Home / Attachments / SDE Attachments / Groundsaws / Trenchers / GroundSaws, Trenchers and Their Owners / ARPS 1400 Trencher owned by Fred Sohm

ARPS 1400 Trencher owned by Fred Sohm

I was contacted by a gentleman, Colton,   in the Fall of 2014 asking if I had any information on a groundsaw/trencher manufactured by ARPS for John Deere. I was really interested since I’d never seen a groundsaw manufactured specifically for a John Deere. Here’s some of what Colton told me in a follow up email. “A John Deere brochure was put out for a ground saw in October of 68.   In April of 70 ARPS put out basically the same ad to replace the ground saw one. All specs and pictures were identical. I don’t know if Arps bought the ground saw patent or if this is when Chromalloy bought Hawk Bilt.   They bought Arps in 63. I know of 3 in existence.” Colton also told me that he had a friend, Fred, who had purchased one of the 3 groundsaws he knew about.


A few days later Fred contacted me about the trencher that he had purchased. It is an ARPS 1400 trencher for a John Deere 140. Fred had read my article on the Hawk Bilt Model 1200 that I had written for L&GT magazine. He said the ARPS Model 1400 was very similar. Here’s what Fred had to say about his Model 1400: “I plan on leaving it as original as possible but it does need new sprockets and drive chain for the digger and at least new roller chain on the auger drive. Maybe some replacement on dry rotted hydraulic hose as well. Just minor stuff really. We met up with the original owner’s son yesterday and got the original owner’s manuals for the trencher, the 140, and the mower deck that was all bought together in 1970. They originally bought it to trench lines for water to hog buildings, wore out the original chain, broke it some 30 years ago and bought a Ditch Witch to take it’s place. “


A few months later, Fred contacted me with an update.   “Well, we got it on a John Deere 140 finally and it works!. It’s the most complete one we’ve found yet for a Deere.   The weakest part is the digger chain, but it still runs after being out in the weather for probably 30 years. I know of 2 others, one a ways from all there and one that is too far gone.  I still need someone who will get me pics and dimensions for the small spoil auger chain shield on the LH side but that really is all I’m missing. We are leaving the paint original, could use those silver foil operator panel decals though.”

The ARPS 1400 trencher/groundsaw bears a remarkable resemblance to the Hawk Bilt groundsaw.  Here’s some pictures Fred sent me.

Fred Sohm pic 1Fred Sohm pic 2















Fred Sohm pic 3Fred Sohm pic 4















Fred Sohm pic 5Fred Sohm pic 6












Fred Sohm pic 7Fred Sohm pic 8















Fred Sohm pic 9Fred Sohm pic 10











Fred Sohm pic 11Fred Sohm pic 12









Fred Sohm pic 13

Click on picture for larger image.

Click on picture for larger image.













Fred is going to send me more pictures when he gets more time.  I’ll post them here.

Last Modified On: 2015-08-20 21:54:08