Hand Excavation

Published: August 23, 2018 | Last updated: July 5, 2023

What Does Hand Excavation Mean?

Hand excavation is exactly what it sounds like: backbreaking labor accompanied by a shovel. Hand excavation during the planning process for a trenchless operation is called “potholing.” Potholing allows the geotechnical team to visually assess subsurface conditions presented within a pit excavated for this purpose. Hand excavation is also used when the use of digging equipment would cause unacceptable damage to the surrounding structures or land, or the work, if done by mechanical digging equipment – such as a backhoe – would present the possibility of the collapse.

Hand excavation is also known as manual excavation.

Trenchlesspedia Explains Hand Excavation

In addition to pothole and other geotechnical investigative activities, hand excavation may be necessary for the execution of a trenchless project. If, for example, the trenchless project requires an access pit near the cellar wall of a building of historic nature, hand excavation may be the optimum choice for digging the pit in order to avoid damage to the cellar wall. Hand excavation is frequently necessary to “square up” the walls of the larger access pits necessary for the equipment used in pipe ramming. Trenchless projects are so varied in their nature that the times when a shovel and a strong back are needed are too numerous to mention. Nonetheless, the need for hand excavation will not diminish as the technology evolves.


Manual Excavation

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