Save Time Digging Up Lids and Use a Mini-excavator

TMX towable excavator saves Snyder’s Environmental Services many hours of manual labor digging up lids

Save Time Digging Up Lids and Use a Mini-excavator

Snyder's Environmental System specialists service a tank in Columbus, Indiana. (Photo by Marc Lebryk)

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In 1988, when a drought in Columbus, Indiana, forced Richard Snyder to find work to supplement his agriculture-related drainage business, he put his backhoe and dozer to work installing septic systems.

These days the 62-year-old owner of Snyder’s Environmental Service sticks to pumping and small repairs, leaving the heavy-equipment work to others. But he still owns one piece of machinery he describes as one of their most useful. It’s a TMX towable mini-excavator from Innovative Equipment.

“It’s not a big tool,” he says, “but I tell people it’ll out-dig 10 men.”

The TMX has a built-in quick on/off hitch for towing by a half-ton pickup truck or van. “When you get to the job site, you just fold the tongue up and head out to the backyard,” Snyder says. His unit has a Suzuki 28 hp gas-fueled engine, but it’s also available in diesel. Controls are operated with a joystick.

The impetus for buying the towable excavator was a project Snyder worked on a number of years ago when he spent two hours digging 3 feet to get to a tank lid — only to find the lid wasn’t there. “That’s when I told myself I was going to get one of these,” he says.

The zero-turn radius is helpful for working in tight spots and reduces the possibility of damaging a lawn. And the 140-degree boom swing makes it easy to dig next to walls. Snyder has used it on tanks as deep as 6 feet, and it’s advertised to have an 8-foot digging depth.

The towable excavator weighs 2,941 pounds, has a tongue weight of 380 pounds, and uses a 2 5/16-inch hitch. Drive/tow tires are 15-inch mud-terrain style. It has a digging force of 4,050 pounds and a 16-inch bucket.

Snyder says his crew gets a lot of use out of the excavator, but it’s especially helpful when they head out to pump tanks they haven’t serviced before. “They’re buried, there’s no riser and nobody knows where they’re at,” he says. “We always take the TMX so we can dig them up. It’s just a very useful tool. We don’t go to a lot of places without it.” Read more about Snyder’s Environmental Service in this month’s issue of Pumper magazine.


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