Pipe-and-cable-laying plough

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A sea plough is a cable-laying plough for submarine operation.

A pipe-and-cable-laying plough or moleplough[1] is a method to bury cables or pipes. The machinery is a form of a subsoiler with a single blade. It is used to lay buried services of virtually any description, for drainage, water, electricity, telecommunications, gas supply etc.. A coil of the service pipe/cable is mounted on the tractor and is led down a guide behind the blade, and is left buried behind the plough in a single operation, without the need to predig a deep trench and re-fill it.

This process is normally used in rural areas where previously buried services will not be encountered and there are no hardened surfaces, e.g. tarmac concrete etc..[citation needed]

There are also specialised laying ploughs for cable laying behind traffic barriers, in stream or lake beds or even for the laying of submarine cables in deep sea, so-called sea ploughs. Sea ploughs are pulled behind cable ships and bury the cable in the sea bed. Burying submarine cables helps protect them from anchors, trawlers and other risks.[citation needed]

One early recorded attempted use by the British was in 1855 during the Crimean War, however the plough was found to be too light for the frozen soil.[2]: 450 


  1. ^ Emtelle. "Moleploughing". Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  2. ^ Porter, Maj Gen Whitworth (1889). History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Vol I. Chatham: The Institution of Royal Engineers.