How to cover a trench

When it comes to covering a trench, it’s key to first evaluate the situation. There are many important factors to take into consideration when covering a trench. This will determine which Oxford Plastics product would be the most suitable for application along with how the trench should be installed.

  • Width of the trench
  • Purpose of the trench
  • Positioning of the trench
  • The use of the trench (if for pedestrian or highway usage)

Once these factors have been assessed, then an appropriate decision can be made on which product to use. For example, if the trench had a width of 900mm and was being used for a driveway for a gas pipe, then the LowPro 15/10 would be the most appropriate Oxford Plastics trench cover to use.

For example, if the trench was on a highway, cars and HGVs will be driving over the trench and would need to comply with Australian Standard 3996, then the LowPro 23/05 would be the trench cover to use.

Depending on which trench cover is going to be used, and the use of the trench cover will depend on how it’s installed. Below will breakdown two of the most common scenarios for installing a trench cover.

Trench for pedestrian and small vehicle use

  1. A driveway board, such as the LowPro 15/10 is a two-person lift, while the LowPro 12/08 is a one-person lift.
  2. Place the cover centrally over the damaged area ensuring it does not exceed the width or load limited.
  3. Check the surrounding surface and the areas where the rubber edge will be resting.
  4. If the area is uneven, secure the cover via the corner holes. Use an appropriate fixing pin dependent upon the ground surface.
  5. When installing 2 covers next to each other, ensure the covers are touching to minimise the gap between then.

Download the full trench cover (pedestrian and small vehicle) installation guide here!

Trench for highway usage and HGVs (up to 44t)

Pre-installation safety guidelines & maintenance

  1. Check the top of the LowPro Road Plate for signs of damage.
  2. Ensure all drop pins are moving freely.
  3. Check linking plate bolts are tight on top.
  4. Check linking plate bolts are tight underneath.

Installation kit

  • SDS hammer drill
  • SDS 22mm drill bit
  • Torque wrench
  • 4 X M16 bolts (per LowPro section)

Installation instructions

  1. Ensure max trench width less than either than 700mm for LowPro 15/05 Road Plate or 1200mm for the LowPro 23/05 Road Plate. Assess trench stability prior to install.
  2. 2 person lift at all times.
  3. Lower into position.
  4. Do not throw or drop on to edge.
  5. Do not lift using male connectors.
  6. Place first inner LowPro section centrally over the trench, using centreline mark as a guide.
  7. Lower next plate at an angle so the connectors fit into the slots.
  8. When the connectors are in the slots carefully lower the plate.
  9. Repeat the previous step until the entire trench is covered by inner LowPro sections.
  10. Use M16 screws to anchor the LowPro in the ground.
  11. If required, connect the LowPro Road Plate end sections.
  12. End section is not load-bearing. Do not place end section over trench.

Dismantling Instructions

  1. Remove bolts that were used to anchor the LowPro to the road.
  2. Starting from the end sections, carefully lift the plate at an angle and slide outwards to remove plate.
  3. Repeat step 2 to remove each section at a time.
  4. Lift by hand.
  5. Do not use the male connector as a dragging point.
  6. Do not use tools to aid lifting.
  7. Clean after use.
  8. Store on a pallet.

Download the full trench cover (highway, up to 44t vehicles) installation guide here!

Need the products to cover the trench with? Get in touch to see how we can help.