Brown Bear Corporation, founded in 1961, began building its line of products for backfilling pipeline, utility and tile drainage trenches in 1968.  The company is currently developing a ditch padding attachment for trenches up to 24” wide as a tool for attachment to its line of tool carrier tractors available in four distinct size and horsepower classes.

The Brown Bear 4×4 tool carriers are currently available in 148, 190, 250 and 350 horse power and have various sizes of backfillers, brush mulchers, snow blowers and now ditch padding attachments available.  The company also builds several models of 4×4 and 6×6 off highway carriers for off highway transportation of drills, aerial baskets, transport bodies and more.

The ditch padding attachment is fully interchangeable with the backfilling, brush mulching and snow blowing attachments on Brown Bear tool carriers allowing the contractor to select one prime mover for multiple duties simply by changing the front attachment.

Picking the right size and type of ditch padding machine for the project can impact the rate of productivity and project cost.  Padding with screened material reduces damage to pipe and cable coatings as well as providing fine material to surround the pipe or cable. This prevents voids in the backfill which can cause sink holes requiring maintenance after the completion of the job.

Hauling screened backfill material to the job site is an expensive process.  Unless the backfill is selected off site and hauled to the job site, the size of aggregate material available to pad the pipe or wire depends upon the subsoil content.  The size of aggregate used to fill the trench from the available substrate is dependent upon the type of screening method used and the size of the screen openings.

The Brown Bear ditch padding attachment is a patented design utilizing a vibrating rotary drum screen that is fed by a discontinuous auger paddle design. This design pulverizes the fill before it enters the screen.  This method of loading the screen produces more fine material that will pass through the vibrating and rotating drum screen.  Various drum screening sizes will be available starting at 1” and larger. 

The drum screen is powered hydraulically from the Brown Bear tool carriers’ implement hydraulic system and is fully adjustable for speed and direction from the cabin by the operator.  A fluted cleaning drum that counter rotates to the direction of the screening drum is equipped with flexible cleaning blades.  The blades clean the spaces between the rotating screening bars.  The round screen bars are covered with UHMW plastic tubes that rotate and resist clay sticking to them. 

The flexible cleaning blades clean the openings between the rotating plastic tubes allowing this screen to operate in moist clays that plug some vibrating flat bed screening systems.

The Brown Bear tool carrier with screen attachment works parallel to the trench and deposits the screened backfill in the trench while the materials greater than the screen size are deposited on the opposite side of the trench.   The screen is controlled by the Brown Bear tool carrier operator in an enclosed, pressurized and climate controlled cabin. 

The Brown Bear 4 x 4 tool carriers are fitted with R1 or R2 tires for off road work in rough and wet conditions.  The transmission of the tool carriers allow the operator to select among a minimum of 4 gears, each powered hydrostatically by a second hydrostatic circuit.  This allows matching the machine travel speed to the job at hand from creep speeds while working to transport speeds.  Transport speeds of up to 20 Mph and higher are typical in all the Brown Bear tool carriers.

The company intends to produce larger screen attachments as their development proceeds.

Visit or call 641-322-4220 for more information.