Trench Boxes and the Construction Site

Construction Site

Protect your excavation and underground utility contractors and your bottom line on the construction site with trench boxes. They are simple modular units which can be easily and quickly installed on the construction site by an excavator to provide strong, reliable shoring for most ground conditions whilst giving full protection for operatives in every stage of installation and removal. As workers dug trenches deeper, the sides of the trench had to be shored, or supported, to keep the walls of the trench from collapsing. All trenches have what is known as a stand-up time. The stand-up time is the time that elapses from the time the trench is dug until the trench walls start collapsing. Stand-up time is dependent on many factors, including soil type, water content, trench depth, weather conditions, and whether or not the soil has been previously disturbed.

Construction Site | Trench Box Solutions

When a construction project requires a large excavation, such as digging the foundation for a tall building, the support structure for the excavated walls is specified in the plans. The main problem involving non-use of trench shoring boxes occurs in cities, when water or sewer lines are being installed or repaired. The engineer usually does not specify the support structure for the trench on the plans, but leaves that to the contractor. The use of trench boxes on construction site will help to prevent trench failures from injuring workers. A trench box consists of two large plates, usually made of steel, which are parallel to the walls of the trench, and horizontal cross-members which hold the two plates apart. The lower edge of the box rests on the bottom of the trench, and the top edge extends above the top of the trench. The workers stay between the plates of the trench box, so that if the wall of the trench collapses, the dirt will be stopped by the trench box. As work progresses, the trench box is pulled along the trench with a backhoe.

Strong enough to keep trench workers safe from injuries or unstable soil, yet lightweight for easy transportation and assembly, aluminum trench boxes, are ideal for smaller jobs in place of steel trench boxes. Also known as trench shields, aluminum trench boxes are engineered to offer the protection and security for excavation that steel trench boxes provide, but are less than half of the weight while working on the construction site. They are customarily constructed with sidewalls of varying thicknesses held apart by steel or aluminum spreaders. Spreaders can be interchanged to match the width of the trench. The different materials and building designs lead to a variety of depth ratings, i.e. the depth of a trench that the shield can withstand a collapse without buckling. Depth ratings are determined by registered professional engineers.