Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Growing Oklahoma

Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering

Growing Oklahoma

senior design team ground breakersthe charles machine works inc. logo


Innovation of PT5 Walk-Behind Trencher

Lisa Brown, Elizabeth Dekinder, Robert Parrish, Chase Vencl



Ground Breakers is devoted to exceeding our client’s expectations within the marketing, design and profitability aspects of our resourceful products. Our intent is to provide a product promoting the company’s growth and development within the competitive marketplace.



Problem Statement

Our objective is to market, design and produce a PT5 Walk-behind Trencher with design specifications provided by The Charles Machine Works Inc. that serves a specific audience within a profitable business plan.

Scope of Work

The Charles Machine Works Inc. (Ditch Witch) of Perry, Okla., requested a design for a small walk-behind trencher with the following specifications: weight of 180 to 200 pounds; small engine size (around 5hp); maximum trenching depth of 20 inches with variable depths; and maximum trenching width of 3 inches. In addition, Ditch Witch would like to spend no more than $1,750 in production costs, in order to market the product between $2,000 and $2,500. Comparing the potential prototype to key competitors, the small trencher will be targeted towards rental yards, in addition to construction and landscaping businesses. The prototype could be used by the construction and landscaping industries for preparing areas for electrical (TV and Internet) cables, in addition to sprinkler/small irrigation systems intended for homeowners. This product has the potential to be marketed through major home improvements stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s – targeting homeowners with similar projects of installing fencing and irrigation.



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