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.


See you at No Dig Down Under

Oxford Plastics will be exhibiting at No Dig Down Under. The exhibition will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, 10-13th September 2019.

Find Oxford Plastics on stand 74.

We will be presenting our innovative range of composite trench covers & road plates. Trench covers, road plates and ramps are essential to maintain accessibility. We have you covered, for small sinkholes, wide-trench utility works and public access. Trench covers are suitable for pedestrian, domestic, residential, footpath and driveway applications. Oxford composite road plates are suitable for carriageways and take the weight of a 44-tonne vehicle.

No-Dig Down Under is the southern hemisphere’s only large scale conference and exhibition dedicated to trenchless technology. Organised in partnership with the Australasian Society for Trenchless Technology (ASTT), No-Dig Down Under has grown over the years to become the second-largest no-dig technology event in the world and is now considered a ‘must-attend’ for all industry professionals.

Click here to register


How to be Safe at Work

For years Civil Safety Products have been keeping Australia’s worksites and public spaces safe with innovative and original products. Oxford Plastics is proud to call Civil Safety Products their chosen and key distributor for Australia.

Together, these safety giants bring you composite trench covers, fully compliant pedestrian barriers, all-weather ground protection mats and more!

Civil Safety Products also know the worth of face-to-face interaction. That’s why this Spring they attended NCEC 2018. Together we have brought a range of safety products to Civils, Construction and Road Works sites across the country and now they’re in Sydney Showgrounds.

Get in the know, get safe and get compliant by contacting Civil Safety Products.

Book a Product Training Day Today!

Oxford & CSP at NCEC, Nov 2018

“Reduce Your Risk”


Safety for all Industries!

 Civil Safety Products & Oxford Plastics know how essential safety is. We also know the 1st step to a safe worksite is finding reliable, duress tested and easy-to-use products.

That’s why this Spring  Civil Safety Products is bringing you the latest in safety products: this Spring  Civil Safety Products is coming to you.

We will be at National Construction Equipment Convention 2018 at the Sydney Showground 15th-17th November.

Oxford Plastics’ chosen and Key distributor in Australia is  Civil Safety Products.

Book a bespoke training day today!

Contact Civil Safety Products

No matter your industry; our job is to safeguard everyone. Civil Safety Products stand between people and risk in commercial, construction, retail, civil and roading. Whether it’s protected walk areas in warehouses or speed bumps in motel driveways.

“Reduce Your Risk”


Safety goes on tour!

This September the #1 distributor of safety products, Civil Safety Products, is attending the National Construction Equipment Convention 2018 to bring you the latest in traffic and pedestrian safety products.

Oxford Plastics is continually innovating, and so this Spring we have teamed up with our Key distributor in Australia for the NCEC 2018.

Click an image below to learn more about the product range, and contact the team to book a bespoke training day today!

Contact CSP

“Reduce Your Risk”

Cheap Trench Covers

When Cheap Ain’t Cheerful: a Health & Safety Nightmare

In recent years the trench cover market has seen a rise in cheap composite trench covers. In many ways they look like a typical composite trench cover; they are plastic, yellow and have anti-skid on the surface. However it doesn’t take long for a cheap composite trench cover to look like a health & safety nightmare!

Cheap Trench Cover

Oxford Plastics Trench Covers



This picture shows a Chinese trench cover that has cracked to reveal a gaping hole in the resident’s driveway.



Lucky for this resident, someone quickly came along to replace the defective trench cover with a LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board.



A cheap imitation is just that: an unsuitable mock-up of the original. Oxford composite covers are designed for purpose, like the LowPro 15/10 Driveway Board, or the 12/8 Safe Cover. We test our trench covers over and above the safety requirements to leave our customers feeling full of confidence, instead of full of dread!

Feel confident in your work site; be safe and be compliant with Oxford Plastic’s trench covers.

Street Works UK Awards 2017 LowPro 15/10

Winner of the Street Works Future Award:
LowPro 15/10!

November 15th, the Utility Industry assembled at Westminster for the Street Works UK Awards 2017 (formerly NJUG). The awards celebrate innovation and diligence across the gas, water & electricity sectors. And we are thrilled to have won the Street Works Future Award for the LowPro 15/10: replacement for steel plates in driveways.

