One of the first “special purpose” attachments for the CJ2a was the Auburn Jeep-A-Trench. It has been classified by us under “industrial” rather than “farm” equipment, but in reality, the installation of irrigation field tile made this an important agricultural tool. The Jeep trencher was a available until the mid-1960s and there have been a number of good articles and videos posted about them.
The CJ3b.info page has a nice introduction of the Auburn trencher here. The CJ3apage.com also has some good technical information here. There are also a number of videos of trenchers in action, including this one, posted by Jim Allen, of our friend John Ittel’s machine.
Recently, we came across a video posted by Nick Oxender about his latest project, resurrecting a Jeep-A-Trench. It was great fun to watch and we asked him for more pictures and more information.
Nick wrote us –
“Of course almost all the information is in the first video. For your website, I’d like to share some information that might not be clear in the videos. This could help someone else revive their trencher:
If the boom is non-operational and can’t open the access panel, you can use equipment to gently pull the boom backwards enough to open the panel.
The Gear-Draulic control levers are a simple system, but difficult to disassemble. Each lever is threaded into its respective cylinder. I was afraid of removing the levers as they could have easily broken, twisted, etc. This is why I decided to soak the entire mechanism in a bucket of white vinegar. It soaked for 2 weeks, then I removed it to gently tap the levers with a hammer. Once these were freed up, I let them soak for another 2 weeks and they became very easy to move. If I were to re-do that process, I’d use Evaporust as it will clean rust in 1-2 days.
Once the Jeep was operational, I was eager to test drive. It was unnerving at 20 mph. These are very cool pieces of equipment, but I wouldn’t drive it into town for dinner. Overall I’m very happy to check it off my bucket list.”
Nick provided more pictures –