How to Operate a Ditch Witch

If you are planning to dig trenches around your home or in the field, the best machine to use is a Ditch Witch walk-behind. Apart from digging trenches, a Ditch Witch can be used as a sprinkler system as well. Operating a Ditch Witch is fairly easy. However, there are a number of precautions measures that you must take to ensure personal safety while you are operating the machine. The safety precautions for all Ditch Witch models are generally the same. Here is how to safely operate a Ditch Witch.


  • 1

    Dress properly. Wear a shirt made out of strong fabric, snug-fitting pants, protection for your ear, safety shoes and glasses and a hard hat.

  • 2

    Ensure that Ditch Witch is in perfect working condition. Check for loose or missing parts and make sure none of the parts are broken. Also perform a complete rundown of the engine and the chain. Do not operate the machine if you see any problems with it. Instead, call a mechanic to get the problem fixed before you operate the machine.

  • 3

    Check and ensure that the safety devices such as seat belts, warning lights and rollover bars are working properly. If there is a problem with any of the safety devices, make sure that you get if fixed right away.

  • 4

    With a piece of wood or cardboard, make sure that there are no leaks in the hydraulic lines. Avoid using your hand for this purpose.

  • 5

    Make sure that coolant is at an appropriate level in the container. Place a piece of cloth over the radiator cap before checking the coolant level. To release excess pressure inside the radiator, open the radiator cap in slow steps.

  • 6

    Check the gas tank and see if it needs to be refuelled. If that is the case, ensure that the engine is turned off and there are no open flames nearby. The engine will be hot if run low on fuel while operating the Ditch Witch. If that is the case, let the engine cool off for about 5 to ten minutes.

  • 7

    Before starting the Ditch Witch, ensure that the digging chain is off the ground and power to the chain is turned off.

  • 8

    While operating the Ditch Witch, stay behind the trencher at all times and avoid shovelling behind the trencher while it is running. To prevent the Ditch Witch from rolling over, keep the machine off side hills wear the seat belt while operating the Ditch Witch.

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