With hot, dry summers leading to ever-intensifying water restrictions, the need and demand for quality irrigation installation has increased. The trenchers used by landscape professionals to install irrigation systems have seen vast improvements in construction and efficiency. Landscapers are using trenchers and attachments to meet irrigation demand as well as expand their service offering.
Demand for dependable irrigation installation will continue to grow as the dry climate persists in certain areas of the country, upholding water restrictions. As Greg Adkins, trencher product manager for Ditch Witch, explains, the use of irrigation systems allows for better management of water. This, along with revised watering habits like watering in the early morning hours when there is less water evaporation, helps in abiding persistent water restrictions.
Jon Kuyers, utility product segment manager for Vermeer, agrees that these efforts will continue to be a requirement in many regions. “As the demand for fresh water increases regionally, conservation efforts will continue as people will be looking at their water footprint similar to the carbon footprint today,” explains Kuyers. “Early adopters of responsible irrigation are looking at different technologies to lessen the demand for water through using ‘smart’ irrigation control technology or subsurface drip irrigation that minimizes water loss through evaporation and run-off vs. conventional irrigation methods.”
As the demand for water-conserving irrigation continues to grow, the use of trenchers for installing irrigation systems is also on the rise. As a result, trenching equipment has seen improvements in construction, operation capabilities and purchase price. Manufacturers continue to seek new ways of improving cost and ease of operation in a time of such high demand.
REDUCING MAINTENANCE AND PURCHASE PRICE
As manufacturers observe growth in trencher usage, they have made consistent efforts to further develop equipment to offer users a higher-quality trencher for a low price. Brown Mfg. (TrenchMaster) has been achieving this through the clean construction of their equipment.
“We try to maintain our prices, keeping them as low as possible,” says Lee Campbell of Brown Mfg. “We manufacture our equipment to be uncomplicated and as low-maintenance as we can design it. The less complicated the machine, the lower the cost.”
By keeping the equipment construction as basic as they can while still providing a quality product, Brown Mfg. saves on the cost of construction, translating into a lower purchase price for consumers. The simple construction also reduces equipment maintenance requirements.
A new series of trenchers from Ditch Witch is also said to offer fewer maintenance requirements, thanks to their hydraulic drive. “The hydraulic trencher vs. mechanical allows easier operation for the operator and less maintenance than a typical mechanical trencher,” says Adkins. “The reduction of daily maintenance points is always a key element in the design of trenching equipment.”
The hydrostatic design on the Vermeer trencher also calls for less maintenance. “Vermeer has enhanced its trenching equipment through the use of hydrostatics,” explains Kuyers. “The hydrostatics help to simplify operation and reduce maintenance.” The hydrostatic-powered trencher and ground drive house fewer moving parts, adding up to less maintenance.
Designing equipment to require less maintenance is only the foundation that manufacturers build off when constructing trenching equipment. They have also worked hard to make the landscaper’s job easier when operating the equipment. The construction and location of controls—a crucial element to trencher design—can greatly impact the ease of operation experienced by the user.