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Working in and around trenches is a regular part of many construction and utility projects. It’s so common that crew members can sometimes forget that working near trenches can be dangerous if the right precautions aren’t taken. The good news is that most jobsite accidents involving trenches can be easily avoided. Follow this guide to help prevent dangerous, costly situations on your next excavation job.

Common trenching hazards

Insufficient safety precautions surrounding trenches can lead to problems on your jobsite. Some examples of potentially dangerous consequences of not monitoring trench areas sufficiently are:

  • Slips and falls into the trench
  • Cave-ins and collapse of the trench walls
  • Heavy equipment sliding into the trench
  • Flying rocks and other debris from above the trench
  • Nearby structures collapsing into the excavated area
  • Striking underground utilities, resulting in gas leaks, electrocution, flooding, or explosions

Below are tips and best practices that will help you avoid hazardous conditions surrounding trenches.

Trench safety tips

  1. Install protective systems When your trench is deeper than 5 feet, protective systems are required. One way to accomplish this is through sloping and benching, which involves cutting back the trench wall at an angle to create a slope, then developing steps to travel in and out of the trench. The other way is by using shoring and trench shields. These systems use metal supports for the trench walls to help prevent cave-ins.
  2. Routinely inspect your trenches All trenches should be carefully checked before work begins for the day and then rechecked several times throughout the shift to look for signs of collapse or any other dangerous conditions. Signs of danger include cracking, sagging, or bulging of the trench walls or bubbling on the floor of the trench. If it is raining or snowing, then trenches should be inspected even more often.
  3. Have an OSHA Competent Person on the job A Competent Person is responsible for noticing and identifying potential hazards on the jobsite, as well as taking necessary steps to maintain safety. This role is required on every job by OSHA regulations.
  4. Ensure your crew is well trained and uses proper protection All excavation workers should be able to identify and respond to potential trenching threats, and they must wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times, like hard hats, eye protection, and long sleeves and pants.
  5. Know your jobsite Underground utility lines can be hazardous to construction workers. It’s important to know if there are any gas, electricity, or water lines running through your work area. Their locations should be identified and clearly marked for the excavation crew.
  6. There needs to be a way out Any trench more than 4 feet deep must have simple access and egress routes within 25 feet of every worker. These routes may be ladders, ramps, or stairs.
  7. Keep a safe distance All workers should keep a safe distance from excavators digging a trench, in order to avoid injury from falling loads or debris. You should also keep supplies, equipment, and excavated materials stored at least two feet away from the trenching edge to avoid the possibility of having them fall into the trench.
  8. Test for dangerous substances Trenches must be tested for oxygen levels as well as potentially toxic gases like methane and carbon dioxide.

Safety First

Trench safety is important to avoid injuries and downtime on the job. You can help prevent accidents and maximize the efficiency of your project by understanding and implementing these tips and best practices for working in and around trenches.

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Trench Roller

Model Rated HP Operating Weight Capacity Drum Width Day Week 4 Weeks
RTLx-SC3 16 HP 3,020 lb 2,400 lb 32.0" $225 $675 $2,200

Mud Buggies

Model Weight Volume Load Capacity Day Week 4 Weeks
MB 1600 Tire 1,370 lb 16 ft³ 2,500 lb $75 $275 $725
MBTX 2500 Track 1,640 lb 16 ft³ 2,500 lb $150 $525 $1,375

Machine Control Systems

Model Day Week 4 Weeks
LMR240 $50 $75 $200
LMR360 $100 $125 $375
DM200 $100 $125 $375
CoPiIot $150 $300 $500
iCON Grade iGD2, 2D system $575 $1,450 $3,300
iCON Grade iGD3, 3D system $625 $1,600 $3,600
Base Station & Rover Jobsite Setup $750 $2,000 $4,000

(one month minimum)

Lasers

104" Model Distance Day Week 4 Weeks
Rugby Beam Laser 3,000' $80 $200 $600
Rugby Grade Laser 2,500' $50 $150 $450

Loader Backhoes

Model Net HP Operating Weight Max Dig Depth Day Week 4 Weeks
580EP 74 HP 15,795 lb 18'6" $300 $825 $2,275
580N 90 HP 16,589 lb 18'3" $325 $895 $2,450
580SN 97 HP 17,269 lb 17'11" $345 $950 $2,600
580SN WT 97 HP 20,077 lb 18' $365 $1,000 $2,760
590SN 110 HP 20,532 lb 19'6" $380 $1,045 $2,875

