Trench Excavation Project

There are important differences between traditional excavation and trench excavation. Traditionally, excavation is the process of digging a hole in the ground; whereas trenching is digging a hole where the depth must be larger than the width. They are typically less than 15 feet (4.67m) wide. 

There are various uses for trenches, and they can be dug either manually or through the use of machinery, depending on the use of the trench.

The Different Types of Trenches

Different projects require different dimensions in terms of depth and width of a hole. The dimensions determine the style that will be used. The main types are Straight, Sloped, Benched, and Bell-Bottom Pier Holes.

Trench Excavation

Straight Trenches

These holes are usually dug near buildings or roadways where the width of space available is limited. Both sides of the hole are straight down with no sloping or steps, as there isn’t room to expand out.

Due to the narrow nature of this hole, trench shields or sheets are used as a protective system. This system is put in place to protect the workers from the pressures and weight of the soil in a possible collapse.

Sloped Trenches

Used in areas where more space is available, these have angled sides which prevent the possible collapse/cave-in. The slopes are angled in proportion to the depth of the hole, in order to protect workers. These are usually dug when large pipes and utility lines need to be placed underground.

Typically, these are used when other collapse-protective systems are not available on a construction site, but there is adequate width to slope the sides correctly. Another protective system put in place is shielding, as discussed above.

Benched Trenches

The sides of these holes have been cut into steps. The number of steps, and the height of each, is determined by the soil type with deeper angles being used in more stable soils. The bench system is typically used in holes that need to be up to 6 metres deep, and additional support is gained through the use of trench boxes or shielding.

Bell-Bottom Pier Hole Trenches

These holes are bottom-wide, and have a bell-like shape, with the opening being the narrowest part.  The reason the base is the widest part is so that teams are able to work in the base to install footings and supports for a structure.

These have the highest likelihood of collapse, due to their shape, and therefore rely on additional supports to prevent the inward sloping sides from collapsing.

Why Hire Osborne Construction for Your Job?

Trenching follows similar guidelines as basic excavation, which can be found on our website. However, there are further safety regulations that need to be taken into consideration when digging due to the narrow width of the holes, and the extreme depth of some of them. The risks include, and are not limited to cave-ins, flooding, hazardous atmosphere exposure, and contacting buried service lines.

Hiring an external company, such as Osborne Construction & Excavation Services, helps ensure that your project is undertaken with care and that all hazards are taken into account and prevented. We also work with the highest-quality machinery in Bobcat Brand to ensure that your project has the result that you want.

dave wilson
dave wilson
21:31 16 Dec 20
had them waterproof my foundation to eliminate a wet basement issue. squeezed their equipment into my backyard and dug... up the entirety of my back foundation. waterproofed, new weepers. did an excellent job. very professional and thorough. if i had known how easy and reasonable it was going to be i would have done it years ago. very happy with the work. would certainly recommend more
s simpson
s simpson
23:17 19 Oct 20
After having three previous contractors guess what is causing a leak through my garage wall, Mark determined in 10 min.... where and how the leak was occurring. By simply placing a small twig in a hole at the base of the front wall, he was able to demonstrate very quickly the primary entry point of rainwater. Because of his expertise, the work was completed at 1/4 the cost of other estimates and on time. Steve (Waterloo)read more
Lisa Fletcher
Lisa Fletcher
00:43 09 Oct 20
Great job redoing sidewalks and courtyard, exceeded my expectations. Easy to work with, great communication, on time... and on more
Don Campbell
Don Campbell
10:52 30 Sep 20
Marc and I installed a large geothermal system in the fall of 2019. The hard, hard clay made it take longer than either... of us expected, which led to some scheduling conflicts. Marc handled this well and got everything finished with only a small delay. He was well prepared, worked long hours and at times went above and beyond to ensure a professional result. I would happily recommend Marc to anyone looking for light-duty excavation more
Sandra Schizkoske
Sandra Schizkoske
11:31 23 Sep 20
We hired Mark to remove our inground pool and he did an excellent job. He finished on time and on budget. He rebuilt... our walk way and it came out better than we expected. We were very happy with him and his more
Denton Daley
Denton Daley
23:32 14 Sep 20
This was the best service hands down. They protected our property while driving over our lawn to get to the backyard. ... They took the utmost care and ensured we didn't have any worries with their work. I highly recommend Osborn Construction for any residential excavation!read more
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Client Testimonials

"Mark and his team did a great job on our new landscaping project. They dug out and prepared new flower beds for planting, prepared sidewalks for flagstones, and helped with drainage issues on the driveway. Their expertise and attention to detail are just what we needed so we could do the next steps of the project ourselves. I would highly recommend this business for any exterior work!"

Dan & Kathryn C.

Mark and his crew completed the work on my property on time and on budget. Their expertise really showed when planning my project, scheduling everything, and working carefully in a tight space. I'm really happy with the results, and would gladly work with Mark again in the future!

Allen H.

Osborne construction did an excavation, fill, and concrete job on over 5500sqft of driveway and patio space around my home. He finished on schedule, and left the job site clean and ready for the next phase. They're easy to communicate with, and are very knowledgeable. I would highly recommend them. !

Alex D.


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