Graben excavators – which should you choose?

Types, advantages and features of trench excavators

Overview Trencher

A trench excavator is a sel f-driving earth movement machine with a continuous action that has a spoon or a flavor tool as a working body. At work, it leaves a excavated ditch with a certain profile with simultaneous transportation of waste soil. Graben excavators stand out from other special devices. This is due to their special purpose and their design features, which enable them to perform tasks that go beyond the skills of other construction and road construction equipment.

Scope of the trench excavators

The purpose of trench excavators is to prepare pits, pits and trenches of certain sizes and forms for the construction of various residential, industrial or street transport facilities. They are used in the construction of the following systems:

  1. Underground supply lines for various purposes through open trenches:
    • Pipelines for transporting water, gas, oil etc.,
    • Central heating systems,
    • Sewage system,
    • Cable communication lines or power supply.
  2. Strip foundations with a large length for installing various buildings and structures,
  3. To create smooth contours of future construction pits and other construction pits.

INTERESTING! In contrast to bullet excavators, trench milling is able to develop absolutely any kind of soil, even frozen and rocky.

Design characteristics

Regardless of the type of earth movement equipment and the features of the machine itself, all trench excavators keep the same set of basic parts:

  • The basic factor of the pneumatic bike or caterpillar type, which guarantees an even translation movement of the entire unit,
  • Turn or chain work equipment that is assembled on a machine using a hinge or saddle trailer procedure,
  • A unloading device that pours the earth into a landfill or vehicles for the subsequent removal,
  • An additional lifting and lowering device for controlling the lifting and assembly of attachments in work.

The most common classifications of trench excavators are according to the tractor type itself (wheel or chain tugs) and according to the type of work equipment, whereby the roundabout and chain machines are distinguished.


Chain trench excavators (etc) have work equipment in the form of a single or two-row endless (soldered into a ring) chain. It leans around the inclined frame and carries rows of buckets or scrapers of a certain width.

Chain attachment can be:

  • free, with a bending on support and leadership roles,
  • Rigid on the rod body of the machine.

At the same time, each of the grave spoons is equipped with a cutting element and special slopers with which you can configure the machine to dig a trench with rectangular or trapezoidal profile.

Small-sized tractor Kentavr T 18 - description and properties

Types of trenchers - chain

Chain trench milling

In the work of a small trenches, the chain is increasingly moving in two directions at once: around a frame or rod to separate and transport the floor and in the direction of a tractor to tear off pieces of the floor of a certain depth. With a chain excavator you get a trench depth of more than 8 meters and the width of 0.14 m and higher.


Graben excavators with a rotation type (ETR) advertising body develop soil using one or a hard drad (rotor) on which bucket cutters or teeth are placed. The trench runs when this wheel turns around the frame on roll elements, the thickness of the removed chips increasing from zero to maximum.

IMPORTANT! The advantage of using rotary trenches is the possibility to develop striped soils into a disc due to the conversion of the rotor and a grinding element when replacing buckets through the teeth.

The lathe can dig up to 3 depths and a width of 0.8 to 2.5 meters. It has a higher efficiency and a larger performance than the chain, but it is problematic to dig deeper trenches because it is problematic because there is a strong increase in the mass and the dimensions of the fastening equipment.

A variety of trenchers - rotary

In the photoorotor trenches


Graben excavators are manufactured on the basis of bike or persecuted special vehicles. At the same time, tractors on a persecuted basis offer advantages such as:

  • Great ability and grip.
  • Higher performance, while the powerful skills of the record holders achieve 1,500 hp.
  • The possibility of an inclined and vertical position of the frame with cutting elements.

Overview of trencher types



The production of trench excavators is involved in the production of special devices for both domestic and foreign origin with representative offices in different countries around the world.


Caterpillar (USA) is the world leading in the production of all types of special devices from different classes. The model lines include floor and underground devices for the development of minerals as well as agricultural, construction, career and similar works. Cryp trenches are designed for the construction of residential, agricultural or commercial purposes. They perfectly master flat ditches with the notch to lay pipelines and cables.

