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We've come to the point where we feel we need to make some serious investments in putting precision drainage into our land, we're looking into tile drainage and will likely start dabbling with it over the next few years... however, in the meantime we're wanting to do proper surface drainage by gps. We're looking into splitting a ditching set-up with our neighbor who already has a Trimble FM1000 screen and runs RTK signal. The last few years have been so wet no one's been able to make any cuts with normal scrapers which turned us to looking at rotary ditchers. 2 in particular, Dynamic Ditcher's Wolverine and Artel Farm's T-Rex... both are built within 20 minutes of us and both appear to be made to handle the wet falls we need to be able to ditch in. Between the 2 we like the looks of the T-Rex more as it's a simpler design and their promo videos show it ditching through fields where a wheeled tractor couldn't even drive. My question is if any of you guys have first hand experience with either of the machines, the T-Rex in particular? What's maintenance like on these things? Are there other machines out there capable of ditching through nasty wet falls you'd recommend?

Also, what is all required for setting up a Trimble GPS drainage system? We'd have the FM1000 screen with RTK signal, so from my understanding all we would need is the ditching software installed and an RTK receiver on the ditcher?

Thanks
 

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Depends on your tractor, you may need an external valve to run your blade up and down automatically if the tractor does not support it through its own system.

Brother in law runs a wolverine i believe. loves not having to spread out piles, didn't sound like much more maintenance than an auger. He's in hilly stone ground.

Where im at in the rrv some have come into the area in 2012 only draw back in flat ground is you can't pile it where you want it and fill in low spots. do you currently have a scraper and looking to upgrade or are you adding this to your line of equipment? I'd have a tough time loosing control over placement, but every situation is different.
 

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I haven't personally ran one, but some people I know got a wolverine for this fall and it barely moved, couldn't handle the moisture. Last time I checked it was packed solid full of mud, glad I didn't have to pick that one out

The t Rex looks more promising to me in the soup, but wondering what the field finish would be like with just a circular trench cut as far as driving across it

Just my thoughts, worth what you paid for them.
 

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We've come to the point where we feel we need to make some serious investments in putting precision drainage into our land, we're looking into tile drainage and will likely start dabbling with it over the next few years... however, in the meantime we're wanting to do proper surface drainage by gps. We're looking into splitting a ditching set-up with our neighbor who already has a Trimble FM1000 screen and runs RTK signal. The last few years have been so wet no one's been able to make any cuts with normal scrapers which turned us to looking at rotary ditchers. 2 in particular, Dynamic Ditcher's Wolverine and Artel Farm's T-Rex... both are built within 20 minutes of us and both appear to be made to handle the wet falls we need to be able to ditch in. Between the 2 we like the looks of the T-Rex more as it's a simpler design and their promo videos show it ditching through fields where a wheeled tractor couldn't even drive. My question is if any of you guys have first hand experience with either of the machines, the T-Rex in particular? What's maintenance like on these things? Are there other machines out there capable of ditching through nasty wet falls you'd recommend?

Also, what is all required for setting up a Trimble GPS drainage system? We'd have the FM1000 screen with RTK signal, so from my understanding all we would need is the ditching software installed and an RTK receiver on the ditcher?

Thanks
http://www.farmshow.com/images/resize.php?w=300&img=/images/articles/26/2/16221_l.jpg

We have a rotary ditcher that mounts on the 3pt hitch and we run it with a 7930 JD tractor. It works good for us. I can fling mud out of over a foot of standing water 150+ feet all day long and it never plugs. I actually go out ditching when the water is standing that way I can make sure it(the water) follows me when I cut a ditch.

I've looked into the gps equipment but the $20,000 price tag stopped me.
 

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http://www.farmshow.com/images/resize.php?w=300&img=/images/articles/26/2/16221_l.jpg

We have a rotary ditcher that mounts on the 3pt hitch and we run it with a 7930 JD tractor. It works good for us. I can fling mud out of over a foot of standing water 150+ feet all day long and it never plugs. I actually go out ditching when the water is standing that way I can make sure it(the water) follows me when I cut a ditch.