All units equipped with cab heater and A/C, X-hoe, 4 wheel drive, ride control, manual quick coupler, and auxiliary hydraulics

Backhoe attachments

Model Day Week 4 Weeks
Additional Bucket Rental $50 $150 $450
Auger and Bit $100 $300 $900
Auger Extension $20 $60 $180
Additional Auger Bit $50 $150 $450
HP1100 Breaker $350 $1,050 $3,150
HP1250 Breaker $390 $1,170 $3,500
HP1500 Breaker $450 $1,350 $4,050
Hydraulic Thumb $200 $600 $1,800

Compact track loaders

Model Net HP Operating Weight Rated Operating Capacity* Available Bucket Widths Day Week 4 Weeks
TR270 74 HP 8,270 lb 2,700 lb 66" $275 $800 $2,300
TR270 HF 74 HP 8,270 lb 2,700 lb 66" $315 $875 $2,525
TR310 74 HP 8,880 lb 3,100 lb 72" $285 $825 $2,315
TR310 HF 74 HP 8,880 lb 3,100 lb 72" $315 $915 $2,550
TR340 90 HP 10,000 lb 3,400 lb 78" $320 $945 $2,825
TR340 HF 90 HP 10,000 lb 3,400 lb 78" $345 $1,025 $3,050
TV370 74 HP 9,630 lb 3,700 lb 78" $330 $975 $2,750
TV370 HF 74 HP 9,630 lb 3,700 lb 78" $350 $1,015 $2,850
TV380 90 HP 10,550 lb 3,800 lb 78" $360 $1,075 $2,875
TV380 HF 90 HP 10,550 lb 3,800 lb 78" $375 $1,150 $2,900
TV450 90 HP 10,610 lb 4,500 lb 78" $385 $1,200 $2,950
TV450 HF 90 HP 10,610 lb 4,500 lb 78" $410 $1,275 $3,175

TR = Radial Lift, TV = Vertical Lift, HF = High Flow • Machines equipped with smooth or tooth bucket

Model Net HP Operating Weight Rated Operating Capacity* Available Bucket Widths Day Week 4 Weeks
TL6 65 HP 7,780 lb 2,635 lb 60" - 80" $265 $795 $2,200
TL8 74 HP 8,631 lb 3,010 lb 60" - 80" $285 $825 $2,315
TL8 HF 74 HP 8,631 lb 3,010 lb 60" - 80" $315 $915 $2,550
TL10V2 74 HP 10,270 lb 3,600 lb 70" - 90" $325 $950 $2,650
TL10V2 HF 74 HP 10,270 lb 3,600 lb 70" - 90" $350 $1,015 $2,850
TL12R2/V2 111 HP 12,590 lb 4,315 lb 76" - 90" $385 $1,200 $2,950
TL12R2/V2 HF 111 HP 12,590 lb 4,315 lb 76" - 90" $410 $1,275 $3,175

HF = High Flow • Machines equipped with smooth or tooth bucket

Small Double Drum Roller

Model Rated HP Operating Weight Drum Width Day Week 4 Weeks
DV23 35.5 HP 5,270 lb 39.4" $225 $650 $1,895
DV26 31 HP 5,842 lb 47.2” $285 $825 $2,395
DV36 43.5 HP 8,290 lb 51.2” $320 $925 $2,695
DV45 40 HP 10,296 lb 54.3" $450 $1,305 $3,785
Model Rated HP Operating Weight Drum Width Day Week 4 Weeks
RD12A 16.6 HP 2,490 lb 35.4" $204 $595 $1,725

Mulchers

Model Overall Width Weight Flow Range Day Week 4 Weeks
BH74SS 5 ft 1 in 2,626 lb 24 - 45 gpm $500 $1,700 $4,500

Midi Excavator

Model Operating Net HP Weight Max Dig Depth Day Week 4 weeks
CX75C SR 55.2 HP 16,200 lb 13' 7" $375 $1,150 $3,495
CX80C 55.2 HP 18,800 lb 13' 9" $400 $1,200 $3,600
Model Operating Net HP Weight Max Dig Depth Day Week 4 weeks
TB280FR 69.2 HP 18,810 lb 14' 11” $400 $1,200 $3,600
TB290 69.2 HP 18,630 lb 15' $400 $1,200 $3,600
TB2150 114 HP 34,480 lb 18"

Double Drum Vibratory Rollers

Model Rated HP Operating Weight Drum Width Day Week 4 Weeks
DV209D 100 HP 21,080 lb 71” $505 $1,465 $4,250
DV210D 100 HP 22,930 lb 71" $535 $1,550 $4,500