Vermeer Manufacturing Company

Manufacturer of backhoes

Vermeer Manufacturing Company (USA) represents several model lines from excavators (these are several dozen models), including modifications to wheels and caterpillar, with equipment as a chain and rotor type. The technology of this company is equipped with electronic control over the microprocessor system, which synchronizes the effects of the tractor and the working body of the machine. Thanks to this, the management and diagnosis of the machine was simplified. In addition, some models are equipped with laser systems to control the depth of the trench.

Case corporation

Model apprenticeship Case Corporation (France) for trench excavators are already much than that of perpetrator. These are cycling machines with planet bridges with a weight of 327-I to 5761 kg, which have a chain and disc digators as main or additional equipment as well as a drilling system, etc.

LLC Raditsky Machine building complex

The Raditsky plans (Russia, Bryansk) creates the T-170 caterpillar tractors, which is based on the T-170 caterpillar tractors. This is an enormous technique with a weight of up to 32 tons, which gives a particularly large width of the trenches and contains overall sponsors for the evacuation of the ground end. Perfectly adapted to work with complex rocks with fine particles. Often used in gas and oil pipeline.

Dsue dmitrovsy bavator plant

The Dmitrovsky plant represents a chain technology with different types of circuits of the winter and summer options that differ in length, width and size of the teeth. The main basic tractor here is MTZ-82. There are models that give a ditch a width of up to 110 cm and up to 1.5 m deep.

Trencher based on MTZ tractor

ECE-15 chain trench excavator based on the MTZ-82 tractor

Miknevsky repair and mechanical plant OJSC

The Miknevsky plant offers consumers chain excavators with “summer” and “winter” chains. They differ far: 140 mm for the winter version and up to 410 for summer. The designers of the system will constantly improve their equipment and add new elements and skills.

OJSC “Kopeysk machin e-Bauwerk”

The Kopeyssk plant (Russia, Chelyabinsk) produces mining and switched devices in a chain and a baroque base that are adapted to work with frozen soils. Models have a wide weight and length of the bar in the standard tax and a variety of additional attachments. The design of the assembly is very simple and includes the possibility to replace it with the operator.

Trenches. Selection criteria and usage functions

The greatest efficiency of trench excavators is with great work. The speed of the soil excavation from the ditch using specialized trenches can be six times higher than when using a conventional excavator.

In the case in which the contractor has the opportunity to select the model that is best suited for its tasks, the dimensions of the neoms will be exactly the same. At the same time, the side walls and the floor are as smooth as possible.

In addition, it must be said that with the help of trenches you can dig a narrower trench than when using a classic excavator, which is why the exclusion of the excess floor volume is excluded. Such machines are less damaged by the soil, and after completing all the necessary work, it is easier to bring the territory into a proper shape. The latter is reached, also due to the fact that the extracted soil is crushed well and placed evenly from the edge of the trench.

The use of trenchers eliminates the need to excavate excess soil

Photo source: The use of trenches enables you to rule out the excess floor volume

The choice of trenches: classification and properties

The models of the trench excavators used in the construction can be operated at a depth of up to 6 m. The working width is up to 500 mm. The speed of the operations, including the type of soil and can reach 1 km/h. At the same time, cars that can cut several trenches (two or three) are available on the market.

When choosing a trench, it is important to determine the types of soil with which the purchased car hangs. Remember that small class models are designed for soft ground. And to make prospects in particularly dense rock, heavy crawler trenchers are required, which are equipped with a special rock chain and rotate with high torque. Note that the inappropriateness of using compact models on rocky terrain is associated not only with low power. This is also associated with high vibration, which negatively affects the design of the machine.

Among the trenchers available on the market there are both models that are controlled next to the operator’s machine and options with an equipped workplace with a seat and with a full cab. A separate group includes hinged ditches, which have limited ditching abilities compared to self-employed models. In particular, such equipment is widely used on mini-loaders. At the same time, in Russia in Russia, ditches based on standard tractors have long been in demand.

