Sportsturf drainage machinery specialists Shelton pride themselves on excellent service and listening to their customers needs, as do all successful businesses. However, they did not imagine that a machine designed and built as a result of customer comments and requests would become their best selling machine in North America.
Mick Claxton, General Manager of Sheltons explains: 'We had some similar enquiries from our customers asking if we built a small, but robust chain trencher that would fit onto a 45hp tractor. We already built wheel trenchers but they were designed for 75hp tractors and above which made moving equipment to site expensive for smaller projects. We soon realised that there was a gap in the market for this type of machine and so we started work on designing a smaller piece of equipment."
Shelton knew that although the machine had to be smaller and lighter, there could be no compromise on build quality. As with all Shelton machines, attention to detail is paramount, they are engineered using laser profiling allowing them to be accurate to 0.05mm.
Initial models were operated via levers situated on the machine which made it difficult for the operator to control the hydraulic functions. This was revised to electro-hydraulic controls situated within the tractor cab. These 3 switches allow the operator to control the depth of dig, hydraulic crumber lift/lower and conveyor on/off. The fitting of electric valves enabled the conversion to laser graded digging simple, and the hydraulic lift/lower crumber makes for easy setting in at the start of the trench.
The hydraulically driven conveyor elevates the excavated soil onto trailers running alongside leaving a clean surface finish minimising damage to the turf. A short conveyor can also be fitted when the excavated soil needs to be alongside the trench to be re-used as backfill material.
The Chain trencher is aimed at golf clubs, who would prefer to install their drainage systems in house and have the use of 45hp tractors. However, with a maximum digging depth of 1 metre and trench widths from 100mm to 170mm wide it is suitable for almost all pipework installations and has been popular with contractors.
Mick said, "there is no doubt that it was well worth the time and investment in bringing this machine to market, it shows how important it is not only to listen, but to act on customer feedback. The machine has been a great success and is the best seller in North America."
Ian Harrison Head Greenkeeper from Bangor Golf Course told us 'this machine turned the 16th fairway from the wettest to the driest on the course'. You can't ask for a better response than that!
For more information or to see video footage of our Chain Trencher in action please visit: www.sheltonsdrainage.com