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ARPS 1400 Trencher owned by Jeff Rottkamp

I recently received an email from Jeff who had just located and purchased a groundsaw.  Because it’s not complete, Jeff has the option of making it an ARPS or a Hawk-Bilt.  Because of the rarity of the ARPS, I think Jeff is leaning that way.  At the time Jeff first emailed me, he’d paid for the groundsaw, but it was being transferred by some friends from Iowa to Jeff.  Here’s what Jeff had to say about the purchase:

“Just a quick story on this trencher that I found.  I have been pursuing some of the hard to find attachments for a few years now and I have recently found one of the hardest to find attachments that I believe was built for any garden tractor. Unfortunately the unit is no longer complete and parts of it were scrapped many years ago, but I have found what I believe to be a ARPS Trencher cutter bar with the original hydraulic motor, digger chain and what I believe to be the hydraulic motor for running off the pto of a 140 tractor as well. I don’t have it home yet as of 3/15/2016, but I should have it in my hands in about 2 weeks. I bought it from a retired gentleman in Osceola, IA who is currently 89 years old and had a small trenching company.  He found this machine years ago, removed it from in his words “an older garden tractor”, he thought it was a John Deere but couldn’t remember, took the cutter bar and mounted it to a skid steer or backhoe and lightly used it for small jobs with his trenching company.  Another collector friend of mine from Florida who collects 2 cylinder John Deeres found it and alerted me to it right away.  The next morning an agreement was made and a check was in the mail for overnight delivery.  It is currently in transit to the east coast.  I will have more to it as time goes along. I only have one picture, and I will send it to you in this email.  I will get more to you once I get it home.

Needless to say the excitement has gotten the better of me lately with this find and has caused a few restless nights.   I agree the project will be long and tedious but it will be worth it in the end and seeing the final product.  The model 120/140 are my favorite of the John Deere LGT line and I have been searching for a Trencher for quite awhile. This one honestly fell into my lap by accident, but stranger things have happened I guess you could say.   I am excited to work on the project. It will take some time. I would like have it completed by this time next year but that might be a long shot. ”

Jeff has promised me more pictures once the groundsaw arrives and as he rebuilds and gets it mounted.  Here’s the picture he originally sent me.


It looks to be a very interesting project.  I’ll post more pictures and story as Jeff updates me on his progress.

Jeff got his groundsaw home and sent me a couple more pictures.  He said he’d already moved the flat plate used to mount it to the bucket.  Looks like he’s got a couple more pieces to remove and he’ll be ready to start the rebuild.











Jeff has been working on the mast for his groundsaw and recently sent me some pictures of his progress.  He’s waiting to finish the upper mount for the hydraulic cylinder until he purchases the cylinder.  Looks like he’s making great progress.






















Last Modified On: 2016-04-11 10:42:11