Mistakes Made When Excavating During The Winter

November 26, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Excavating during winter can be tricky. You can avoid many winter excavation problems, however, when you know what to avoid when excavating during winter. You will be able to speed up your progress and avoid costly problems. Let’s look at some winter excavating common mistakes.

Using the Wrong Equipment

The excavation equipment you choose will have the biggest impact on the success of the project. If you are working during the winter, and specifically digging into the frozen ground, you should be aware that specialized equipment is needed. You need the right tool for the right job. Here are some commonly used tools and equipment for successful winter digging:

  • Frost buckets
  • Static ripper
  • Hydraulic hammers
  • Rotary cutters
  • Hydraulic rippers
  • Others

Failing to Heat the Earth

Preparing the ground during winter digging is essential to success. In many cases, the earth will need to be thawed out before you can commence digging at all. There are a few different ways to accomplish this:

  • Charcoal fire over the area
  • Temporary heated shelters
  • Hydrovacing which is spraying the ground with warm water prior to digging.

Lack of Proper Winter Maintenance for Equipment

This can actually have a huge impact on your winter excavation projects. Here are some tips on maintaining excavating equipment during cold weather:

  • Choose cold weather oil. You should switch to an oil that is appropriate for cold weather operations. This will ensure that all equipment runs smoothly during the winter.
  • Check for fractures. Cracks and hairline fractures can occur during the winter. These seemingly small issues can become a big problem and even pose a safety risk to workers.
  • Keep replacement parts on hand. If parts are damaged due to cold weather, you want to be able to replace those parts quickly and easily.

Keep Workers Safe

To keep your winter excavation projects moving along smoothly, it is also important that steps are taken to keep your workers safe from winter temps. You should always insist that workers wear weather appropriate clothing. You may need to establish winter work clothes guidelines if there is not already a uniform in place.

It is also important to ensure that workers can warm up when needed. This can be accomplished by setting up temporary heated shelters on the job site.

Also, make sure that workers stay properly hydrated during projects. Hydration is often overlooked during the winter because we do not often think of getting dehydrated when we are cold, but any time you are physically exerting yourself, there is the chance of dehydration.

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