Efficiency Slide Rail Helps Contractor Out of Tight Spot

Tue September 26, 2006 - Midwest Edition
James McRay

Joe Raica Excavating of Fowlerville, MI, recently installed a new pre-cast lift station at a beverage manufacturer’s bottling facility in Howell, MI, in preparation of construction of a new wastewater treatment plant.

In order to keep business undisturbed at the facility, Raica needed a non-traditional shoring system for the excavation.

Caught Between a Lot and a Hard Space

The lift station was installed in a very difficult spot, right in the middle of the parking lot next to a set of railroad tracks.

Raica needed to keep the excavation as tight as possible so that the delivery trucks and other traffic could move freely, while at the same time protect the integrity of the railroad tracks.

Needing a custom shoring solution, Raica contacted Efficiency Production Inc. — a manufacturer of trench shielding and shoring.

Efficiency’s Slide Rail Installer and Sales Manager, Greg Ross, quickly knew that the Efficiency Universal Slide Rail System would be perfect for the excavation.

“Slide Rail works because it keeps excavations tight and vertical with no loss of dirt or fill,” explained Ross.

’Dig and Push’ System Reduces Over-Excavation

Efficiency’s Universal Slide Rail is a component shoring system comprised of steel panels (similar to trench shield sidewalls) and vertical steel posts.

The system can be used in a variety of configurations, such as small four-sided pits; large unobstructed working pits of infinite size with Efficiency’s ClearSpan System; or in a linear multi-bay configuration to install length of pipe more than 40 ft. (12.2 m).

Slide Rail is installed simultaneously as the trench or pit is excavated by sliding the panels into integrated rails on the posts — either double or triple rails depending on needed depth — 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” system.

The pit was excavated in heavy clay soil, which may have been previously fill material.

Tight-sheeting was not a shoring option due to the railroad tracks, but that didn’t bother Raica.

“On other pump station jobs we’ve worked on, it would take forever to vibrate in sheeting,” said company owner Joe Raica. “This system was just so easy to deal with; it was like a big erector set.

“The Slide Rail System was installed in a day; and removed in just one day. Unlike when you open cut, we didn’t need a lot of stone backfill, and we weren’t throwing dirt around, which saved us time and money. I hadn’t used Slide Rail before, but with the prospect of using it again, we can bid on more pump station or lift station jobs. Slide Rail potentially opens up another avenue for our business.”

Raica rented from Efficiency a four-sided, 14-by-14 ft. (4.3 by 4.3) pit system, which allowed them to excavate the pit 24 ft. (7.3 m) deep to reach grade where the lift station received an effluent lead (bored from the other side of the parking lot). The entire excavation took up only a small area, and did not interfere with the business’ operation.

“This was a major upgrade at the plant, yet the construction did not interfere with business at all,” said Mazen Banat, project engineer of Strategic Construction Solutions. “Everything went very well, and there was no stop in production.”

Raica used a Cat 235 excavator to install the Slide Rail System and the 6 ft. (1.8 m) round, pre-cast lift station; plus a Cat 950 loader, and a Cat D4C bulldozer.

(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s Web site at www.cegltd.com.) CEG