2007 - Volume #31, Issue #4, Page #19[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Pickup "Plow" Lays In Cable, Pipe
"You can do in an hour what it takes 20 man hours to do by hand or 10 hours with a trencher and backfilling," says Christopher Montgomery, co-developer of the Hitch-N-Ditch.
With 50 years of electrical contracting between them, Montgomery and Tim Ramsey had done their share of trenching or waiting for a trencher to finish the job. Working in the sandy soils of northwest Florida, trenches had to be as wide as they were deep to prevent cave-ins. They figured there had to be a faster way.
Montgomery first tried pulling a moldboard-type plow behind his pickup to open a trench. Shifting sand was still a problem, and the trench still had to be filled in after the pipe or conduit was laid. However, they liked the idea of being able to hook a device into the receiver hitch of their pickup to lay underground lines.
"We came up with a design that digs up to 18 in. below grade with a small wedge attached to a blade to cut roots and things," he says. "We can attach a continuous length of pipe, conduit or cable so it lays itself."
Over a period of two years, they developed a prototype of the two component pieces in single unit molds to add strength.
The blade and wedge are at the bottom of an upright iron shaft that slides inside a bracket that fits into the receiver hitch. Multiple holes in the upright match up with a hole through the hitch unit. The operator can easily adjust working height simply by digging a hole to the desired depth, dropping the wedge to that depth and inserting a pin to lock it in place.
Underground lines can be installed at up to 5 mph. Best of all, the tool is priced at only $289.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hitch-N-Ditch, 7634 McElvey Road, Panama City Beach, Fla. 32408 (ph 850 235-2600 or 850 258-2582; fax 850 235-0051; hitchnditch @knology.net; www.hitchnditch.com).
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