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The Science of Ditch Digging and Trenches for Utility Installation

utility installation

In case you are unfamiliar with the extraordinary creation story of Constructors, Inc, let’s revisit. The company began three generations ago with a young and curious George Shoup, who envisioned working with his hands and building things. His path through the construction industry led him to start his own business digging irrigation ditches. This decision allowed him to raise his family and start the company that we see today working in southern New Mexico and West Texas performing various construction projects.

One of the many services that Constructors, Inc provides is utility installation and the associated trench digging that is often necessary. A trench is generally defined as a narrow excavation made below ground and has a depth that is longer than its width. For many construction projects, the digging of a trench or ditch is needed in order to install utility infrastructure. We specialize in this kind of work, as it is often the foundation of a construction project; this is why our promise lies on safety and a job well executed.

Safety Considerations

Digging into the earth can be a lot more complicated than it looks. First, there are different kinds of soil classifications that are important to note before any excavation project begins. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) here is Type A, B, C, and D.  Each classification has its own characteristics that provide important information necessary to proceed with the digging. For example, Type a soil tends to include clay, silty clay, sandy clay. Type A soil is not previously disturbed or fissured. Classifying the soil is a vital step when undertaking an excavation endeavor as it dictates how to move forward.

There are plenty of safety considerations needed when performing this kind of work. OSHA has plenty of regulations in place that require workers to follow in order to ensure their safety. Fun fact: one cubic yard of soil can weigh as much of a car. This is an indication of just how dangerous it can be working some of these trench lines and why safety and proper training is so important to us.


Understanding the process is key to a successful utility installation. There is a lot of pre-planning that goes into this type of work and all of it is to ensure that every aspect of the job is considered and no detail is neglected. From classifying the soil to implementing safety procedures, makes the project advance smoothly, run on time, and avoid unprecedented costs or delays.

Another big part of digging trenches and setting lines for dry or wet utilities, is making sure that there is plenty of preplanning and knowledge about the terrain and area. Making sure that there is no conflict or running into other lines is an important part of the job.

Dry and Wet Utilities

If you’re installing dry utilities like gas lines, trenches need to be properly dug, they need to follow federal and state regulations, and consider environmental factors as well. If installing wet utilities, like water lines, the same cautions need to be taken into consideration. The process of utility installation can be quite involved, as it might involve the demotion, grading, excavation, and installation of lines. It’s not a job to be taken lightly.

Choose the Professionals For Your Trenches

Constructors, Inc began three generations ago digging ditches and trenches necessary for construction projects. Since then, we have expanded to a full-fledged operation that is equipped and ready to take on any construction project that comes our way. We have taken great care, however, in ensuring that all of our workers are trained, our leaders competent and knowledgeable, and our process meticulous and detail-oriented. If you’re looking to have someone do the work of installing your wet or dry utilities, give us a call today.


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