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- May 2017
A ditching machine is used for digging ditches or trenches of a specified depth and width. These ditches are often used for irrigation, drainage, or pipe-laying. They could also be used to build fences or fortifications. These machines can also be used to excavate for any other purpose (Edwards, 1888). Within the Berger Inquiry, the Banister Model 710 and Model 812 wheel ditchers are discussed. This machine was designed and built by Banister Pipelines of Edmonton, Alberta. Banister Pipelines built their first ditcher, the Model 508, in 1965. The Model 508 was designed to “cut through frozen ground.” Banister Pipelines was later able to “develop the technology in the 1970s that led to some of the largest ditchers ever built.” They designed a prototype of the Model 710 in 1972 which was tested to cut through frozen ground. This machine weighs 115 tons and can dig a ditch 7 feet wide and 10 feet deep. It is powered by two Caterpillar diesel engines which produce 1,120 horsepower. This machine is so powerful that in thawed ground it can reach a production rate of up to 20 feet of trench per minute. A few years later, in 1978, Banister Pipelines built a larger ditching machine, the Model 812, which is almost twice the size of the Model 710. This machine can dig 12 feet deep. The Model 710 and Model 812 by Banister Pipelines are still in use today (Haddock, 1998).
Edwards, C. C. (1888, December 18). Ditching-Machine. Retrieved from The Portal to Texas History: https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth171924/ Haddock, K. (1998). Giant Earthmovers: An Illustrated History. Osceola: MBI.