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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    85
    Location
    Western NY

    Default Ditchwitch J20

    Hello......anyone out there ever run an old Ditchwitch non-hydrostatic ride-on J20 or similar before? I just bought one at auction, everything seems to work OK but I can't seem to run it forward slow enough to dig with the boom in the ground. I think it has something to do with the "crowd" feature maybe? I have run a couple of trenchers before but they were both hydro and you could easily just creep along to dig.

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    On the 2200 there is a lever that swaps the 3 speed transmission from drive to dig. Then there is another shorter lever that then controls the drive. The J20 is a older model than the 2200 but basically the same size unit.

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    415
    Location
    Rutledge, GA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710DT, Case 1845C, Takeuchi TB015

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    jboss;

    I have a J20. There is a valve on the lower left side of the "dashboard" that controls "crowd" speed. IIRC clockwise is faster and counterclockwise is slower. I renovated/restored mine and it trenches like a dream. I have the earlier model with lever steering. The later ones have a steering wheel. I have a manual if you need any info.

    SimS

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    205
    Location
    South Carolina
    Tractor
    Ford 960-5

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    Man, that brings back memories. I ran a J20 for a couple of years back in the early 70's laying 4" PVC sewer pipe. My old brain recalls a lever to engage the crawl and then a small lever with a round knob sticking up on the left side next to the steering wheel to control the speed. The more that I think about it the more that I want to say that the crawl was engaged when the digging chain was engaged. The crawl was hydraulic and the main transmission had to be in neutral.
    We ran a 12" trench and didn't give any thought to wires or pipes. Standard proceedure when cutting a water line in someones yard was to get off and run. Then wait for the trencher to come to you and get back on. The good ole days.
    We also did drain fields too.
    Ugly, rusty 1957 Ford 960-5, 5' Bush Hog Squealer cutter, 5' Bush Hog Model 305 HD cutter, 5' King Kutter box blade, & King Kutter boom pole.
    Kanga mini skidsteer, 20hp Honda, standard loader bucket, 4n1 bucket, 12" auger, trencher, pallet forks, and carry-all/leveler attachments.
    Bri-Mar DT508 Dump trailer
    Lincoln AC/DC tombstone
    Ready WelderII 10000ADP
    O/A cutting/welding
    Argon/CO2 shielding gases

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    1
    Location
    Tijeras, NM
    Tractor
    Ditchwitch

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    I have a never-used, totally rebuilt engine for e J20 still wrapped. -Chuck D, 505-281-3132

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Posts
    4
    Location
    Napa, CA
    Tractor
    J20 Ditch Witch 70's

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    Quote Originally Posted by SimS View Post
    jboss;

    I have a J20. There is a valve on the lower left side of the "dashboard" that controls "crowd" speed. IIRC clockwise is faster and counterclockwise is slower. I renovated/restored mine and it trenches like a dream. I have the earlier model with lever steering. The later ones have a steering wheel. I have a manual if you need any info.

    SimS
    Hi Do you happen to know why a J20 digging chain would stop moving in hard earth? I bought one for 2000$ and am using it for the first time...trying, I mean. Are the belts not grabbing on the tensioner which pushes on them when you move the lever to dig mode?

    I guess I might have to get off it and tilt the seat and look at it with it in "failing to turn" state, but I hate the idea of letting it run and further damaging the two belts.

    It starts moving again as soon as I lift the digging chain up a bit from the ground.
    It didn't do this when the guy I bought it from demoed it for me (sob!)

    Thanks for any trenching wisdom,
    David 707 226 1678 707 287 5200

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    226
    Location
    Millers Creek, NC
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 / Jim Dandy

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    saved a J20 lever steer from the local scrap yard.. only needed a coil to get it running..needs new tires and chisel.. used it to break the hard plate under the garden... total invested...$600

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Kernopelli's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,811
    Location
    Carterville, Illinois
    Tractor
    Mitsubishi MTE2000D, Dig It 258 Backhoe

    Default Re: Ditchwitch J20

    Quote Originally Posted by RitchElbe View Post
    saved a J20 lever steer from the local scrap yard.. only needed a coil to get it running..needs new tires and chisel.. used it to break the hard plate under the garden... total invested...$600
    I had an old lever steer too, just needed new points and paint. Bought it locally on Ebay for $120......definitely one of my better auction purchases.
    Darryl

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