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United States Patent Application 20110299941
Kind Code A1
Dimitroff; Ted R. December 8, 2011

SOIL SHORING METHOD

Abstract

A soil shoring method is provided wherein a pilot hole is drilled into the soil to a desired depth. A cutting tool is then used to cut an elongated trench or slot in the soil at the desired depth and in a desired configuration. During the drilling and cutting processes, a slurry is preferably provided into the hole and the slot to help support the walls of the hole and slot. After the cutting tool is removed from this slot, shoring plates are inserted into the slot. Then, soil on one side of the plates is excavated, without any cave-in risk.


Inventors: Dimitroff; Ted R.; (Columbia, MO)
Serial No.: 153763
Series Code: 13
Filed: June 6, 2011

Current U.S. Class: 405/284; 405/272
Class at Publication: 405/284; 405/272
International Class: E02D 29/02 20060101 E02D029/02


Claims



1. An improved soil excavation shoring method, comprising: drilling a vertical hole into the ground to a desired depth using a drilling machine having a drilling head; then replacing the drilling head with a slot cutting tool on the drilling machine; then moving the drilling machine along the surface of the ground to cut a slot in the soil with the desired depth; and then removing the slot cutting tool from the ground; then inserting shoring plates as needed into the slot; and then excavating soil in front of the plates.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising supplying fluids into the hole and slot during the cutting step so as to form a slurry in the slot.

3. The method of claim 1 further comprising supplying fluid into the hole during the drilling step.

4. The method of claim 1 wherein the slot is cut in a continuous step without removing the cutting tool from the ground.

5. The method of claim 1 wherein the cutting step forms a full length of the slot before the cutting tool is removed from the ground.

6. A method of shoring soil before excavation, comprising: cutting a slot into the soil; and then inserting shoring plates into the slot.

7. The method of claim 6 further comprising supplying fluid to the slot during the cutting step.

8. The method of claim 6 further comprising drilling a pilot hole into the soil before cutting the slot.

9. The method of claim 8 further comprising exchanging a drill head with a slot cutting head between the hole drilling and slot cutting steps.

10. The method of claim 8 further comprising supplying fluid into the hole during the drilling step.

11. The method of claim 8 wherein the cutting and drilling steps are performed with different tools.

12. The method of claim 6 wherein the slot is cut with a cutting tool in a continuous step without removing the cutting tool from the ground.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the cutting step forms a full length of the slot before the cutting tool is removed from the ground.

14. A soil shoring and excavation method, comprising: cutting a trench in the soil; then shoring the trench; and then excavating soil from one side of the shoring.

15. The method of claim 14 further comprising supplying a slurry to fill the trench while the trench is being cut.

16. The method of claim 14 further comprising drilling a pilot hole in the soil before the trench is cut to define one end of the trench.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising supplying a slurry to fill the hole while the hole is drilled.

18. The method of claim 14 wherein the trench is cut and shored without a person entering the trench.

19. The method of claim 14 wherein the shoring is installed without hammering.

20. The method of claim 14 wherein the trench is cut by inserting a cutting tool into a pilot hole in the soil and then moving the tool in a direction substantially parallel to the surface of the ground.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. .sctn.119 to provisional application Ser. No. 61/352,520 filed Jun. 8, 2010, herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] All soil excavations are hazardous due to inherent instability of the soil walls. Soil excavation often times requires shoring to hold the dirt or soil in place and prevent a cave-in into the excavated area. Cave-ins are dangerous, and potentially deadly, to workers in an excavated trench or hole. Cave-ins are a leading cause of worker fatalities during excavation. OSHA standards mandate that all excavations five feet or deeper be protected against collapse. Cave-ins also require additional time, and thus cost, to remove the caved-in soil and to re-fill voids created by the cave-in.

[0003] Current shoring methods typically require shoring plates or boxes to be installed either before the excavation starts or after the excavation is complete. Pre-shoring before excavation utilizes plates hammered or vibrated into the ground. However, such hammering and vibration may cause structural damage in the area, such as cracked basement walls and cracked clay tiles used in sewer or septic lines. Hammering and vibration processes are very expensive due to equipment and operator costs, as well as fuel costs.

