US 3584465 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Edward J. H011 320 Warwick Ave., South Orange, NJ. 07079 ] App]. No. 877,176  Filed Nov. 17,1969  Patented June 15, 1971  EARTH-SHORING APPARATUS 9 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl 6l/4lA  Int. Cl E21d 5/12  FieldoiSearch 6l/4l,41 A, 72.1
I 561 References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 975.665 11/1910 Wernlinger .v 61/41 A 2,908,140 111/1959 Evc'rson a. 61/41 A 3,159,978 12/1964 DeLilo 61/41 A 3,212,270 10/1965 Benintend 4. 61/41 3,496,727 2/1970 DeWeese et a1 61/41 FOREIGN PATENTS 20,907 10/1904 Sweden 61/41 342,739 l/l960 Switzerland 61/41 Primary Examiner- Dennis L Taylor A1t0rney-Robert Henderson PATENIED JUN] 5197:
SHEET 1 BF 4 INV/iN'l ()R; EDWARD J. HOLL PATENTEHJUHICHWI 75 /14 5 SHEET 3 OF 4 INVICV/UR: F IG, 6 EDWARD J. H/OLL PATENTEDJUNI 5l97l 3,584,465
SHEET 4 [1F 4 EDWARD J. HOLL EARTH-SIIOIRING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has hitherto been common practice to drive a series of spaced beams or stanchions vertically into the ground along a line corresponding closely with the wall of earth which will form as an excavation is being made along side of said line of stanchions. Then, as the excavation deepens, wooden planks or other forms of elongate sheeting members are secured to the line of stanchions in horizontal positions. The have been secured to the stanchions in various ways as, for example, by the use of bolts, cleats, hooks, etc.
Such use of horizontal sheeting involves difficulties in that, despite efforts to drive the stanchions in alignment, some, and sometimes a high percentage of them are out of alignment after being driven, thereby creating troublesome problems in attempting to fasten the sheeting in place acceptably close to a vertical planer condition in relation to the walls of the excavation.
The mentioned problems lead to excessive labor costs; and such costs are further increased excessively in placing and tightening the numerous bolts, cleats, hooks, etc. needed in a complete sheeting job.
OBJECTS OF THIS INVENTION This invention, by a novel employment of the rectangular frame nd guide members referred to in the foregoing abstract fulfills the objective of enabling improved earth shoring means to be provided at materially reduced costs in materials used and labor employed. This invention also enables much shoring material to be used repeatedly and, by shortening the time devoted to shoring, leads to more efficient employment of equipment used both in digging the excavation and in dealing with piping or other apparatus to be laid, constructed, or serviced in the excavation.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWING FIG. I is an exploded perspective view of the principal bracing and guiding parts of apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of this invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of said bracing and guiding parts assembled; similar bracing and guiding parts of adjacent assemblies being fragmentally shown at opposite ends, and the eventual location of corrugated steel sheeting being indicted in broken lines.
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view, substantially on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2; the vertically driven steel sheeting, braced by a bracing frame, being shown in place, supporting the earth defining a completed trench.
FIG. 4 is a view somewhat similar to FIG. 3, but showing the bracing frame suspended in a lowered position in bracing relationship to the sheeting at opposite sides of the trench.
FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the principal bracing and guiding parts of apparatus according to a modified embodiment of this invention.
FIG. 6 is a plan view, somewhat similar, generally, to FIG. 2, but illustrating the modified embodiment.
FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view, substantially on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6, showing the apparatus of the modified embodiment as finally disposed in relation to a completed trench.
FIG. 8 is a perspective, fragmentary view of finally positioned portions of the apparatus according to the modified embodiment as viewed from within a shored trench from a level slightly above ground level.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the preferred embodiment of FIGS. 1-4:
A rectangular bracing frame F comprises similar side members 10 and similar end members 11 either welded together at their ends to unify the frame and make it rigid, or riveted,
bolted or interlocked together for said purpose. The members 10 and II should preferably be steel H beams disposed with their central webs in a horizontal attitude. The width of this bracing frame should be somewhat less than the width of a trench to be dug to allow room for sheeting to be held by said frame against the sidewalls of the trench. The term trench is used herein to denote any type of excavation with which this invention may be employed.
