FAQs

  • Design

    • Can the Pro-Tec Mod system be used in a 3-sided configuration?

      Pro-Tec Equipment’s Mod Series Aluminum Trench Shields can be used in a three-sided manner, as long as the following requirements are met: For the third side of the system, a minimum of two struts/spreaders or panels must be used, not exceeding 36” of vertical clearance. If the struts/spreaders or panels are removed on the third side, the engineering for such a system is the responsibility of others, unless site specific engineering is supplied by Pro-Tec Equipment. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

    • Can trench shield panels be used as end panels?

      Pro-Tec Equipment authorizes the use of trench shield panels to be utilized as end panels. The end panels can close off either or both of the open ends on a trench shield. The depth shall not exceed the lesser of the trench shield panels or end panels. Depth ratings are found on the tabulated data or certification sheets. The end panels shall bear against the trench shield sidewalls, not against the spreader pipes. End panels shall be made secure by hanging brackets, back fill, or other methods approved of by the job-site competent person to prevent lateral movement. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory 800.292.1225

    • Do Pro-Tec’s Trench Shields come with a warranty?

      Yes, Pro-Tec Equipment, Inc. warrants the trench shielding equipment it manufactures to be free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use for a period of one year from date of purchase. This warranty does not cover damage or wear which arises from misuse, accident, tampering, or any other causes not related to defects in workmanship or materials. Special and consequential damages are expressly excluded and denied.

    • Can two trench shields be stacked top to top?

      Two trench shield may be stacked on top of each other, top to top, as long as: Two (2) spreader pipes are used per side, per shield. The required amount of stack pockets and pins (4 pockets and 4 pins) are being used per manufacturer's specifications, preventing lateral movement of the shields. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

    • What guidelines do I have to follow to bring a shield 2’ off the bottom of an excavation?

      All Pro-Tec Equipment, Inc. shields, including our Mod Series, can hang two feet off of the bottom of the excavation, as long as: The shield (or system) is designed to resist forces to the full depth of the trench; and there are no indications of loss of soil from behind or below the bottom of the trench. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

  • Other

    • Can the screw style struts used with the Pro-Tec MOD System be used as screw jacks?

      Pro-Tec’s Modular Aluminum Trench Shield system utilizes adjustable struts. The struts have a threaded rod and look like a screw jack. These components are designed and intended to be used exclusively with the modular aluminum trench shields as struts. There is no engineering to support any other use or function. Pro-Tec publishes a “P.E. Certification & Assembly Instruction” manual for the Mod Series. Any use outside of these instructions is prohibited and will be the responsibility of others. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225.

    • What size pipe do you use for spreaders?

      For Pro-Tec Pro series trench shields, spreader pipe to be used is 8” diameter, schedule 80 pipe. Actual dimensions are 8.625” OD with .5” wall thickness. For Pro-Tec Pal series trench shields, spreader pipe to be used is 5” diameter, schedule 80 pipe. Actual dimensions are 5.563” OD with .375” wall thickness. These spreader pipes do not have to be purchased from the manufacturer as long as they meet the above specifications and the following requirements. There must be at least two spreader pipes on each end of the shield for shields that are 4’ tall or taller. For the 8” sch. 80 pipe, spreader pins must be at least 1.75” diameter pins. Avoid excessive slop with spreader pin hole. It is recommended that the spreader pin be .125” smaller than the pin hole. Consult manufacturer before using 8” spreaders greater than 20’ in width. For 5” sch. 80 pipe, spreader pins must be at least 1” diameter pins. Avoid excessive slop with spreader pin hole. It is recommended that the spreader pin be .125” smaller than the pin hole. Consult manufacturer before using 5” spreaders greater than 12’ in width. Spreader pipes, along with other components of the trench shields, shall be inspected by a competent person (on the job site) for any unusual wear or damage before being installed in a trench.

    • What is the maximum length of spreaders that I can use on a Pro-Series Trench shield?

      Spreaders up to 20’ in length can be used provided the depth of cut does not exceed 20’ for all standard models, (except the Pro8-1020 or models not rated to 20’ deep). Spreaders up to 12’ in length can be used to the maximum rated depth indicated on the tabulated data supplied with the shield (except Pro6 and Pro8 10’ x 24’ and larger models). Spreader lengths and depth beyond those indicated are possible; however, they must be reviewed by Pro-Tec on a case-to-case basis. This also applies to any alterations to the spreaders or shields other than shown on the tabulated data. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

    • The shield I am using has 5 collar pipes on it, do I have to use all 5?

      Pro-Tec Equipment, Inc. provides certification sheets stamped by a Registered Professional Engineer for every trench shield that we manufacture. There are several variations in style common to "trench shields." Some trench shields are designed to utilize 4 spreader pipes and others with 5 spreader pipes. On our Certification Sheet, under limitation #3, we state, “A minimum of 2 spreader pipes are required on each end with manufacturer approved pins and keepers.” Often contractors will omit a spreader pipe from a 5-pipe trench shield and use 4 pipes. This is acceptable as long as there are 2 pipes on each end. If a special size trench shield requires 5 or more spreader pipes to insure meeting the engineers’ depth ratings, a special note would be made on the certification sheet. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

    • Do all the spreader pipes and pins need keepers?

      Pro-Tec Trench Shields, and their components, shall be inspected by a competent or qualified person on the job site for any unusual wear or damage before being installed in a trench. Spreader pipes shall be connected with a spreader pin; the pin will be secured with a “keeper” pin. The keeper pin can be one of several different styles; a cotter pin is the most common. Always use factory approved parts and components. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory 800.292.1225.

  • Repairs

    • Can I drag and lift a trench shield by the spreader?

      Pro-Tec trench shields are designed to be installed and removed from the trench by using a four-legged wire rope sling. The sling shall meet the required specifications for the weight of the shield and angle of lift. (The weight of the shield, without the spreader bars, is listed on the Trench Shield Certification sheet.) Dragging a shield horizontally through the trench by pulling on the spreader bars is an accepted industry standard and approved by Pro-Tec as long as the spreaders are less than 8 feet wide. However, lifting the shield vertically by use of spreader bars may create an unstable or hazardous condition that could cause injury or death. OSHA requires a Competent Person to inspect all rigging and lifting equipment before each use If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

    • Can I remove stack pockets or add a D-ring to a trench shield without affecting the depth rating of the shield?

      Stacking pockets on Pro-Tec Trench Shields, may be replaced, repaired, or removed from the shield without changing the strength of the shield when done correctly. Welding other components to the surface of the shield, such as d-rings or ladders, will usually not affect the depth ratings. However, the factory or an authorized dealer should first be notified and consulted with before any modifications are made. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225

    • What material can I use to repair minor holes in the skin of the shield?

      When repairing holes cut into the skins of Pro-Series Trench shields, use 3/16” thick, 55,000 min. yield steel. Cut back to the nearest rib or tube and re-weld with a full perimeter weld. When repairing holes cut into the skins of Pal-Series Trench shields, use 8 gauge thick, 55,000 min. yield steel. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory 800.292.1225.

    • What kind of repairs can I do, without shipping the equipment back to the factory?

      Minor repairs to trench shields, including repair or replacement of stack pockets, patching of small holes in the skin, re-shaping or patching the knife edge, or adding push pads, may be performed by the contractor or the dealer without notification of the factory. However, the factory shall be notified if there is: damage to the collars, deformation of top tubes, excessive deflection or bowing of the panel, or any internal damage to the panel members. If you have any questions or require more information, please feel free to call the factory, 800.292.1225.