I've looked into the gps equipment but the $20,000 price tag stopped me.
I have one of those too, works pretty good as long as stones aren't very numerous. You also want to check wind direction before dropping it into the mud and water...
 

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I have one of those too, works pretty good as long as stones aren't very numerous. You also want to check wind direction before dropping it into the mud and water...
Good point. Another thing to watch for us power lines and roads. Nothing puckers me up like watching a steam of mud and water fly towards a 3 phase power line 😬 I've never hit one but I've been close enough to be concerned.
 

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We have a wolverine, and like it. No experience with the T-Rex other than watching their video's. From what I saw on the videos they are very different machines. If you have a fair amount of stones, I'd go with the T-REX. If you are looking for something more as a "rescue ditcher" to get water off of fields when it's excessively wet, I'd go with the T-REX. Where I think the wolverine shines is maintaining and cutting ditches when conditions are proper. I would assume it would cut a nicer ditch because it has a blade and would feed better with the beater. However, the blade creates issues when things get too wet.
 

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Define "proper" :22:


Conditions were far from what I'd call proper last fall but we had lots to do and we were rolling one way or the other! Right from slop to 3" of frost.

This is setup similar to what the OP describes. We've been doing GPS grade control between various implements for years and through these wet years has paid for itself over and over.
 

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Very Nice! We haven't had ours in those kind of conditions yet, thankfully. In the lighter dirt it is never a problem. In the clay, if it's to sticky we have a tough time, blade starts pushing, plugs up, busts shear pins. It gets the job done eventually. I know the newer design has changed the blade and beater sizes and locations and apparently feeds much better.
We like it, haven't touched scraper since we got it home.
 

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Its night and day difference between the old design and the updated version with the heavy drive line and auto re-setting clutches.
 

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We have had a three point hitch one for over 20 years. It has its place for doing a few small jobs where we don't want to go to the trouble of smoothing out scraper piles but in the flat land around us they are a poor long term plan.

Neighbours of mine have used only a rotary for a long time and they have ridges built up beside their ditches that now need cuts through for the water to drain. I would say that most of fine dirt doesn't travel as far as you think. You see these clods flying 100' and think your really moving dirt but most of it doesn't go 20'.

As a rescue tool for wet falls like last they work but we own two pull scrapers, one with gps for doing serious work.

Doing ditches with a double cut 20' bottom and at least three cuts on each side is how we have done all new drainage and it's nice for high speed spraying and such. Doing that with a rotary would leave a heck of a berm.
 

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get the wolverine. the t-rex is nice but only sprays the dirt one way also you can't control how far and what direction it goes. the new wolverine's now has break away paddles for rocks and have slip clutches. you can get so much more done with a ditchers compared to a scraper and with the wolverine you shouldnt have the issue of the ridge right beside the drain since it sprays it farther away either left or or right. the t-rex i would say is for emergency water drainage but for precision long lasting work I think the wolverine does a much nicer job. The wolverine will replace the a scraper (in most cases) i wouldn't say the same about the t-rex.
 

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Its night and day difference between the old design and the updated version with the heavy drive line and auto re-setting clutches.
How do they handle small stones, say the size of a softball? Do they work well around corners?
 

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How do they handle small stones, say the size of a softball? Do they work well around corners?
It puts them in orbit. It's the 12" ones that you have to look out for. The ones bigger than that just stop the beater and you power reverse it out and carry on. If you had any rock around you would want the spring loaded shear paddles as there's bound to be a surprise under there.

The drive line is really amazing. Can make corners (within reason) and there isn't a bit of vibration.

Between it and the 24ft land leveler the scraper just sits in the bush.
 

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It puts them in orbit. It's the 12" ones that you have to look out for. The ones bigger than that just stop the beater and you power reverse it out and carry on. If you had any rock around you would want the spring loaded shear paddles as there's bound to be a surprise under there.

The drive line is really amazing. Can make corners (within reason) and there isn't a bit of vibration.

