Digging a 50-foot ling 6-inch deep 4-inch wide trench on a rocky steep slope?


Just curious if you know a better way to dig a 50 foot long 6-inch deep 4-inch wide trench on a steep slope along the driveway in rocky soil?
It's to bury a remote gate opener sensor wire (12 volt).
I'm guessing my options are: 1. Shovel (back breaking) 2. Gas-powered ditch digger machine (might not handle the slope?) 3. Pressure washer (slow) ? and other ideas ?
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you trying to run power to the gate? or will the ditch be for a actual sensor? why 4 inches wide? will it run parell to the driveway?
About the time i graduated high schools back in 1975 i helped dig a water line ditch 150 feet long on a steep rocky slope. 8 or 10 people involved no way to get a backhoe on the slope safely. my mom had remarried and had no water.
it took a long time, used a jackhammer in areas, and most notably i got poision ivy between my legs:(
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On Sat, 10 Jul 2010 02:41:01 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

This is a sensor powered off the circuit board of the gate control box. When a car drives past the sensor, it simply opens the gate. The sensor merely needs to be buried (to protect it from heat and being run over by the lawn mower).
The sensor itself is about two inches wide, so I figured a four-inch wide ditch would suffice. The depth can be anything, so I was thinking six inches was about right to protect from the elements. Pipes don't freeze out here so heat is the problem, not cold.

That might work but it seems like overkill. So far, the pressure washer or compressor might be the best bet (although the compressor is 220v and I don't have a 200' extension cord for it).
I was just hoping something better than the pressure washer would come up. The advantage of the pressure washer is that I can park it on the driveway and then walk up the slope to "cut" the line like a blow torch in metal.
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wrote:

Best option:
http://www.hydrawheel.com/SK-316.jpg
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In rocky soil, my weapon of choice would be a grub hoe- like a pick-axe, but one side is a heavy duty hoe.
[if it wasn't for the rocks, I like my mattock= but it is a little lighter duty]
Glad I looked for a picture. nomenclature is tricky. This place calls them both mattocks.
http://www.easydigging.com/Garden_Tool/pick_mattock.html
I call the one they call a 'pick mattock', a 'grub hoe'- and the lighter ones on the left, mattocks. Note the longer handle- go for it.
Jim
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On Sat, 10 Jul 2010 07:22:55 -0400, Jim Elbrecht wrote:

I have one of those 'pick mattocks'. It may have to be my weapon of choice but I'm looking for a more automated solution (if one exists that can handle a steep slope).
Hopefully, I'll use the pressure washer before I start swinging stuff.
I'm hoping the pressure washer will hose away the soil and rocky chips on the slope and the mud will run down away from the hole (down the driveway).
But I was just wondering if there was a 'special tool' that could be used. I might try compressed air but it's easier getting a garden hose down to the driveway than 220 volts.
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Terra Arcane wrote:

Assuming you already have power to the gate, why not investigate an RF remote control do-dad?
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On Sat, 10 Jul 2010 07:10:31 -0500, HeyBub wrote:

In hind sight, that may have been a better choice (although it leaves an unsightly pole standing up out of the ground).
But it's too late now as I've been using the current 50' car sensor for a few months. Currently it's above ground but with all this heat, it could break down as it's designed to be buried.
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Terra Arcane wrote:

No, I mean something like a door annunciator. When the door opens, a signal is sent to a remote ding-dong device. There are probably even battery-powered ones. You'd just have to align it so the movement of the gate triggers it.
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Terra Arcane wrote:

Depending on how rocky the soil is, one of the tracked vibratory cable plow units might work well. One advantage of the cable plow is that you don't need to backfill after. Tracked units can handle operating on a pretty steep slope, and the vibratory plow works ok in rocky soil if the rocks are small enough that it can push them to the side.
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dig hole 2 inches deep, just wide enough to put sensor in PVC pipe or conduit. Just cover with dirt..
Pipe would provide mechanical protection to minimize depth needed
conduit is cheap if you use roll conduit and ever need to replace sensor just pull new one thru conduit, no digging needed except at ends
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Terra Arcane wrote:

A trenching shovel, or pick or? operated by one of those guys looking for work outside of home depot.
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On Sat, 10 Jul 2010 09:18:27 -0700, Bob F wrote:

I've always used an old chain saw with an old blade for putting in sprinklers.
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wrote:

Just a slightly scaled-down version of a trencher - great idea if you have an extra old chainsaw.
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It would be a great time to hire a couple day laborers, IMHO.
Nonny
--
On most days,
it's just not worth
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Terra Arcane wrote:

Mexicans from Home Depot
That's why they are there
--
Beer... so much more than a breakfast drink

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