Earthworks are a set of works that are carried out in the land to modify its surface adequately, prepare it for construction, and adapt it to its final form. It includes both the extraction and the contribution of land. The analysis of the extracted materials, their treatment, or rejection is included. The use of deep sacrifices for bulk excavation of irrigable land, of explosives for rock excavation, is excluded, digging in wells and ditches and in foundations.
The work is done by tearing off the material and loading in a single manoeuvre with a 90º turn or less if possible. A truck must wait while loading another since the cost of the excavator is of the order of at least twice that of a truck. When using bulldozer and loader, the bulldozer digs and pushes the earth, leaving them in bulk. Then the shovels attack the pile, loading the products in trucks.
When working in fairly flat or undulating areas, trailers towed by tractors that tear, load, and transport the material are used with good results. For higher yields, the self-propelled or mototraillas are used, which not only have a much greater capacity but also admit harder terrain and achieve a better degree of filling.
The detailed excavation will be carried out in one or several benches of 2 m. depth approximately, depending on their height and stability and the surface of the plant. The slopes are left with their approximate profile and if the features allow it already finished. Otherwise, they will be reprofiled with a motor grader.
If necessary, the trenches should be extended. This task is done with a machine that reaches the whole slope. It is not always possible, because it forces the execution of berms of a dimension that gives rise to the work of the machines. The most common cause for this to happen is a poor execution of the excavation and topographic misinformation at the time. The bulk excavation should not reach the level of grade final; the last 30 to 50 cm will then be re-inflated with a motor grader, preventing its deterioration due to decompression and heavy traffic.
Maintain the area in optimal drainage conditions. For this, the work platforms will have slopes of the order of 4%, avoiding erosions on the slopes, diverting and driving the waters that can affect the slopes, and profiling the ditches. During the entire execution of the tasks, control the stability of the slopes and the appearance of undesirable cracks than expected in order to their specific treatment.
The characteristics of the removed material will be determined to establish its use in other parts of the work if it is convenient. Vegetable soil, which has not been removed in a clearing, will be collected separately for later use, taking care that it will not be damaged over time due to lack of aeration or drainage. Before loading the material for immediate use, measure the humidity, or correct it by taking it to the required levels.