When purchasing or renting a trencher, digging depth and width are two of the important questions we must ask. But, there is a third question that often stumps many people - what about chain type?
When we refer to chain types, we are talking about the type of teeth and the amount of spacing between each of these teeth. Read on to learn about chain types and the best soil conditions to use them in.
Combination chains are one of the most popular and versatile chains we provide. These chains have alternating cup and shark teeth, with a tooth on every station. These shark teeth provide the ability to break through moderate to tough ground conditions, such as compact soils and rocky soils, while the cup teeth can still actively clean the trench. This is a good all-around chain, for normal to tough digging conditions.
We offer two different options for cup chains. While both are made only with cup teeth, the spacing between these teeth give them differing advantages in certain soils.
The first is a standard or “double cup” chain. This chain has a cup tooth on every station, and it excels in sandy soils with little rock. Recommended for light or “good” ground conditions, the scoop shape of the cup teeth are excellent at removing the loose soils from the trench, where shark teeth would allow the loose soils to refill the trench.
Our second cup chain is the skip cup or “single cup” chain. This chain has a cup tooth on every other station. This chain is recommended for wet soil conditions, such as gumbo or clay. The larger gap between the teeth allows the soil to dislodge when exiting the trench. This prevents the wet, sticky, soils from clogging the chain.
In the same style as cup chains, shark chains are made only with shark teeth. We offer this chain in both a welded and bolt-on option. Both of these chains are productive in tough, compact soil conditions. The shark teeth excel at breaking up soils such as limestone and hardpan, removing dirt where the chances of loose soil refilling the trench are slim. The bolt-on chain provides the option of replacing the individual teeth as needed.
Rock chains, or “bullet chains”, should be reserved for the toughest of soil conditions. With a rock tooth on every station, this chain is designed to break through extremely compacted or frozen soils. These aggressive teeth chomp through rocks and frozen ground, but are not effective in removing lighter soils.