Tips for Digging and Excavation in the Winter

Tips for Digging and Excavation in the Winter

While construction in the summer can feel like you’re in a sauna with the heat turned all the way up, winter is no different because it brings its own challenges to the table. Digging and excavation in the winter can be extremely difficult because the ground is frozen solid, yet you need to break through the material. Make this job function more accessible with the tips in this article.

Consider Using a Ripper

A ripper is an attachment you can place on your excavator to help break up the top layer of the frozen ground. The frozen soil beneath the earth’s surface is only a few inches thick. Try removing as much of the top layer as possible to make drilling through the ground easier with additional tools, like augers. Use the ripper over the area you plan on working a few times, so the rest of your equipment can work more efficiently.

Use Various Techniques To Heat the Ground

In some cases, the ripper won’t be enough to tear through the ground. You have a few options when you need another technique to help heat the earth’s surface in your work area. One option includes laying down a bed of charcoal over the place you’re digging and lighting it on fire for a short time to help heat the top layer of soil. You can also fill a hydrovac with warm water and spray the soil to soften the top layer.

Exchange the Attachments on Your Machines

The attachments you use in the summertime are quite different than in the wintertime because there are varying issues construction businesses need to tackle. For example, one of the auger drilling mistakes you can make is not swapping out your tools. A dirt auger is perfect for spring and summer, but a rock auger might be more suitable for boring through the frozen ground. Another attachment you might exchange includes a bucket with sharper edges and durable teeth to cut through the earth more powerfully.

Take Advantage of Warmer Days

Mother Nature can be extremely fickle, so on the days when the temperature is above freezing, take advantage of this. Digging and excavation in the winter are challenging enough. Don’t take favorable weather for granted because the next day could be freezing with unfavorable working conditions. Keep a watchful eye on the weather and try to fit more work in on the days that aren’t as cold.

Regularly Service Your Machines

Winter can take its toll on your machines if you don’t regularly service them. This routine inspection includes checking fluid levels, electrical work, breaks, hoses, belts, and more. Maintaining your equipment is vital on the work site to avoid accidents and keep your project timeline on schedule.

Performing a construction job in the winter is never easy. The weather is a significant factor that affects how well we can work on a job site. Remember the tips in this article to ensure your crew can excavate the frozen ground and work in cold temperatures.

Written by Dianne Pajo

Dianne Pajo is a writer based out of the Chicagoland area with a passion for music, combat sports, and animals. She enjoys competing in amateur boxing and kickboxing, but in her other leisure time, you can find her performing music around the city. She is also a dog mom of 2.

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