Trencher using SubSoiler

I’ve pulled miles of pipe and wire with my subsoiler. You’d be surprised how little resistance there is in moist soil. It creates its own tunnel as it goes. The front vertical edge of the subsoiler shank must be sharp to slice neatly through the sod.


Re: cable laying
Pulling the pipe’s no problem at all for fairly straight runs. I used 1 1/2″, 1″ and 3/4″ PVC with glued fittings. No leaks, no broken pipe.
Use a subsoiler with a sharpened front edge or preferably improvise a coulter if you have sod. (I built my own plow with some slightly different angles). About an inch from the bottom of the subsoiler drill a hole that’ll let you put a 1/8 inch plastic covered cable through. Use a piece of cable about 2 feet long. Put the end through the hole in the plow and clamp it with a cable clamp leaving the tag end to attach to the pipe. Drill a hole through the center of a pipe cap to serve as a bullet nose and to keep the dirt from filling the pipe. Thread the cable through the cap.

Lay out your pipe where you intend to pull it and glue it all together on top of the ground. Drag the pipe backwards until the end is about 5 feet behind where you intend to start the pull. Drill a hole through the side of the pipe about 3 inches from the end. Back the tractor up to the pipe and attach the pipe to the plow. Thread the cable through the end of the pipe and out the hole you just drilled. Take about 4 half hitches around the pipe. Make a wrap around the pipe with tape over the tag end of the cable so the knots will pull up evenly. Slide the cap down the cable over the end of the pipe. The end of the pipe should be about 3″-4″ behind the plow.

Plow! It’ll pull right in.

When you get to the end of the pull, dig down, cut the end off the pipe (remember, you drilled a hole in the side!) and make whatever connections you need.

Note! You cannot back up once you start. If something goes wrong or you hit obstructions, raise the plow and pull the pipe all the way through back onto the top of the ground. Drag it back and start again. I found that in areas I expected dificulty with tree roots etc. it was best to make a pass with the plow prior to hooking up the pipe. You can even pull with TEES already installed but make sure to lay out the pipe and mark the TEE locations or you’ll spend lots of time with a shovel trying to find ’em.

The cable goes into the pipe and out the hole in the side to allow the cable to be tied around the outside of the pipe. That’s the connection between the plow and the pipe. As you pull, the half hitches tighten down on the outside of the pipe and the cable doesn’t slip off. You could just tie around the outside of the pipe but then the pull would be off center from the pipe and it would tend to hang or deflect as you pull. The cap is to keep dirt out of the pipe and to keep the cable reasonably centered with the pipe. It just slides onto the cable and slips back over the end of the pipe after the cable is attached to keep the dirt out.


I have personally burried lots of black plastic pipe with an electric fence charger wire inside. It is amazing how easily the pipe will pull into the ground for quite an extended distance. Depends on your soil type, depth, rocks, horsepower, etc. I have HST and the speed control it affords is critical, IMHO, to this kind of operation.

Me, I’d insert the low voltage power wire into 3/4 inch or 1 inch black plastic roll pipe and pull it with a subsoiler.


better to use a subsoiler than a ripper tooth


The “tooth” is just a box blade ripper that you can get at TSC for $20.00.

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