Petroleum Contractor bucks conventional wisdom to boost efficiency
We’ve all heard it said, “Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something.” Such was the case for a veteran Michigan-based petroleum contractor who recently installed a 26,000 gallon capacity underground fuel tank at a site free from previously installed underground utilities and with no surrounding structures. Conventional wisdom would suggest that open-cutting the excavation would be faster and more cost-effective than employing a shoring system. However many contractors would tell you that conventional wisdom is not always the wise choice.
The petroleum contractor had installed underground fuel tanks before in a ‘no obstruction’ wide open area. The contractor didn’t need a shoring system for safety reasons—they could slope the trench—but in some cases the soil conditions were worse than expected. That typically means more dirt to excavate, extra clean aggregate or sand to backfill, and more time restoring the job site. In those instances, it would have been faster and easier—and cheaper—to use a shoring system. More specifically, an Efficiency Production Slide Rail System.
Efficiency’s Universal Slide Rail is a component shoring system comprised of steel panels (similar to trench shield sidewalls) and vertical steel posts. Slide Rail is installed by sliding the panels into integrated rails on the posts–an outside slotted rail first, then an open-face rail on the inside–then pushing the panels and posts incrementally down to grade as the pit is dug; a process commonly referred to as a “dig and push” shoring system.
“One of the important advantages of a Slide Rail System over open-cutting is that there’s no over-excavation,” explained Tim Hurst, Head of Efficiency Production’s Special Operations Shoring Division. “The system keeps constant pressure against the entirely vertical banks of the excavation, which equals less dirt to move than open-cutting, and less clean-sand to backfill,” Hurst said.
Efficiency’s Universal Slide Rail is uniquely designed for petroleum-related construction such as Underground Storage Tank installation for new gas stations. Slide Rail’s panels, posts, and cross-trench support components can be arranged into a Multi-Bay™ with Waler configuration, which incorporates 24 inch tie-back waler i-beams at the top of the system on both of the long sides. The waler beams are secured into integrated brackets that connect into a slotted rail on the outside face of the two sets of linear posts. Paired with a “sacrificial member” such as a spreader pipe or timber beam braced cross-trench against the bottom of the linear posts; the entire parallel beam spreader assembly can be completely removed, providing an unobstructed open space as long as 50 to 100 feet.