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Home Blog Shoring Info What is Soil Arching?


Soil Arching, a principle utilised in Hydraulic Shoring, is a type of trench shoring that uses hydraulic pressure to stabilise an excavation, rather than sheets, panels, or a box.

The theory behind Soil Arching was developed by Karl von Terzaghi, a mechanical engineer, geotechnical engineer, and geologist, who founded the branch of engineering science known as soil mechanics.

Prefabricated struts, such as Shore Hire’s Aluminium Vertishores, are hydraulically pumped against the sides of a trench to create “fingers” of pressure in the soil that join together in an arch shape between each Vertishore.

In order for Soil Arching to work, the trench must be able to be excavated and stay stable while the Vertishores are installed and pressurised. This means that cohesive soils, like firm clay, are perfect for this type of shoring method.

In Soil Arching, the walls and ends of the trench are “pre-loaded”, meaning the natural cohesion of the soil can be used to prevent movement within the trench. Preloading soil does not actually lessen the soil load, it just moves it away from the walls and ends of the trench and distributes it to the ‘fingers’ created by the Vertishores.

How is Soil Arching Achieved?

In order to achieve the Soil Arching effect, a system like Shore Hire’s Aluminium Vertishores would typically be used. These are installed using a Vertishore installation tool and then extended out using our hydraulic hand pump. The hydraulic pump extends the sides of the Vertishores outwards, pushing them up against the walls of the trench in a smooth, non-destructive pace. This is extremely important, because the right pressure that needs to be applied depends on the width of the trench, and the hand pump allows the installers to create the right amount of support without generating too much force.


Soil Arching is one of the most popular trench shoring methods because the equipment used to achieve it is often lightweight and easy to install. Our Aluminium Vertishores are quick and simple to use, and can be installed by hand in minutes, saving our customers time, manpower, and machinery costs. The simple method of installation also means that the trench can safely be shored up while the excavator continues to dig at full capacity. They are built from a lightweight aluminium alloy, which provides easy portability and strength to prevent cave-ins within all but the most unstable soil conditions.

If you require advice about Soil Arching or our Aluminium Vertishores, visit your nearest branch, email [email protected] or call our friendly experts at 1300 SHORE HIRE.

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People_of_shore_hire_web 2022-10-04 at 1.49.17 pm