All done and passed inspection!!!
Well I went and did it.
Rented a backhoe and dug my trench. Took this rookie about 4 hrs. to dig the trench which was just short of 40 ft. long, 2 ft wide and 7-8 ft. deep. No utilities in the way thankfully, I called in advance. Rented Safe-t-Shore hydraulic shores from the same outfit that I got the backhoe. They were nice enough to give me a nice tutorial on how to use the machine and shores. Some good videos on Youtube for shoring were helpful as well. They also provided the tabulated data on proper placement and spacing for the given the soil type. Friend of mine is a soils engineer so that was helpful.
I was pretty slow and cautious on the machine at first but got the hang of it somewhat after a while. Had a bunch of old paneling that I spread on the yard to place the mound of dirt to protect the grass. Made sure the mound was at least 3 ft from trench for safety.
Got a bit lucky in that I snapped the clay pipe right at the sidewalk with the backhoe bucket, didnt mean to and that could have been a disaster if it had affected the pipe under the street. Not a clean cut but i cleaned it up with my grinder. Had to hand dig to expose each end of the pipe. That was work, ground was bullet proof. At the cast iron pipe coming from the house I just hit the clay pipe with a hammer and chisel to free it from the cast iron. Fernco fittings on each end with stainless steel bands to attach the new pipe to. Couldnt find sdr-26 anywhere so had to go with the sdr-35, gasketed joints. They wouldnt let me use sch. 40. Outdoor cleanouts installed. Pipe was bedded in 6 inches of squeegee. The run from the house to the sidewalk was about an inch drop per ft. Backfill was another 6 in. of squeegee first. Then lifts of about 2 ft. of dirt. Compacted the dirt with a jumping jack. Left the graveyard mound on top for future settling, it is almost halloween anyway. :)
All in all it took me 2 1/2 days. Was out of sewer serve for most of that but the neighbors and a couple bushes sufficed. Lots of hand shoveling and moving the shoring around which was quite exhausting. Snowed a bit on day 2 which made for a muddy mess around the dirt mound. Not nearly enough to effect the integrity of the trench though, stayed warm and dry down there.
backhoe for 2 days $400, jumping jack $120, 3 shores $120, pipe and fittings $160, 5 tons squeegee $120. Total 920 bones + beer for my helpful friends.
Many thanks for the advice here, invaluable!
Any others thinking of doing this, safety first! Know how to properly shore the trench and keep the dirt pile well away from the edge. Call before you dig!
Get ready for a ton of work.