Ditch Witch, Brazos Communications Team to Do Job Right

Fri November 19, 2010 - West Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Close-up of the Digitrac remote display that can pinpoint the drill head at any time.
Close-up of the Digitrac remote display that can pinpoint the drill head at any time.
Close-up of the Digitrac remote display that can pinpoint the drill head at any time. The JT2020 jet track directional boring machine with Digitrac remote display swings into action. (L-R): Richard Adams, executive vice president and general manager of Brazos Telephone Cooperative; Charles Hall, plant manager of Brazos; and Mike Dickehut, sales for Witch Equipment in Fort Worth, Texas, take a close up look at the Ditch Witch JT2020. The ZRT 65 Combo trencher with a 5 ft. (1.5 m) depth gets to work. The working end of the FX30 VAC, which has an 800 gal. capacity and up to 3,000 psi.

Olney, Texas-based Brazos Telephone Cooperative’s goal is to serve its members with up to date, reliable telecommunication services.

Over the years, Brazos has built out its network with fiber transport facilities with redundant routes of fiber. Brazos has often used the services of an outside contractor but decided to upgrade its own construction force with Ditch Witch products to update and complete various projects within its 10 exchange service area. In providing the path for the high speed internet, a more up-to-date communication network became a much needed by-product.

The latest portion of the project was started on Oct. 10, 2010, and nearly 8,000 linear ft. (2,438.4 linear m) of 25 pair copper and 12 fiber cable was trenched and bored within one week by Brazos Telephone Cooperative.

“In this part of the world that consist of mostly red clay, you never know what you are going to run into when you are trenching on the right of way of a highway,” said Richard Adams, executive vice president and general manager.

“At times, the going is fairly easy using our Ditch Witch R65 combo trencher with a 5-foot depth capacity, but then you run into a rock shelf and we have to bring out our Ditch Witch R65 rock saw.”

According to Adams, Witch Equipment of Fort Worth has made sure that all their Ditch Witch equipment has operated with maximum performance under the watchful eye of Mike Dickehut, sales representative of Witch Equipment.

“Just like in a city of any size, driveways and entry accesses always present a problem,” said Adams. “We don’t like trenching across the concrete drives or the entries into someone’s ranch property. Trenching concrete is expensive and messy with the clean-up and trenching across rural property accesses means you might run into a drainage ’tin horn’ and the settlement always leaves a depression.

“When we encounter these obstacles, we use our Ditch Witch 2020 Jet Track directional boring machine,” he continued. “With all the 2020’s latest technology, we can bore under the obstacle, dig the pull hole and pin-point the exact spot where the drill bit will appear.”

Connecting the main line to the resident’s access has become very simple and efficient using the Ditch Witch FX30 VAC.

“We simply dig a small hole at the access and then use the high pressure spray head with up to 3,000 psi to basically blow the mud and clay away from the cables while the 800 gallon vac sucks up the excess water,” said Adams. “I know our guys like this a lot better and it is safer than having to actually dig the cable all the way to the main line.”

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