Compact Equipment

SEP 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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Page 36 of 55

T his promotional photo of the Toro RT1200 riding trencher is an eye-opener. The tool-car- rier chassis rides on four trian- gular rubber tracks with a backhoe mounted on the front above a blade. A trencher bar is mounted in the rear. It smacks of a Rube Goldberg contrap- tion. "And a rock saw isn't even shown," Neil Borenstein says, with a chuckle. The Toro marketing director con- cedes that the versatile trencher unit is a workaholic machine. "It is a little comical because the backhoe on the front doesn't look like it belongs. But a lot of RT1200s go out the door with a backhoe on the front." Other brands of large trenchers are similarly configured. The odd-looking setup is very pro- ductive. When a trench is being sliced into the earth for miles on end or is being dug in remote areas unsuitable for operating three or four separate machines, the RT1200 with a back- hoe on front is a versatile solution. "Once you open a trench, you need to fill it back up," Borenstein says. "And sometimes you need a junction box. You are way out there trenching, you might as well dig the hole for the box before moving on. The backhoe is a good addition." Large trenchers have evolved into tool carriers. As applications have expanded from water, natural gas and electric lines to include fiber- optic and other telecom installations, trenching tools have evolved. At- tached to them now besides standard trenching chains are micro-trenchers, cable and vibratory plows, rocksaws and reel carriers. And, yes, backhoes. "It is more or less a power unit now," says Vermeer product manager Ed Savage. "That's what customers want — more and more flexibility." Even so, Ditch Witch compact equipment product manager Chris Thompson says his company's prod- ucts mostly open up long ditches. "Most all of our ride-on trenchers are still trenchers. They're still digging ditches. Some are employed to pull plows and operate micro-trenchers, but the vast majority of Ditch Witch trenchers are still trenching." 37 Sit-On Trenchers Offer a Versatile View on the Jobsite By Giles Lambertson

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