Innovative Iron Awards 2021: The Ditch Witch RT70 Ride-On Trencher

Ditch Witch RT70

Utility installs are not only challenged by a vast network of congested underground services from sewer to gas but by increasingly busy aboveground challenges from roads to homes. Ditch Witch’s newest RT70 ride-on trencher is engineered to navigate those hurdles. Powered by a 72-hp Yanmar Tier 4 compliant diesel engine and built with a narrow footprint of 73 in., the RT70 rubber-tire trencher can handle heavy-duty jobs and still easily maneuver around tight jobsites, corners and cul-de-sacs with ease. It is also the only ride-on trencher available with crab and coordinated steering modes. The RT70 includes a patented cooling fan to reduce temperature levels in the operator station by moving hot, uncomfortable air out of the side of the machine rather than toward the operator like traditional fans. With different attachments and a variety of optional add-ons, operators can reconfigure the machine for present and future applications (trenching, vibratory plowing, backhoe, reel carrier and microtrenching).

More Details

The RT70 is somewhat similar to Ditch Witch’s heavy-duty midsize RT80 model, but it’s a lighter, nimbler, more cost-effective variant.

“When you look at weight, the RT80 is good for guys that want to do plowing work,” explains Steve Seabolt, product marketing manager with the Ditch Witch Organization. “It’s all about horsepower and weight equaling tractive effort, drawbar. So, the 80 is a great tractor for that at 22,000 lbs with a ROPS, but to be able to do that you end up with components that are also rated to handle 22,000 lbs — behind the engine, the pump, the axles and the frame. The RT70 sits at 17,000 lbs with a ROPs. That 5,000 lbs is significant. You end up with less weight and less cost for the contractor. Even though the RT80 has been wildly popular with guys looking for productivity when plowing, we heard it’s a little big for some other applications and it should fit on a trailer and be a little easier to haul. So that’s some of the feedback that went into the RT70.”

To match that size and efficiency, the RT70 is equipped with features that increase operator comfort and visibility, helping to boost profitability on the jobsite. For example, the ergonomically designed operator station features an open layout with a 120-degree swivel seat, more leg room and intuitive controls. This enhanced visibility gives operators a full view of the machine — from front tire to back tire and the attachment — helping operators of any experience level increase productivity. There’s also a metric ton of flexibility here. The machine’s modular design features a single base unit with the option to move from tires to tracks. With different attachments and a variety of optional add-ons, operators can reconfigure their machine for present and future applications. For starters, there are trenching, vibratory plowing, backhoe, reel carrier and microtrenching attachments and add-ons likes sunshades, backfill blades and chain configurations.

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Keith Gribbins is publisher of Compact Equipment.

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