Earthworks are a critical aspect of any construction project. Excavation, digging, and levelling are essential when building foundations, drainage systems and landscapes. If you have a proposed or ongoing construction project, read the article below for some tips on how to execute earthworks.
Inspect The Site
A mistake that many people make is commencing earthworks before conducting site inspections. A site inspection enables you to establish the working conditions. For example, does the site have large entrance and exit points for plant equipment? Does the site have overhead electric cables that could trap excavator arms and buckets? Does the site have an underground drainage or gas line? It is also wise to assess the soil at the site. For example, you will need specialised machines when working on unstable soil. Assess the elevation to determine how best to conduct the earthworks. For example, you may need to conduct cut and fill works when building on a slope. On the other hand, levelling works are critical when building driveways and creating landscapes.
Identify Suitable Machines
Below are some tips to help you when choosing suitable plant equipment for your earthworks project:
- Consider small-sized equipment such as skid steer loaders when working in constricted areas.
- Long-reach excavators are your best bet when the plant equipment cannot access the excavation site. For instance, the equipment can excavate behind a wall without the need to demolish it.
- Consider additional attachments such as augers to drill holes and breakers to break rocks at the site.
- Go for tracked excavators when working on clay or peat soils.
Safety will help prevent accidents at the site. Start by marking out the area to be excavated. For extensive digging work, engage the input of a qualified engineer to prevent the risk of cave-ins. The plant operators should ensure that the equipment rests on a stable surface. They should avoid taking unnecessary risks, especially when digging. Once the excavator tilts, the counterweights may give in to gravity and the load being lifted. When digging trenches, consider the use of shoring equipment.
Site personnel should wear protective clothing. Additionally, they should be aware of the turning radius of the equipment at the site. The plant equipment deployed at the site must be in excellent mechanical condition. Inspect them after every shift to ensure they do not have defects that could affect their functionality or cause accidents at the site.
When conducting earthworks, inspect the site, identify suitable machines and prioritise safety. Additionally, ensure the contractor at the site has adequate experience and insurance.