May 2024 Vol. 79 No. 5


Trencher maintenance tips to increase efficiency on utility jobs

By Seth Mathesen, Product Manager at Trencor 

Increasing productivity on utility installation jobs is crucial for contractors in today’s fast-paced world. A key component to decreasing downtime and keeping your crews efficient is having reliable equipment that allows you to quickly move from one job site to the next.  

With proper routine maintenance, a smooth-running, peak-performance trencher can help you efficiently trench through tough ground conditions and increase productivity by promoting valuable uptime. Here are three key tips to achieve that. 

Read the operator manual

The first and most important step is to make sure you are familiar with the operator manual. It contains valuable equipment information, such as the general maintenance schedule for the different parts of the machine.  

For instance, the Trencor T16 tractor maintenance schedule requires that the radiator and oil cooler be cleaned every 50 hours, and the engine and transmission oil filters be replaced every 500 hours, of machine use. Following the operator’s manual to adhere to general maintenance schedules can help reduce unexpected and unwanted downtime.    

Practice daily maintenance 

One of the best ways to keep a trencher running efficiently is by practicing daily maintenance. Checking your machine daily will ensure you are replacing parts, as needed, and extending the life of your machine. Too often, contractors try to work through minimal equipment damage or wait too long to replace parts, which can lead to premature failure and costly downtime that could have been avoided. 

One example of a key, not-to-be-missed maintenance point is to clean the digging chain. If mud, soil or debris is not regularly cleaned out of the chain, it will become stretched and may eventually break, resulting in downtime and costly replacement. 

Cleaning out the chain can simply be done by using a pressure washer or shovel. You should also make sure to check the trencher teeth daily. If the carbide tip on the tooth is fractured, cracked or missing, it should be immediately replaced with a new tooth to protect the chain and increase efficiency.  

In addition to chain maintenance, it is also important that operators blow out the radiator and check fluid levels, on a daily basis. A small investment in time each day to identify and address any potential issues is an essential way to stay productive on the job site. 

Utilize new technology

New technology such as telematics, maintenance remotes and automated greasing systems can help you quickly perform daily maintenance and identify parts that will need to be fixed or replaced.  

An automated greasing system, for example, automatically brings grease to each of the many trencher points that require daily greasing. Eliminating the need for the operator to complete this daily task manually helps promote valuable uptime. 


Trencor, (419) 869-7107 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Seth Mathesen is a product manager at Trencor. 

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