What in the World is Trench Shoring?

4/09/2016 Dhanur Chauhan 0 Comments

Anyone who has ever worked in construction knows the importance of trench shoring and the dangers that working in a trench can impose.  For the rest of you, let’s start with what a trench is and why we have them before explaining what exactly trench shoring is and why it is important.  When explaining a new topic, it’s always best to start at the beginning.  It its most basic definition, a trench is simply a very long, narrow ditch.

A trench typically contains more depth than it does width. A more in depth explanation of what a trench is would be to describe a trench as a depression or excavation in the ground. Trenches are not only deeper than they are wide, but they are also very narrow when compared to how long they typically are. Trenches can be either man-made or naturally made. A naturally made trench is usually due to erosion caused by rivers or tectonic plates moving.

When talking about construction, trenches are usually involved in the field of civil engineering field when constructing or maintaining infrastructure. The trenches are typically created in order to infrastructure or utilities underground. Utilities are things such as water mains, gas mains, or telephone lines. Trenches may even be created so that workers can find these infrastructures underground at a later time. Trenches are also dug in the military for defensive purposes.

There are many different types of trenches in the world. The first type of trenches are the ones that are geologically made.This are caused by some type of natural occurrence such as erosion caused by water and glaciers or the geological movement of tectonic plates.  Trenches play a major role in the civil engineering world, especially when talking about the construction or maintenance of infrastructure. 

Trenches are used to easily place infrastructure or utilities, which are highly susceptible to damage, underground. Trenches may also be created to make later searches of underground pipes or other underground infrastructure,that is known to be underground but the exact location cannot be remembered, an easier process.Trenches are also commonly used as the beginning phase to creating a foundation wall. Sometimes, large trenches are dug and not filled in so that they can become a resource of transportation.  This may come in the form of canals, depressed motorways, or open railway cuttings. 

The military uses trenches as a form of defense. Trenches are dug as a way to take cover and be able to easy communicate with each other while dodging fire from the enemy.  Archaeology is another field that utilizes trenches. They use trenches for excavation of certain sites (like ancient ruins) or in order to be able to dig sideways into strata so that they can get a sideways view of the deposits. They do this with the hope that they can place what they find in chronological order. 

Trenches allow for only a small part of the entire site to be destroyed, but trenches also only allow Archaeologists to gain one piece of the overall larger puzzle.  Most Archaeologists combine trenches and traditional excavation methods in order to gain the best results.

As you can see, trenches serve many purposes in today’s world.  They are created in a number of ways, and have a number of productive uses. Trench shoring is a process commonly used during the construction or maintenance of infrastructure. The term refers to bracing the wall of a trench in order to prevent the trench from collapsing in.  If a trench collapses, it can cause extreme devastation. Workers could be trapped, or even killed, below the debris. The entire site is ruined, even in the event that no one is hurt. Trench shoring is essential in order to protect workers while stabilizing the trench so that it will not collapse.

It is very important that workers know how to stabilize the trench. It could cost them dearly if the concept of trench shoring is not understood, or is skipped.  There are many different methods of trench shoring available for workers to utilize.  One is aluminum hydraulic shoring.  Hydraulic shoring uses hydraulic pistons that can be pumped outward until the point that the reach the trench walls and press up against them. 

The beam and plate method drives steal I-beams into the ground and slides still plates in amongst the beams in order to stabilize the trench. Soldier boarding is similar to the beam and plate method, except it uses wooden planks. In construction, understanding the importance of stabilizing a trench can mean the difference in life and death.