Aluminum and Steel Trench Boxes

A trench box from Iron Lot will help keep you and your workers safe, while increasing productivity and profitability. Our trench boxes are designed for a contractor by the contractor. Over 20 years ago Robert Kundel Sr. began manufacturing trench boxes for his own use and offering them for sale to other construction companies. With years of experience in the field, Kundel has designed a trench box with the contractors needs in mind. Kundel trench boxes are simply the better built box.

Aluminum Trench Shields

An Aluminum trench box provides protection to workers while working underground in a trench or an excavation. They are typically used by utility crews and plumbers for spot repairs and taps. They are constructed as either solid aluminum panels, or as stackable modular units. Models of aluminum trench boxes include the V-Panel, ShoreLite, ShoreLite Lite, and TuffGuy, The standard sizes range from 2′ tall to 12′ tall. They typically come in lengths ranging from 4’ up to 12′ long.

ShoreLite Lite
ShoreLite Lite comes in 3′ tall stackable panels in 5, 6, or 7 foot lengths. more info
ShoreLite Aluminum Trench Box
ShoreLite comes in 2 tall stackable aluminum panels. Available lengths 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12′. more info
V-Panel
V-Panel aluminum trench box. Vertically adjustable panels for getting around crossing utilities. Sizes range from 6×6 to 12×12. more info
TuffGuy aluminum panels with steel end post. Available in lengths from 4 to 12 foot long. more info
Aluminum Trench Shoring
Trenshore Aluminum Trench Shoring, available in 2 – 9 foot tall jacks. more info

The Versatility of Aluminum Shields

The stackable aluminum trench boxes like the ShoreLite and the ShoreLite Lite offer the most versatility.  The ShoreLite consist of 2’ tall stackable aluminum panels, while the ShoreLite Lite consist of 3’ tall stackable aluminum panels. Thus a complete system can be built in either 2’ or 3’ tall sections depending on the model being used. Additionally, due to these boxes being lighter weight than steel they only require a small rubber tire backhoe or mini-excavator.  Some are even are even small enough to be assembled and moved by hand. The modular aspect of some of these boxes allows them to be transported in the bed of a pickup truck.

Common sizes include: 4×4, 4×6, 4×8, 4×10, 6×4, 6×6, 6×8, 6×10, 8×4, 8×6, 8×8, 8×10, 3×5, 3×6, 3×7, 6×5, 6×7, 9×5, 9×6, and 9×7

Options for Spreaders

Trench box spreaders are available in fixed widths or with adjusters ranging from 18″ to 120″.  While the boxes are constructed out of aluminum, these spreaders are solid steel pipe.
Common sizes of spreaders: 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″, 48″, 54″, 60″

Common spreader adjuster combinations: 24 inches to 42 inches, 30 inches to 54 inches, 36 inches to 64 inches, and 48 inches to 72 inches

Hydraulic Aluminum Trench Shoring as an Alternative

As an alternative to using an aluminum trench box, Trenshore hydraulic aluminum shoring can be a good option. This system uses hydraulic jacks and finn-form boards to support the walls of the excavation.

Steel Trench Shields

Just two of the unique features of the Kundel trench shield include internal shelving, and rounded spreader sockets. The shelving allow workers to store tools and pipe dope while working in the trench. The rounded spreader sockets allow for racking (corners of the box move independently) as you are pounding the box into the trench or are removing the box from a tight trench. These two features alone have the capacity to greatly impact productivity. Our goal is to help make your job site safer and more profitable. Let us help you find the right trench box for your trench shoring needs. With several hundred options, we have you covered for any job. We will match you with the right trench box for your excavator and project.

Basic 3 Series
Basic 3 trench shields are lightweight and versatile. Available sizes range from 4×4 to 7.5×12. more info
Trench Box
Titian utility trench boxes up to 14′ in length, and feature higher pipe clearance. more info
Trench Box
Titan Lite mainline shields range from 16 to 30 foot in length, and come in 3″, 5″, 6″ wall thickness. more info
Trench Box
Titan Plus mainline trench shields are a step up from the Lite shields. They will carry a higher depth rating, and come in 16 to 30 lengths. They are available in 3, 5, 6, and 8″ wall thickness. more info
Trench Box
Titan Brute mainline series are the heavy duty trench boxes. They come in 16 to 30 lengths, and are available in 5, 6, and 8 inch wall thickness. more info

