C30X trencher
Ditch Witch C30X trencher

Trencher Innovations

Increase ROI for renters and rental centers alike

By Randy Rupp

Advances in the walk-behind trencher technology – specifically in performance and ease of maintenance – make them an increasingly attractive option for operators and a good investment for rental center owners.
Developments in dependable digging
systems, technology that increases productivity and innovations that reduce machine downtime help increase return on investment (ROI) for rental centers. These innovations also allow them to provide their customers the right-sized tools to do their jobs, at the right cost.

Cutting Through Soil and Costly Upkeep
As new installations of underground utilities increase the need for efficient and dependable digging systems, renters demand trenchers that provide durable digging chains and teeth to get the job done correctly. For example, our new Ditch Witch OptiCut Digging System was designed specifically for our newest walk-behind trenchers, the C- and CX-Series, to ensure rental centers remain profitable and keep renters productive.
The system features maintenance-free teeth and 19,000 pounds of tensile strength, allowing for a smoother cut and an oversized roller design that reduces friction and boosts available horsepower. Taking advantage of new digging systems not only will provide rental operators with increased performance, but rental centers can eliminate costly one-by-one tooth replacement and other associated upkeep costs that have defined previous systems.

Beyond the replacement costs, inadequate pins can make chains weak, especially in high-shock environments where operators depend upon strong and durable chains to finish the cut. With improved and hardened pins, advances in the chain’s digging life keeps rental centers profitable by reducing overall operating and upkeep costs, making walk-behind trenchers truly a cost-effective method for smaller projects.

C16X trencher
Ditch Witch C16X trencher

Rental Effectiveness
During the last 10 years, the trencher market has been trending toward rubber tracks rather than rubber tires. New track systems give rental operators more balance and ground traction than ever, allowing them to conquer a variety of terrains with just one piece of equipment.

New track improvements, such as the patent-pending design on our CX-Series models, incorporate a longer track on the right side and a shorter track on the left, providing greater maneuverability in tight spaces and centering the digging attachment for improved productivity. The tracks also allow for better flotation and traction, improving the overall wear life of the trencher, which ultimately helps rental centers increase uptime for their customers.

Time is Money
Without proper maintenance, the wear and tear of digging in tough terrain will take its toll on machines. However, armed with new, walk-behind trencher technology, keeping trenchers rental ready has become easier and increases rental center ROI due to hassle-free maintenance and newer machine developments.

Today, ensuring trenchers are rental ready requires less prep time for operators and rental centers alike. For example, new updates include the elimination of grease zerks. Additionally, new walk-behind trenchers operate with high-quality, sealed bearings to help keep the machines running day after day. The trenchers also provide operators or maintenance teams with quick access to the machine’s components, allowing them to identify any problems or complete routine maintenance fast to get the trencher back out in the field.

Machines that are constantly in the shop for extended maintenance due to unreliable and inaccessible components lower margins for rental centers and reduce job productivity for renters. Time is money and with greater machine accessibility, upkeep is simplified. Keeping trenchers out on the job site instead of spending time in the shop allows rental centers to rent out a higher percentage of their fleet and increase turnaround time.

Getting the Job Done
Like operators, rental companies demand reliable equipment to
improve ROI for all of their equipment in order to secure rentals and increase their margins. Rental centers need to respond to renter needs while also improving their bottom line.

By investing in new innovations in trencher technology, such as the C- and CX-series trenchers, these companies can rent out their fleet knowing they are providing customers with durable equipment to effectively get the job done, all while expanding their business.

Randy Rupp

Editor's note: Randy Rupp is vice president of product strategy for Ditch Witch.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2016 issue of Pro Contractor Rentals magazine. Copyright 2016, Direct Business Media.