The Oxford Plastics LowPro 15/10 overcomes the many issuesStreet Works UK 2017 Award Winner caused by cumbersome steel plates to create safe and easy access for residents to their homes during routine Utility works

Handling methods of steel plates require either HIAB lifting equipment or in some cases mini diggers. Neither was deemed acceptable in the residential environment, with steel plates also being over-engineered for this application.

And so, collaborating with tRIIO & the Oxford Plastics Research & Development Team, we set to work designing a safe and simple solution that would enable residents to access to their homes during Utility work excavations.

The rapid adoption of this innovative solution across the Utilities and construction industry is testimony to its creation. The LowPro 15/10 solves an industry problem that has been around for years, and ties in directly with Street Works UK’s key goals: safetyhigh quality, minimise disruption & innovation.

LowPro 15/10 Trench Cover

Feedback from Users

“At Wales & West Utilities our essential work to respond to gas emergencies, connect new homes and businesses and upgrade the gas network can mean that we have to dig in footpaths and driveways. The Oxford Plastics products we use meet all our needs and removes safety concerns around the use of traditional steel plates. The Oxford LowPro 15/10 is quick and easy to install. It’s a time and money saver; helping us to deliver value for money to our customers while keeping disruption to customers, road users and other members of the community to a minimum.”

Graham Bond

Street Works Manager

Wales & West Utilities Limited

“Balfour Beatty provide the essential infrastructure assets societies need to function, develop and thrive. Our teams operate across the full infrastructure lifecycle and address long-term challenges. We harness innovation to improve safety and minimise this essential work has on local communities and the investment in the Low Pro 15/10 product has helped us to deliver this goal. The product has also been part of the development of the HAUC advice note on the specification and Operational requirements for footway boards, Driveway Boards, Footway Ramps and Road Plates.”

Tom Lambert

General Manager Streetworks

Balfour Beatty Services


End of the road for Lane Rental Schemes?


In the UK we focus a lot of time & energy on keeping traffic flowing around roadworks. Alas, it’s a tale we all know well; the morning commute run amok while you wait for your turn to weave past roadworks, those gloating traffic lights flashing a big red “WAIT” on your way to work…

All of this could be changing soon with the trials of Lane Rental Schemes. The scheme would charge Utility companies for street works repairs during ‘peak times’, meaning less congestion for Jo Public.

However, Street Works UK (formerly NJUG) doesn’t quite see it the same way. NJUG Chief Executive Bob Gallienne said in September of this year: “Lane rental schemes make it harder for Utility companies to deliver vital infrastructure and value for money for consumers while minimising disruption.

Rather, Street Works UK proposes a new initiative to tackle the issue and will be speaking with major Utility companies to discuss how to move forward.

“This consultation is a chance to explore how disruption can be reduced for road users at the same time as minimising the policy burden on Utility companies. NJUG is currently working with a range of stakeholders to develop a Future Strategy for Street Works, setting out a blue print for delivering world class street works.”


Utility companies could be charged to carry out roadworks

In a bid to reduce congestion caused by roadworks at peak times, Gloucester County Council considers new tariffs for Utility companies. The initiative is being considered to minimise the heavy traffic caused when roadworks are installed.

Gloucester Council looks to charge gas, water and electricity companies if they intent to carry out works at peak times and high-traffic areas. The new proposal would charge companies by the hour and could be implemented in 2019.

There are 2.5 million roadworks now in action in the UK, costing the British economy £4 billion per annum because people cannot get to work on time or deliveries are delayed.

Gloucester County Council’s reduced congestion plan comes after trials in London and Kent, where congestion caused by utility roadworks has fallen by over 50%.

The scheme encourages utility companies to work together to coordinate their maintenance works and reduce disruption on carriageways. Utility companies in London are 6 times more likely to work together since the trials began.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “Delays caused by roadworks can be the bane of drivers’ lives – especially when they take place at rush hour on busy routes.

“These proposals would give councils greater powers to ensure utility companies avoid carrying out works at the busiest times and on the most popular routes.

“This would not only improve journeys and cut congestion but also save businesses from the increased costs they incur as a result of traffic on our roads.”