Options When Considering a Steel Trench Box

Iron Lot’s trench boxes are available in multiple sizes for a variety of applications.
Small Trench Boxes: up to 12 feet long
Kundel Basic 3 Trench Boxes (Lightweight)
The Basic Series is perfect for small spot repairs, taps, and light utility work. Sizes range from 4×4 to 7.5×12. The Kundel Basic 3 Trench Box is designed to be lightweight and light on the budget.  It is designed primarily for spot repair, taps and minor mainline work. They are ideal for small excavators as well as rubber tired backhoes. It is a quality built product created to provide reliability in the field.

Medium Trench Boxes: up to 14 feet long Utility Box
Titan Utility Trench Box (Lightweight Multi-Purpose Trench Shield)
The Titan Utility Series is ideal for larger utility jobs. Sizes range from 6 feet long to 14 feet long. These trench boxes are built tough with the best design features you will find in the industry. The Kundel Titan Utility Trench Box is used is a variety of applications including manholes, spot repairs, and mainline work. They range is size from 4 feet tall to 10 feet tall and come in lengths from 6 feet to 14 feet long.

Large Trench Boxes: up to 30 feet long Pipe Laying Box
The Titan Series is great for larger jobs to include mainline work. Sizes range from 16 feet long to 30 feet long.

Option #1. Titan Lite Trench Boxes (Lighter-Weight Than Standard Trench Boxes)
The Titan Lite Trench Box series of trench boxes are built to be both durable and lightweight. They are ideal for mainline work while using a smaller or lighter excavator. The Titian Lite range in height from 4 feet tall to 10 feet tall. Lengths range from 16 feet to 30 feet long.

Option #2. Titan Plus Trench Boxes (Comparable to a Standard Trench Box)
Strong and durable, the Titan Plus Trench Box is ideal for laying pipe. The Side wall thickness for this series starts at just 3 1/2 inches and includes 5 inch, 6 3/4 inch, 8 1/2 inch and 9 1/2 inch thick side walls. These trench boxes come in 4′, 5′, 6′, 8′, and 10′ tall heights. The length ranges from 16′ to 30′.

Option #3. Titan Brute (Heavy Duty Trench Box)
The name says it all. These trench boxes are stout. The Titan Brute Trench Box is constructed of steel and solid-welded. The design of the Titan Brute trench box was made for heavy-duty trench safety work. These trench boxes have thick, reinforced steel for amazing toughness in the trench. They were engineered for durability and deep depths. The Titan Brute Trench Box is crafted with high taper reinforced knife edges, which increase the pipe area by allowing a tighter trench.

Other Products

Manhole Boxes

Manhole boxes are similar to a standard trench box except they have a cutout in the sides. Additionally, the panel of the shield wraps around the side, offering greater protection and strength.

Our bedding boxes come both 3″ wall and 5″ wall thickness. They are available in lengths from 8 to 14 long. The height ranges from 4 to 10 foot, and they can be stacked to meet any production depth requirements. more info

Trench Plates

Steel Plate on Road, for sale by Iron Iron Lot
Trench Plates are also referred to as either street plate or road pates.

Bedding Boxes

Bedding boxes keep rock clean and organized on the jobsite. They are filled with rock and dragged down the trench line, as the bedding material is placed that the bottom of the ditch.

Bedding Box
We offer bedding boxes as small as 2 cubic yards all the way up to 15 cubic yards. We have both standard duty and heavy duty options available. more info

How To Choose the Correct Trench Box

A common starting point for many contractors when choosing a trench box purchase is to simply look for the same system or something similar as to what they had been renting.  This presents a few challenges as each manufacture offers unique configurations in their designs. These designs and specifications are not always easy to directly compare from one manufacture to the next. Sometimes it really is like comparing apples to oranges. For example a shield with 4″ double sidewalls from our one of our competitors will likely be heavier than our 5″ double sidewalls Titan 5 Lite Series. This can lead to some initial confusion in comparing different boxes. However, it is quickly resolved when we choose a shield based on the proper requirements, height, length, width, weight, and depth requirement. Often this will lead to finding a more appropriately sized system at a better price.