Single Drum Rollers

Model Rated HP Operating Weight Drum Width Day Week 4 Weeks
SV208D 99 HP 15,830 lb 66” $515 $1,495 $4,325
SV210D 99 HP 19,538 lb 66” $540 $1,550 $4,550
SV212D 154 HP 24,520 lb 84” $550 $1,595 $4,650
SV216D 154 HP 31,640 lb 84” $575 $1,675 $4,850

Available with dozer blade add 10% • Shell kits available add 20%

Attachments for SSLs & CTLs

Loader Attachments Standard Flow

Description Day Week 4 Weeks
Breaker 500 ft lb $205 $680 $1,845
Breaker 750 ft 1b $250 $750 $1,900
Brush Hog 72" - 80" $250 $875 $2,250
Bucket - Extra $50 $150 $450
Dozer Blade 80" or 96" $150 $525 $1,350
Drop Hammer Cyclone 3,500 lb $275 $963 $2,475
Grapple Root 72" - 82" $90 $315 $810
Pallet Fork $50 $150 $450
PWR Power Rake $250 $825 $2,250
Scrap Grapple 72" - 78" $90 $315 $810
Soil Conditioner/Preparator $150 $525 $1,350
Trencher - 6" or 8" W x 48" D $170 $570 $1,550
Tree Puller $75 $250 $725

Loader Attachments High Flow

Cold Planer - 24" Drum $450 $1,500 $4,050
Cold Planer - 40" Drum $560 $1,870 $5,040

Augers

Auger Drives with Bit up to 24" $100 $300 $900
Auger Extra Bits up to 24" $50 $175 $450
Auger Extra Bits 30" to 36" $75 $265 $675
Auger Extension Range - 8" to 36" $20 $60 $180

Brooms

Broom, Angle 84" $225 $700 $2,025
Broom, Pickup 72" $225 $700 $2,025

Crawler Dozers

Model Net HP Operating Weight Pad Width Blade Width Day Week 4 Weeks
650M 68 HP 15,803 lb 24" 90" $400 $1,330 $3,600
750M 92 HP 20,040 lb 28" 96" $500 $1,650 $4,500
850M 112 HP 21,980 lb 28" 104" $600 $2,000 $5,400
1150M 127 HP 31,134 lb 30" 120" $725 $2,175 $6,525
1650M 150 HP 37,756 lb 34" 130" $825 $2,675 $7,425
2050M 214 HP 45,414 lb 36" 135" $1,100 $3,650 $9,900

Extra long track, wide track, and low ground pressure models available.

Skid Steer Loaders

Model Net HP Operating Weight Rated Operating Capacity* Available Bucket Widths Day Week 4 Weeks
SR130 49 HP 5,070 lb 1,300 lb 66" - 84" $185 $550 $1,650
SR160 60 HP 5,510 lb 1,600 lb 66" - 84" $185 $550 $1,650
SR175 67 HP 6,270 lb 1,750 lb 66" - 84" $185 $550 $1,650
SR175 HF 67 HP 6,270 lb 1,750 lb 66" - 84" $200 $600 $1,800
SV185 60 HP 6,570 lb 1,850 lb 66" - 84" $215 $725 $1,950
SV185 HF 60 HP 6,570 lb 1,850 lb 66" - 84" $225 $675 $2,025
SR210 74 HP 6,970 lb 2,100 lb 66" - 84" $275 $970 $2,475
SR210 HF 74 HP 6,970 lb 2,100 lb 66" - 84" $300 $1,050 $2,700
SR240 74 HP 7,400 lb 2,400 lb 66" - 84" $285 $1,000 $2,495
SR240 HF 74 HP 7,400 lb 2,400 lb 66" - 84" $310 $1,125 $2,775
SR270 90 HP 8,117 lb 2,700 lb 70" - 84" $295 $1,050 $2,495
SR270 HF 90 HP 8,117 lb 2,700 lb 70" - 84" $325 $1,150 $2,760
SV280 74 HP 8,090 lb 2,800 lb 70" - 84" $295 $1,050 $2,495
SV280 HF 74 HP 8,090 lb 2,800 lb 70" - 84" $325 $1,150 $2,775
SV340 90 HP 9,100 lb 3,400 lb 70" - 84" $310 $1,050 $2,525
SV340 HF 90 HP 9,100 lb 3,400 lb 70" - 84" $335 $1,150 $2,795