The apparatus also includes frame-supporting crossmembers C. These members should preferably be T-bars of steel of inverted T-shape in cross section and. should be substantially longer than the width of the trench to be dug. Where, as is usually the case, a series of the frames F are to be used in end to end relation, the adjacent ends of successive frames of the series rest against opposite side faces of a vertical web 12 of cross member C and are supported upon the upwardly facing surfaces ofa bridge portion 13 of said cross member.
The ends of crossmembers C are supported firmly upon earth at opposite sides of the trench area. Said crossmembers are provided with ears or lugs 14 serving to hold the frames F against displacement longitudinally of said crossmembers. The crossmembers are formed with slots 15 in the bridge portion 13 at opposite sides of the vertical web 12; said slots being provided toward opposite ends of said crossmembers for a purpose hereinafter explained.
The apparatus further includes, in relation to a frame or frames F, rigid guide members 16 which to shown as steel channels, the ends of which are supported upon upwardly facing surfaces of bridge portions 13 of crossmembers C and against webs 12 of said support members. The ends of the guide members 16 also rest against inner faces of cars or lugs 17 formed on the crossmembers C to limit the possible lateral outward movement of the guide members 16, thereby holding said members 16 in spaced, parallel relationship to the side members 10 of the bracing frame F to provide a space S for accommodating and guiding sheeting to be vertically driven for supporting the walls of a trench to be dug.
The sheeting which holds the walls of a trench against inward collapse, comprises a plurality of elongate sheeting members 18, preferably of steel specially corrugated longitudinally to enable them to strongly oppose bending. Although the sheeting members may be formed with corrugations of any suitable shape to oppose bending, the corrugations therein are preferably as shown in broken lines in FIG. 2. Thus, the sheeting members 18 have side flanges l9 and a central channel 20. The sheeting members should preferably be a few feet longer than the depth of the projected trench.
In using apparatus according to FIGS. 1-4, the trench often is first dug to an initial depth of about 4 or 5 feet, to locate any buried pipes or other utilities, and to an initial or upper width somewhat greater than the lower width of the trench below the initial depth. Under most ground conditions, no shoring is needed during the initial digging of the trench to its said initial depth.
Upon completion of said initial digging or before any digging proceeds, where ground conditions so dictate, the crossmembers C are laid across the excavation resting upon the ground defining the opposite margins of the excavation which has been started or is to be dug. Successive crossmembers C are laid in parallelism and so spaced apart that their vertical webs 12 define an intervening distance about the same as the overall length ofa bracing frame F.
The next step is to lay the frame or frames F and the guide members 16 in place, supported at their ends upon bridge portions 13 of the crossmembers C and, respectively, held against outward lateral shifting by the lugs 14 and 17 of the crossmembers. This leaves the spaces S between said frames side members 10 and the guide members 16, which spaces are preferably somewhat, but not much, wider than the width of the sheeting members 18.
The next step is the vertical driving of the sheeting members 18. These members are held in vertical attitudes above and in vertical alignment with the space S by a derrick or the like and are driven into the ground at least partly through said space by a vibratory pile driver, meanwhile being guided against material shifting laterally of the planned trench by the side members of the frame F and by the guide members 16.
If there has been an initial excavation to a depth of only a few feet, the sizes and disposition of the parts of the apparatus may be such that the sheeting members 18 can be merely lowered within the space S until the lower ends of said members rest upon or become partly embedded into the earth defining the bottom of the initial, relatively shallow excavation. The vibratory driving may then be initiated. On the other hand, if shoring is needed from the commencement ofdigging, the vibratory driving should be initiated at or near ground level.
The sheeting members 18 may be driven so that the side flanges 19 thereof, at opposite ends of a series of said members related to a frame F, extend into slots in the two crossmembers C which support said frame, so that the ends of plural series of sheeting members need not be separated more than the relatively negligible thickness of the web 12 of a crossmember C. Also, the sheeting members 18 of a series may be so driven as to be in or close to abutting interrelationship.
