Any construction site that involves heavy digging will need trench protection equipment to ensure the safety of workers who have to work in the trench. Trench shoring is the procedure in which the walls of the trench are braced to prevent the walls of the trench from collapsing. This sort of protective equipment is common for trenches that are more than 5 feet deep, but even trenches less than this height may need some shoring if the soil of the trench walls is unstable. It is also common to use trench shields or boxes, in which sidewalls of any strong material are spread apart by steel or aluminum spreaders.
Hydraulic shoring equipment uses hydraulic pistons that are used in place of spreaders, and hydraulic pressure is used to pump the pistons outwards till the sidewalls of the shoring equipment presses against the walls of the trenches. This action supports the sides and prevents them from collapsing, while at the same time ensuring complete safety for the workers and their tools, while they work in the trench. Hydraulic pistons can use steel plates, framed plywood or even aluminum plates. In the absence of shoring equipment, it is customary to bench or slope the side walls so that there are lesser chances of the walls caving in. Some soils that are highly granular or have a high water table may not be suitable for benching and must use the right shoring methods so that the safety of workers is ensured and the work can be completed without any hindrance from collapsing sidewalls.
In most hydraulic shoring equipment two or three hydraulically operated shores are fixed between two strong structural members that can be fixed at various intervals to support the shoring plates that are pressing against the soil of the sidewalls of the trench. These hydraulic shores are all connected to a pump that is often manually operated and can be pressurized by operating the hydraulic pump. The hoses leading from the pump to the shores are filled with special hydraulic fluid, often combined with water, to provide the required hydraulic pressure that keeps the structural members apart. Once the required distance is ensured, the shores are anchored. To release the pressure for removing the shores, the pressure is released by valves on the shore, and the loosened structure with the shores lifted out for reuse or storage elsewhere. Hydraulic shoring allows for creating the required pressure on side walls, with the minimum of physical effort.