SR = Radial Lift, SV = Vertical Lift, HF = High Flow • Machines equipped with smooth or tooth bucket • See page 7 for attachments

Compact Excavators

Model Operating Net HP Weight Max Dig Depth Day Week 4 weeks
CX17C 16.8 HP 3,910 lb 7' 3" $200 $580 $1,685
CX26C 24.8 HP 5,520 lb 7' 11" $220 $605 $1,750
CX30C 24.8 HP 6,020 lb 8' 2" $225 $650 $1,895
CX33C 24.4 HP 7,110 lb 9' 11" $235 $685 $1,975
CX37C 24.4 HP 7,990 lb 10' 3" $250 $750 $2,250
CX57C 66.9 HP 12,050 lb 12' 6" $270 $785 $2,275
CX60C 64.7 HP 12,940 lb 11' 9" $280 $815 $2,355
CX75C SR 55.2 HP 16,200 lb 13' 7" $375 $1,150 $3,495
CX80C 55.2 HP 18,800 lb 13' 9" $400 $1,200 $3,600
Model Net HP Operating Weight Max Dig Depth Day Week 4 weeks
TB210R 11.7 HP 2,535 lb 5' 9” $200 $710 $1,800
TB216 15 HP 3,902 lb 7' 10” $220 $725 $1,915
TB230 24.4 HP 6,360 lb 9' 3” $225 $650 $1,895
TB235-2 29.8 HP 7,650 lb 11' 2” $245 $700 $2,060
TB240 35.8 HP 8,570 lb 11' 4” $260 $775 $2,250
TB250-2 39 HP 11,288 lb 12' 5” $270 $795 $2,300
TB260 47.6 HP 12,645 lb 12' 9” $280 $815 $2,355
TB290 69.2 HP 18,630 lb 15' $400 $1,200 $3,600

Zero tail swing

TB280FR 69.2 HP 18,810 lb 14' 11” $400 $1,200 $5,600

Tracked Excavators

Model Net HP Operating Weight Max Dig Depth Day Week 4 Weeks
CX130D 102 HP 29,131 lb 18' 3" $585 $1,705 $4,945
CX145D SR 102 HP 52,100 lb 18' 1” $605 $1,750 $5,075
CX160D 112 HP 38,400 lb 19' 11" $615 $1,775 $5,155
CX210D 160 HP 48,859 lb 20' 1" $675 $1,975 $5,695
CX210D LR 160 HP 48,973 lb 39' 4" $1,425 $4,150 $12,000
CX245D SR 160 HP 56,900 lb 20' 1" $725 $2,100 $6,095
CX250D 177 HP 56,909 lb 22' 8" $750 $2,185 $6,350
CX250D LR 177 HP 63,523 lb 47' 9" $1,625 $4,700 $13,625
CX300D 207 HP 67,271 lb 22' 9" $1,025 $2,965 $8,595
CX300D LR 207 HP 67,271 lb 24' 5" $1,835 $5,325 $15,450
CX350D 268 HP 82,485 lb 24’ 1" $1,150 $3,350 $9,725
CX490D 362 HP 109,300 lb 25’ 4" $1,625 $4,700 $13,650

SR = Short Radius, RT = Rubber Track, LR = Long Reach • Additional bucket rental add 15% of rate Available with hydraulic couplers or thumbs add 15%

Compact Wheel Loaders

Model Net HP Operating weight Max Heaped Bucket Capacity Day Week 4 weeks
21F 58 HP 11,272 lb 0.92 yd³ $300 $900 $2,700
21F XT 58 HP 10,979 lb 0.92 yd³ $300 $900 $2,700
121F 64 HP 11,618 lb 1.05 yd³ $300 $900 $2,700
121F XT 64 HP 11,067 lb 1.05 yd³ $300 $900 $2,700
221F 74 HP 12,547 lb 1.2 yd³ $350 $1,050 $3,150
221F HS 74 HP 12,547 lb 1.2 yd³ $350 $1,050 $3,150
321F 74 HP 13,303 lb 1.3 yd³ $350 $1,050 $3,150
321F HS 74 HP 13,303 lb 1.3 yd³ $350 $1,050 $3,150

