The steel trench box provides protection for workers from unexpected cave-ins when working in deep trenches. Even trenches a few feet deep can collapse on workers causing severe injury or death and resulting in costly fines and lawsuits for employers. Using high-quality trench safety equipment keeps jobs running smoothly and finishing safely.
One of the strongest metals available, steel is a natural choice for trench boxes which must resist thousands of pounds of pressure pushing on the sides. Regardless of the material though you will want to make sure that the shoring boxes you are considering have been built to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s requirements. While many companies exceed these standards, making sure that the product you are considering meets at least the minimum requirements will keep you on the right side of the law and help you determine which products meet necessary quality and safety needs.
Custom Engineer Your Steel Trench Box
There are a variety of styles available for shoring boxes. A steel trench box can be custom engineered for a specific job need or purchased in standard configurations. If you need a custom shoring box, a registered civil engineer will work with your company to design a shoring box that will fit in the particular trench. Many trenches can be made safe with off the shelf shoring boxes. Deep trenches may require the use of stacked boxes. If your company often works with deep trenches on job sites, make sure the shoring boxes you are considering are able to be stacked.
Another design factor you will want to consider is wall thickness. Generally, your options will be 3, 4, 6, or 8-inch wall thickness. Three-inch-thick boxes are considered light duty and will work only for shallow work. The benefit of going with the thinner wall options is the lighter weight and ease of maneuverability. Four to six inches are standard thicknesses, with the six-inch option allowing work with deeper trenches. Trench boxes with eight-inch-thick walls are specifically for the deepest trenches and provide maximum protections for extreme working conditions.
Renting a Steel Trench Box
If your company only has the occasional need for a steel trench box, you could save significantly by renting if you are able to use a ready-built trench shoring box. Of course, if most of your jobs involve trench work it may make sense to purchase your own trench boxes to keep at the company equipment yard. Rentals for a standard 8′ by 12′ steel trench box with 4″ thick walls will run around $140 to $170 for a single day. If you have longer-term needs, you will be looking at prices around $340 to $375 for a weekly rental or around $1000 for a month-long rental. If you are a smaller company with limited storage space renting a trench box could certainly save you quite a bit of room so that is another angle to consider if you aren’t yet sure if you want to purchase or rent.