Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14
  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    502
    Location
    Tulsa OK
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Hi All,

    A good friend of mine borrowed a trencher from another friend and just dropped it off leaving me to figure out what all the levers and wheels do. It a Charles Machine Works walk behind model M4. I did a little internet searching and discovered this is an early Ditch Witch but wasn't able to find any info on how to run the thing.

    I think the teeth need sharpening because I was playing and the ground speed seems to be too fast for the trench cutter even at the slowest speed I could figure out.

    The ground around here isn't rocky or clay and digs pretty easy. If you lock both wheels it bogs down and tries to pull the cutter up out of the trench. If you leave one wheel unlocked the other wheel spins enough so you can dig but no way it's going to dig a straight trench.

    Any trencher experts out there that could give me a few tips? I have about 950 feet of trenching to do and will be able to keep the trencher for probably a couple of weeks.

    Thanks
    Bob

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    502
    Location
    Tulsa OK
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Wow over 100 views and nobody has any hints for operating a trencher. I did stop by the local Ditch Witch dealer and believe it or not they still carry parts for this thing. However they said the guy I really needed to talk to was on vacation.. Just my luck [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    If you take a picture of all of the levers ill be more than happy to try to help you.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    502
    Location
    Tulsa OK
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Thanks for the response.. Here is a picture of the beast.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    502
    Location
    Tulsa OK
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Here is a shot from the business end. After looking it over I have figured out that the two levers are connected to a 3 speed transmission that could have came from a early Ford or Chevy. The input and output shafts have been modified for the trencher. If I could remember how the shift levers worked from my 49 Ford days I would have the trans figured out.

    The big horizontal wheel lowers and raises the digger, easy one.. Not sure what the lever on the right side of the engine does yet unless it engages the chain drive from the engine. The right wheel can be disconnected from the drive train by loosening the star wheel.

    Not sure what the lever on the inside of the right wheel is?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    502
    Location
    Tulsa OK
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Here is a shot of a couple of the teeth,

    Looks to me like they could use a little grinding but I have no idea if I should try to sharpen them or not???
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3
    Tractor
    JD855

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Hello Bob,
    I just ran across this posting. Are you still looking for this info? I have one of these.
    Andy

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    531
    Location
    KS.
    Tractor
    Case 1845C skidsteer

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Quote Originally Posted by BobReeves View Post
    Here is a shot of a couple of the teeth,

    Looks to me like they could use a little grinding but I have no idea if I should try to sharpen them or not???
    I have no experience with this particular type trencher but it appears to me that one of the cutter teeth is on the wrong side of the chain in the provided picture. It could be that this trencher was made to cut the center between the inside and outside teeth, but with my limited experience I have never seen a trencher built in that manner. The teeth actual look pretty good to me as far as sharp. Sharp edge won't last very long in dirt or rocky ground. My guess is that ground speed is your issue.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3
    Tractor
    JD855

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    The teeth appear correct to me. I recently bought a brand new chain for mine (Ouch $$$), and there is a pattern that uses only one left-handed type of tooth, and one right-handed type in combination with varied mounting arrangement to produce a distribution of cutting positions along the width of the trench. The teeth seem OK as far as sharpness, but this machine does NOT have gobs of power to spare, particularly with deeper/wider trenching or harder ground. It looks like it may be set up for about 5" trench width, so it's certainly worth a try before spending a lot of time on the teeth right away - especially if you just have a small job ahead.

    As far as travel speed during digging, the first thing I would check is the reducer shift lever (on the reducer assembly next to the right tire in the second photo). It is a flat tab on the reducer that slides up and down several inches in the slot in the reducer. This is a strange thing so be careful. In one position (down, I believe), the entire reducer (with the shift lever itself) will spin rapidly as the machine moves, and in the other, it will lock into the approximate rotation shown in the pic. It looks like the the lever may be in the lower position, which is the MOBILE position. This would only give you ONE speed in the digging direction (which is actually reverse mobile) and three in the opposite - and these will be much too fast for digging operations. You need to make sure that the lever is in the upper (DIG) position. Again, in this position, the housing (and lever) should lock into position and not rotate when digging. In DIG mode, you will get three travel speeds in the digging direction (1st gear is quite slow here - you have to watch closely to see the wheels spin) and one reverse to back the trencher up during trenching. Only change these settings with the slip (Master) clutch disengaged and ALWAYS watch your fingers/limbs!

    Finally, during digging the locking nut (wheel clutch) on the right wheel should be tight during digging (this locks both wheels to the axle so it will run straight), and can be loosened (right wheel free-spins) during "mobiling" to ease turning.

    Regards,
    Andy

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    165
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    65 M-F,354 International, 6245 Zetor /loader, GC2600 M-F /loader, BX24 Loader/BH, 450 Case Dozer, 1150 Case Dozer

    Default Re: Charles Machine Works M4 Trencher

    Your answering a post from 2004! I hope the OP has the work done by now. But if he works like me maybe not!

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.