How to Adjust the Chain on a Ditch Witch

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When replacing the chain, replace the sprockets, too, or the new chain will wear out prematurely.


Don't try to make adjustments to the Ditch Witch while it is running.

Able to dig trenches with accuracy and speed, the Ditch Witch trencher uses a rotating chain to burrow into the soil. Ditch witch recommends checking the chain tension after every 10 hours of use and adjusting it as needed. Incorrect tension on the chain can cause it to slip off the sprockets. Putting the chain back on the sprockets is a time-consuming process, so maintaining correct chain tension to prevent mishaps can potentially save you valuable time on the job site.


Step 1

Loosen the four or six bolts, depending on the model, in the middle of the boom so that it will swing freely. This applies to all Ditch Witch trenchers.

Step 2

Loosen the jam nut on the adjustment screw. The jam nut is located to the left of the four or six boom bolts you just loosened.

Step 3

Turn the adjustment screw to adjust the tension of your chain. Turn it clockwise to tighten the chain, counterclockwise to loosen it.

Step 4

Tighten the jam nut once you are satisfied with the chain tension. To check chain tension, measure the distance from the bottom of the boom to the chain. The distance should be 4.5 to 5.5 inches.

Step 5

Replace the boom bolts and secure tightly.



Nicole Fotheringham

Nicole Fotheringham has been a writer since 1997. She was born in South Africa and began as a reporter for the "Natal Mercury" and "Cape Argus" newspapers. Fotheringham has a master's degree in English literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.