As Sharp As a Trench

Slot Trenching using ERKAT’s Cutter Wheel

ERKAT is a German company specialising in the development and manufacture of rock cutting attachment for excavators designed for mining, tunnelling, road building and trenching. This page will show how ERKAT revolutionised the way contractors execute narrow trenches in existing paved roads, in order to lay water pipes, telephone/fiber optics cables, etc…

The traditional way was to use hydraulic breakers to cut narrow slots, however resulting in much bigger trenches in order to reach one meter of depth. Contractors incurred additional considerable costs in cleaning and ditching big amounts of aggregates, sourcing backfilling material and finally paving more than 2m width slots, originally intended for 20cm narrow trenches.

A typical narrow trench using a hydraulic breaker

A typical narrow trench using a hydraulic breaker

AMTRAC, exclusive dealer of ERKAT cutters in Lebanon, delivered for the first time in Lebanon and the Middle East cutter wheels for a big water piping project in the South of Beirut. Three different sizes of cutter wheels were commissioned, ERW1000, ERW600 and ES45HD.

This post is based on accurate results from an actual and on-going test. Additional data, pictures and videos can be provided on-request.

The project consists of laying a main potable water line in addition to smaller road crossing branches for houses. The project lies over a distance of 30km. The depth of the trenches go from a maximum of 1 meter to a minimum of 10cm, while the width of the trenches vary from a maximum of 22cm to a minimum of 5cm.

ERW1000-200

  • Trench width: 22cm
  • Trench depth: 1m
  • Two high torque hydraulic motors
  • Uniaxial Soil Compressive Strength: up to 64MPa
  • Carrier weight: 30 tons
  • Max pressure from excavator: 340bar
  • Flow rate at 70 bar: 470L/min
  • Production rate: from 70 linear meter/hr in hard material up to 100 linear meter/hr in softer ground
ERW1000 in action

ERW1000 in action

ERW1000 in action

ERW1000 in action

Benefits:
  • Clean and accurate cuts in the asphalt helping save paving process after the pipes have been laid.
  • Amount of aggregates excavated minimised to the actual needed cut volume.
  • The aggregates resulting from the cut ground can be used as a backfilling material.
  • The action of cutting the ground with the cutter wheel helps at the same time clean the trench and have the material spread on each side of the trench.
  • The clean cut trench and the fast production rates of the cutter wheel helps the client quickly lay the pipes and fill the trench with aggregates allowing the roads to be reopened for cars in a matter of minutes.

Future posts will present the works done by smaller cutters, ERW600 and ES45HD.

22cm wide trench

22cm wide trench

Up to 100 linear meter/hour

Up to 100 linear meter/hour

Aggregates excavated spread on each side of the trench

Aggregates excavated on each side of the trench

Laying the polyethylene pipes

Laying the polyethylene pipes

Backfilling the trench

Backfilling the trench

Ready to pave

Ready to pave

Please leave your comments and do not hesitate contact me for more information.

This is not a marketing material. Just sharing positive feedback from this attachment.

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