Conversations at excavation job sites always end up centering around which shoring methods and trench shield protection are best. Since safety is still a primary concern, managers have to decide on which trend shield material will be best. It’s not always simple to choose between steel and aluminum or to decide on whether or not to use trench boxes.
Having a trench protection shield is not merely a convenience. In fact, a proper trench shield is crucial to ensure the safety of any worker who spends time in the trench. Trenches are notorious for being unstable. Mud that is not secure can slide quickly, causing massive problems for anyone working in the ditch. Trench shields are the solution for dealing with collapsing walls. They reinforce the trench so that workers are safe and the job can continue unimpeded.
Aluminum or Steel Trench Shield Protection
In the last few years, aluminum trench shields have become more popular. However, steel is also a reliable option because it’s durable. Trench boxes have to be strong enough to handle the weight load of the surrounding soil. Aluminum trench shoring boxes are in everyday use in specific municipalities for where the most common machines in use are rubber-tired backhoes or even smaller excavators.
Steel is heavier duty than aluminum, which makes is suitable when greater reinforcement is required. Keep in mind these days some trench protection might be a combination of aluminum and steel! It all comes down to the actual equipment and needs of the job site. A careful analysis of whether it will be a more in-depth excavation and a look into OSHA soil-type factors all go into the report.
Don’t Ignore the Depth Rating
It’s impossible to separate maximum weight and depth when building a trench. The further down the excavation goes, the higher the weight-rating of the box it needs. Aluminum shields carry a decent depth rating, but it will not match up to the depth rating of a steel trench box of the same size. Aluminum may win out because the boxes end up weighing less. That means you can use smaller, lighter machines like your favorite backhoe loader because of the lighter load. For shallow depths using a lighter excavator, they are a match.
Trench shoring boxes are also an option. These come in handy for areas with the unstable ground. They use spring-mounted, flexible spindles which allow for easy installation using what’s known as the “cut and lower” method.