Remote Control Introduced For Track Trenchers

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | March 2014, Vol. 69 No. 3

Vermeer has introduced a remote control function for its lines of track trenchers and terrain leveler equipment.

The feature is available on all machines equipped with Vermeer’s Tec Plus electronic control system which encompasses virtually all models in these two equipment categories, said Chris Lynch, sales manager for specialty excavation. Introduced in December 2013, the remote control feature is available now on most units.

Remote control has benefits for a broad range of trencher and terrain leveler users and it already has attracted a wide interest, especially for work on large pipeline projects, said Lynch. Vermeer currently offers 10 track trencher models that can accommodate the remote function.

“The primary benefit is safety,” said Lynch. “It removes the operator from the machine for loading and unloading, maneuvering around job sites and all operational functions. For example, if any unplanned event occurs during trenching, the operator can react from a safe distance.”

The handheld control has two modes: transport and operation.
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Typically the operator will control operations from the cab of a pickup or service truck, Lynch explained. The control device can be connected to the vehicle’s DC plug-in or operated on battery power. All machine functions can be activated or stopped with the handheld controller.

Safety

To be able to execute remote operation, Lynch said the user must be seated on a pad that contains a safety cutoff switch. If the operator leaves the pad for more than three seconds, all functions will stop, but the engine remains running.

Vermeer’s remote trencher control can be purchased with a new machine or retrofitted on any Vermeer tractor equipped with the TEC Plus operating system, he added.

“The remote operations are very similar to the TEC Plus on the tractor,” he pointed out. “For operators familiar with TEC Plus, it will take little time to get accustomed to remote operation. As with all Vermeer products, Vermeer dealers are fully capable of supporting the remote control.”