Watch the biggest chain trencher in the world in action

Say hello to the Astec Underground 1860 HD Chain Trencher, a powerful beast that works not unlike a forestry chainsaw on a huge scale. Weighing in at 350,000 pounds, it has two Caterpillar diesel engines totaling 1,500 horsepower, and its chain is 35 foot long. Yes, this is no ordinary chainsaw.
This unit is specifically designed to dig trenches for utility and liquid supply lines. It will dig straight through bedrock up to 30 feet deep. The larger engine, rated at 1200 horsepower, is mechanically linked to the chain drive. The smaller 300-horsepower engine is used to power the hydraulics and the crawler tracks up to a top speed of 1 mph, according to Boss Machinery. The cutting chain has hundreds of carbide teeth configured in a chevron pattern so the machine can chip away at rock and create consistently sized rocks for easy removal.
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The 1860 HD trencher is an example of a machine that is designed for one thing and one thing only – in this case, trenching. It has been deployed all over the world.
This video was shot by the History Channel for the show Modern Marvels, with the trencher portion of the video filmed in Texas. Check it out if you are a fan of big, heavy, specialized industrial equipment. You won’t be disappointed.
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