Mid-Plains Keeps Customers Current

In the Texas Panhandle town of Tulia, the Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Coop built and currently operates a fiber network that offers high-speed internet, telephone and pay television services to its 2,534 customers. 

“The take rate for high-speed internet is a very high 80 percent,” said Rick Hurt, Mid-Plains chief executive officer and general manager. “People want fiber.”

Ninety-nine percent of Mid-Plains’ outside fiber plant is underground, installed by vibratory plowing, horizontal directional drilling and trenching.

“We plow almost everything that is constructed,” Hurt said. “Plowing is so much faster and requires less cleanup compared to trenching. On most projects, directional boring is required to cross roadways, driveways and other areas.”

Mid-Plains splits construction between its own crews and subcontractors.

“Subcontractors usually are used on larger projects,” Hurt explained. “We recently awarded a contract to construct 59 miles of fiber in one of our 10 exchanges.” 

Three construction crews made up of employees of Mid-Plains are responsible for installing fiber to the home (FTTH), as well as mainline or backbone construction. Mid-Plains has several pieces of Ditch Witch equipment including: a RT120 with backhoe, vibratory plow and trenching attachments; and a RT115 with backhoe and vibratory plow attachments.

“We have two directional boring units – a Ditch Witch JT2020 and a JT5,” Hurt said. “We use Subsite Electronics trackers with our drill units, and all of our crews are equipped with Subsite locators. We also have a SK755 mini skid-steer loader with several attachments.”

Mid-Plains has been using Ditch Witch equipment for more than 50 years.

“I personally have operated the equipment for over 15 years of my career here at Mid-Plains,” said Hurt. “Day in and day out, the Ditch Witch line of equipment performs beautifully. But I think the support after purchase from the local dealership, all the way back to the factory engineers, has been what’s most impressive.”

HYDRAULIC BREAKER
Used for construction and demolition, our breakers can be used to break up asphalt, concrete or even clay. The hydraulic hammer is perfect for any small or medium job you might have. More up-time in the field is always the goal, and with only two moving parts and a few seals, there’s no reason for down-time.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK1750

ROCK SAW

Best suited for irrigation and fiber installation, the Rock Saw attachment can effortlessly cut through rock, concrete, and other tough materials with unmatched precision. 

Compatible Models

SK1050, SK1550, SK1750

BACKHOE
Easily move materials for rebuilds, new construction, footings, utility repairs and more with this compact and versatile attachment.
Compatible Models

SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK1750

STUMP GRINDERS
Featuring a heavy-duty boom design, powerful stump grinding attachments quickly shred stumps down to nothing. Easy maneuvering from stump to stump and increased visibility turns more ground stumps into more profit.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK1750, SK3000

MULTITASK TOOL
Your multipurpose tool for the ultimate multi-tasker is here. Engineered to grab tight to heavy materials and move them with ease and precision, the multi-task tool is your go-to for heavy applications. Easy to operate with convenient, functional levers.
Compatible Models

SK600, SK800, SK900, SK1050, SK1550, SK1750

CORE DRILL
With the MC-450 coring attachment, utility maintenance is simple and less disruptive. Featuring intuitive controls and an integrated water tank, the MC-450 is the perfect choice for quick cuts and a more productive coring process. A fully adjustable 0 to 280 rpm speed allows for enhanced control and greater productivity.
Compatible Models

SK1050, SK1550, SK1750