Whether you’re working on fencing, landscaping, irrigation, or fiber optics at some point you will end up needing a trench. We can all sympathize with personal hand-trenching stories that leave us exhausted to think about. When we consider trenching, we almost always contemplate renting or purchasing a large commercial trencher or using a pick and shovel for those narrow hard-to-reach areas.
We have been led to believe that small trenchers are limited in their capability and a large piece of equipment is required to effectively trench through hard or frozen soils. Upon researching ideas or techniques to see what is currently available on the market, you have probably noticed there are an abundance of different types of trenchers.
WALK BEHIND TRENCHER
Walk behind trenchers are most commonly associated with big brand names in the trenching industry. They are ideal in trenching applications, such as phone, cable TV, electrical work, plumbing, and irrigation. These trenchers are great for lengthy trenching runs and can perform in a variety of soils. Walk behind trenchers’ size and weight can be cumbersome with weights varying anywhere from 300 to 1,000 pounds. These trenchers require trailers for transporting and significant man hours for running the equipment.
A micro trencher consists of a “small rockwheel” that is fitted with a cutting wheel to cut a micro trench with smaller dimensions. It is ideal for congested traffic or pedestrian areas to minimize disturbance. A micro trencher can work by sidewalks or along narrow city streets. It operates great in hard ground and can even cut through solid stone. The micro trencher can be costly and requires a trailer for transportation due to its size.
ROTARY EDGE TRENCHER
Rotary edge trenchers are great when it comes to landscape edging and irrigation. They can cut tight circles and curves down to 18 inches in diameter. Additional equipment is available for digging in hard and compact soils. Rotary edge trenchers are a little easier to transport weighing around 250 to 350 pounds. These trenchers work on a rock wheel blade, similar to the micro trencher.
Recently introduced to the U.S. market are portable-powered, hand-held trenchers by MiniTrencher, an American company headquartered in Vancouver, Washington. MiniTrencher distributes portable commercial equipment for simple trenching solutions. Sticking to its motto—Trenching Made Easy—MiniTrencher collaborated with GR Manufacturing to develop the GeoRipper®, which allows contractors a grab-and-go trenching solution. The GeoRipper is transforming the industry with its belt-driven engine equipped with self-sharpening chipping chains. The GeoRipper strives to save time, labor cost, and energy. It is completely portable with an entry weight of 30 pounds. This trencher can easily be placed in a pickup truck or car. The compact trencher can tear through soft and pliable soil as well as hard, rocky, and frozen ground in a fraction of the time compared to other methods. It dispels the belief that you need a big trencher to work in hard soils. The GeoRipper also replaces the need for a pick and shovel in hard to reach, narrow areas.
MiniTrencher currently offers several models that utilize a heavy duty commercial grade two or four-stroke engine to power a self-sharpening chain trencher. MiniTrencher models vary in digging depths, offering up to 27 inches deep and 1, 1.5, and 2.38 inches wide. Additionally, the handheld trencher can be mounted on an EZ Kart™ for longer runs that require consistent digging depths.
NO LONGER A MYTH
The myth about needing to hand trench in hard to reach places or using a large commercial trencher for hard soils has been put to rest. MiniTrencher is not only here to compete in the portable trenching market, but is also a valuable addition to any fleet of powered outdoor equipment that includes trenchers. ■
For More Information: For more information about MiniTrencher’s GeoRipper®, visit www.minitrencher.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions – December 2016
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.