Remote Trenching Operations

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | July 2013, Vol. 68, No. 7

“The most important component that we look for in our trenchers is the machine’s reliability and the manufacturer’s service,” said Arrant. “Each trencher tends to have its advantages and disadvantages. One type of trencher may work great in rock conditions but will tend to be slower in good dirt, while others will be faster in dirt but not heavy enough for rock trenching. That being said, to me, the greatest attribute of a trencher is its reliability and quality construction. In addition, the manufacturer’s support of their machines is vital. A trencher breakdown can quickly push a job behind schedule, so access to parts on short notice is a huge advantage."

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Kingsley takes a very hands-on approach to all projects, Arrant continued.

“We prefer to self-perform all portions of our projects, start to finish.” he explained. “In-house trenching requires a full commitment from the company that requires skilled operators, specialized mechanics and permitted truck hauling. While very costly, we believe this commitment is well worth it to be able to completely control the flow of our project. Kingsley takes great pride in meeting mandatory customer deadlines, and our trenching operations are a big part of accomplishing that.”

Trenching crews consist of an operator and spotter with support personnel as necessary.

“The direct support team,” Arrant continued, “is much bigger than the trenching crew and includes mechanics, haul truck drivers, etc. Along with trenching operations are other scopes of work such as preparation of right-of-way, pipe stringing and alignment, lowering pipe into trench, making tie ins, backfilling trench, hydrostatic testing for leaks and site restoration.

Tight timing

A recent project in Asherton, TX, illustrates Kingsley’s capabilities and ability to react to specific client needs. It involved installation of 21,500 linear feet of eight-inch steel high pressure gas line and more than 10,000 feet of HDPE water line. The project owner was a midstream company.

Installing this amount of pipe is routine for Kingsley, but the small window of time to complete the job set it apart from other projects.

“Kingsley was awarded the project the day before a holiday weekend with an absolute operational deadline in only 13 calendar days,” said Arrant. “The project included several tie-ins, loop connections, piping modifications and five directional bores. Despite these challenges, we were able to complete the work on schedule and place the line in service 13 days after being awarded the project.”