The most preferred way to dig long or short trenches is by machine, not hand, and the best machine to do the job is a skid steer trencher. Skid steer trenchers come in many different widths, lengths, and styles, all made to dig different size trenches. With your skid steer machine you can dig trenches quickly and easily in either 6 to 12 inch widths, with a digging boom up to 60 inches long.
Picking the right trencher starts with knowing the hydraulic flow of your machine. In order for the hydraulic motor that powers the trencher chain to work efficiently, you need to match it with the proper hydraulic flow from your machines pump. If your machine doesn’t have a label clearly telling you how much hydraulic flow you have in Gallons Per Minute (GPM) then you will need to contact the manufacturer or dealer to find out. If you put too much hydraulic pressure on a motor you will damage it, and if you put too little to it, it will not have enough power to work well. Most trenchers are given a range of minimum to maximum GPM, you want to match your machine up to a trencher where your gallons per minute fall into the middle or top end of the range. For example if your skid steer provides 19 GPM, a trencher that accepts between 14-22 GPM would be a perfect fit, where a trencher designed for 18-24 would not work very efficiently.
Now that you know what width and depth of the trench you want to dig, and what size hydraulic motor you are in need of, it is time to decide on the type of chain you will need. The chain style will mostly depend on the type of ground you will be cutting into. If you have lots of rocks or even partially frozen ground, you will need a more aggressive style of chain. If you are in a softer area, you can get by with teeth that pull out dirt faster. We have put together a guide to help you select your chain style.
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Trencher Chain Selection Guide
Tooth Every Station (TES)
Designed for standard digging conditions, light to moderately compacted, sandy, loam soils and loosely-packed gravelly soils. Typically good digging conditions.
Tooth Every Other Station (TEOS)
Tooth pattern designed to give the most production in wet, sticky conditions such as gumbo, wet clay, etc. TEOS allows the sticky soils to be discharged as it comes around the head shaft sprocket allowing the auger to pick it up and discharge spoil to the side of the trench. The TES chain has a tendency to hold the sticky soils causing build-up in the chain and loss of production.
Rock & Frost Chain 50/50: combination 50% Rock & Frost / 50% Cup Teeth (R&F)
The rock and frost chain will give the highest production in frozen ground, highly compacted soils and rock, allowing the cup teeth to pick up and clean the trench. The R&F chain is very aggressive in tough conditions, but not as productive in the lighter, normal digging conditions.
Shark tooth Chain 70/30: combination 70% Shark / 30% Cup Teeth (70/30)
The 70/30 chain should be applied in compacted soils, light frozen ground, baked hard clay, shale or rocky soils. The aggressive shark teeth will slice, break and relieve the tough soils, allowing the cup teeth to follow and clean the trench. As with the R&F chain, the 70/30 chain will not be as productive in the lighter, normal conditions as the TES chain.
Full Shark Tooth Chain (100% Shark Teeth)
The Full Shark Tooth Chain is recommended in fracturable rock, shale, caliche or conditions with little or no loose soil. This chain will not effectively clean the trench in sand, silt and high-moisture clay conditions.
Available in 6″, 8″, 10″ and 12″ widths
Bradco Skid Steer Trenchers
Our tough Bradco Trenchers for Skid Steers provide the following skid steer trencher features. Fits all Skid Steers with Universal Skid Steer Quick Attach Mount. Fixed length boom with spring loaded, self adjusting idler and full rock guard. Heavy duty boom and crumber assembly with replaceable wear strips. Single side spoil augering.
As with all of the skid steer attachments we carry, after using this skid steer trencher attachment on our Skid Steer, we had to carry them simply because they worked awesome when we used it to lay pipe underground! Another use for these Bradco Trenchers is to lay cable.
You can count on this Skid Steer Trencher Attachment to connect to your skid steer loader, and to make quick work of your next project. We have the Skid Steer Trencher for your Bobcat Style Skidsteer Loader. Once again, these skid steer trenchers come in Several Boom lengths and widths and a variety of tooth options.