Bringing utility installation to the next level.
Against its namesake and in favor of efficiency, Ditchwitch (DW) has expanded their traditional operations and machine production into the Trenchless category. For years Ditchwitch has made product offerings among the top of the market, but they approached Sundberg-Ferar to secure their place at the top for the mid-size horizontal directional drill category.
Pulling from a Form Language developed during a tractor project between DW and Sundberg-Ferar (SF), SF evolved this into a Visual Brand Language for the HDD category, starting with this new JT40. The JT and AT40 were to hone-in an all new super ergonomic modular cab and an all new overall appearance that would scream “Ditchwitch” from a mile away.
While initially approached to create a new look for the HDD line of products, SF evolved the design direction from the trencher line into a new high-visual-impact, high-manufacturing-efficiency design theme for the next generation of HDDs.
Through extensive refinement, this theme consisted of a simple, gesturally and physically strong top cover and radiator cover that would carry the DitchWitch orange, with simple sheet metal side-access doors in gloss black to mitigate any paint color mismatched between materials.
The development of the Cab was extremely in-depth due to the intention to use it across all the larger models. A complex matrix of ergonomic viewpoints was created in the SF studio to assess and ensure optimal seating and controls positioning, and to evaluate unobstructed viewpoints across 5 different drill rigs. With the approval of expert drill operators, development was cleared to move forward and to this day, DitchWitch can market the JT40 and AT40 as “Designed for the Driller.”
The appearance and construction of the cab keeps the same build methodology as the engine body, with a signature RTM DitchWitch Orange side cap paired with black steel structure and flat panels to manage cost where possible. The interior of the Cab has been compared to a Mercedes in the drill operator world, with unparalleled comfort and heads-up “down line” digital displays placed exactly where they need to be, and tinted windows on non-equipment facing glass to minimize glare and reduce fatigue.
SF far exceeded expectations with the JT40 Cab and engine body – it’s usability and appearance are marked as a Home Run.
Designed as a modular platform with real-time interchangeable components, Dannar 4.0 can be configured with or without an operator cab, body enclosures, and platform decks. It is also interchangeable with work implements including forklift masts, dump beds, scissor lifts, water tanks, portable light units and interfaces with all standard Caterpillar, Bobcat, or John Deere attachments.
Ditch Witch: JT40 Directional Drill
A complex matrix of ergonomic viewpoints was created in the SF studio to assess and ensure optimal seating and controls positioning, and to evaluate unobstructed viewpoints across 5 different drill rigs.
Sundberg-Ferar’s work on the JT40 not only raised the industry standard of ergonomics for drilling machine operator cabs; the new design also reduced cycle times and boosted productivity for DitchWitch, increasing their overall return on investment. The JT40 was also awarded two design patents and won the 2017 NASTT Abbott Innovative Product Award.
The design and ergonomics of the JT40 and AT40 are exciting innovations that DitchWitch is eager to advertise, to the point of presenting these drills with much fanfare in an initial release event with an in-depth VR drilling experience for buyers and a continued place at the top of their product line. The JT40’s iconic engine cover design has also been translated by Ditchwitch into many of their new products to strengthen the brand’s visual brand language and recognition.