Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What size and spacing do I need?
    We have customers installing from 20' to 100' and some still just doing random drainage. Many factors come into play when planning a drainage project such as soil type, outlets, owned vs. rented ground, budget, and crops grown. Studies show that in most cases shallow, narrower, spacing provides more long term benefits, but if budget is dictating the job, leave yourself room to expand down the road. 

  2. Is there a difference in tile ?
    YES!!! We only install 100% virgin polyethylene. NO RECYCLED PLASTIC! After over 100 years in the industry, we have dug up a lot of pipe and whether installed by us or someone else we have learned that when you pull out of the fields you are leaving something behind you expect to last at least a 100 year to come. We have seen too many failures due to a inferior product and or poor installation practices. With so many of our plastics being produced to be biodegradable, you can't risk even the smallest percentage ending up in your field. If we have a customer dead set on using a cheaper recycled product we will install it and stand behind our installation but not the product. So if we come in to your field to work you can rest assure you are getting a top, quality product. What is your drainage contractor not telling you?

  3. Can I save money doing it myself?
    Yes you can, but there is a much bigger picture to look at. It takes a large amount of support equipment, survey equipment, knowledge, and most of all, time. We've seen many guys start and give up within a few years because of these issues. The other mistake is inferior equipment. Although our large machines make it look easy, it takes a specially designed machine to accurately hold grade in all conditions. We have had to re-ditch entire fields that had been ditched within 10 years with pull type plows. It can take 5 to 10 years for some of these problems to show up, but when they do it can be worse than if the farm was never tiled to begin with. In Canada, it is illegal to use many of these machines for custom work because they are unable to pass the certification testing. If you are serious about doing your own work you can find a good used commercial drainage machine and save yourself a lot of heartache later down the line. 

  4. Will a larger tile pull further? 
    The answer is no, water is not that smart. When dealing with a gravity drainage system, water seeks its level so depth can affect the width the tile is draining but not so much the size. However, don't think I'll put my tile 200' feet apart and 6' deep; this would be a critical error. The deeper a tile the slower the surface will dry out, so the best answer is smaller tile at shallower depths. We know some companies are promoting 3" and even 2" tile in order to cut cost, but our concern here at MFD is the life of the system. How many old 3" clay tiles have you dug up that our completely full of sediment? The smaller the tile the less capable the tile is of keeping itself clean, that's why we install 4" laterals on all of our systems. Many other factors affect sedimentation like grade, accuracy of installation, and soil type. If you are adamant on smaller lateral sizes, we will install the size you want but will try to aid you in making a good decision.

  5. What type of installation is best?
    We have all seen a large increase in the amount of tile plows used in recent years due to several factors. Some of the benefits are better fracturing of the soil, top soil left on top, and cheaper prices due to lower operating cost. But there are some disadvantages when it comes to locating existing tile. When you are a professional contractor you have a pretty good knack for where to look before you ever start laying tile. We also utilize a wheel trencher for mains and random drainage, but also a repair crew so if we do miss something you can count on us to be back in a timely fashion to get it fixed.

  6. How do I handle these trenches?
    Be patient, let Mother Nature do her job before you do yours. We also have a three, point back filler for your convenience if you want to go back over the runs in the spring or following fall. 

  7. When will you get to me?
    While many contractors have got bogged down over the last few years, we have grown to not only take care of existing customers but taken on many new ones. We now have two plow crews and work year round. While every year other contractors have not been getting to multiple clients by the end of the season we have been calling finding ones we can move up to spring that were schedule for the fallowing fall. We also offer some discounts for in crop and wheat field work to get your job done early, and also are willing to travel to some southern states when Indiana weather is at its worst.

  8. I keep getting mailers from all these big out of state companies.
    Every industry has a Wal-Mart approach to business, kind of like the used car company that's got a different name tomorrow. The Maxwell name has been tilling in Montgomery and surrounding counties for more than 104 years and 4 generations. We have worked for your friends, neighbors, and county surveyors. We have maps from all over the area. Remember when Bob, the ditcher, ran a tile across farmer Joe’s field? And when there's a problem were not three states away we are there tomorrow. That's why you get big service from a small hometown company. I don't just own Maxwell Farm Drainage Inc. and run it from a desk. I'm on every job and a part of the crew. My role falls much closer to employee than owner and it shows in the work and camaraderie of my team.

Helpful Links:

Drainage Water Management (PDF Download)

Agricultural and Environmental Impacts of Drainage