First Look: Ditch Witch Introduces Unique Track Trencher

A first look at new products and technologyDitch Witch has introduced a new 275-horsepower track trencher named the HT275.

With its power and 70,000-plus pounds of mass, the HT275 is significantly smaller than most big track trenchers, can do jobs that smaller trenchers can’t, and is much more versatile than other trenchers of comparable size, according to Steve Seabolt, product manager for heavy duty trenchers.

Seabolt said features that set the HT275 apart from other equipment include:

  • Modular design that allows attachments to be changed out in the field
  • Operator environment that is unlike any other trencher available in the market
  • Serviceability and productivity

“Together these features add up to increased utilization and, ultimately, greater return on investment,” said Seabolt.
Primary markets are expected to be small-diameter pipeline installation and other energy-related work, such as wind farms and solar installations, “underdrain” slotted pipe adjacent to highways, and agriculture tiling installation of slotted drainage pipe to drain water from fields.

The HT275’s value is not limited to these specific markets, but it is well-suited for any long trenching run to install underground pipe. “Purpose-built” attachments add to its versatility. Attachments can be changed in a few hours in the field without heavy hoists or cranes.

Versatility

“The unit can do heavy duty rock trenching when equipped with a centerline attachment,” Seabolt continued. “It can do offset trenching along the side of roadways, with the sliding trencher attachment.”
The centerline trenching attachment is capable of digging to depths of 10 feet and widths to 26 inches, depending on boom and chain.

The sliding trencher attachment traverses from center to right and can dig to 6-foot depths and 24-inch widths, depending on boom and chain.

Boom and chain options include single or double line booms, dirt bits, rock bits and multiple chain patterns for most soil conditions.

Centerline trencher and sliding trencher attachments are equipped with standard cross conveyor spoil systems, allowing spoils to be placed on either side of the trench. An optional truck load conveyor can be used with the sliding trencher to streamline the job site, by simultaneously loading spoil into a truck. An earth saw disc trencher attachment is available that digs to depths of 54 inches and widths to 14 inches. The earth saw attachment can be used for excavating a ditch or pre-ripping in advance of a plow unit.

A unique feature of the HT275 is its tilting undercarriage.

“Not only does the main frame tilt to five degrees on each side to allow for vertical trenching on sloped terrain,” said Seabolt, “but each of the tracks tilts independently, working at a different angle for maximum traction on uneven terrain. This patent-pending design also includes a float feature track to automatically tilt to adjust to changing conditions throughout a job, enabling the unit to make installations in roadside ditches and similar conditions.”

Comfort, practicality

An obvious difference between the HT275 and other trenchers is the operator environment.

“The spacious cab traverses left or right for maximum visibility,” Seabolt said. “It includes heat, air, pressurization, standard sound and vibration dampening, and an operator’s console like no other. The console and back seat swivel together up to 270 degrees. There also is plenty of room for a standard flip down trainer’s seat on every machine.

“Large color displays show operating data and external camera views. Controls are intuitive and easy to use with dual joysticks controlling the tractor and attachments. AM/FM Bluetooth radio, and LED work lights are standard.” The HT275’s design simplifies service.

Patent-pending track frames are designed for easy removal, minimizing time spent on track repairs. A one-piece, fully-opening hood offers easy access to the engine and all routine maintenance points. A wireless remote allows operators to perform all maintenance tasks, including slowly advancing the digging chain for maintenance from ground level without climbing in and out of the cab.

Unit weight varies with configuration. Base unit weight is less than 50,000 pounds. Total weight typically is from 65,000 to 79,000 pounds. The modular design of attachments allows a unit to quickly be split into two truckloads. With widths of less than 102 inches, split loads typically do not require permitting.

In summary, Seabolt said the HT275 is rugged, durable and powerful, with features that automate routine tasks to reduce operator fatigue and increase productivity. “Productivity is the bottom line,” Seabolt emphasized.

Ditch Witch is a Charles Machine Works company. In addition to trenchers, the Ditch Witch product line includes vibratory plows; horizontal directional drilling equipment; drill pipe, bits, reamers, and other downhole tools; fluid systems; vacuum excavators; and compact utility equipment.

FOR MORE INFO:
Ditch Witch, (800) 654-6481, ditchwitch.com

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