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Deep Utility Install ’Piece of Cake’ With Efficiency Production

The biggest challenge was finding a shoring system that could go at least 30 ft. (9 m) deep.

Sat June 20, 2015 - Midwest Edition
James McRay

Recently, contractor Mauldon Bros. Construction was the low-bidder to replace an existing lift station for the Township of Meridian, Mich. The pre-cast wet well was installed along Biber Street between Pollard and Hardy Roads in East Lansing, Mich.

The installation of a new pre-cast structure with sewer tie-in was really nothing new for brothers Greg and Steve Mauldon, who have been working in sewer and water utility construction since taking over the family business from their dad, Glen, in 1996. What was a new wrinkle for them in the Tower Gardens Lift Station project was the depth of the excavation.

“The 8 foot diameter wet well we are installing is 28 feet tall,” said Greg Mauldon. “Before this, the deepest we’d dug was 22 feet deep, so this was definitely uncharted territory for us,” he said.

The biggest challenge was finding a shoring system that could go at least 30 ft. (9 m) deep. The excavation was right in the middle of a residential neighborhood so open cut and sloping was not an option. Stacked trench boxes were impractical given the weight and size of the trench shields that would be necessary to withstand the soil pressure at the required depth.

Local Trench

Shoring Manufacturer Offers Perfect

Shoring Solution

Fortunately for the brothers Mauldon, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of trench shoring equipment — Efficiency Production — is headquarted right in their hometown. After a quick review of Mauldon’s project specs, Tim Hurst, shoring specialist of Efficiency’s special operations shoring division, was able to design a slide rail system that was the perfect shoring solution for Mauldon’s deep dig dilemma.

Efficiency’s Universal Slide Rail is a component shoring system comprised of steel panels (similar to trench shield sidewalls) and vertical steel posts. The highly versatile system can be used in a variety of configurations. Efficiency’s slide rail system can be configured into small four-sided pits; an obstruction-free ClearSpan configuration; or in a Multi-Bay configuration to install large tanks and structures, or lengths of pipe more than 40 ft. (12 m).

Slide rail is considered “positive shoring.” It is installed by sliding the panels into integrated rails on the posts, and 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. “That was really important on this project,” said Hurst. “In addition to being very deep, the excavation was also in a very tight spot, right along a main neighborhood road,” Hurst said. “Mauldon couldn’t over-cut the excavation at all, the sides of the pit needed to be completely vertical, which is exactly what slide rail accomplishes,” Hurst said.

Deep, Tough Utility Install ’Piece of Cake’ With Efficiency Slide Rail

“This was the first time for us using slide rail and it worked very well,” said Greg Mauldon. “It was the deepest we’ve gone for an install, and we had heard a lot of good things about slide rail and were excited to use it and see how it performed.”

Mauldon rented direct from Efficiency a 16 by 16 by 32 ft. (4.9 by 4.9 by 9.8 m) deep 4-sided configured slide rail system. The excavation was dug and the system installed with a Deere 550 excavator. Also on site, Mauldon had a Cat 314 mini-excavator, a Deere 544J front loader, and a Cat 228 skid steer. dewatering pumps were rented from Patriot Pumps.

Now having used slide rail, Mauldon believes it might open up new opportunities for their business. “We may look at a few more lift station project in the future,” continued Mauldon. “Before, looking at lift station projects, it’s always been, ’well I don’t know. It’s going to be wet; it’s going to be deep.’ But with slide rail this was simple. A piece of cake.”

In business since 1996, Mauldon Bros. Construction specializes in underground utility such as sewer and water. They are based in Mason, Mich., and can be reached at 517/507-7289.

Efficiency Production, “America’s Trench Box Builder,” provides a wide selection of standard and custom trench shielding and shoring systems. Efficiency’s versatile products are designed specifically for safe and cost effective installation of utility systems and infrastructure improvements. All products are P.E. certified to meet OSHA standards. For more information, visit

James McRay is the director of marketing and media for Efficiency Production, Inc. He can be reached at 800/552-8800; [email protected]

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