Not entirely clear what material your digging through from your
description, but one of the ditch-which type trencher units should do
the job a lot more easily. I did an 80' trench 24" deep through clay
soil that was near cement hardness due to drought, and through a few odd
bits of soft-ish rock that were included with a small Baretto trencher
The Baretto unit is the size of a roto-tiller or snowblower, i.e. pretty
compact. 16HP gas, hydraulic drive and whatnot. It was like $150 with
tax and all to rent for a day from United Rentals.
My dad has a Harbor Freight electric jack hammer. I used it to cut a trench
in hard caliche. My double jack was barely scratching out a few inches at a
time. The hardest part about using the jackhammer was lifting it up to make
the next cut, and lifting it out of the hole so I could shovel out the loose
I have used it to break relatively fresh concrete as well, but I have not
used it on aged concrete.
How many times do you think you will use it? I suspect my dad's has paid
for itself every time one of us has used it.
The shovel blade was very useful when using it to trench.
Really, if you can fit a small rental trencher in as seen in my other
post you will be far better off. Once the digging chain is at depth you
can just put a spring clamp on the drive handle and let the machine work
it's way along with you periodically giving it a tug to keep on course.
The machine will pile all or most of the cuttings along side the trench
so little shoveling either.
80' trench through rock hard mottled red/grey clay and some softer red
rocks along the way. I spent most of the time sitting in the shade with
a Diet Dr. Pepper watching the machine do the work.
Yes, the little "ditch witch" is definitely the way to go for
trenching. The electric jackhammer works reasonably well for breaking
up concrete if it is not too thick or strong - and for punching holes
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