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Hydraulics digs down into the trenches

Hydraulics digs down into the trenches

The fully hydrostatic RT115 Quad trencher relies on the power of hydraulics to get the job done in extreme conditions.

DitchWitch’s newest trencher, the RT115 Quad, features a fully hydrostatic drive for all power operations and attachment circuits. Click on image for larger view.

Maneuvering through wet, muddy and uneven terrain can be a difficult task for any machine, but a new heavy-weight trencher—the RT 115 Quad—from DitchWitch, Perry, Okla., solves this problem with a heavy-duty frame and chevron track pattern.

The 115-hp (85 kW) machine is designed for installing utilities in extreme jobsite conditions. Its ground drive system’s chevron track pattern directs mud down and to the side of the tracks as they turn, improving traction for maximum pulling power. Additionally, the track frames oscillate, further enhancing maneuverability on uneven terrain.

The RT115 Quad’s weight and low center of gravity increase traction and stability. It has one of the most heavy-duty steel undercarriages available—weighing 1500 lb (680 kg) each—for increased thrust and stability. Although the RT115 has a low center of gravity, it has higher ground clearance than any quad-track unit in its class—15.5 in. (394 mm).

According to Jason Proctor, Ditch Witch’s Heavy Trencher Product Manager, the 115 Quad is roughly the same size as its predecessor, the RT115, which is similar in size to other tractors of this horsepower. However, the Quad weighs almost twice as much as the RT115. Proctor says the majority of this weight comes from the tracks, beefed up framework, and drive train. The additional weight and ground contact allows more power to be transmitted.

In addition, Proctor says auxiliary and attachment circuits are similar to previous machines. However, the ground drive for this machine is a departure from previous machines. “This machine has a different type of ground drive motor. The motor’s displacement is electrically controlled, which allows attaining maximum speeds to achieve maximum output horsepower from the engine,” Proctor continues. “The motor has three specific set points but will automatically adjust its displacement to transmit maximum horsepower from the engine based on the ground drive load.”

High power at low cost

Proctor says that almost everything is powered by hydraulics on the machine, including the steering, ground drive, attachment, and auxiliary circuits.

“Most Ditch Witch products use hydraulics in some fashion,” Proctor says. “Hydraulic motors or cylinders offer the least expensive method of transferring the required power. The amount of power for the size, weight, and cost is what makes hydraulics so attractive to use.”

The hydraulic system operates at 2500 rpm, powered by a pump rated for 29.2 gpm (110.5 lpm). The pump’s relief pressure is rated for 5000 psi (345 bar). Proctor says the 115 Quad uses Sauer Danfoss, Eaton, and Parker hydraulic components and Ditch Witch manufactured cylinders.

Attachments include hydraulically driven rear attachments and a choice of front-mount utility backhoe, reel carrier, or standard nose weight. Its vibratory plow attachment features heavy-duty lift arms.

The attachment drive transmission is hydrostatic, lever-operated, with infinitely variable speed from zero to maximum. The attachment pump is capable of delivering up to 48 gpm (182 lpm) and is rated for 6090 psi (420 bar) relief pressure. Auxiliary power is provided by a 12.5 gpm (47.3 lpm) pump with a relief pressure setting of 2500 psi (172 bar). The hydraulic reservoir holds up to 24 gal (91 l) of fluid.

For ultimate plowing traction, an operator can rely on the three-speed, shift-on-the-fly ground drive, which senses system load and automatically shifts to the best gear for optimal productivity. The transmission can also be shifted manually, giving operators a choice of torque and speed combinations.

A standard tilt frame configuration enhances stability on uneven terrain. Rear steering allows for a tighter turn radius and better maneuverability.

For more information, call (800) 654-6481 or visit