Early on in my career, a GC hired me to help him convert a service to underground.
He'd just bought a rural, small, two story, river front home for his "escape place." The home was built halfway up a wooded river bluff. The bluff is about 300' high.
After the GC and I had spent the entire day working the rented trencher down the slope from the home through a thicket of dog hair understory and way too many roots, we reached the last 30 feet. 5:15 Saturday afternoon. . . The last 30' was flat and open, across a narrow gravel lane and over a bit to the pole mounted transformer. I'm making good time, visions of evening relaxation starting to form. . .when a cloud of dust rises up beside the trencher bar!!! In one liquid instant of emerging realization, I cut the ignition and RAN.
The GC had taken off up slope to get his phone just as quickly, and, after enlisting the gas company's assistance, we waited. . . We blocked off the lane. The dust eventually cleared and all that gave evidence that there was something odd (other than the trencher stopped in the middle of the lane) was the whistling howl from the gas main.
It started to rain heavily. The trench drew runoff like flies on s**t. Now there was a roiling muddy brown cauldron at the trencher bar and I'm imagining mud squirting out of burner orifices for miles. . .
The gas company finally arrives, pulls back the road, fuses in a new 2' section 2" plastic main. 45 minutes. While he's cutting out the damaged section, the pipefitter starts explaining that this is only a 20 pound line, that I was fortunate. He says, "Most of the mains over this side of the county are steel running upwards of 600 pounds
. When we come out to those, we generally don't have to dig first, and the trencher is in parts and well out of the way."
It was a long time before the blood returned to my head.