Compact Equipment

JAN 2019

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 46 of 59

Armed with new attachments and increased power, today's mini skid steers (or compact tool carriers, depending on the maker) can conquer in- dustrial utility installations within urban environments. Here are five at- tachments perfect for those applications: Microtrencher Attachment A mini skid steer equipped with a microtrencher attachment is the ideal solution for installing fiber-optic cable in confined urban areas. It improves productivity, cuts fiber cost per foot and reduces ground disruption. Coring Attachment Compared to jackhammers and backhoes, this attachment can more precisely excavate a utility under roadways — making utility maintenance more cost-effective and less disruptive. It can also be useful for turning corners on fiber jobs. Subcompact Vacuum-Lifting Attachment Rather than using a backhoe or crane to remove large areas of concrete, this attachment can lift nearly 4 sq ft of concrete depending on the unit's operating capacity. Breaker Attachment A rock hammer or breaker attachment is the optimal tool for quickly fragmenting concrete, asphalt pavement and rock. It frees operators from the jolting effects of jackhammering, allowing a compact mini skid steer to conquer the job. Sweeper Attachment On urban projects, sweeper attachments make cleanup quick and effec- tive. Rather than using a broom, operators can attach the sweeper to the mini skid steer used for coring or microtrenching and scoop everything into a bucket for disposal. PAIRED FOR PRODUCTIVITY Ditch Witch Shares the Perfect Mini Skid Steer Attachments for Utility Jobs Mini skid steers can be outfitted with a variety of attachments for utility installs. Rent or Buy? As with any specialty attachment, operators will have to make the deci- sion whether to rent or buy a trencher. The decision ultimately depends on how often the operator will expect to use it. "Trenchers are one of the most pop- ular attachments sold with a skid steer or compact track loader," says Zupan- cic. "Customers will rent this attach- ment if trenching is required only oc- casionally. If the contractor's primary business is installing utilities or irriga- tion, then these customers will almost always own at least one trencher for their fleet." Smaller trenchers typically start in the $4,000 to $5000 price range, with larger ones selling for $5,000 to $8,000. Zupancic points out that other features like chain options and teeth configura- tions can add some additional costs. Getting to Work As with any machine or attachment, it's always important to carefully read the operator's manual before hitting the jobsite. Amerman shares a few more critical operation notes: • Never trench before marking buried utility service lines. • Bystanders must be at least 20 ft away from the machine. • Operate only from inside the cab of the skid steer or track loader. • Avoid steep terrain that would pos- sibly cause an overturned machine. • Trencher attachments are heavy — travel only in a safe transport posi- tion. • Do not drive close to ditches and ex- cavations that could cause a cave-in. • Do not attempt to trench in a tight curve, or damage will occur to the trencher boom. • Always stop the machine and re- move the key before working on the trencher chain, teeth or any part of the attachment. Pam Kleineke is the managing editor of Compact Equipment .

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