Trenching tools are incredibly useful devices. Whether you’re a landscape gardener who regularly works on a project, a farmer digging irrigation ditches or any other kind of outdoor work enthusiast, they can make life easier. Here at GeoTrencher, we’ve spent a great deal of time perfecting our trenching equipment and we know trenchers inside and out. But we also remember what it was like to pick one up for the first time. 

If you’ve never used one before, they can seem a little intimidating and you may be concerned about causing yourself an injury. That’s why we decided to put together this short article on how to use trenching tools safely and responsibly. Read on to learn more.

How To Safely Use Trenching Tools

Before we get started, we want to state that this isn’t intended to be a comprehensive guide, but rather a general overview of trencher safety. You should always refer to the official instruction manuals, so please don’t treat this as a definitive set of instructions. 

Anyway, the good news is that while trenchers can seem dangerous, if you’re careful they’re quite safe to use. You’ll need to use a little common sense, but provided you’re not reckless and treat them with respect, you’re unlikely to suffer an injury. 

First Steps

Preparation is everything. Before you start using your trencher, read the operating instructions and if possible, get guidance from an experienced colleague. Make sure your clothes are appropriate for the job and that you’ve got all the necessary safety goggles and hearing protection. Suitable footwear is important too; reliable work boots are always a good choice, but sandals are not. 

Next, give the trencher itself an examination. Watch out for any cracks or damage in the structure and check that the chain is firmly in place. Geotrenchers are built to last and you’re unlikely to find any problems, but it’s worth being certain before you get started. And, perhaps most importantly, find out if there are any utilities in the digging area; accidentally cutting into a waterpipe mid-job is an enormous pain, and gas or electricity lines are dangerous. 

Using The Trencher

Once you’re ready to turn the trencher on and start working, there are a few simple tips to remember. Firstly, always use both hands. This might sound obvious, but we’ve encountered a few people who got overconfident and thought they could “quickly adjust their glasses” without putting the trencher down, only to learn otherwise. Keep your hands clear of the chain and always point the trencher away from your body. 

Don’t make any sharp turns while digging and try to maintain a consistent pace. If you’re using one of the larger, ride-along trenchers don’t carry any passengers and if you’re working on a slope, remember that gravity plays a part. This isn’t really a factor for the handheld ones, but if you’re using the wheeled variety, they’ll naturally want to go down the hill if you stop moving. 

As we stated earlier, this is a broad overview of trencher use, rather than a guide on specific types. Regardless of what type of trencher you use, safety is important. Your device will have a detailed manual included and so long as you don’t behave recklessly or try to use one while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you should be fine. 

If you’ve got any questions, we’re happy to answer them. You can contact us and our experts will give you all the advice you’ll need. Alternatively, why not check out our online shop? We can’t wait to hear from you.