Dec 2016
Gas Distribution
Back Blade Protector
Dec 2016
Mar 2017
Northern Gas Networks
John Pickering
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Network Innovation Allowance
Gas Distribution Networks
The scope of the project is to demonstrate the Back Blade protectors are fit for purpose and can be retro fitted to all mini excavators with back blades.

We will purchase 6 protectors and fit them onto our mini excavators blades for a period of 3 months. The back blade protectors are mainly made from 80% recycled material and utilize old excavator tracks so it is a solution which is environmentally friendly in all aspects.

Monitor throughout this period and undertake feedback from all interested parties.

The objective is to test and validate the back blade protectors and make sure they are fit for purpose and then promote the solution as best practice across the network in all work streams and promote its possibilities to other networks.


Throughout the trial we will develop the back blade protector to make it user friendly and easy to fit to the majority of mini excavator.


Gain the confidence of the operators in the new equipment and gain their approval.


Review the 3 month trial.

The project will be deemed a success if the following criteria are met:-
  • Reduction in defects.
  • Less Customer complaints.
  • Sign on from our stakeholders (Local authorities).
  • Reduction in revisits to sites to undertake ‘cut outs’ for scaring on the highway surface.
  • A cost benefit for the new equipment.
  • Time saving on dealing with site meetings.
  • Less damage to the trailers from the back blade (on access and egress).
  • Reduce impact on the environment.