Video to Answer Your FAQ's about Modular Trench Shields

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August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDTth, August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT

Guardian Modular Panel systems. The multi-tool of shoring solutions!

Have questions? Watch this video to answer the most common FAQ's and read below for even more detail-

One of the handiest and most critical pieces of kit you'll ever use, certified-compliant Guardian Modular Panel systems from TransQuip can be used for multiple shoring tasks. Quick and simple to reconfigure, they are a 2-sided trench shield, a 3-sided trench box, and a completely enclosed manhole all in one!

Made from strong, lightweight aluminium and used extensively in civil construction and drainage, the panels can go from safeguarding lives to being neatly stacked on the back of a ute in minutes.

Each panel is a convenient 600mm high. And, with lengths of; 1.5m, 1.8m, 2.4m and 3m available, both square and rectangular configurations are straightforward to achieve.

In addition, the panel wall thickness is just 50mm. This keeps excavations to a minimum and reduces time and costs on backfilling and restoration.

Undisputed lightweight shoring champions

Obviously, the weight of the panels depends on their size, but the beauty of the Guardian Modular Trench Shields' aluminium construction is that the individual panels can be manhandled into place without too much effort. No additional lifting equipment is required.

That also means they're a great solution for areas where access is limited or difficult.
Superior mobility, and the fact the shield can be dismantled in minutes, means it can be moved quickly around busy sites (or even between sites), cutting downtime to a minimum.

Another benefit of the aluminium panel system is that, unlike steel, it won't rust. That's a big advantage in longevity, and when working in often wet and muddy New Zealand conditions.

How deep can they go?

Different sizes and configurations have differing ratings. The deepest is the 1.5m panel which can go down 6 metres. The 3m panel can go down 3 metres deep.
A note of caution. That also depends on the soil types you're working on and with. The soil type is generally around how stable or unstable the soil is. Other factors to consider are how much water there is and the height of the water table, how much sand or clay is in the soil and how long has the soil been left undisturbed.

Strut sizes and shoring advantages

Adjustable struts (spreader bars) mean the system will easily shore different sized trenches – maintaining supportive positive pressure on the trench walls. The adjustable struts come in four different sizes. The smallest is 0.6m – 0.8m. The largest is 2m – 2.9m. See our full range online Here.

An added benefit - the screw thread of spreader bars is shallow and coarse for easy cleaning, and improved performance.

How do I assemble the modular panels?

Assembling them has a very low level of difficulty using the system's interchangeable corner connectors, brackets, and pins.

We've put together a short video to show you just how quick and easy it is. Click here to watch it.

How do I lift them, once assembled?

Once you've assembled them, they're still not that heavy. For example, a 3 x 3 x 3 metre box only weighs around 1.42 tonne. There's nothing else out there that size that weighs that little. As far as lifting goes, a small 8 tonne digger will do it.

NOTE: All modular boxes and shields have lifting eyes. Please ensure you use them!
Never lift using the struts. They're not designed for it and they may bend. And they're adjustable so that means they'll also get stuck and you won't be able to adjust them again.


The most common way you'll have seen the aluminium panels used is as a manhole. The light but strong system really comes into its own where space is tight and narrow and the threat of collapse is very real.
As you'll know, not all manhole excavations are the same. Using this system, all bases are covered. Various configurations can be designed and built using different length panels, and the ability to stack panels on top gives extra flexibility.

Two-sided trench shields

Trench shields are another popular use. These can be built using struts across the two open ends as support. If required, and where ground conditions are suitable, the shields can also be raised on detachable 600mm legs. These give additional height and protection and extend the ground clearance to allow for easier passage of pipes and laterals. Note this picture shows extension legs on the shield.

Three-sided trench shoring

A three-sided box, with struts across the front, allows pipe access from the open side while shoring the other sides.

When is a trench shield needed?

New Zealand law states that trench protection must be used when working in a trench of 1.5m or deeper. At TransQuip, we'd go a bit further and say that any time your head is below ground level (e.g. bending down or kneeling to work on pipes or cables) you need a trench shield.
People will often respond that it's just a quick job. But keep in mind – trenches can (and do) collapse in 1/10th of a second. That's not enough time to get up and get out.

Purchase or hire?

Choose either or even a combination of both! Because every situation and every company is unique, TransQuip provides the option of buying or hiring from our extensive range. We also strive to be flexible enough to meet individual needs and changing requirements. For smaller companies or on one-off jobs, hire might be your best option.

Let's dig a bit deeper

TransQuip has an extensive range of trench shields and shoring accessories for sale or hire to suit all needs and applications, right down to the humble but hardworking soldier sets, and essentials like trench covers, steel road plates, and 4-leg chain slings. if it's a bigger job, for example, a job requiring high strength to weight ratio, check out the Guardian Large Aluminium Trench Shields.

Custom-made solutions are also available on request.

If you have any questions at all about what you need to get the job done safely, just ask us. Or jump on the Worksafe site Here.

Talk to us about your needs today, our trench (and people) protection experts are ready to help.

While TransQuip constantly strives to give accurate and up-to-date advice regarding our products, it is your responsibility to ensure you meet any legal requirements, rules or regulations in your use of them.