Installing vertical antenna radials is a chore. Period.
In my Zero-Five Flagpole Vertical Antenna the designer suggestion is radials nominally the same length as the pole with at least 30 radials if possible.
They also note that at that point more radials do not seem effective or worth the efforts & costs, with little improvement even if you double the number of radials.
So I’ve settled on installing 36 radials, which makes them an easy 10 degree spacing, with a nominal length of 32 feet each. This will put down roughly 1152 lineal feet of radials of which 6 radials or 192 lineal feet are extras above the suggestion.
I’ve planned the extra 20% both because it is easier to layout and the costs are insignificant as the trenching cable installer is rented on a 24 hour basis, AND it covers any radial losses over time.
In terms of losses I am covering the odd radial breaking, getting caught in equipment or otherwise failing, rather than RF/electrical losses.
My guess is if things are kept up right the extras will just be along for the ride for a good many years.
I’m renting a cable installing trencher from Home Depot: https://www.homedepot.com/tool-truck-rental/Cable-Installer/TP400CL3/index.html
I sure hope the install is as slick as the EZ-Trench video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGa-3HY38W4
Here is the manufacturer’s link: https://www.eztrench.com/wirecable-installers/ez-cable-installer-tp400cl3/
My electrical contractor supplied the burial grade wire, though I did have them exchange the original big spool for spools the right size for this trencher. The big spool not only contained the 1200 ft for this antenna, but was doubled up to include the wire for the Island QTH Flagpole. Simply too heavy and big to use with this sort of equipment.
All the ends will be soldered to a circular 3/8 inch diameter tube when then will be attached to the antenna balun by braid.