It's just over a year since sportsturf drainage specialists Shelton SDS launched what has become a worldwide bestselling machine; the Shelton Supertrencher+ 760. Mick Claxton, General Manager of Shelton, discusses how and why the machine was created:
'The Supertrencher+ 760 was built as a result of customer feedback. In fact many of our machinery successes are due to customer comments, which have been used for research and development. Our customers are using these machines on different soils and in different conditions all over the world, so can give us really useful information, but we didn't imagine that this machine would have become as successful as it is.'
The initial concept of the Supertrencher came about almost 3 years ago, after the team had received a number of enquiries from customers asking for a trenching machine with improved performance in wet conditions. It is always better to carry out drainage work on sportsturf in dry conditions, as there is less damage to the ground. However, this is not always possible; customers want to carry out work when they have more time and available labour in the wetter months. After much discussion and design work, the team developed a prototype machine and after successful trials a production version was engineered; the Supertrencher +625. This machine was successfully sold for 12 months and was capable of installing the majority of systems. However, drainage specifications in some countries called for deeper and wider trenches for the pipe work, so the team enlarged the design of this machine using a CAD program to create the Supertrencher+ 760. It was the first machine Shelton had built that went straight from the drawing board into production.
The trencher incorporates many features never seen before on a wheel trencher: The swinging main conveyor enables easy access to the exit port for cleaning and maintenance, and can be parked alongside the body of the trencher for transport. The transverse conveyor in the bottom of the exit port quickly moves the excavated soil onto the main conveyor to be elevated into trailers running alongside, rather than the soil building up and blocking the exit port in wet conditions. An optional extra transverse conveyor can be fitted to the top of the exit port should the customer be working in very sticky soils to help minimise blockages.
The 2 speed gearbox driving the digging wheel enables the operator to better match the digging speed of the wheel to the soil conditions, slow for wet soils and fast for hard dry soils. The offset of this gearbox enables the machine to run down the centre of the tractor whilst still maintaining minimum PTO operating angles, so reducing the wear on the universal joints.
A removable section of the hood at the back of the machine enables the cutters to be changed from a standing position, which is a benefit to the operator for both ease and safety.
However, according to Sheltons customers the success of the Supertrencher+ 760 is largely down to its versatility, it is ideal for installing both primary and secondary drainage systems on any amenity grass. The machine has digging capabilities of up to 760mm deep and 155mm wide, so a chain trencher may not even be required for the primary system and it can also dig a trench as narrow as 50mm. Mick said; 'we are really thrilled with the performance of this machine, it has given our customers great results in many different countries, now we are working on ways to make it even better!'
Shelton SDS is a global business, based in Baumber, near Horncastle in Lincolnshire, with over 100 years of drainage experience in the team! Shelton's machines are sold all over the world and the overseas business is growing fast in over 20 different countries.
Shelton design and manufacture very specialist machinery which is engineered in Lincolnshire, with sportsturf in mind, so unlike some more traditional drainage methods, it will leave minimal impact on grass and get it back in play a mere 24 hours after the work has been completed!
They work to an extensive research and development program; carrying out contracting work themselves means that they know firsthand what works and what doesn't and how they can improve their products. They appreciate customer feedback and use it to ensure that with a Shelton's machine you will always get outstanding, in fact world leading performance.
For more information contact www.sheltonsdrainage.co.uk or Annabel Gilbert at Impact Marketing on 01673 818017 firstname.lastname@example.org