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04 FEBRUARY 2019

Whether you're digging a trench for irrigation or laying pipes or cables, digging a trench by hand can take a team of workers many hours of hard labour in the heat. Using an excavator or other general purpose equipment for the job can result in poor quality, uneven ditches.

For efficient and accurate trench digging cut to specification, you need to specialise. A ride-on or walk- behind trench digger enables high quality trenches to be dug by a single operator in no time, so the rest of your team will be free to concentrate on other tasks.

Trench digger hire is also more affordable than other types of earthmoving equipment, but it's important to choose the right tool for the job.


Trenchers cut to their size and only excavate the minimum material necessary. This means they're capable of cutting smaller trenches than excavators, with sharper walls, less over-digging and less backfilling required to even things out.

A trench digger can excavate any type of soil, even those containing rock and cement. It's also more adept at breaking rocks under higher pressure than excavator buckets, without the need to bring in other equipment.

Ride-on trench diggers

If you're digging a longer, wider or deeper trench, a ride-on trencher is the most efficient option. Operators can comfortably use the trencher for their whole shift, which isn't the case with smaller walk-behind trench diggers.

Large and powerful diggers are required to cut tougher clay and rocky soils, and they're ideal if ground disturbance isn't an issue. However, if a gentler footprint is required on your site, a smaller trencher will cause less disturbance and requires less replacement of turf.

Walk-behind trench diggers

If you're digging a smaller trench, or working around obstacles and tight corners, a smaller manual trencher will be more convenient. They're also cheaper to hire and easier to transport.

Mini trench diggers don't have the power of larger trenchers to dig tightly compacted soils and rock, but they can be better suited to loose, thin and sandy soils. They're also well suited to working in residential areas and backyards, causing less turf disturbance with shallower trenches that make it easier for grass and plants to grow back in.

Wheels or tracks?

Another decision to make when hiring a larger trench digger is whether to go with wheels or tracks. Tracked trenchers offer more stability when driving on slopes or wet and muddy ground, as well as over existing trenches. Wheels are the best option if you're working on more delicate ground such as lawns.

What other options are there?

While a trench digger gives a better finish compared to other earthmoving equipment, a skid steer loader or mini bobcat with the right attachments can be a good alternative, if you already have one on your site. However, a trench digger is usually cheaper to hire.

Coates Hire has one of the largest fleets of earthmoving equipment for hire in Australia, including ride-on and walk-behind trench diggers, skid steers and excavators of all sizes. Find your nearest branch.


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