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Small trenchers and augers

January 10, 2020 -  By
Small trencher (Photo: Little Beaver)

Operators can change out teeth and alter width settings on Little Beaver’s Kwik-Trench mini trencher. (Photo: Little Beaver)

Earth movers like trenchers and augers can be used for endless design/build tasks. But as equipment manufacturers can attest, landscapers increasingly want land movers with a smaller footprint and more maneuverability for smaller jobs.

“For the last five years, we’ve been pressured to make things that are smaller in size, no more than 48 inches in width, that will be able to get onto quarter-acre lots or smaller and be able maneuver around,” says Chris Thompson, compact equipment product manager with Ditch Witch.

Versatility’s the name of the game

Mike Hale, sales and marketing manager with Little Beaver, says his company has been offering compact multitasking devices with a multitude of attachments with its lightweight Kwik-Trench mini trencher.

“Everyone talks about versatility,” Hale says. “The greater the number of applications a product can handle, the more ‘worth it’ its purchase becomes.”

While the Kwik-Trench can be used for edging, installation of drainage lines, low-voltage wiring, silt fence and irrigation system installation, Hale says one overlooked use of the device is root pruning.

“Many larger trenchers can rip out the roots, making a mess,” he says. “The Kwik-Trench features a sawing method that allows users to cut through tough material like tree roots.”

The Kwik-Trench also boasts a bolt-on tooth system, and users can also alter the width settings from 1 to 4 inches to reach depths of up to 12 inches.

“This design not only speeds up maintenance, (but) it also allows the operator to quickly change out teeth to match the application,” Hale says.

Handy attachments

One of the ways Ditch Witch is adapting to landscapers’ desire for equipment with smaller footprints is to configure earth-moving attachments for its mini stand-on skid-steer line — the SK600, SK800, SK1050 and SK1550.

These attachments include trenchers of varying depths, a planetary auger driver, vibratory plows, grapples, backfill blade, buckets, backhoe, leveler, tree shear, jackhammer, rotary broom, plate compactor, rake, forks and more.

“They’re versatile. You can put a trencher on the front, and you can put a vibratory plow on the front, so you’re able to install your irrigation line with just one product, and that makes things a lot more efficient,” Thompson says.

Ditch Witch also offers the Vacuworx PS 1 portable and SL 2 subcompact vacuum lifting system for use on the stand-on skid steers. The Vacuworx technology uses vacuum pressure to move heavy materials on job sites. Thompson says where this can come in handy is if an open drill site needs to be covered.

“With the Vacuworx attachment, you can take a steel plate, and you can use the vacuum on the front of the attachment to attach that steel plate over the opening and that takes three minutes,” he says. “It significantly reduces startup and shutdown time.”

Keep it in mind

Cory Maker, horizontal directional drills product manager for Ditch Witch, says when it comes to picking out the right tool for the design/build and installation project, it’s important to figure in the cost of operation of that piece of equipment.

“If they can make an open cut with a trencher, that’s going to be their fastest, lowest cost,” he says. “Say they already have sod laid; they could utilize a vibratory plow — it’s way less invasive than open cutting.”

This article is tagged with , , and posted in 1219, Design/Build+Installation, Featured
Christina Herrick

About the Author:

Christina Herrick is the editor of Landscape Management magazine. Known for her immersive approach to travel from coast to coast in her previous stint as senior editor of American Fruit Grower Magazine, she uses social media (Twitter/Instagram @EditorHerrick) to share her experiences on the road with her audience. Herrick has a degree in journalism from Ohio Northern University. She can be reached at

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