Trencher for Skid Steer or dedicated unit?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by carcrz, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Just curious what your thoughts are on a trencher attachment for a loader or using a dedicated trencher.
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    Depends on how much trenching you do.

    A dedicated trenching Tractor such as the DitchWitch RT40 etc will out perform a skid steer with a trencher, as well as being easier to maneuver (trench foward instead of backwards etc). They also usually have a 6 way angle blade for backfilling.

    However, their cost is similar to that of a skid steer itself, so if you only trench on occasion, and already have a skidsteer, you'd be better off with an attachment.
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Already have a Case 1845C for doing dirt work & material handling. I've been browsing at various attachments for it that I was thinking could be very useful depending on what I decide I want to get into in the future.
  4. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    We have a Cat T9B trenching for our 216. I think it will reach depths of 5', but we never go that deep for landscaping purposes. This machine is invaluable for us, we work on quite a few large lots from time to time and running irrigation laterals couldn't be any easier. An operation up here uses a Ditch Witch plow to install irrigation line, but the main area they service has a much higher concentration of rock, makes sense that they wouldn't own a trencher. It's been my experience that walk behind trenchers are a complete waste of time and like DW said, the only way to go if you need a dedicated trencher is get a ride on trencher, then you have a backfill blade as well.
  5. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    It's always a good idea to rent attachments when you are targeting growth of your business. When you find something that is frequently needed and paying its own way, then you can add it to your collection. (which will depreciate the value big time on attachments... be sure you are going to stay in that business, and die with your new attachment, rather than resell it...)

    I can see where trencher attach. could be very handy, but extreme Maint. I would be more comfortable abusing a rental unit than my own, and maybe rider / dedicated unit would be best to rent. They are very available, and as DW mentioned, they might be easier (faster) to use if you are in tight places.

    I can't picture how crooked a 1000' trench would be going in reverse on a skid.

    But I can picture (hear) smashing out the corner of a building with the long tail of my skid on a delicate trench approach, Crunch... whoops
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    The skid trenchers are pretty in expesive.
    I like mine.
    I use it for irrigation,drain lines,water lines etc.
    I will add that I do not recomend it for realy deep trenching.
    It does not have the power of a dedicated trencher.
    I also use it to dig for large trees ,valve boxes,etc.

    If I was full time Irrigation I would propally get a deicated trencher.
    If you lean more towards the dux mixture side of things a skid steer trencher is a good idea.
  7. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    We have used the walk behind machines before and let me tell ya they are a joke. I think your better off any day riding on a Ditch Witch or Vermeer machine. Most of these are four wheel drive, articulated design on some or crab steer, and as others have stated have a six-way blade which in my book is a priceless feature. My next choice to it would be the one that attaches to a skidsteer but as others have stated you are trying to run it going backwards which will make it a pain in your neck trying to go straight. As others have mentioned though attachments for skid steers in my opinion cost waaayyy to much for what they are. Seems like when you get past a regular bucket or a pair of forks look out because your gonna spend some bucks and most likely never get your money back out of it except with use. Like others stated allot of these attachments in my opinion are a pain to run because you have to go backwards.
  8. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Posts: 1,387

    I have a highflow trencher that will dig up to 6" trench 60" deep.Running it on highflow Deere CTL 332.Has lots of power and you can set it off to the side for digging along buildings or footings.

    If you need to dig straight, i use string lines and also if in a hurry will paint the route i plan to trench on the ground and just follow the dotted line.Good Luck.

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