Construction Equipment Guide • Underground Utility, Trenchers & Trench Boxes Section • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • September 1, 2019 • Page 55
Underground Utility, TRENCHERS, TRENCH BOXES & HDDs
control model. They range in horsepower from 13 hp to 127-hp. Trench Box 1) Efficiency Production—The Michigan firm is part of Arcosa Shoring Products. It builds assorted types of shielding products for contractors and municipalities, including a custom build-a-box system, the latest such product being an octagon for manhole work. 2) Felco — This Montana company fabricates excavator equipment, including steel trench boxes. The boxes come either in flat-bottom or knife-bottom designs and are built of 572-59 high-strength low alloy with a tensile strength of 60,000 psi.
3) GME Trench Protection Specialists — Another Michigan firm, the company has built shielding products for a half century. It has both aluminum and steel boxes plus a unique steel-wrapped aluminum box that is more easily lifted and moved. 4) Kundel Industries — This family-owned Ohio company has built boxes since 1987. It has aluminum and steel products, including a box comprised of independently moveable vertical aluminum panels that slide up and down to create pipe openings at the bottom. 5) Loveman Steel & Fabricating — Another Ohio manufacturer, Loveman dates from 1931 and fabricates steel products for construction and utility markets and a host of other industries. The boxes can be custom-built for individual customers. 6) Pro-Tec Equipment — Another Arcosa Shoring Products company, Pro-Tec was founded 24 years ago. It builds steel and aluminum boxes with walls up to 8 in. thick. Some are rated safe for “extreme projects” in terms of depth of dig. 7) Trench Shoring Company — This California company began building trench safety systems in 1973. It has engineered a “Flex-Shield” box with sidewalls bowed outward slightly in the middle. They reputedly are lighter than standard boxes, but as strong. CEG
Brief Summary Digging into the earth to plant pipes and telecommunication lines and water systems has become a high-tech undertaking. No more spading of dirt. Handy-sized trenchers now do the work and faster. Long-distance tunneling for pipes and lines is possible with horizontal directional drills. Lower-tech but as essential for human safety are the trench boxes that protect below-ground work areas. Never has it been so easy — and safe — to tear into terra firma.
3) Toro — This 105-year-old Japanese firm is a household name for turf and landscape products, but also offers two HDD models. A 72hp model (DD2226) produces 22,000 lbs. of thrust, while the 160hp DD4050 can thrust pipe with 40,000 lbs. of force. (Note that Toro is planning to phase out the production of its branded large HDD units, which includes DD2226 and DD4050 drills, and its RT600 and RT1200 riding trenchers.) 4) Universal — An Illinois company, Universal’s product line includes a dozen horizontal directional drills. The smallest is a 66-hp model with 12,000 lbs. of thrust requiring a 27 gpm mud pump, the largest a 44-ton, 600-hp drill creating 500,000 lbs. of force. 5) Vermeer — This Iowa manufacturer began in agriculture but today’s products range across various industries. It builds 12 directional drills, from a 48-hp unit with 7,800 lbs. of thrust to a 200-hp model that can push a drill string with 60,000 lbs. of force. Trencher 1) Ditch Witch — As noted previously, this Oklahoma firm has a special place in the compact trencher industry having invented it. Today, it builds 7 walk-behind models, one stand-on model, six ride-on trenchers, three quads and a micro unit. 2) EZ Trench Groundsaws — This South Carolina company has been manufacturing small walk-behind trenchers since 1982. Three models range in size from 5 hp to 8 hp and create trenches 2 in. wide and up to 13 in. deep. 3) Ground Hog — The California manufacturer builds small auger machines and a trencher, the T4 model, which can slice into the earth either 12 in. or 18 in., depending on configuration. The T-4 can be set up to produce a 3-in.-wide trench or a 4-in.wide trench. 4) Toro — The Japanese firm manufactures two ride-on trenchers, three walk-behinds and a vibratory plow. The largest model is the 121-hp RT1200, which rides on quad tracks. It is a 4WD and 4wheel-steering machine that can be switched to crab steering. 5) Vermeer — The Iowa manufacturer has a full lineup of trenchers, including three walk-behind models, five quad-track models (one with steel tracks), two vibratory plow units and a remote-