Season 1, Session 8: “The Safest Ditch Is One That No One Has To Go Into” Charlie Patterson, Pipe Gator



In an effort to make every excavation “The Safest Ditch” and “One That No One Has To Go Into”, rice farmer turned pipeliner, turned inventor  Charlie Patterson joins DigBy and Joe “In the Dig”. They discuss Charlie’s new invention called Pipe Gator. Also joining the boys is Pipe Gator manager, Josh McGee.

Listen as DigBy and Joe bring possible solutions to a very serious problem for excavators, ditch cave-ins.

The Greek philosopher, Plato stated “Necessity Is The Mother of Invention” and it was that same necessity that caused Charlie to awaken from a sound sleep at 2AM with an idea of how to keep the pipeline workers on his crew safe while working in the ditch. It was then that the Pipe Gator was born.

Because of the tolerance zone required by state damage prevention laws and “Halo” rules that gas companies impose on excavators working near their lines, manual hand digging was only the excavation allowed inside the halo.

The work to uncover the line can be extensive with this type of rule and that is what made it necessary for charlie to come up with alternatives.

Often called a Ditch Witch turned sideways, Charlie’s patented “Horizontal Trenching Apparatus” mounts to the boom on a track hoe and can be lowered into the ditch to undermine the facility you are trying to expose. As the dirt from the top of the pipe falls to the bottom of the ditch, it can be safely removed without any risk of injury to crew members in the excavation.

You really must see this to believe it .

If you’d like more information about pipe gator you can visit their website or contact Charlie or Josh below. Check out their other pages too.

fbiconPipe Gator on fb and Twitter @pipegator

Pipe Gator Address:
1807 Hwy 90W. Jennings, LA 70546


Charles Patterson:
Joshua McGee:


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2 thoughts on “Season 1, Session 8: “The Safest Ditch Is One That No One Has To Go Into” Charlie Patterson, Pipe Gator

  1. As the damage prevention coordinator for a very large natural gas transmission pipeline, I frequently cringe at the thought of excavation around my facilities. One hot summer day I was called to the field to review the pipe gator. I walked on the site clearly skeptical, but within minutes of observation I realized this was exactly the resource we have needed for a long time. I immediately was in the phone with our project management department filling them in on what I was witnessing and emailing the videos. Further, all of the personnel I have been in contact with have been very professional, friendly and extremely knowledgable of the risks associated with excavation. I can not recommend this product highly enough.

    • I know, right Jennifer?
      When I first saw the Pipe Gator video I was like… Umm, Not No Way! Not No How!
      Then, Charlie and Josh walked me through it and I saw the value.
      They’re definitely good people, very knowledgeable and serious about excavation safety.

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