roads, loading ramps, and installing processing
The operations plan is prepared before any earth is
moved. The plan includes the limits of the site to be
developed, methods of excavation, equipment to be
used, number of personnel required, and locations of
roads, structures, and support equipment. Also, plans for
traffic control and drainage are established.
Clearing the Site
When the site is located in a wooded area, the first
operation is to clear all timber, standing or fallen. If
camouflage is necessary, trees or brush outside the
designated cleared area should not be removed.
Construction equipment operations are usually the
most rapid and efficient means of clearing a site. Use of
the equipment is limited only by unusually large trees
and stumpsterrain which hinders their maneuverability
and maintenance requirements. The construction
equipment used include bulldozers, winches, power
saws, rippers, motor graders, and scrapers. In addition,
hand tools are used in certain clearing operations.
Brush may be disposed of by burning on the site;
however, check to see if a burn permit is required.
Timber of suitable dimensions should be stockpiled at
the perimeter of the site. This timber should be saved for
possible use in construction of loading ramps. All
stumps, roots, boulders, vegetation, and rubbish must be
excavated and moved clear of the site.
building access roads, and leveling stockpile and
In excavating aggregates for concrete, bituminous
mixtures, or base courses, the overburden must be
removed while the aggregates are processed. Frozen
material is loosened either with a ripper or explosives.
Overburden should be kept cleared at least 50 feet back
from the top of the face of a quarry or pit to prevent rock
and other material from falling on personnel working
near the top of the face. Also, overburden should be
cleared far enough back from the top so the equipment
being used to clear the overburden does not interfere
with drilling operations.
Adequate drainage is essential to the operation of a
pit or quarry. Alluvial gravel pits may be worked wet or
dry, depending on water levels. Borrow pits and quarries
are normally worked dry.
Drainage facilities are installed as early as possible
so the site will be dry when work starts. The means of
drainage depends primarily upon the location and the
amount of water to be eliminated. Hillside locations are
easy to drain by an interceptor ditch made along the
uphill side with a scraper, dozer, or grader. When the
floor of a site is belowground level, both surface and
seepage water must be disposed of. When open ditches
cannot be dug to take advantage of gravity flow, all
water is directed to a sump hole. A slight slope on the
site floor must be maintained at all times to permit water
to drain away from the working face of the site.
Overburden is usually removed from a pit or quarry
site by a continuous process of stripping. The methods
and equipment used in removing overburden are
dependent upon the type of excavation planned, the
depth of overburden, and the distance the overburden
must be moved. It may be advantageous to leave inplace
the overburden at military quarry sites and blast it with
the rock to provide binder for road building materials.
Removal is coordinated with excavation to provide a
continuously cleared area. The spoil should be dumped
in a remote area to avoid double handling. On hillside
locations, the spoil should be placed in banks, located
on the downhill side, outside the working area.
Remember that all overburden is not necessarily
waste. Some of the overburden is suitable for filling,
Construction of access roads should start as soon as
the operations plan is completed so they are ready for
use when the pit and quarry equipment arrives. The
access roads should be designed for all-weather
operation under the heaviest loads anticipated. The
roads should follow the shortest and easiest routes that
satisfy the traffic control plan. To speed up hauling, you
must avoid sharp curves and grades kept as low as
possible. Ten percent grade (10-foot drop or climb every
100 feet) is the maximum grade for truck operations,
whereas tractors and graders can climb 20-percent
grades for short distances.
Except for the loop at the loading site, access roads
should provide one-way trafficone route to enter and
another to haul out. Leave enough space between haul
roads and borrow pits to avoid traffic hazards.