Three Trencher Maintenance Tips to Increase Efficiency on Utility Installation Jobs

By: Joe Parsons, Product Manager at Trencor


Increasing productivity on utility installation jobs is crucial for contractors in today’s fast-paced world. A key component to decreasing downtime and keeping your crews efficient is having reliable equipment to help you quickly move from one jobsite to the next. With proper routine maintenance, a smooth-running trencher can help you efficiently trench through tough ground conditions and promote valuable uptime. 


Here are three key maintenance tips that can keep your machines functioning at their peak performance levels and help increase productivity on utility installation jobs.


Read the Operator Manual


The first and most important step when using a trencher is to make sure you are familiar with the operator manual. The operator manual contains valuable equipment information, such as the general maintenance schedule for the different parts of the machine. For instance, our T16 Tractor maintenance schedule requires that the radiator and oil cooler be cleaned every 50 hours of machine use and that the engine and transmission oil filters need to be replaced every 500 hours of use. Following the operator’s manual to adhere to general maintenance schedules can help reduce unexpected and unwanted downtime.


Practice Daily Maintenance


One of the best ways to keep a trencher running efficiently is by practicing daily maintenance. Checking your machine daily will ensure that you are replacing parts as needed and extending the life of your machine. Too often, contractors will try to work through minimal equipment damage or wait too long to replace parts, which can lead to premature failure and costly downtime that could have been avoided. 


One example of a key maintenance point that should not be missed is to clean the digging chain. If mud, soil or debris is not regularly cleaned out of the chain, it will become stretched and may eventually break, resulting in downtime and costly replacement. Cleaning out the chain can simply be done by using a pressure washer or shovel. You should also make sure to check the trencher teeth daily. If the carbide tip on the tooth is fractured, cracked or missing, it should be immediately replaced with a new tooth to protect the chain and increase efficiency. In addition to chain maintenance, it is also important that operators blow out the radiator and check fluid levels on a daily basis. A small investment in time each day to identify and address any potential issues is an essential way to stay productive on the jobsite.


Utilize New Technology


New technology such as telematics, maintenance remotes and automated greasing systems can help you quickly perform daily maintenance and identify parts that will need to be fixed or replaced. For example, an automated greasing system automatically brings grease to each of the many trencher points that require daily greasing. Eliminating the need for the operator to complete this daily task manually helps promote valuable uptime. You can learn more about our Trencor technology to help ease maintenance by talking to the experts at your local Ditch Witch dealership. 


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