Driving of the sheeting members 18 should preferably continue until the upper ends thereof are at or near ground level and preferably all at an approximately common level. Also, said sheeting members 18 should be of such length that upon completion of driving thereof, their lower ends will extend substantially below the level of the bottom of the trench to be dug. Thus, upon completion of digging, the ground beneath the trench will hold the bottom ends of the sheeting members against material shifting inwardly while such inward shifting at the upper ends of the sheeting members is prevented by the frame F. The sheeting members, of course, being corrugated and otherwise of suitable sturdiness, will not bend inwardly of the trench to any material extent at intermediate points thereof.
After completion of driving of sheeting members 18, drift pins 22 or more or less equivalent stud members may be fixed into suitably located holes 23 in sheeting members 18 to engage bottom surfaces of side members 10 of the frame F toward opposite ends of the latter to hold the frame in its horizontal position at ground level while the trench remains open.
Then, the guide members 16 and crossmembers C may be removed for future use,-thereby clearing the ground at opposite sides of the trench to serve as runways for opposite side treads of a backhoe or other apparatus to be used for digging the trench.
After work in the trench has been completed and the trench refilled, the sheeting members 18 may be pulled out of the ground by suitable derrick means and the frames F may similarly be removed; all shoring equipment thereby being available for future use on otherjobs.
FIG. 4 illustrates that the preferred embodiment may be so utilized that, after the sheeting members 18 have been driven, the frame F, instead of being supported at ground level, may be lowered to a point (6 feet more or less) below ground level, and be held suspended, preferably at or near its four corners, in such lowered position by chains 24 (or equivalent suspending means) having hooks 25 at their opposite ends engaged in suitable holes in the frame F and over the upper ends of adjacent sheeting members 18. Of course, the previously mentioned drift pin or stud arrangement can be used, if desired, in place of the mentioned chains, to support the frame F. The use of the mentioned chains is preferred, however, as it avoids cutting holes in the sheeting members 18 which holes would have to be cut on the job and could objectionably weaken the sheeting members.
A substantial advantage may be derived from thus positioning the frames F below ground level as somewhat less sturdy and less costly sheeting members 18 can be used. Even with such less sturdy sheeting members, the portions thereof above the lowered frame would have sufficient cantilever strength to resist bending, and the portions thereof below the lowered frame would have their support (the frame F) somewhat closer to the bottom of the trench, thereby being required to support only a reduced length of the sheeting members at their lower ends.
The modified embodiment of FIGS. 58 differs from the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, chiefly in that the vertically driven sheeting members are disposed inside of the bracing frame, rather than at the outside thereof, and the bracing frame remains at ground level.
More particularly, a bracing frame Fm comprises horizontal side members 30, preferably of steel H beams disposed with their flanges extending vertically, the ends of these side members being welded or otherwise firmly bolted or interlocked rigidly within horizontally and inwardly facing channels of opposite end portions of steel channel beams 31 which serve as cross or end members of the frame Fm.
This modified embodiment further includes separable rigid guide members 32 shown as steel channels, the ends of which are supported on upwardly facing surfaces of the bottom flanges 33 of the frames end members 31 and against the adjacent inside faces of the center webs 34 of the frames said end members. The ends of these guide members also rest against outer faces of ears or lugs 35 welded or otherwise suitably fixed to the upper faces of the bottom flanges of the frames end members 31.
The lugs 35, preferably, should extend upwardly only enough to prevent the guide members 35 from shifting inwardly while the latter rest upon the flanges 33 so that the separable guide members 32 may be put in place as hereinbefore indicated or may easily be removed. To facilitate such placing of the guide members, they may be of such limited height that one or both ends thereof may be moved laterally within the end members 31 and over the free top edges of the ears 35 to get the end members placed as described. Alternatively, the guide members may be of larger size than indicated in cross section, but the flanges thereof may be cut away at one or both ends to enable them to be thus moved laterally into place in the described association with the lugs 35.
