2 of Power Upgrade series Part 3: Trenching Adventures! »

So this last weekend we had a break in the weather and I was feeling pretty good! I went to our local center and rented a Ditch Witch trencher. I got the ride along model on the advice of my brother-in-law; with my vertigo and dizziness it would not have been wise to use the walk behind model. It cuts a 6in wide by 4ft deep trench.

Getting Ready

The Ditch Witch

4500

I started out at the big barn and where Theresa’s glass shop is going to be. It really is an impressive machine!

The First Cut

The Beginning

Cool

Slow But Better

Progress

The machine really saves the back as for digging by hand, but it kills the spine and bladder. I have soil that is riddled with granite rocks. It either cut through them or slowly pulled them to the surface. However, it really bounces and jerks you around. The best way I could show you that, was to get a quick video. Its my first video ever but I think it gets the idea across.

Digging

With the new codes, we have to run the power to our Ag Well under ground.

Ag Well

This spot runs power out across the yard so that when we do need it we do not have to have long extension cords running from the house or shop.

New Spot

Finished Line

No did not wet my pants:). My body heat drew all the moisture out of the old seat. My butt was soaked and freezing by the end of the day!

Wet Seat

This run goes to the end of the driveway. This is for two reasons. First and most importantly, the trench has to turn the corner and go to the power pole for the phone line. Second, I will be eventually adding lights to the posts on either side of the gate.

The End

The run to my shop.

To My Shop

The final run. I actually broke two teeth and jammed up the chain halfway through this cut. I thought I was screwed. But thankfully they came right off and I was able to finish cutting. The owner of Rent Guys was totally awesome and even gave me a discount, besause it was such an adventure. More to follow on that:). For my local friends! You cannot go wrong with him!!! The last trench goes to the middle of the front yard ( you can see it in the back ground) to were I will eventually have five flag poles. (The Red, White and Blue-OF COURSE!!!!!, The White and Red Cross Flag, The POW Flag, The Purple Heart Flag, and The Nevada Battle Ground Flag (go Wolf Pack -and Kapernick:) I want to have lights on them so they can fly proudly at night.

Final Run

Final Trench

Flag Trench

More To Follow…..

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate



16 comments so far

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

4983 posts in 2310 days


#1 posted 528 days ago

That looks like a great tool! That is a lot of trenching, I can see why you didn’t want to hand dig them!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#2 posted 528 days ago

Thanks Mark,

It really is the way to go! Yes, digging by had would have taken me months.

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10539 posts in 1287 days


#3 posted 528 days ago

You had a much better rental guy than I did. I tore up his stump grinder first (gear box basically exploded) and then a few weeks later I managed to kill his Ditch Witch! He will no longer rent anything to me and tried to get me to pay for fixing his worn out equipment. Both of these tools were at death’s doorstep when I rented them and just decided to die on my watch! Do it yourself country living is great isn’t it? But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Best of luck in your electrical redo.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#4 posted 528 days ago

gfadvm,

Sorry to hear about your rental guy. Sounds like he was a jerk. He clearly did use his insurance!

When I rented the machine, all the fuel was drained out of it so I had to go get fuel just to start.

It was an adventure for sure.

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3044 posts in 1273 days


#5 posted 528 days ago

I just finished running some new yard hydrants around my place. Also helped my son move some of his since the city bought an easement and he had a couple that were about a foot on their side of the line. These machines reall take the fun out of trenching. My bro-in-law works for Ditchwitch. He is a manfg eng. I plan to send him the link so he can see his equipment. This machine looks like it has been around the block more than once but they keep on going. You will really enjoy this when it is finished. Backfilling and smoothing it all out is a chore. I remember back in 2000 when I ran electric for my shop . Took forever to be able to mow and all. It has to settle.

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#6 posted 528 days ago

Grandpa,

How cool is that! I hope he is proud of his product! I am sold, that thing is awesome. The seat suspension needs some redesign but other than that, it is awesome! As for backfilling, I am going to borrow a large tracker and do it that way. It will be so much easier than doing it by hand also.

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3044 posts in 1273 days


#7 posted 528 days ago

I can tell you power machines are the way to go. It will still have to have some hand work….at least mine did. IT will all come out though. Sound to me like you are upgrading everything on your place

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#8 posted 528 days ago

Grandpa,

Yes, I agree, machines are an true value and asset for sure, especially for those of us with struggles. I will still have to hand dig about 100feet of trench total though.

We are upgrading everything, correct. Almost every panel except the actual house panel and system.

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2882 posts in 2099 days


#9 posted 527 days ago

Brings back some memories Nate!
I used to do a lot of irrigation for a landscape company in the late eighties… But the trencher we had was a pull-behind, so I was the Tractor!!
Filling the trenches is actually really easy, just kick the spoil back in with your feet or with a steel rake. Tamping it back in with your heel helps…
Soaking it in with water will speed up the settling too, but more often than not, there’s more soil that comes out of the trench than wants to go back in!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3044 posts in 1273 days


#10 posted 527 days ago

littlecope, it all depends on the phase of the moon. If you dig the trench during the correct phase of the moon, the dirt will go back. If the moon is in the wrong phase there will be too much or sometimes too little dirt. LOL I dug a trench for the wiring to my shop. I had to take that rake and drag the dirt over the trench 2 or 3 times. I finally got it all settled in and level. You need to be able to cruise over it on a riding mower with no seat belt.

View kenn's profile

kenn

779 posts in 2317 days


#11 posted 527 days ago

Well, I like this entry better than the next one! It looks good and I am glad you are ok after the adventure.

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#12 posted 527 days ago

Thanks Mike,

Man that must have been an interesting job!

Yeah, I have a ton of rock that I am going to have to go through to get back in the hole. Thanks for the water tip!

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#13 posted 527 days ago

Thanks Kenn:)

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Nate Meadows's profile

Nate Meadows

1067 posts in 804 days


#14 posted 527 days ago

Thanks Grandpa, I agree, I will have to be able to drive a mower over it!

Nate

-- "With a little bit of faith, and some imagination, you can build anything!" Nate

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3044 posts in 1273 days


#15 posted 527 days ago

My Bro-in-law brought a demo unit to his place when he was installing half mile of water line. They do that to test the units plus they let the employees use them. A couple of guy brought the big unit out to his farm. He had a line on the ground from the house to the road. These guys started digging. Well they were going 5 ft deep because they could. They never thought about working on the line if it ever breaks…LOL. They were a good ways and broke the machine. I can’t remember what broke but it wasn’t good especially since he needed the line in yesterday. They left with the broken parts and he was thinking well I will see those guys in 2 months. They were back the next day and finished the job. A chain with carbide teeth on it is supposed to go through 8” of concrete parking lot. He has some really hard rock on his place. It has the appearance of sandstone and the hardness of granite. The power company used poles and allowed half a day. I think it took a week. They called it iron rock. anyway the company is interested in what people thinks of their machinery. You have put this to the test. The ground is frozen where you live too, I see.
We are finally getting some much needed rain here. I would say we have had maybe half an inch. Sprinkling now with a small chance of more. We will take all we can get. We are in that extreme drought part of SW Oklahoma. My son and I had a small excavator or track hoe last weekend. we dug 5 feet deep and never found any moisture. We are dryer than a powder keg here. Have a good day and try to stay out of trouble.

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