No matter what your application or jobsite, trencher operators must make sure that their chain, teeth, and sprocket system—CTS for short—are properly outfitted to the needs and conditions of the ground being trenched.
Out of the CTS, teeth play a huge role in the digging process and should be matched to the type of soil that you’re working with. After all, no one wants to waste time, productivity, and money on a jobsite trying to trench soil using incorrect teeth.
Here are the three types of trencher teeth, as well as their use case and maintenance tips:
Like the traditional name implies, the cup tooth is the standard trench tooth and has a scooped shape. Cup teeth can be equipped for all manner of soil conditions except for rocky conditions.
With normal wear and tear, cup teeth will lose their hard surface. You’ll see the warning signs at the wider point of the tooth, but if left unchecked, cup teeth will shear and have the possibility to reduce productivity.
If you’re looking to break through some harder soil, look no further than the shark tooth! As the name suggests, trencher shark teeth are equipped with additional carbide on the tip so that they can more easily slice through tougher land. So if you’re looking to trench through deeper medium soil or rocky or frozen ground, shark teeth as part of your CTS are essential.
After usage, you’ll want to inspect the teeth for normal wear and tear but also the carbide for fractures or chips. The section of the tooth right below the carbide usually requires inspection for chips as well. If that part of the tooth gets damaged, the carbide is the next to go.
If your jobsite is filled with rocky or hard soil, the alligator tooth is a great choice. What sets this tooth apart from the others is that it constantly rotates while in operation, meaning that the teeth chip away at different parts of the soil throughout the digging process for an efficient and full trench.
If you’re operating a trencher with alligator teeth and you notice any of the teeth not moving, this could indicate that there are rocks or hard dirt jamming the chain. We recommend turning off the trencher and checking for debris clogs. If those clogs don’t get resolved, the alligator teeth could potentially see excessive wear and tear and degradation.
We can help get your equipment set up with the right teeth for the job, no matter the soil conditions you’re facing. Contact the equipment experts at Ditch Witch West today to learn more or to get a quote on trencher parts and attachments.