The Location of Your Spoil Pile
Your spoil pile consists of the aggregate you pull out of the ground while digging. Where you put your spoil is crucial because the wrong location could limit mobility, force too many back-and-forth movements during the dig, and even become a safety issue.
Where Existing Utilities Are Located
Identifying the locations of utilities should be one of the first things you do, and it’s best to give yourself at least a week ahead of time to both locate and verify their positions. In some areas, there are services like Dig Safe that will help you find a variety of existing lines and pipes.
Where You Will Stage Pipes and Other Materials
The materials you will be putting in the hole you dug need to be strategically located to enhance the efficiency of your operation. While a distance far from your hole may be easier to identify, the back-and-forth trips to get your materials may hinder efficiency. Ideally, you will want to position all materials within reach of your excavator’s arm.
In addition, if you have to dig multiple holes, you may want to choose at least two locations for your materials. This can cut down on the time it takes to move materials from one digging spot to the next during the job.
In addition to ensuring workers and observers are kept a safe distance away from dangerous equipment, you want to ensure your excavator and all materials aren’t in danger of dropping into the hole you’re digging in surrounding areas of the landscape. To prioritize safety, you should:
- Perform a detailed site visit, taking measurements and plotting the locations of your excavator, equipment, materials, and spoil.
- Make sure the ground — before, during, and after digging — can support your machinery.
- Ensure you can position your excavator to dig deep enough without sacrificing safety.