5 must-ask questions when renting a trencher

By Emily CaudillJune 08, 2022

This Barreto 1324D/1624D standard trencher has wheels, but there are times when a track machine is best

Whether it’s installing pipe, landscape edging or laying cable, you might decide to rent a trencher for the job. With such a wide variety of machines on the market, you need to pick the correct one for your specific needs.

Here are five questions to consider when renting a trencher for your job:

1. How deep and wide will you be trenching?

First, evaluate your trench. With options ranging from 12” to 48” boom length, and 4” to 8” chain widths, you can narrow your selection considerably.

While you might think a larger machine can accomplish a task more efficiently, you can end up paying too much and cut deeper into your budget than necessary.

At the same time, selecting a machine that is too small has its own negative repercussions. A machine that’s working too hard will create more work for the user and lack overall efficiency, leading to extended time on the job site.

2. Where will you be using your trencher?

You don’t want to unload your trencher, and gear up for the task at hand, only to find out the machine doesn’t fit. It’s important to take your work site into consideration. For example, if you’re trenching for a sprinkler system in a small fenced yard, you are going to want a smaller machine with more maneuverability. Accordingly, in a wider, open area with minimal obstacles, you are free to maneuver a larger machine.

3. What are the ground conditions for the area you will be working in?

Ground conditions are extremely important. Choosing the correct horsepower, chain type and drive system can all be affected by the conditions you will be working in. Dry, loose, or loamy soil will require a less aggressive chain and less horsepower, whereas clay, hard or rocky soil call for a machine with more horsepower, and possibly a more aggressive chain, to trench efficiently.

Weather can also be a contributing factor. Consider a recent rain. Wet and muddy soil will likely complicate a job. You may consider a tracked machine, for more stability and traction. Or, perhaps, a ride-on machine to avoid operator discomfort.

4. What is the size of your project?

Consider the difficulty of your project, and the amount of time you expect to spend operating your trencher. While a smaller trencher may get the job done, you may consider upgrading to a ride-on trencher for projects lasting more than a few hours, and with greater trenching distances. Additionally, a back-fill blade accessory can alleviate man hours refilling your trench on larger projects.

5. Tires or Tracks?

With track machines offering the added benefits of stability, traction and performance, they are often a first request. The tracks provide a larger footprint, offering a smoother-performing machine, and minimizing turf damage. Tracked machines often weigh more, and withstand tougher conditions than their smaller, wheeled counterparts.

Consider whether you have the space to operate a tracked trencher, as well as the capability to transport the machine.

While there may not be a perfect choice all the time. Asking these questions will help you get you the best choice every time.

Remember to locate and identify any utilities before you begin your project. Always call 811 before you dig.

This article was originally posted at Barretomfg.com. 

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