How to Dig a Trench

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How to Dig a Trench

It may seem to be just another hole in the ground, but the trench is associated with everything from life to death.  Whether it’s for a useful purpose like construction or the trenches of bygone wars, digging a trench can be a very useful project.  Here are some tips to help you build just the right trench.

What is a Trench?

A trench is a narrow, deep hole in the ground, usually made by human beings for transport, traveling, or defending a territory from attackers.  Trenches are usually long holes that are deeper than the width of the hole.  Trenches are particularly useful for:

  • Transporting goods and supplies.
  • Building foundations and structural elements for buildings and houses.
  • Defending territories and outposts from attackers, and also presents a tactical location for launching offense during wartime.

Types of Trenches

There are four applications where a trench is particularly useful:

  • Agricultural trenches. Water can pose both a blessing and a problem for many agricultural projects and locations.  Trenches dug for farms can serve the purpose of irrigation, especially if the field is found on a slope.  Water from higher locations may be introduced to a field below the water source, and the trench may also be used to drain water from a field.
  • Construction trenches. In construction, a trench may be useful for creating foundation walls, especially for very tall structures.  Trenches are also often used to dig locations for telephone lines and utility pipes for sewers, gas, and water.
  • Archaeological trenches. Some digging methods for archaeological digs include making trenches.  The great thing about digging trenches is that the surrounding environment is not damaged, making it easy to locate artifacts.
  • Military trenches. In military applications, trenches were used to conceal attackers or to provide a near-impregnable offensive line.  The simplest form of trenches before came in the form of the castle moat, until more intricate tunnels and systems were devised to counter attacks from guns and gas.  Trenches are no longer used today because of the inhumane conditions in the trenches, as well as the tendency of the strategy to prolong warfare.

Trench-Digging Tools

There are two ways to dig trenches:

  • Hand tools. Shovels, hoes, and picks are often used to break apart ground to create trenches.  Hand tools are quite effective and efficient at digging trenches, although it takes a very long time to do so.  Hand tools are still used to start or finish off trenches.
  • Heavy machinery. Power augers, backhoes, and other power tools and heavy equipment are often used to dig large trenches, especially for agricultural and civil purposes.

Trenches make life easier for many people, and parts of them form the foundations of modern living.  With these steps, and tips, you can get to know more about one of the most useful holes known to human civilization. If you enjoy reading this article, you’ll surely be interested in learning how to dig a well.