Ditch Witch showcases new machines

04 December 2009

The RT45 trencher from Ditch Witch was one of the new products on show in Barcelona.

The RT45 trencher from Ditch Witch was one of the new products on show in Barcelona.

Ditch Witch introduced its latest trenching and trenchless machines at its ninth customer day held at in Barcelona, Spain. Becca Wilkins reports.

More than 200 customers and dealers had the chance to view and test-drive new equipment from Ditch Witch at an event held at the company's International Underground Systems factory in Barcelona.

Making their international debut on the day were the JT100 Mach 1, the largest Ditch Witch horizontal directional drill (HDD), the RT45 and RT80 ride-on trenchers, the RT10 and RT12 walk-behind trenchers and the PR 100 pipe bursting unit.

The Stage IIIA/Tier 3 compliant RT45, an upgrade of the company's RT40 trencher, features improved air filtration and new easy-to-read gauges in the operator's station. The RT45 has a range of attachments including a centreline or dual-position trencher, vibratory plough, rotary saw, combination trencher/plough, and backhoe.

Ditch Witch said the new quiet engine allows the machine to be operated in noise-sensitive urban areas and this also means working conditions are improved for the operator. The RT45 include a spacious operator's station, intuitive controls and easily accessible service points.

Meanwhile, the new RT80, a utility-based, fully hydrostatic trencher with a compact footprint and 62 kW turbocharged diesel engine replaces the company's RT75 trencher. With a top speed of 15.9 km/hour it is the fastest trencher in its class and it it offers four combinations of torque and speed, making it adaptable to different ground conditions, Ditch Witch said.

The RT10 and the RT12 walk-behind trenchers feature fully hydrostatic steering for easy handling, and come with a choice of high-flotation tires "for outstanding traction and stability" or heavy-duty tracks that oscillate.

Options available for both units include a pin-on backfill blade that efficiently restores the trench after the product is installed. Another option, primarily for contractors, is the Roto Witch, an attachment that enables the operator to bore under pavements, driveways, and other obstacles.


The new JT100 Mach 1 the company's most powerful horizontal directional drill (HDD) is equipped with a 200 kW engine. The machine is designed so that rotation, thrust, and drilling fluid flow can operate simultaneously at full power, which leads to faster job completion.

With 445 kN of pullback and 16 270 Nm of torque, the JT100 is a directional drill built for both long-range bores, such as river crossings, and installations of large-diameter pipe.

According to Ditch Witch the power of the JT100 allows for the addition of two optional features that can save the contractor significant time and money. The first is an onboard crane, which is used to load and unload pipe boxes, anchor the unit, and handle downhole tools, especially drill pipe. Ditch Witch said directional drills without an onboard crane require additional equipment, such as an excavator, to perform these functions.

The second optional feature is an onboard anchor system that stabilises the machine on virtually any terrain.

The JT100 is equipped with a large-capacity 870 l/minute fluid pump and larger than average hoses and fittings to help move drilling fluid downhole faster, therefore increasing productivity.

Meanwhile, the PR100 pipe bursting system is the newest and most powerful of the company's pipe bursting systems, which are used to fracture or cut any type of water, sewer, or utility pipe and pull in new pipe of equal or larger diameter. The PR100 offers more efficient hydraulics, reduced power pack noise output and 906 kN of pullback.

Product focus

The Ditch Witch factory in Barcelona supports its European, Middle East and African dealers and as well as being used for training purposes it also allows customers to view the full-line of Ditch Witch equipment.

Joe Smith Jr, European sales manager for Ditch Witch said the difficult market conditions of the past year have not deterred Ditch Witch from introducing new products in 2009 - the company has in fact launched nine new machines this year.

He added, "We could have pulled back and stopped design and testing and waited a year, but we wanted to continue because it's our feeling that 2010 is going to be a positive year in the industry and when our customers start buying products to be able to handle that we want them to have the best there is."

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