Trenching has become the favoured method in many situations as it offers several clear advantages:
- The excavated material can often be used for backfill.
- Efficiency and speed; the time required for executing jobs is shorter than any other alternative.
- A much smaller and neater path is cut through the terrain; the regular shape of the trenches it produces offers physically conducive environment for other activities in pipeline construction.
- Increased safety when working close to infrastructure such as existing pipelines and urban areas (less risk of liability).
- The process is less labour intensive.
- Low environmental impact & less overall ground disturbance.
Use of spoil for backfilling
Excavated material is automatically processed and ready to use as backfill, saving on material costs and transportation costs.
Up to 50% less padding is required as a result of precision cut trenches.
The alternates to trenching are blasting rock and using excavators. In contrast to these methods, trenching results in a cleaner work area and reduces the time required by a general contractor to place pipelines. It eliminates clean up, trenching also produces quality crushed rock material that often meets specifications of back-fill soil for the pipeline. The versatility of rock trenching allows for fast and deep trenching.
Trenching vs Excavating
Trenching with mechanical trenchers has evolved through improvements in quality and efficiency of excavation operations. It results in better economics, as the productivity of trenchers is ten times that of excavators. It is much faster than excavation, a lot safer and requires approximately 60% less manpower, and reduces service and fuel costs.
Trenching vs Blasting
For a long time the practice of laying pipelines in hard rock involved blasting a ditch using explosives and then excavating the rubble. Blasting and hammering are slow, unpredictable, dangerous and ultimately expensive. Blasting increases the risk of liability and poses a higher safety risk. In developed countries the use of explosives is restrained by law.