By Patrick Hill22 April 2008
The Toro Company, well known for its compact Dingo wheeled and tracked utility loaders, is launching two dedicated tracked trenchers.
Toro has supplied trencher attachments for its loaders before, but this is the first time the US manufacturer has developed a single use trencher. "A lot of rental stores tell us that they really like the Dingo", says Neil Borenstein, Toro's senior marketing manager, "but we have a lot of customers who just want a trencher."
The company decided to build a trencher that would share some of the features of the Dingo - the TX controls, for example - but address typical problems with existing trenchers, including difficulties in manhandling the machines, complicated controls, difficult steering and problems with crossing trenches without sinking.
The TRX-15 and TRX-19 models, which use 15 hp and 19 hp, twin cylinder Kawasaki petrol engines, are virtually the same, with the addition of an hydraulic oil cooler on the larger model. Toro says the use of a twin-cylinder engine makes them easy to start and quieter than the single-cylinder alternatives.
The TRXs use the same three-lever controls as the Dingo TX carriers, one for chain engagement, one for left and right track control, and one to raise and lower the trencher boom.
"You can literally trench with one hand", says Greg Lawrence, product marketing manager for Toro. Each model trenches up to 36 inches, and there are 4 in and 6 in chain widths available.
"The easy-to-operate controls eliminate the ‘jerk' steering required with other trenchers that have handlebar steering," says Mr Lawrence. "Contractors and homeowners can quickly learn and master this system."
The tracks give a very light footprint - around 4.1 psi, claims Toro - and make cross-trenching simple, and stability is improved by placing all the heavy components as low as possible. Transport speed across ground is also pretty rapid, at 3.1 mph.
Toro says the trenchers, which also come with a dedicated TRX transport trailer, will "provide rental dealers with a valuable offering for contractors and do-it-yourselfers who may want an economical - and manageable - trenching solution."
The trenchers have been given a ‘global' specification, and will be available in North America by April, with sales in Europe by the summer. Are we likely to see more single-use machines from Toro? "Possibly", says Neil Bornstein.
A ‘brute' chipper
Bandit Industries in the US offering its 18 in capacity, hydraulic-feed 1890XP brush cutter as a single axle unit with a 180 hp engine.
This big engine was previously only available on the heavy duty, twin-axle 1890 HD model. The new machine will still be compact, says Bandit, and come in at under 10000 lb (459 kg).
Bandit says the new unit will meet a pent-up demand for "a high-powered, high-capacity chipper with the strength to process whole trees, and also the flotation to traverse soft ground conditions."
The 1890XP has been test marketed in Australia since early 2007 and has been a "tremendous hit", says Bandit.
Toro isn't the only North American manufacturer launching a new dedicated tracked trencher this year. Barreto Manufacturing is introducing this summer what it says will be the smallest dedicated tracked trencher on the market.
The model, pictured here at last month's ARA Rental Show in Las Vegas, will weigh around 590 kg and measure 33 in (0.83 m) wide by 92 in (2.3 m) long. Trench depths will be 24 in, 30 in or 36 in, and it will have travel speeds of just over 2.1 mph.
A spokesperson for Barreto told IRN; "We plan to have the track trencher available in June 2008. We feel this machine will fill the need for customers needing better traction. We are very excited, this will be the first trencher of its size to be offered with tracks.
"Two years ago we came out with the mini trencher, last year a steerable model, and this year the track trencher. Now our line will start at 9 hp with the mini trencher and go up 18 hp with the track trencher, all in the pedestrian class of trenchers."
The machine will be sold in the UK by Hire Supply Company.
Bobcat has extended its range of stump grinders with the addition last year of the higher flow SGX60 model. The SGX60 joins the SG30 and SG60 models previously available.
The grinders are designed for use with Bobcat mini track loaders, skid-steers, compact tracked loaders and all-wheel steer loaders.
Mounted at angles between 80-90o to the loader, the Stump Grinder attachments give the operator excellent visibility of the cutting area. Bobcat says the grinder mounted on one of its compact loaders "is much more mobile and productive and costs less than many pull-type grinders on the market."
The SGX60 has an operating weight of 452 kg, compared to 445 kg on the SG60 model. And measuring 1676 mm (66 in) wide, it is significantly bigger than the SG60, which is 1181 mm (46.5 in) wide. Both models have an 81 cm (32 inch) cutting height.
PHOTO CAPTION STORIES
Pinnacle Power Equipment in the UK has launched the Eliet Primo Chipper/Shredder, a portable chipper that can fold without the use of tools and can be transported in the boot of a family car. A 4 hp Honda GC135 engine powers the 2008 version of the Primo, and it can cut material up to 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in diameter. It has a 60 l capacity collection bag and weighs just 35 kg.
IHIMER new mini-dumper, the Carry 107, which was first seen at last year's SAIE show in Bologna, has an undercarriage that can vary in width between 780 mm and 1080 mm and a 14 l/min hydraulic power take-off that allows the dumper to operate ancillary equipment. A ‘hi-flow' option at 26 l/min can power 12 or 16 kg demolition hammers, hydraulic drills, a manual hydraulic auger and a 13 l/s capacity pump. Power can be supplied by either a Honda 6.6/8.2 kW petrol engine or a 7.5 kW Yammer diesel engine. The dumper can also be fitted with a levelling front blade, hydraulically controlled from the driving position.
This new articulating pole hedge trimmer comes from Nikko Tanaka Engineering USA. The TPH-260PF has a 130 degree articulating angle, and is powered by a Tanaka 1.3 hp PureFire engine. Key features include a see-through fuel tank, padded ‘D' handle, and a solid steel drive shaft. The TPH-260PF has 22 in double-sided, dual reciprocating blades that can easily cut through branches 0.75 in thick. It weights 13.8 lb (6.2 kg). Nikko Tanaka Engineering is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hitachi Power Tools.
Four new log splitters produced by German garden equipment manufacturer Al-Ko are now available. There are two horizontal splitters: the entry level, electrically powered KHS3700L is designed for heavy-duty domestic use and weighs just 35kg; and the bigger KHS 5200L, which is also an electric model and produces a maximum split force of 5 t. The two vertical splitting models are the 3000 W LHS 5500, with a split force of 5.5 t and able to deal with logs up to 1050mm; and the top of the range LHS 6000, also with a 3000 W motor but a split force of 6 t. The splitters are available from Al-Ko dealers, including Rochford Garden Machinery, which is exclusive UK distributor.