Height and Depth Requirements

A good place to start is determining depth of the excavation and if any sloping will be used. This dictates the required depth rating along with determining if there will be a need for them to be stacked. The depth requirement has obvious safety and OSHA compliance implications, but is also a key factor in determining the cost of the system. This is one of the most important factors, paying attention to this can save the contractor a lot of money. A shield that is rated for 21 feet in class C soil will be heavier and more costly than a one that is rated for 8-16 feet. If the work will not require going deeper than the height of the box, than the 21 foot rating is not needed for an 8 foot box. Additionally, the excavator required to handle a lighter weight system will be will be smaller and more cost effective to operate than a larger machine.

For example: A trench shoring box rated for 24′ in class C soil is going to be heavier and cost more to build than one with a lower depth rating. For example our Titan 5 Lite 8×20 is a perfect choice for a contractor that is not going to be using this as a bottom box in a deep excavation. The Titan 5 Lite 8×20 has a depth rating of 12′ in class C soil. This gives is the flexibility to use the Titan 5 Lite 8×20 with a 4×20 stacker for a depth of 12′. Alternatively the Titan 5 Lite 8×20 could be used just as a single 8×20. While the Titan 5 Lite has a knife edge, it can also be flipped over and used as a top box as part of a multiple box system. This feature can be handy, if there ever was a need to go beyond its 12′ rating, just flip it over and use it on top of a box with a depth rating of 16′ or greater.

An additional consideration is the option to add a two foot leg kit. This allows the user to be two feet off the bottom of the trench and thus increases the working depth.

Length
Next it is important to consider the total length of shielding required to both be safe and efficient. The common recommendation is two to four feet of shielding extending beyond the edge of the pipe or where anyone will be working. Using too short of a system can quickly become dangerous, while using a system that is longer than needed will increase the time and cost of opening the excavation.

Width
Additionally it is important to consider the total working width needed will determine the required spreader size. The recommended width should be at least 12 inches wider than the diameter of pipe. Some applications and preferences might require greater than an increase of 12 inches from the diameter of the pipe. For example working with 6 inch pipe and adding 12 inches would require a 24 inch spreader. This might not be enough room for some crews to work efficiently. An alternative to a fixed width spreader bar system is utilizing spreader adjusters. We offer both 2 foot and 4 foot adjusters that adjust in 6 inch increments.

Weight
Another important consideration when choosing a trench shield is its weight and the lifting capacity of the excavator. The best place to start is to consult the manufacture specifications and load chart for your excavator. The load chart is a valuable resource as it indicates the lifting capacity at various positions. If a load chart is not available, a general rule of thumb would be the machine will lift 20% to 25% of the weight of the machine. You can read a good article titled When Excavators and Backhoes Become Cranes over at www.constructionequipment.com

A Few Examples Using This Rule of Thumb

Mini Excavators
A Cat 303 with a weight of 8,209 lbs should be able to lift between 1,641 lbs and 2,052 lbs.

Mid Size Excavators
A Cat 308 with a weight of 18,512 lbs should be able to lift between 3,702 lbs and 4,628 lbs.

Standard or Full Size Excavators
A Cat 311 with a weight of 28,660 lbs should be able to lift between 5,732 lbs and 7,165 lbs.
A Cat 318 with a weight of 42,340 lbs should be able to lift between 8,468 lbs and 10,585 lbs.
A Cat 320 with a weight of 49,600 lbs should be able to lift between 9,920 lbs and 12,400 lbs.
A Cat 308 with a weight of 69,950 lbs should be able to lift between 13,990 lbs and 17,487 lbs.

The above example of applying these ranges for determining the lifting capacity of an excavator can be helpful. However, it also demonstrates the wisdom of consulting the manufactures load chart especially for the larger excavators as the range can vary significantly.

On Going Concerns and Competent Person Review and Inspections

The competent person should be familiar with OSHA requirements regarding excavations  OSHA 29 CFR Part 1926.650-.652 Subpart P-Excavations. Follow the advise of the experts, choose a system that will insure your safety.

Iron Lot Offers Affordable Prices and Financing

The investment required to protect your-self and your workers is far less than the cost of an injury or death resulting from a trench collapse. We strive to keep or prices affordable and also offer financing to make your investment in safety much easier. You will find we offer a wide selection of both aluminum and steel trench boxes for sale at affordable prices.

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