Published On: Fri, Jan 11th, 2019

Underground Construction Essentials: What Is a Ditch Witch and What Is It Used For?

When you hear or read the term “construction”, chances are, you think of workers in hard hats, hammering away at 2x4s, or driving forklifts. However, so much construction essential to our civilization is carried out beneath the surface. Today, we’re talking about underground construction. What are the basic types, and what kind of equipment does our most valuable infrastructure rely on?

underground construction

Underground Construction Types

So much of what you count on, from the baking soda in your cabinet to the smartphone in your pocket, would be completely unavailable without mining. Our reliance on minerals and other underground resources has grown with the rising population, making mining expeditions some of the most vital underground construction projects we take on.

It’s been more than a hundred years since many of our first sewers were dug, and the tunnels we dig for gas pipelines, electricity, telephone, and more aren’t getting younger, either. Add in the urbanization of many areas, and tunnelling becomes a type of construction we consistently need to resort to. From emission-cutting subways to secure and reliable utilities, tunnels keep the world moving forward.

Finally, there’s the building you’re sitting in right now. After all, no freestanding structure is built from the top down. It all begins with an underground dig. This where we build the foundations that will outlast our own lives, as well as common storage areas like basements. Even the military and other important organizations carry out important operations, planning, and research in underground facilities.


The Ditch Witch

Where does the Ditch Witch come in? Well, it’s safe to say that many of the strides we’ve made in the aforementioned types of underground construction would be drastically impaired without it. The first Ditch Witch was developed more than 80 years ago, and prior to that, excavation still began with a standard shovel, or pick.

The development sprang from necessity. The first serious attempts at creating networks of underground utility lines demanded a solution. And today, Ditch Witch has expanded beyond trenchers. The Ditch Witch name is synonymous with the ploughs and drilling systems necessary to various applications in underground construction.

Still, it all began with the trencher. This would revolutionize access to utilities, particularly in rural areas. The average homeowner made good use of them as well. The very first consumer to purchase a Ditch Witch did so in 1949, in order to install a sprinkler system on their property. So as we can see, products like the Ditch Witch are surprisingly vital to the way we live life above ground. The demand for a Ditch Witch, even if just for one project, also helped propel forward the market for renting tools and equipment, a service many companies and homeowners alike still take advantage of today.

The next time you’re out and about, stop and take a careful look around you. How different would the scene look if we did not have the ability to perform construction projects underground? From the foundation of your home to the street lights above you, it all begins with a truly groundbreaking piece of construction equipment.