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Why Shoring Jacks Are Vital to Tunnel Work

A lot of people have little to no knowledge about shoring equipment, as it is simply not their field of work. However, surprisingly, they may actually know more about it than they thing because shoring tunnels are used in movies and television shows, and everybody knows something about that. However, this limited knowledge does not usually extend beyond common sense. Simply put, if you want to build a tunnel, you have to make sure it doesn’t collapse. Hence, you have to support it in certain places. This supporting is what shoring is. When businesses rent shoring equipment, they usually rent shoring jacks. These are the vertical load bearing constructs that ensure the weight of the earth above is properly supported.

Building a Tunnel

When you build a tunnel into the earth, the process is actually more like it would be if you were constructing it in water. There is far more to it than simply boring a hole. Yes, some of these elements can be self-supporting, but this is very rare. Try to build a tunnel in sand, at the beach, for instance. You will quickly find that the tunnel starts to collapse. When building a tunnel into the earth, you are essentially building a tunnel in sand and although some of the clay may support the tunnel, this isn’t reliable and the tunnel will eventually collapse.

So, shoring equipment is about two things: shoring boards and shoring jacks. The jack is there to support the weight of the earth above. Complicated calculations come into play to determine what type of jack is needed and how often they must be placed. However, the weight exists across the entire roof of the tunnel, not just at the points where you install the jacks. Hence, you also need shoring boards for the overhead. Plus, shoring boards are often placed around the walls of the tunnel and even on the floor itself.

Renting Shoring Equipment

Permanent tunnels, or tunnels that will remain in place for a very long time, are usually built with shoring equipment that has been purchased by the company making the tunnel. However, in many cases, a tunnel only needs to be in place for a short period of time. For instance, it may be required for a few weeks on a construction site, after which the tunnel can simply be collapsed. In these cases, companies will usually opt to rent the equipment instead. After the tunnel has had its use, the equipment is removed and returned to the rental company.

Because shoring equipment is usually used in temporary time periods, most construction companies have close relationship with shoring equipment rental companies. By building these strong professional relationships, they know they are always able to get the equipment they need on time whenever they need it. Most importantly, this is a great cost saving exercise as well, as they don’t have to fork out a lot of money for equipment they will only use for a few weeks.

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