Between it and the 24ft land leveler the scraper just sits in the bush.
Sounds good. I was kind of wondering if the machine stays level and on level while turning? I have all these winding ditches and it can even be a challenge keeping a scraper totally level, mostly because of the steep sides on the ditches.

Moving dirt seems to be a never-ending job it seems, I remember one fall putting over 500 hours on a Cat 463 scraper. Need to get back at it as there has been some wet falls and we haven't been able to do anything except make ruts. Next time will be done with WM-drain I think, I'm tired of staring at the little elevation icon with my finger glued to the hydraulic remote...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We have a small scraper we pull behind our 110hp loader tractor, so to smooth out ditch bottoms or do some feathering of the sides on good/dry years wouldn't be a problem. What we want is something controlled by GPS to cut open new ditches and get all of our current ditches on proper slope and we want to be able to do it this fall no matter the conditions. Also the ability to clean out ditches in a hurry with a quick shallow cut and no piles of dirt is another big plus. Joesixpack where are you located and what kind of soil do you have? We have very sticky heavy clay, would the Wolverine be able to make a decent ditch or would the blade just push/smear the dirt in a wet fall like this last one? Would there be a noticeably worse ridge beside the ditch with the T-Rex over the Wolverine?
 

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I think you could see how things work starting about 1:30 in this Wolverine video.


This is the T-Rex in mud and water.


And this is the biggest Liebrecht Waterway Ditcher.

We are thinking of doing first cuts in 2018 on a large amount of grassland. Both myself and my son are leaning toward the T-Rex to get things underway, but everyone's situation is at a different level of development, vegetation etc. We have had enough wet years that we are almost starting with wilderness, but unfortunately it's just an impossible situation to begin with using a scraper or a blade when you're dealing with saturated flats.
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In our situation we would often have to deal with discharges at vertical creek banks and canals. The T-Rex could be backed up to the creek and then lower the impeller over the edge because of the location of the wheels eliminating the need for an excavator in many places.
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Sounds good. I was kind of wondering if the machine stays level and on level while turning? I have all these winding ditches and it can even be a challenge keeping a scraper totally level, mostly because of the steep sides on the ditches.

Moving dirt seems to be a never-ending job it seems, I remember one fall putting over 500 hours on a Cat 463 scraper. Need to get back at it as there has been some wet falls and we haven't been able to do anything except make ruts. Next time will be done with WM-drain I think, I'm tired of staring at the little elevation icon with my finger glued to the hydraulic remote...
You do have to work at keeping it level, you can control the wheels independently and I think they have a electronic leveling option.
For your Challenger it's just a frigging cable to go from manual control to auto height!!!

We have a small scraper we pull behind our 110hp loader tractor, so to smooth out ditch bottoms or do some feathering of the sides on good/dry years wouldn't be a problem. What we want is something controlled by GPS to cut open new ditches and get all of our current ditches on proper slope and we want to be able to do it this fall no matter the conditions. Also the ability to clean out ditches in a hurry with a quick shallow cut and no piles of dirt is another big plus. Joesixpack where are you located and what kind of soil do you have? We have very sticky heavy clay, would the Wolverine be able to make a decent ditch or would the blade just push/smear the dirt in a wet fall like this last one? Would there be a noticeably worse ridge beside the ditch with the T-Rex over the Wolverine?
No problem in the gumbo clay but it will use significantly more power. We've got it on an 18L Cat and it can put it on it's knees.

we do our main ditches with gps, the wolverine would be a rescue method, not making permanent new drainage its too slow and creates berms around the ditchs imo.
The Wolverine would absolutely bury that scraper. Unless we have actual holes to fill the scraper sits in the bush.

In our situation we would often have to deal with discharges at vertical creek banks and canals. The T rex could be backed up to the creek and then lower the impeller over the edge because of the location of the wheels eliminating the need for an excavator in many places.
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That's definitely a consideration but I don't think I've backed up to something yet that I couldn't pull forward from.

The t-rex round ditch bottom it makes is a non starter for me along with only one dirt direction.
 
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