An increasing number of those responsible for managing sportsturf are seeking to do major works in house rather than employ contractors. It is understandable in the present economic climate.
Increased activity in the drainage of sportsfields, golf courses, racecourses and the like undertaken in this manner has focussed attention on the smaller, tractor powered chain trenchers.
Small chain trenchers have got the reputation for being 'cheap and cheerful'. They dig trenches but neatness and cleanliness are not their strong points. Often light in weight inevitably parts break or bend in difficult going.
The Shelton company, well renowned for their award winning wheel trenchers for sportsturf drainage, entered this sector of the market three years ago with the Shelton Chain Trencher - a sophisticated machine designed specifically for use on quality turf surfaces.
The 2010 model is capable of digging to depths of 1 metre, trench width is variable from 100mm to 170mm. There is a choice of two conveyors - a short conveyor to deposit the arisings to the right hand side of the trench, or a three metre long conveyor to load the excavated soil into a dumper or trailer. The conveyors are fitted with moulded endless belts.
The hydraulically operated crumber works on a parallelogram with independent controls. A depth gauge gives the operator at a glance depth of working. The depth can be manually or automatically laser controlled if necessary. The complex plumbing of the hydraulics allows the hydraulic services to be fed by one double acting spool valve through a valve block with three levers. An optional extra allows this valve block to be controlled electrically from the tractor cab.
Manufactured from laser profiled parts cut to an accuracy of 0.05mm this trencher weighing in at 900kgs is designed for operating on compact tractors of 45hp plus with creep gears or hydrostatic drive. Its performance in the field is impressive digging clean trenches in optimum conditions at forward speeds up to 300 metres per hour, with virtually no contamination of the sward. It sells direct, ex works, for £13995.00 + VAT