With relatively no break-over point providing full tractive power to all four tracks, the quad-track system on Vermeer's underground installation machines further offers maneuverability features associated with rubber-tired ride-on trenchers, such as tilt and crab steering.
But how about for us, too, asked utility companies not requiring the 110 net horsepower or 13,600-pound-plus base weight of the Vermeer RTX1250 trencher or the follow-up dedicated-steel-tracked Vermeer XTS1250 trencher?
Amidst a plethora of product introductions during the company's 60th-anniversary celebrations over the past year, Vermeer introduced the 67-net-horsepower RTX750 with a specialized undercarriage system accommodating either rubber tracks or tires. The undercarriage is designed to distribute torque equally to all tires/tracks for reduced turf damage, axle stress and tire/track wear.
"Our customers were saying, 'We just need something a little bit smaller than the 1250 for the type of work I do,' says Jon Kuyers, Vermeer utility products segment manager. " 'But we see the advantages and the benefits of a quad-track machine, especially when doing service work, either curb-to-house or smaller installations where the depth requirements aren't quite as great,.' "
Described as a true utility installation machine, the RTX750 is available with a vibratory plow, trencher, sliding offset trencher and combo trencher/plow, as well as reel carrier and backhoe attachments. The operator's station rotates 90 degrees for improved visibility of the rear attachment. Attachment controls, located within easy reach on the right side of the operator's station, rotate with the operator.
"Once a customer puts either tires or tracks on, that's usually what they keep on the machine. Can they change over? Absolutely, but it's going to take a little more work," says Kuyers.
Equipped with planetary axles, the RTX750's ground drive system operates at low torque levels. The operator can engage the differential locks with the push of a button when added traction is required.
With the RTX750 in production and being delivered to customers, the "response has just been fantastic," says Kuyers. "The machine as a vibratory plow on quad tracks can produce as great as some of the larger machines on rubber tires, because of the extra tractive effort that's generated."
Vermeer has in the past offered models in the size class, but the quad-track design requires a new approach to the use of the attachments, says Kuyers, so essentially the RTX750 is a new product offering for the company.
Depending on the options chosen, the RTX750 ranges in price from $80,000 up to about $120,000
|Basic Specs: Vermeer RTX750*|
|* General dimensions with tracks and six-way backfill blade|
|Net Power||67 hp|
|Transport Speed||5 mph|
|Ground Pressure||3.75 psi|
|(with Trencher, Backhoe)||5.23 psi|