In the Trenches: How Sunbelt Rentals Streamlined a Sewer Pipe Project

Whenever you’re working underground, planning is the most important part of the project.

That’s what our customer, John Rocchio Corporation (JRC) of Smithfield, R.I., discovered in early 2019. Working with the Narragansett Bay Commission (NBC), JRC was looking to shore 2,100 feet of trench for a deep sewer main project. The trench was to be laid out through a park, with turns at manholes along the way, making it more complex than the average project. To meet the design requirements, the trench had to be 10.5 feet wide and 16 feet deep.  After our Shoring Solutions team reviewed the preliminary plan, we approached JRC about an alternative option that could save them both time and money.

The initial plan relied on struts and walers welded in place to support individual sections of trench as they worked below. Upon completing a section, the supports would be taken down, shifted down the line, and welded in place again. This process was expected to take months, and workers would have to repeat it over and over again. It promised to be time-consuming and costly.

We proposed an alternate solution, with our hydraulic JC struts and walers, which didn’t need to be welded to be set in place. JRC approved. They installed steel sheets along both sides of the trench as initially planned, but implemented our plan to stabilize the trench for excavation. This allowed them to complete approximately 200 feet of work in half the planned time. With this being a marquee project for JRC and the NBC, it was vital that the customer could demonstrate due diligence in safety precautions. We were able to use our hydraulic HS struts with built-in pressure gauges in conjunction with our JC Struts to indicate that the pressure on the walers was relieved when the JC Struts were installed. 

Ultimately, the solution we engineered was a success. In the six months our equipment was on site, the flexibility and additional safety our equipment provided was a perfect solution for the project and our client.   

On a complex construction project where time is of the essence, you can’t ask for much more than that.