No one wants unsightly cables and wires strewn across their property. They are obtrusive, are ugly and can even become dangerous as mountings wear down over time. Thanks to modern advances in residential construction technology, it is now possible to easily install underground cable and small pipe using the amazing and money-saving vibratory plow.
Vibratory plows are an interesting sight to behold at first, as they look like a cross between a forklift and a bulldozer in miniature form. But regardless of how outlandish they appear, their results are astounding.
How it works
During use, a long, slender blade extends from the front of the plow into the ground, and the blade is pulled along as the plow moves. The plow’s motor then rapidly vibrates the blade, making it far easier to pull along than a static blade. Usually, a reel or similar apparatus unloads the cable or pipe into the ground behind the blade as the groove is cut. The beauty of the plow’s operation is that the trench created is extremely narrow, dealing very little damage to the ground’s surface, and the need for backfilling is completely eliminated.
As with most residential and commercial construction equipment, vibratory plows can be a costly investment, so most contractors choose to rent the equipment rather than buy one outright. Thankfully, rental rates are quite reasonable for this durable and conventional machinery, so it’s affordable for even the smallest jobs around the house.
Vibratory plows are perfect for installing irrigation systems, CCTV, coaxial and Ethernet cable, low-voltage power lines, drainage, gas piping and more.
Vibratory plows were first invented in the mid-20th century and were originally separate devices pulled along by a tractor or horse, rather than the mostly standalone devices seen today. The need for such a device arose to replace the traditional methods for installing underground piping and wire, which involved standard plows, large shoveling operations and a lot of production time. The invention has saved countless dollars and labor hours during its decades of usage.
Today, modern advancements in vibratory plow technology have made the underground installation process even faster. Computer-based stabilization techniques, stronger materials and more powerful engines allow jobs that once took weeks to be completed in hours. Advanced pipe and wire materials have allowed jobs once thought impossible to become reality.
Common manufacturers include Ditch Witch, Toro, Vermeer, Case, Bradco, Bobcat, Delta and others.