While digging your own tunnel is a great idea if you have the time and resources to spare, modern day concrete cities are not exactly the best place to do it. With tight construction laws and a high demand for housing, cities require a great deal of infrastructure in the form of roads, sewers, and other utilities. This means that even the most rural of towns often require access to these services through tunnels. While digging your own tunnel may be a fun project for the right person, it’s also not necessarily a good idea. The cost of construction and the need for safety are just a few of the risks you may have to take into account. The following are some of the most powerful and cost-effective tunneling machines available on the market today.
What is a Tunneling Machine?
A tunneling machine is a piece of heavy machinery used for making large-scale underground excavations. These machines are designed to be able to dig in a variety of soil conditions, and can be used for construction projects, mining operations and even water and natural gas extraction.
Tunneling machines are often operated in a similar way as a front-end loader. The operator will monitor the machine’s tools and spade to ensure that the machine stays at the correct depth and removes any loose soil or rocks within its path. Depending on the size of the excavation, tunneling machines may be used to dig very large or very small holes.
How do Tunneling Machines Work?
Tunneling machines work by using a variety of different tools to carve out the soil below the ground. These tools include a rotating spade that digs and a rotating auger that removes loose soil. Depending on the soil composition, a tunneling machine may be equipped with other tools, such as a backhoe to help remove large rocks.
During a tunneling project, the operator will usually place a digger ahead of the machine’s auger. The operator will then walk behind the machine and monitor the digger.
Benefits of using a Tunneling Machine
- Simple and quick - The process of using a tunneling machine is extremely simple and can be completed in as little as a couple of days. You also don’t have to deal with safety concerns or other issues that come with digging your own tunnel.
- Easier to Obtain Permits - Getting a permit is often a long and complicated process. This is because the government requires that you obtain a permit before you start any construction project. Using a tunneling machine, however, requires no permits at all.
- Less risk - The risk of getting trapped in a hole during a tunneling project is extremely high. This is because there are very few ways to escape a hole once you’ve been trapped inside of it. Using a tunneling machine, however, decreases the risk of being trapped.
- Smaller risk - Another risk that comes with digging your own tunnel is the risk of damaging the utilities below the ground. This is a serious issue that could cause a lot of damage to your home if it weren’t for the machine.
- Affordable - A tunneling machine is usually a lot cheaper than digging your own tunnel.
- Modern - These machines are fairly modern and offer a lot of features that were not available back in the day.
- Durable - The best tunneling machines are also incredibly durable. They can withstand a lot of wear and tear and will continue to work at full capacity.
- Convenient - A tunneling machine is always at work. This means that you don’t need to worry about setting up a project that requires digging your own tunnel.
- Doesn’t require a lot of space - These machines can be stored in a fairly small area without taking up too much space.
- Low risk of damaging your property - These machines are usually much less expensive than digging your own tunnel.
- Easy to transport - These machines are usually designed to be portable and are usually equipped with a winch that allows the machine to be moved from location to location.
Disadvantages of using a Tunneling Machine
- Limited operating hours - The best tunneling machines are usually only available for a limited amount of time. This means you will need to plan your project around the availability of the machine.
- Long term costs - The best tunneling machines are not cheap. These machines are typically designed to be used for longer projects, and will continue to be useful after your initial investment has been paid off.
- No guarantee of success - The best tunneling machines are not guaranteed to work on your project. The best you can do is to hire a contractor that owns one of these machines.
- Project risks - The project risks associated are high. You will have to consider a lot of risks when using a tunneling machine.
- Short operating hours - The best tunneling machines usually have a short operating hours. This means you will have to plan your project around when the machine will be available.
- Limited warranties - The best tunneling machines usually don’t come with a warranty.