North America

OEM specialist Mastenbroek launches new trenching machinery with Volvo Penta engines

Specialist manufacturer, Mastenbroek, is launching a range of new trenching and auxiliary machines by harnessing the benefits of Volvo Penta engines. The company is drawing on Volvo Penta’s expertise in producing diesel engines of various power outputs which comply with EU Stage IV/US EPA Tier 4 Final emissions regulations.


UK-based Mastenbroek has extended its range of deep trenchers in creating the 40/20 model – the smallest in the series, which is designed to offer a compact machine for versatile uses. Using Volvo Penta’s TAD1371VE engine, the 40/20 is named in reference to the power output of just under 400hp and its trenching depth of just over 2 meters. The company has also overhauled some of its other trenchers and a crawler truck, using Volvo Penta engines.

Deep trenchers are used for cutting into agricultural ground to lay pipes for drainage solutions in areas which have a high water table and may have abrasive ground conditions. They are also used for engineering purposes where soil and binding materials are mixed to create sub-surface structures for terrain stabilization and control of water movement. Due to the heavy duty nature of the work often occurring in harsh topographic environments or adverse weather, the trenchers need to be robust – and as such, the engines which power them need to perform at optimal levels.

“A lot of the success of agriculture comes from drainage control of the water table,” says Christopher Pett, general manager at Mastenbroek.

“Trenching is a challenging application and you only want to do it once, so you have to get it right the first time. Precision is key, so the trencher has to be able to work in all kinds of tough conditions, and the engine needs to have the right performance capabilities to do the job of powering the machine.”

Specialist solutions
Mastenbroek, based in the east of England, has been producing land and subsea trenchers, and auxiliary equipment such as backfilling machinery and control systems, for nearly 40 years. As a specialist manufacturer it tailors its machinery according each customer’s specifications. When the new EU Stage IV/US EPA Tier 4 Final emissions standards were introduced in 2014, the company began to overhaul its machines to comply with the latest regulations, and a collaboration with Volvo Penta was initiated.

“We’ve worked very closely with Volvo Penta on engine selection and they’ve been extremely helpful,” says Pett. “As a specialist OEM we need good support for the components we use from our suppliers. We wanted not only the suitable power ratios for the new engines but also the appropriate physical aspect of them fitting into our machines to replace previous engines. We were able to see 3D computer designs and models of the engines, to work out exactly which would be best for each machine.”

Volvo Penta’s EU Stage IV/US EPA Tier 4 Final industrial diesel engines comply with emissions regulations by using a Selective Catalytic Reduction system (SCR) with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF, known as AdBlue). Additional light Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system further optimizes emissions control.

“It’s a simple solution for the market and we have been able to incorporate it into our systems,” says Pett. “The new engines and our upgrades to the overall design and control systems have given the machines greater capacity.”

Upgrade to dig down
Of its upgraded machinery, Mastenbroek firstly overhauled its CT12 crawler truck and 20/15 and 30/20 drainage trenchers. The CT12 – used for backfilling after trenches have been dug and pipes laid – has been installed with a 5-liter Vovlo Penta TAD572VE; it now has a load capacity of 15 tonnes.

The 20/15 drainage trencher is now equipped with an 8-liter TAD873VE. Originally the machine operated at 260hp with a digging depth of 2-meters, but with the new Volvo Penta engine and an upgrade, it now operates at 320hp with up to a 2.5-meter trenching depth.

And the larger 30/20 drainage trencher had previously been installed with an 11-liter engine, but has now been overhauled and is fitted with Volvo Penta’s 13-liter TAD1371VE (the same as for the 40/20 deep trencher). It provides increased power and more flexible usage.

GPS control systems are also incorporated into the trenchers to enable pinpoint accuracy when assessing where pipes should be laid for optimal water flow.

“Customers want to trench deeper, wider and faster, and be more productive,” says Pett. This is precision trenching, so the machines have to be consistent, easy to use and quick. Versatility and efficiency are required by our customers, and the feedback we’ve had shows that the Volvo Penta engines are quieter and more fuel efficient than the previous engines we used.”

He adds that total cost of ownership in machinery which may operate for up to 20,000 hours over a lifetime of several decades, is paramount. “We take pride in the durability and the longevity of our machines. The reliability of Volvo Penta’s engines plus their very good after-sales service around the world means there is little downtime. We took the right decision by choosing their engines.”

Riccardo Sardelli, Volvo Penta’s industrial sales manager for the UK and Ireland, oversaw the collaboration with Mastenbroek.

“Mastenbroek produces tailor-made machinery for the trenching market, and so it’s vital that they get the highest performing engines and the best service for their applications. It’s interesting to see how Volvo Penta engines are giving their trenchers and backfilling trucks a greater capacity, and we’re confident that our input will give a longstanding benefit both in terms of productivity and profitability for their customers.”