There are certain steps and precautions that you need to take before, during and after you excavate a trench. You cannot simply use a shovel to dig a trench, there are many steps that go into a project this large. Follow these steps to help you dig the best ditch.
Photo Credit: The U.S. Army on flickr
Plan The Excavation Carefully
1. This step is where you will decide to dig and what set of tools and heavy equipment will be needed for the job. You want to try and choose a route that will not damage any valuable plants or other valuable property in the route. Make sure you know the type of soil you will be digging, different soils require different equipment.
2. Check For Major Pipelines
Call the local government/utility location to be able to find where electrical, gas, water and other important pipelines are so you do not damage them.
3. Get Proper Equipment
Shovels, pickaxes, handtools and heavy equipment if needed. Try renting a mini excavator if you are looking to save a lot of time.
4. Remove Vegetation You Want To Keep
You can safely remove vegetation you want to keep alive and replant it after the job is done.
5. Remove Topsoil
You want to remove the topsoil to a depth of about 10-20 centimeters. Store the topsoil away from the site to avoid contamination. To avoid compaction, make sure the heap of topsoil does not exceed 1 – 1.5m in height.
6. Being Digging
Line up with the ditch and begin digging! Make sure that all the workers and equipment are placed to line up with the ditch.
7. Dig To The Desired Depth
Make sure you follow through with the plans you made and cut the dirt to your desired depth. If you are benching, make sure the first cut is dug to the depth of the first bench.
8. Spoil Soil
Get rid of the bad soil to be sure it does not encumber you while you reinstall everything like the utilities or doing whatever work the trench is being dug for, this will also make it so that the trench does not have an “overbending” problem.
9. Laser and Depth
Use a laser to check the depth of your trench to be sure it is all even and all the areas are dug to the exact measurements you planned.
Install the material that you dug the trench for.
11. Backfill Trench
Make sure to fill the trench, try renting a gasoline plate tamp to help you pack the dirt tight.
12. Replace Topsoil And Complete Job
By this point you should be able to replace the topsoil and finish the job!
How to Choose an Excavator
When it comes to choosing a reliable excavator, you need to know a few things to do. It may seem like an easy choice to make, but there really is quite a bit that goes into this kind of decision. Here is a list of tips to help you in making the right choice!
Plan It Out
Know what you want before jumping into a large excavation project. Try to do a lot of pre-planning before getting an estimate. The more you know about materials, and exactly what you want done, the more accurate the estimate will be.
Make sure you do your research on the company you are considering. History, complaints, reviews, licenses, etc. Although they could come off as the best, their history with BBB and past clients could prove otherwise.
Busy Is Good
Finding the best excavator means being patient. The best will be busy with other projects and may not be able to jump right into a project with you. That is okay though! That shows how in demand they are – meaning they are good!
You should probably interview at least three excavators before making a final decision. This will give you a good idea of who you will want to do your project and who will be easiest for you to work with.
Make sure that you have a very detailed contract that you both agree on and have them sign it. Keep a copy close to you as the project goes on so that you have it to fall back on in case of any discrepancies. A contract will also help to know exactly what will be done, materials to be used, deadlines and payments.
Excavating is not just digging some hole in the ground and plopping a basement in it. There is quite a bit of planning and technique that goes into it. The basements construction is very important as it is one of the main the supports for the entire home and building. Here is a compilation of a few different techniques to excavating a perfect basement.
Toppling and slipping are very common when excavating a hole for a basement. To avoid these issues make sure you are working with good soil. To know whether the soil you are excavating is good or not. You will need to do a soil sample in order to know for sure if the soil is top notch for digging a basement.
Create Protective Support Systems
To avoid sliding you will want to use retaining walls, or benching. You can also slope the sides of the hole so that they are not at an angle of a horizontal-to-vertical ratio greater than 1.5 to 1.0. It is also a good idea to create some sort of shied around the area for workers to operate inside of.
One of the safest and smartest ways to build a basement is to use the Island Method. When using this technique you will build the center of the basement first and then build sloped outer walls until they are properly braced. The outer walls will eventually be braced by the completed center and will be able to be fully constructed.
This technique is used mainly in congested, urban areas on larger commercial buildings. First the load bearing walls are constructed, next they pour the ground level floor above where the basement will go. Sometimes the whole building will be constructed before they even dig out the rest of the basement. This takes very skilled careful digging and can take a little more time to do.
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We just wanted to wish everyone a happy 4th of July.
We especially want to thank those who’ve previously, and those who currently serve to safeguard the freedoms we enjoy. Thank you so much!
So embrace your barbecue’s, your camping, and your fireworks, because sometimes there doesn’t seem like any better way to say thanks than that.
Happy 4th of July!
Photo Credit: Vince Alongi