Groundforce Shorco has supplied a full complement of piling, trench support and safety equipment to specialist contractor Clumber Construction for use on a wastewater improvement project in Leicestershire.
Client Severn Trent Water is connecting a cluster of homes in the village of Beeby (population 115) to the local mains sewerage. Located on Main Street, the houses have all previously had their own septic tanks which required regular maintenance.
The project was undertaken by main contractor NMCNomenca, with the enabling and excavation works carried out by Clumber, which is headquartered at Retford, Nottinghamshire, who are an approved AMP6 Contractor for Severn Trent.
Groundforce Shorco which is one of Clumber’s preferred suppliers, was asked to provide a range of sheet piling and excavation support equipment to the project, which involved several excavations including two which were up to 4m deep.
“We delivered various systems including trench boxes, Vertishore lightweight shoring units, trench sheets and frames plus our new SheetMaster unit” says Groundforce Shorco technical sales representative Darren Boote.
Trench boxes and Vertishore units were used to support trenches while new waste pipes were laid from each home to the main settlement tank.
The excavations for the temporary storage tank and treatment plant, called a Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC), required more robust support, says Clumber’s site supervisor, Tracey Elliott.
“The RBC excavation was a sheeted pit 13m long x 4.5m – 4m deep,” explains Tracey. “We pre-dug a slit-trench to the RBC excavation perimeter and used the SheetMaster to push the sheets to depth. Then we fitted the top frame, chained it up and carried on digging. The frame never moved,” he adds.
Designed in-house by Groundforce engineers, the SheetMaster is a multi-function sheet handling and installation tool that attaches to an excavator boom via a standard quick-hitch coupler.
Comprising a pair of slotted legs which slide over the top of the sheet, the SheetMaster does away with pitching shackles, driving caps and extraction chains.
When correctly positioned, a spring-loaded pin automatically engages with the shackle-hole to hold the sheet firmly. It can then be positioned safely and accurately and, being held firmly, the sheet will not sway in the breeze as it would if suspended from a shackle.
“It took our operatives a short time to get the hang of the SheetMaster but once they’d been shown how it works they found it so much easier to use,” comments Tracey.
“The SheetMaster design prevents the sheet pile becoming detached from the installation equipment. Once the pile is in the jaws of the SheetMaster it’s completely safe to handle. It’s a really good tool.”
Tracey also praised the design and construction of the Groundforce Shorco trench boxes and Vertishores:
“Groundforce Shorco’s equipment is always good quality and well-maintained and it’s also easier to use. For example, their boxes are easier to handle because of the handling points on the sides. Other designs don’t have those.”
With the Groundforce equipment making light work for Clumber Construction, NMCNomenca rapidly completed its work at Beeby in just a few weeks, connecting the houses to the main sewer network and returning Main Street to its usual peaceful rural existence.