Trencher with equipped driver's workplace

Photo source: with an equipped operator workstation

Additional criteria for the selection of trenchers

Before purchasing a backhoe, you should learn about the available work equipment options in advance. In particular, the manufacturer can offer to install various cutting circles and darts to change the width of the loading trench. The tracks themselves can be single medium (for light soil as well as loose or moist soil) or double tarpaulin (for a denser breed). There are also free options.

It is important that the teeth of the cutting chains correspond to the type of soil developed. Manufacturers offer options for different shapes with or without solid surfaces. There are models in which elements of different types are combined (they are installed alternately). The method of attaching teeth to the chain also varies: they can be welded or installed with screws. In the first case, the need to perform periodic pull-ups is eliminated. The second option is more convenient in terms of replacing elements.

Modern models of trenchers are equipped with electronic control systems with satellite navigation. In particular, with their help it is easier to stick to a simple movement when performing work. In addition, the owner can monitor the technical condition of the machine in real time and perform technology diagnostics.

In addition, trenches can be equipped with a bulldozer dump (the reverse backfilling of the trench can be carried out) or other attachments. Another function available on the market is a carriage of lateral displacement, with which it is possible to carry out work on obstacles as much as possible.

Trencher of Belarusian production

Photo source: Amkodor.Budy

The design of trenches

If earlier models with a mechanical drive of the working bodies were previously distributed on the market, now the hydraulic version is more in demand. In addition, electric and combined drives were sometimes used.

In addition to wheeled and classic caterpillars, it is possible to purchase a trencher with rubber tracks: at the same time, this option provides low ground pressure, minimizes surface damage and allows you to get high traction.

A rod acts as the working body of a backhoe, the design of which includes a guide frame and a chain with teeth. The soil is brought to the surface with a chain and then moved aside with the help of an auger.

The working bodies of trenchers are of four main types: chain, rotary, disc, plow. The choice of the optimal option depends on the scope of use. So, circular saws are effective when laying communications under a layer of asphalt concrete, and circular saws – in the oil and gas industry.

Features of using trenchers

It is believed that in general, the performance of trenchers on loose and non-cohesive soils is not very high. If you still decide to use this type of equipment for digging trenches in pebbles or sand, then it makes sense to use a model larger than the calculations require. By digging a wider and deeper trench, you can compensate for soil detachments.

Tractor-based Trencher

Photo source: Tractor-based trencher

Unlike excavators, in cases where the formwork needs to be repaired, you will have to resort to outside help.

During the performance of work operations, it is recommended to hold the working body of the trencher at an angle of 45-60 degrees: at such values ​​​​maximum productivity is achieved. The depth of the excavated trench can be adjusted both by changing the angle of inclination of the rod and by adjusting the position of the support carriage.

A few more recommendations: The best option is to run the machine at 75% of full power and 90% of peak torque.

Technical service

When operating backhoes, attention must be paid to the condition of the chain. Timely replace worn teeth (note that when they become dull, the width of the trench decreases and the load on the parts increases) and restore the mobility of the rotary knives. In addition, it is important to monitor the tension: the distance from the bottom of the arrow along the chain must meet the standards specified in the instructions. At the same time, it is important to exclude not only insufficient voltage, but also excessive voltage: in the second case, more current is consumed and the load on the boom increases. Also remember that chain tension increases when dirt accumulates between the teeth of the drive sprocket.

In addition, we find that when using trenchers in areas with heavy rocky soils, the service life of the work tool components is rather short. In general, the performance of the bar system is already significantly reduced at 30% wear.

Check the RVD separately. Since rod assembly is often at an angle of 60-90 degrees during operation, the sleeves can become twisted or pinched. This is fraught with both a loss of performance due to a reduction in the flow cross-section and damage to the high-pressure hose.

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