March 2022 Vol. 77 No. 3


First Look: Tesmec Offers All-Inclusive Truck Approach to Conventional Fiber Microtrenching

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor

A variety of construction methods can be used to install fiber optic cable to expand broadband networks. 

While horizontal direction drilling (HDD) receives most of the trade press coverage about broadband construction, microtrenching is playing an increasingly significant role in installing underground fiber. Using a disc- or wheel-type trenching component that cuts a narrow trench, usually along roadways, to make an inches-wide cut for conduit or cable, begs the question: why dig a two-foot- wide trench to hold a four-inch diameter conduit? 

Tesmec’s Cleanfast US machine differs from other microtrenchers. Rather than having the trenching disc mounted on a relatively compact machine, Cleanfast US puts the hydraulically powered trenching disc at the rear of a truck. The vacuum system also is housed on the truck, while other microtrenchers require a separate vacuum system on a trailer or another truck. Cleanfast US is a road vehicle designed to be compliant with U.S. highway regulations 

“There are competitors in the market that offer microtrenchers. but there is nothing that compares to the all-in-one solution that is the Tesmec Cleanfast US,” said Zachary Bowling, business development manager of Tesmec USA. 

On the road 

Cleanfast US is driven to a job site, cuts trench and removes spoil simultaneously, then drives to the next location. 

All machine components are on a Volvo VHD series truck. Discs are available in four diameters and have replaceable segments with tungsten or PDC cutting teeth that can cut pavement, including concrete, rock and dirt. The disc can traverse the full width of the truck and be offset to the truck’s right. 

Trench widths vary from 3¼ to 51/8 inches, depending on the disc being used. The angle of the disc can be adjusted as necessary to dig a vertical trench. 

During trenching, the vacuum removes cuttings and limits job-site dust. 

Bowling said Cleanfast US equipment has been operating in the U.S. since late 2020. 

“It is extremely well-liked, both by contractors and their customers,” he added. “It is more efficient and convenient to use than other microtrenchers, saves time because everything is in one package, and reduces labor needs since there is no separate cleaning system to transport and operate. 

“And while it is primarily used to install fiber optic cable, its use is not limited to that market. It is well suited for any application requiring narrow trench of 26 inches or less in depth.” 

Tesmec USA is based in Alvarado, Texas. The company is well-known for its large trenchers and also manufactures equipment for surface mining, construction and maintenance of energy and data transmission, and railway infrastructure.  


Tesmec USA, (817) 473-2233, 

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