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How do I Choose the Best Trenching Contractors?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2016
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There are four items to consider when looking for the best trenching contractors: reputation, cost, experience, and warranty. A trenching contractor is usually a small firm with the skills, equipment, and expertise required to safely build a trench. The primary purpose behind building a trench is to allow workers to safely excavate below ground level. This type of firm is typically called into a building site or large construction project to build a trench, or remove large rocks or other materials from the building site.

Trenching contractors are required to purchase several large pieces of construction equipment. These include bulldozers, soil bracing equipment, dump trucks, and large diggers. There are no specific training programs to become a trench digger. However, it is wise to look for a firm with extensive construction experience and an excellent safety record.

When looking at the local trenching contractors, take the time to investigate their reputations in the local business community. Ask for references from their last five clients and check with these firms. Talk about the professionalism of the staff, punctuality, safety precautions, and overall efficiency. Don't ask about the price, but inquire about the level of satisfaction that the client had with the work that was done.

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Write out a project specification, detailing exactly what work needs to be done, including time lines, location, and known risks. Provide this same information to at least three different firms, and ask for written quotations, complete with a breakdown of parts and labor costs. Compare all the quotes in detail. It is important to note that if the prices have significant variances, look at the description of the work that will be done. This is an essential part of the contract and will identify where the cost reductions were made.

Ask about the level of experience in the staff who will be assigned to the project. This is an important distinction between the experience of the firm overall and the actual people who will be on site. Obtain the full names, length of experience, and prior jobs the team has worked on. Look at the price for the labor and compare it to the experience. It is often worth the extra cost to use highly experienced staff on a complex project.

Many trenching contractors provide a limited warranty with the contract. Read the wording carefully to determine exactly what is included in this warranty. It is important to note that almost all trenches must pass inspection by the local building inspector. Make sure that this is included in the contract, and that any deficiencies found in an inspection are corrected, free of charge.

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