Slot trenching with hydro excavation is a construction method involving the excavation of narrow trenches for the installation of underground utilities such as cables, pipes, and conduits. This can be done by using minimal impact techniques like hydro excavation. This is the preferred approach since it is non-mechanical, non-destructive, and a more efficient operation.
Hydro excavation is the process of moving or removing soil with pressurized water. After, a vacuum truck sucks up the debris into a tank. The reason this way is becoming popular is due to being quicker, safer, and inexpensive compared to mechanical excavation. That practice involves digging manually which takes longer and requires more labor. It’s the older way of doing things and isn’t too accurate. It digs trenches much wider than they need to be with large equipment that can damage surrounding areas. There is also a risk of harming pipes and cables underground.
Slot trenching with hydro excavation makes it easier for workers to dig thin, narrow trenches that are very accurate and contained to the job they’re doing. There is minimal back-filling which allows the job to be completed faster. There is no heavy equipment involved so it is non-destructive, leaving the work area tidy.
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Locating and exposing utilities with slot trenching
Hydro excavation is safe and efficient to expose underground utilities. Slot trenching could be done to install signs and posts, but mostly used for installing subsurface utilities. The action is used to find and expose things underground, also known as daylighting. This insures the surrounding material and soil is undisturbed.
Slot trenching and vacuum can be used where heavy machinery is not permitted. If a line needs to be exposed or located for repairs, workers excavate to make room for their work space. There is a method called exploratory slot trenching, which is the process of clearing an area to confirm the location of existing utilities. This makes it easier to find astray lines like plastic or non-conductive material.
The major benefit of slot trenching with a vacuum is that it is safer. It is less labor intensive and doesn’t involve massive machinery so it becomes a safer environment for workers. Slot trenching with hydro excavation is precise as well as cost-effective due to the quickness of the job and the small amount of machinery used.
The hydro excavation and vacuum way of the slot trenching process is considered to be more environmentally friendly as it removes the least amount of dirt possible. The result is a clean, precise hole that is done efficiently and does not damage the area around it.
More About Hydro Excavation
Hydro excavation is a fairly new process of digging soil. It is a non-mechanical and non-destructive process that uses high pressure water and flow of air excavate the soil in a controlled manner. The water cuts trough the soil to break it apart. Once the soil is breached, the vacuum truck is used to take out the soil and move it to a debris tank. It is a more cost efficient and less time consuming process than traditional methods of excavation.
Traditionally, excavation jobs were done through manual digging or using equipment like the backhoe. Manual digging is very labor intensive and involves high labor costs. It also takes a longer time to get a job done because actual people are digging the soil with a shovel. Because of the inaccuracy, there are also possibilities that the underground utilities or surrounding soil end up getting damaged. Backhoes are much faster than manual digging, but often remove more soil than necessary.
Hydro excavation for slot trenching reduces the liability and insurance costs. Accidents, injuries and damages can be better avoided through this method. Breaches to pipelines and other underground utilities are also minimized. Overall, hydro excavation provides for a safer, less expensive and less time consuming excavation.
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