[0004] Therefore, a primary objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved ground or soil shoring method prior to excavation.

[0005] Another objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved excavation method that minimizes costs and risks of cave-ins.

[0006] A further objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved soil shoring method which eliminates the need to hammer shoring plates into the ground.

[0007] Yet another objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved ground shoring method which cuts an elongated slot in the soil to a desired depth and in a desired configuration before any excavation on one side of the shoring.

[0008] Still another objective of the present invention is the provision of a soil shoring and excavation method wherein a trench is cut in the soil, and then the trench is shored, and then the soil is excavated from one side of the shoring.

[0009] Another objective of the present invention is an improved soil shoring and excavation method which meets all OSHA and other governmental regulations.

[0010] A further objective of the present invention is the provision of an improved soil shoring and excavation method which is economical and provides increased safety.

[0011] These and other objectives will become apparent from the following description of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 is a side elevation schematic view showing the drilling rig and tool of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 2 is a top schematic view showing one embodiment of a shoring slot cut into the ground prior to excavation of soil.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0014] FIG. 1 shows a vertical drilling machine or rig 10 having a rotatable and vertically slidable shaft 12 for drilling a substantially vertical hole in the ground. The lower end of the shaft 12 has a drilling head with a desired diameter. For example, the head may have a 12 inch diameter to form a 12 inch diameter hole in the ground. The rig 10 and shaft 12 are operated to drill the hole to a desired shoring depth, for example, 20 feet deep.

[0015] After the hole is drilled, the shaft 12 is pulled or moved upwardly out of the ground, and the drill head is replaced with a slot cutting blade or tool on the shaft 12. Preferably, the slot cutting tool has the same diameter as the drilling head. The shaft 12 is then lowered back into the hole and the rig 10 is moved forwardly along the top of the ground so that the slot cutting tool on the shaft 12 cuts a slot or trench 14 in the ground, with the desired width and depth, without removing the tool from the ground. Thus, the cutting tool moves direction substantially parallel with the ground surface. Preferably, water and/or drilling fluids are supplied via the drilling machine 10 into the hole and the slot during the drilling and cutting steps so as to form a thick slurry within the cut slot or trench 14. The slurry functions to support the walls of the open slot area 14 and prevent soil or dirt at the walls of the slot from falling or caving into the slot 14.

[0016] The slot 14 may be cut in any desired configuration, such as a straight line, a curved line, or a geometric shape, such as the rectangle shown in FIG. 2. At the completion of the slot cutting step, the shaft 12 and tool are removed from the slot 14. One or more shoring plates or a floor-less shoring box can be quickly and easily inserted into the cut slot 14 by simply pushing the plates or box downwardly through the slurry, preferably without hammering or vibration. The top of the shoring plates or box may be secured with braces, if necessary. After the shoring plates or box are in place, the soil can be safely excavated in front of the plates, or within the box, such as inside the rectangular slot 14 shown in FIG. 2. The shoring allows open excavation without risking of cave-in or loss of material from the surrounding area, behind the shoring plates or box. Also, risk of damage to utility lines or pipes behind the shoring plates or outside the shoring box is minimized.

[0017] With the apparatus and method of the present invention, the drilling or cutting machine moves horizontally to form a vertical slot in the ground to a desired elevation or depth to allow quick and easy installation of shoring members in any desired shape. The slot may be cut using any convenient means, such as reciprocating sawing action or rotational drilling action of a cutting tool on the shaft 12 of the machine 10. The use of drilling fluids during the cutting operation minimizes loss of side wall material into the slot or trench before the shoring members are installed.

[0018] It is understood that the drilling and cutting tool may be a single head capable of both drilling the pilot hole and cutting the slot, without changing heads.

[0019] The invention has been shown and described above with the preferred embodiments, and it is understood that many modifications, substitutions, and additions may be made which are within the intended spirit and scope of the invention. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the present invention accomplishes at least all of its stated objectives.

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