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Trenching Best Practices

If you are starting a new excavation work using a trencher, you surely know everything about security when digging a trench. Many countries have “guidelines” to excavation works and issues on security.

The best practices written below can be used as a reminder and suggestions for a profitable use of a trencher.

First of all, we are talking about excavations, and trenchers are the best tools in these kinds of works. Your experience is our job, and in MachinesBroker you can find everything you need to get your job done.

Let’s start with our guidelines, and see the three steps for a perfect trenching work:

Pre-trenching. It’s all about the project. A perfect project assures perfect works are done. You must check several things before you start to dig a trench, from the soil to the underground utilities. You must assure every security issues and provide safe access. Excavation can be classified in two ways. Firstly by the type of material that is being excavated and secondly by the purpose of the excavation. When classification is based upon material type, it is very important that the material is accurately identified to keep costs down and prevent technical problems occurring. Surveyors and engineers use various methods to measure how easy or hard the earth is to dig. Four general categories are:

a)Easy – loose free flowing soil or sand
b)Medium – gravel with clay
c)Medium to Hard – wet heavy clay, broken rock, gravel with boulders
d)Hard – materials requiring blasting.

What about the trencher? The machine assigned to the job must fit the requirements of the project. Using a machine too small for the workload not only limits production, it causes wear on the machine. And a trencher too large for a job may not be able to operate in limited space. All necessary support equipment, warning signs, etc., must be readied to be transported to the site along with trenching equipment.

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Trenching. You provided a safe access to the work, you can start your excavation. Proper planning and accurate locating and marking of existing utilities are essential for successful excavation and installation of pipe or cable. The trenching crew must verify that all underground utilities and structures are clearly identified, the site should be carefully inspected for indications of buried utilities that have not been marked, make a  quick check of the machine’s fluid levels and any signs that repairs are needed. Your operator must be prepared for all intervening emergencies, he must be able to stop if anything goes wrong and restart if necessary. If the pre-trenching work has been done properly, the excavation itself will be quick and clean. An important issue is the stability of the trenched soil, you must provide to keep it stable and prevent any fall. Provide safe barriers if necessary. For a clean work is also important to remove dirt and excavating materials (many trenchers have conveyor belts to help you in this part of the work).

After trenching. The work is done, and now? Provide a safe access to workers, assure the stability, install pipes and cables, repair existing damages.  Trenching equipment requires regular daily maintenance that should be performed after a day’s work is finished or before the machine is operated again. Primary wear parts on any chain-type trencher are digging teeth, digging chain and sprockets. All fluids and filters should be changed at prescribed intervals, more frequently when operating in adverse or dusty conditions. Lubricate all service points, and maintain the hydraulic system at manufacturer-prescribed intervals. Adjust chain or belt drives as necessary, and replace all guards and shields after maintenance procedures are complete.

 

Sources:
http://utilitycontractoronline.com/on-track-with-trenching/
https://www.vpgroundforce.com/gb/footer-links/useful-links/industry-resources/importance-of-safety-in-trench-excavation/
http://www.hse.gov.uk/construction/safetytopics/excavations.htm

 

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