The of the lugs 35, the guide members 32 and the frame s side members 30 should be such as to leave a rectangular space between the members 30 and 32 of slightly greater width than the width of sheeting members 36 which are to be driven vertically within said space into the underlying ground. Thus, the sheeting members will be guided by the members 30 and 32 while they are being driven. The sheeting members, of course should be of such length that, after being driven, their lower ends will extend several feet or more below the bottom ofthe planned trench.
After driving of the sheeting members 36 has been completed, and while the guide members 32 are still in place, the upper ends of the sheeting members are connected to the side members 30 of the frame Fm. The connection means may be any means which will hold the upper ends of the sheeting members against material movement inwardly of the trench after the hereinafter mentioned removal of the guide members 32.
The just mentioned connection means, however, may advantageously be as illustrated in HO. 8, wherein the sheeting members 36 are shown as having slots 37 through which extend bolts 38 having hooked outer ends engaging a chain 39 having, on both its ends, books 40 engaged about and inside of marginal portions of the inside flanges of the frames adjacent side member 30. This hook, chain and bolt arrangement is in accordance with my U.S. Pat. No. 3,466,874 dated Sept. 16, 1969 to which reference may be made if further details are desired. After the upper ends of the sheeting members have been connected to the frame asjust explained, the guide members 32 may be removed, leaving a clear area within the frame Fm for operation of a backhoe or other excavating equipment for digging the trench as with the first described embodiment. All apparatus of the modified embodiment may be removed after the trench has been refilled or after the shoring means are no longer needed; suitable derrick means being employed as needed.
It will be realized that the use of this invention, including more or less obvious variations thereof, yields advantages hereinbefore indicated as objectives to be attained.
1. Earth shoring apparatus comprising:
a. a substantially rigid, rectangular frame having side and end members all in a substantially horizontal, common plane and having an opening through which digging operations may be performed;
b. a pair of elongate, substantially rigid guide members,
separate from said frame;
c. holding means for abuttingly holding said guide members in parallelism with opposite side members of said frame and spaced from the latter members approximately to the extent of the thickness of sheeting members to be driven; and
d. plural elongate, vertically drivable sheeting members of such a thickness, less than the spacing between said side and guide members, as to enable them to be guidably driven vertically between the two latter members;
e. said side members of the frame coacting with said sheeting members at upper portions of the latter, to hold said upper portions against material displacement inwardly of said frame.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1, further including substantially rigid crossmembers, greater in length than the width of said frame and than the width of an earth area to be dug with the use of said frame; said crossmembers being disposed at opposite ends of the frame and having portions in supporting relation to opposite end members of said frame; and said holding means being on and located toward opposite ends of said crossmembers in positions enabling them to hold said guide members outwardly of the frames said side members.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2, said crossmembers having centering abutment portions, engageable with end portions of the frame to center the latter relatively to said crossmembers, and guide-member-positioning abutment portions, engageable with the said guide members to position the latter in their said spaced relationship to the frames said side members.
4. Apparatus according to claim 3, said crossmembers being separable from said frame, and said apparatus further including frame-supporting means, coacting between some of said driven sheeting members and said frame to limit downward movement of the latter within an at least partially dug excavation, subsequent to the separation of said crossmembers from said frame.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4, said frame-supporting means comprising stud members inserted into some of said driven sheeting members and extending inwardly underneath said frame in supporting relation thereto.
6. Apparatus according to claim 4, said frame-supporting means comprising suspension members having connecting means at opposite ends thereof for connecting said suspension members to said frame and to upper portions of adjacent ones ofsaid driven sheeting.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6, said connecting means of the suspension members including hook means.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1, said frame being wider than an earth area to be dug with the use of said frame, and said holding means being on said frame, and so located thereon as to hold said guide members inwardly of the frames said side members.
9. Apparatus according to claim 8, further including plural connection means, connectable between a side member of said frame and upper portions of said driven sheeting members to restrain the latter portions against movement inwardly ofsaid frame.