XT = Tool Carrier, HS = High Speed

Wheel Loaders

Model Net HP Operating Weight Max Heaped Bucket Capacity Day Week 4 Weeks
521G 142 HP 24,035 lb 2.3 yd³ $495 $1,435 $4,165
521G XT 142 HP 25,384 lb 2.3 yd³ $495 $1,435 $4,165
521G XR 142 HP 24,572 lb 2.3 yd³ $495 $1,435 $4,165
621G 162 HP 27,695 lb 2.7 yd³ $540 $1,565 $4,540
621G XT 162 HP 29,076 lb 2.7 yd³ $540 $1,565 $4,540
621G XR 162 HP 28,483 lb 2.7 yd³ $540 $1,565 $4,540
721G 195 HP 32,492 lb 3.50 yd³ $615 $1,785 $5,175
721G XT 195 HP 33,392 lb 3.50 yd³ $615 $1,785 $5,175
721G XR 195 HP 32,851 lb 3.50 yd³ $615 $1,785 $5,175
821G 230 HP 40,057 lb 4.25 yd³ $690 $2,000 $5,800
821G XR 230 HP 40,648 lb 4.25 yd³ $690 $2,000 $5,800
921G 255 HP 45,071 lb 4.75 yd³ $980 $2,850 $8,250
921G XR 255 HP 45,651 lb 4.75 yd³ $980 $2,850 $8,250
1021G 320 HP 55,282 lb 5.50 yd³ $1,240 $3,500 $10,450
1021G XR 320 HP 58,711 lb 5.50 yd³ $1,240 $3,500 $10,450
1121G 347 HP 61,650 lb 6.25 yd³ $1,500 $4,325 $12,550
1121G XR 347 HP 63,443 lb 6.25 yd³ $1,500 $4,325 $12,550
Fork Attachment $50 $150 $450

XT = Tool Carrier, XR= Extended Reach • Quick couplers available, add 15%

Rough Terrain Forklifts

Model Type Operating Weight Capacity Reach Day Week 4 Weeks
586H Standard 13,682 lb 6,000 lb 15' $275 $800 $2,350
588H Standard 16,102 lb 8,000 lb 15' $300 $900 $2,700

Breakers

Model Carry Weight Minimum Carry Weight Maximum Flow Supply Day Week 4 Weeks
HP500 3,750 lb 14,300 lb 8 - 16 g/m $205 $680 $1,850
HP750 6,650 lb 17,600 lb 14 - 22 g/m $220 $730 $1,980
HP1000 7,750 lb 23,100 lb 14 - 24 g/m $350 $1,050 $3,150
HP1100 8,850 lb 26,450 lb 16 - 27 g/m $350 $1,050 $3,150
HP1250 11,050 lb 30,850 lb 19 - 28 g/m $390 $1,170 $3,500
HP1500 14,400 lb 35,200 lb 19 - 29 g/m $450 $1,375 $4,150
HP2000 26,500 lb 48,500 lb 23 - 25 g/m $550 $1,670 $4,500
HP3000 33,000 lb 55,000 lb 30 - 40 g/m $750 $2,250 $6,800
HP4000 35,500 lb 61,500 lb 34 - 43 g/m $835 $2,670 $7,900
HP5000 42,000 lb 70,500 lb 39 - 48 g/m $950 $2,850 $8,600
HP5500 46,500 lb 83,500 lb 43 - 53 g/m $1,025 $3,065 $9,200
HP7500 51,000 lb 92,000 lb 48 - 61 g/m $1,200 $3,600 $10,800
HP8000 60,000 lb 110,000 lb 51 - 71 g/m $1,200 $3,600 $10,800

Model Maximum Dig Depth Engine Power Operating Weight  Travel Speed Backhoe Hydraulic Flow Loader Bucket Heaped Capacity Bucket Digging Force Dipper Lift Turning Radius Fuel Tank Gallons Compare

580N EP
14' 11" 74 HP 15,795 lb 21.3 MPH 28.5 GPM 1.03 YD3 11,517 LBF 4,343 lb 11' 4" 30

580N
14' 8" 90 HP 16,589 lb 24.6 MPH 28.5 GPM 1.03 YD3 11,517 LBF 4,343 lb 11' 4" 35

580 Super N
14' 4" 97 HP 17,269 lb 24.6 MPH 41 GPM 1.03 YD3 13,975 LBF 5,822 lb 11' 4" 35

580 Super N WT
14' 5" 110 HP 20,077 lb 25.2 MPH 41 GPM 1.29 YD3 13,795 LBF 5,822 lb 11' 3" 35

590 Super N
15' 5" 110 HP 20,532 lb 25.2 MPH 43 GPM 1.3 YD3 15,132 LBF 6,102 lb 11' 8" 35
Click to Compare Reset


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