Collins, Ditch Witch: Our new RT30 has a compact footprint, tight turning radius, four-wheel drive, and industry-leading maneuverability. It's ideal for installations on tight, residential jobsites. It also offers an advanced, maintenance-free pivot that is simplified and raised to function out of the dirt and debris, ensuring reliability and long-term durability. The exceptionally robust trencher drive motor utilizes a larger shaft and bearings than those of smaller trenchers, to enhance reliability.
As for the RT45, its direct-coupled, high-torque digging chain motor and Tier 4i compliant-engine give it plenty of power to muscle through almost any soil condition. An advanced air-filtration system is designed to improve engine performance, and air filter elements are easy to access and replace.
Kuyers, Vermeer: TrenchSense is a Vermeer exclusive technology that is standard on all ride-on trenchers. It monitors engine and chain operation and automatically pauses the machine when a problem occurs. If the trencher hits an obstacle, the tractor immediately backs up and the chain reverses to dislodge obstruction – all without operator interface.
TrenchSense was designed specifically to protect the trencher from potential damage caused by difficult ground conditions and for operators with minimal trenching experience. For instance, if the trencher hits a boulder, TrenchSense will disengage the chain and prevent hard shutdowns to the tractor. This saves the trencher from potential damage that can result in significant downtime.
Beddow, Toro: The Toro Pro Sneak has a small footprint – it's only 36 inches wide. It features an optimized operator position that ensures safety and provides maximum visibility of the jobsite. The RT600 is the only trencher in its class to feature a planetary-driven trencher that uses a flywheel, torsion shaft, and planetary gear box to deliver smooth, powerful and consistent trenching as ground conditions change.
Rental: Do you have any insight into how to set ride-on trencher rates for maximum profitability?
Collins, Ditch Witch: From a manufacturer's perspective, I'm not sure we can do a lot to affect rental rates, but we can do our due diligence in keeping costs as low as possible to help offset the rising cost of engines. It's likely that prices on ride-on trenchers will increase due to Tier 4 emissions compliance, so we introduced an entry-level ride-on trencher to help offset these costs. The New RT30 was specifically designed to lower initial investment costs, lower cost of ownership, and improve or protect a higher ROI.
Beddow, Toro: The first place to start is to look around at your competitor's fleet of trenchers. Comparing the age and how well the machines are maintained is important. Pricing on smaller units tends to be pretty competitive, because those units can be found in most rental fleets, unless the rental company is able to offer something unique and value added to the user – easier to use controls, safer machine, higher productivity, etc.
Kuyers, Vermeer: A rental business owner shouldn't set rates solely based on the competition. Rental business owners need to position themselves as an expert and provide a service to customers. The most effective way would be to evaluate the customer needs, set the machine according to those needs prior to rental.
There are many considerations that should be evaluated when renting out a trencher, environmental factors being the most important. A trencher used in clay won't have near the wear on it as a trencher used in rock or cobble. Also, what will the trencher be doing? How deep will the trench be? What chain is best for the application? What type of maintenance will need to be performed when it comes back from rental?
This information should be considered when setting the rental rate. That way, the owner is assured the machine will be utilized correctly, as well as higher satisfaction from the customer.