Video to Answer the Most Commonly Asked Questions About Soldier Sets

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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

From the trenches

A trench soldier set (shore soldier set) is an essential tool in the contracting and civil sectors. Designed to provide support to the walls of a trench, they also make it easier to work around services like electricity, water, or drainage services - compared to trench shields.

To run through the most common questions about trench soldier sets, Huntley, from the Guardian team volunteered to help out. You can watch his helpful video or check out the blog below for more information and links.

What does a soldier set do?

Unlike traditional trench shields, which are made to shield workers in a trench, vertical shores aim to proactively prevent the collapse of the trench's soil walls.

How does that work?

The physics is kind of complicated but ways to achieve "soil arching" have been around since Roman times. Basically, with "soil arching" the trench shoring equipment (in this case the soldier sets) put pressure on the trench walls which redistributes the weight of the soil away from the wall of the trench face, reducing the risk of collapse.

What kinds of soldier sets are there?

There are two kinds - hydraulic soldier set (soldiers) and manual soldier sets. Each has its advantages.

What is a hydraulic soldier?

The hydraulic sets are ideal for when positive ground pressure is needed. When you pump the soldiers out, the hydraulic pressure helps stabilise the trench walls and provides a more secure working environment.

How about manual soldiers?

A manual soldier does much the same task as the hydraulic version. But it has manual acrow struts (props) which move the panel sides in and out. The good thing about them is that they're lighter than hydraulic soldiers. The downside is that you can't get the same amount of pressure against the side wall of the trench to stop the trench wall from moving.

How much do soldiers weigh?

For a manual 2.4m high solider set it weighs 42kg.

For the 2.4m high hydraulic soldier it's 52kg. Then you have to factor in 25kg for the hydraulic pump. (The pump includes 4 gallons of hydraulic fluid and water mix.)

Both weights include the struts and pins.

What else do you need when using soldier sets?

Our trench soldier sets can be used to support light steel plating or rated plywood sheets to protect workers in a trench.

Apart from that, there's not a lot extra. They're pretty simple.

For the manual soldier sets, you need to make sure the acrow struts are secured by the pins and you're good to go.

With the hydraulic ones, the struts are normally attached to the soldiers so you just need the hydraulic pump with the fluid in it. That's it!

Tip: If you own your own hydraulic solider set, we'd recommend checking the hydraulic fluid/water mix level at least annually. (No one wants to be caught out, in the middle of a job.) Guardian's rental hydraulic soldier sets are regularly checked and maintained - so they're always good to go.

When do you use soldier sets vs shields?

You would generally use soldier sets in tighter spots. For example, when working around laterals or when pipes are crossing over in the trench, or when the shields would not fit because they're too big and wouldn't go between the laterals and pipes running in the trenches. Soldier sets are also used on short jobs. (That's both time-wise and length of the trench-wise.)

Soldiers sets can also be deployed where there's not a big enough digger on site to lift shields. They're just a lot lighter and easier to move around and use than shields.

However, with unstable soils, or soils containing a lot of sand, shields are a safer option. The site engineer would be the best judge of that.

For more information on trench shields click on these links:

What size soldier sets are available?

With the hydraulic soldiers, the 2.4m are most common. But custom options are available.

With the manual soldiers, there are 1.8m, 2.4m and 3m. Again, custom options are available.

NOTE: For custom solider sets, you'll need to allow a bit of lead time and they can cost a little more.

How many soldier sets would you use per trench?

This depends on the ground condition, soil structure and moisture. The softer the ground, the closer together the soldiers need to be.

As a rule of thumb, it's recommended that they should be no more than 1.5m apart. But that does depend on the site engineer's recommendation, as they have the best knowledge and understanding of the conditions and its demands.

Do you buy or hire soldier sets?

You can do both. Guardian have soldier sets in manual and hydraulic options to suit every site and situation. Just tell us what you need, and we'll help you find a good solution.

Whatever your trench shoring needs, TransQuip has a Guardian product that's right for the job. Talk to the team today. Our experts will be happy to help.