Ditch Digging
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Ditch Digging (by DJ [VA]) Sep 12, 2020 11:05 AM
       Ditch Digging (by NE [PA]) Sep 12, 2020 11:25 AM
       Ditch Digging (by Dodge [PA]) Sep 12, 2020 11:39 AM
       Ditch Digging (by Richard [MI]) Sep 12, 2020 12:11 PM
       Ditch Digging (by Ken [NY]) Sep 12, 2020 12:32 PM
       Ditch Digging (by Robert J [CA]) Sep 12, 2020 1:29 PM
       Ditch Digging (by MikeA [TX]) Sep 12, 2020 3:31 PM
       Ditch Digging (by Small potatoes [NY]) Sep 12, 2020 7:57 PM
       Ditch Digging (by Hoosier [IN]) Sep 12, 2020 10:12 PM
       Ditch Digging (by Vee [OH]) Sep 13, 2020 10:17 AM
       Ditch Digging (by DJ [VA]) Sep 13, 2020 12:21 PM
       Ditch Digging (by 6x6 [TN]) Sep 13, 2020 5:52 PM
       Ditch Digging (by JKJ [MA]) Sep 14, 2020 5:03 PM

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Ditch Digging (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 11:05 AM


Nobody wants the work - need to do it myself to get it DONE.

Simplified: I need to dig a ditch in a yard that is full of tree roots AND where the previous owner has put down gravel/stone to drive & park in this area of the back yard. So, it is compacted & nearly impossible to dig with a shovel. (Tried, gave up after an hour and a half with almost no progress) This is at my daughter's house.

Ideas: backhoe. Don't have one, would have to rent it along with a truck & trailer to haul it.

Trench digger. Don't have one. May be able to rent ramps & drive it up onto my pickup to transport. Asked the rental guy on the phone if it is self-propelled (I assume it would be?). His answer - to this & other questions- "Uh.... I think....."

Wondering if a trench digger will be able to handle the roots.

Any insight you have would be appreciated.

And if anyone wants to come visit southeast VA, I'll put you to work with a shovel! : )



Ditch Digging (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 11:25 AM

Rent a walk behind DitchWitch. --70.44.xxx.xx

Ditch Digging (by Dodge [PA]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 11:39 AM

I'd use my Bosch electric jack hammer with a digging spade bit. You may be able to rent one. It'll break up the compacted ground and stone. It won't cut big roots though. Use a Sawzall with a 9" pruning blade on the roots. --174.198.xxx.x

Ditch Digging (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 12:11 PM

Hand shovel and pick to daughter.

If she has a boyfriend/husband, hand them to him.


Ditch Digging (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 12:32 PM

I think you should be able to hire someone with the equipment to do it easily.Nobody wants to work with a pick and a shovel all day but there are lots of guys with equipment,look on craigslist,facebook,ask the guy at the rental place,he will know someone who rents his equipment on occasion who would do it --104.229.xxx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 1:29 PM

I can rent the heavy equipment and do it myself or hire out a bunch of guy and provide shovels, axes, etc... The cost is about the same at the end of the day. --47.155.xx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by MikeA [TX]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 3:31 PM

Last time I rented a trencher it came loaded on a trailer. Most of them are self propelled, you just drive it up the ramp on/off the trailer. It will easily cut through roots and will pull out the gravel. It takes some upper body strength to handle them, you have to pull it sideways to change direction of travel.

As Ken said, check Craigslist and/or Facebook Marketplace. You can also ask your plumber who he uses, most of them have a contact of a trencher or two that they use. Also here, the lawn irrigation companies sometimes do trenching on the side. --64.130.xx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 7:57 PM

The rental company won't deliver?

Call 811 digsafe before you dig --99.203.xx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by Hoosier [IN]) Posted on: Sep 12, 2020 10:12 PM

I've never tried this, but what about renting a post hole auger for fences...drill the holes right next to each other, then use a space to get the stuff in between.

Another idea....put a sprinkler on that area of the lawn overnight...the next day it will be soft at least 6" down. If you need to go deeper...cut out the soft 6" and water again that night, finish up on the next day. --99.92.xxx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2020 10:17 AM

I have rented ditch witch several times, some cut roots better than others, when the wood is clean and dry a chain saw works good but with dirt you will be sharpening often, a smart idea is to rent a backhoe with 4 feet deeper reach than you need so you can get in and align the new pipes for smooth drainage - no ponding or you will be snaking every 8-12 months as the seasons change. It would be a good idea to get 3 estimates from experienced sources. --76.188.xxx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2020 12:21 PM

My (single) daughter & I had already tried many of your ideas - soaking it, pick, axe, shovels,... Way too much work for very little progress. This is compacted dirt & small stone. Plus LOTS of roots. The lot was overgrown before I bought it.

It's the guys with the big power tools I've been trying to hire. They apparently have too much work & I can't get anyone to dig. Landscaper would only consider it (in 3 more months) if the job was expanded to be a huge job with all sorts of extra work we neither need nor want.

I can get manual labor, so here's what we'll be doing: rent a trench digger & hire some muscle. The machine should loosen everything up so it can be shoveled & moved around in a wheelbarrow.

Certainly not ideal, but ya Gotta do what ya gotta do, to get the job done.

But, it is irritating when you are willing to pay their price to hire someone and can't.

Especially with arthritis & carpal tunnel issues - just can't physically do so much anymore. (Well, when I do, I suffer for it!)


Ditch Digging (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Sep 13, 2020 5:52 PM


Small potatoes is right. You need to call 811 before you dig. You will need to flag the area where you are going to dig. It may be a few days before everything is marked and checked. If you accidentally hit utilities it could cost you a lot of money. If you hit fiber optic it will cost more then you have in a hundred years.

I would also try soaking the area. You could use a soaker hose overnight. Ditch which should work . --73.120.xx.xxx

Ditch Digging (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: Sep 14, 2020 5:03 PM

Canít you go to a local equipment rental place and rent a mini-excavator? In my area there are several of these, Sunbelt Rental, Taylor Equipment Rental etc. Most places will deliver and pickup the equipment to the site for a fee as well. Work smarter not harder. --70.20.xx.xx

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