Excavation Contractors Key Terms

By Howard Robertson

Excavation contractors undertake various construction operations, such as moving or displacing earth, rock or other material from above ...

Excavation contractors undertake various construction operations, such as moving or displacing earth, rock or other material from above or under the ground. Some other services provided by excavation contractors include digging basements, removing snow and demolishing buildings.

While interacting with professionals from the excavation industry you will need to be aware of industry jargon. This guide will familiarize you with certain excavation contractor terms, such as clearing and grubbing, trench excavation, rough grading and fill dirt.

Clearing and grubbing

Before the excavation work can begin, clearing and grubbing of the site is necessary. This is the primary task of an excavation contractor. If you are a client, you can specify the extent of clearing and grubbing that needs to be done at the site.

Rough grading

Rough grading involves cutting and filling of earth at a site prior to the final work. This is another task that excavators can perform.

Trench excavation

Many excavation contractors offer trench excavation services, where they dig trenches of the dimensions specified by the clients. A trench is a depression in the ground that is narrow as compared to its length and has considerable depth.
Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, an informative website for construction safety standards.

Fill dirt

One of the jobs that excavation contractors perform is filling in the depressions or holes in the ground to elevate and prepare the ground for construction using fill dirt, an earthy material free of organic substances.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards

Excavation is a hazardous construction activity. Excavation contractors must ensure compliance with OSHA standards to protect their staff from danger. OSHA has several standards that address different performance issues.
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Backhoe

A backhoe is dual purpose for loading and excavating operations. The loading attachments are at the front end and the excavating attachments are connected at the rear end of the backhoe. Most contractors make use of this equipment in their operations.

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