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Tue September 28 2021

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Micro-trenching attachment for cable laying

1 Jul 11 JCB is now offering utilities contractors a skid steer micro-trenching attachment for laying fibre optic cables.

The Auto Trenching Machine (ATM) was developed by cable laying technology specialists i3 for excavating narrow gauge trenches quickly more quickly and with less disruption.

The ATM is designed around the JCB 170HF skid steer loader. The product’s developer says that it can micro-trench up to 1200m a day, delivering a reduction in deployment time of up to 75%. 

It is JCB branded, with worldwide JCB service and warranty, and will be supported by JCB’s global dealer network in whichever territory i3 is operating.

The ATM offers a variety of cutting widths  to a depth of 250mm and is equipped with a common quick hitch mounting system and mechanised crummer system to extract spoil from the trench. 

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Multi-function controls enable the adjustment of side shift, tilt and depth functions and the unit has the option of two cutting wheels: a permanent cutting wheel and an interchangeable version where individual teeth can be changed as required.

JCB director and general manager Paul Hartshorn said: “As trench excavation costs constantly increase, particularly within urban environments, the new ATM can significantly reduce deployment costs and project timescales and limit disturbance to residents and road networks”.

Dafydd Thomas, chief research and strategy officer at i3, said: “We were delighted to work alongside JCB to develop a system that will be increasingly in demand as the requirement for fibre-to-the-home deployment grows worldwide”.

“The JCB ATM will form part of a suite of technologies that i3 has developed, including the ability to feed fibre optic cable through existing infrastructures such as sewers and water pipes.”

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