Gray banner

The Different Types of Trench Shoring

Trench shoring involves installing equipment or material to prevent a cave-in or collapse. These incidents pose the most significant safety risks to workers at an excavation site. When performed correctly and safely, a trench shoring operation can minimize the chances of worker falls, collapsing soil and accidents involving heavy equipment.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trenches 5 feet deep or more require a shielding or shoring system unless the excavation is entirely within a stable rock area. If the trench is less than 5 feet deep, a qualified worker may determine whether a protective system is unnecessary.

Excavation Shielding vs. Shoring

Although people unfamiliar with trenching operations often interchange the terms shielding and shoring, there are significant differences. Excavation shoring utilizes equipment and materials to prevent the walls from collapsing. In contrast, shielding systems use a shield or box to protect workers in case of a collapse.

What Are the Types of Trench Shoring?

Shoring requires using plates, boards or other bracing equipment against the excavation walls and applying pressure with a post, screw jack or hydraulic cylinder to create stability. Specific types of shoring include:

  • Hydraulic shoring: This process uses hydraulic cylinders to generate pressure against plywood or a plate to stabilize the trench. Hydraulic shoring is easily adaptable to most shoring projects and can be installed from outside the trench.
  • Pneumatic shoring: Pneumatic shoring is similar to hydraulic shoring, aside from using compressed air instead of hydraulics to create pressure against the braces. The primary disadvantage of pneumatic shoring is that it requires using an air compressor on location.
  • Screw jacks: Unlike hydraulic and pneumatic systems that create pressure automatically, workers must manually adjust the strut pressure of a screw jack system. Another key difference is that a screw jack system requires a worker to be in the trench to perform the pressure adjustment.
  • Single-cylinder hydraulic shoring: This type of shoring is prevalent in timber shoring systems and water systems. It is also suitable for shallow trenching requiring face stability.
  • Underpinning: Underpinning involves physically reinforcing a foundation to stabilize adjacent structures, intrusions and other surrounding foundations that can impact an excavation. This process typically requires the professional guidance of a qualified structural engineer.
Trusting Sage Rental Services for Your Trench Shoring Needs

Trusting Sage Rental Services for Your Trench Shoring Needs

At Sage Rental Services, our experts understand the importance of trench shielding and shoring in every excavation project. That’s why we offer an extensive selection of trench safety systems at our many convenient locations throughout Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Contact us online today to learn more about how our products can benefit your trenching operation.