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Slide Rail Innovation: A Modular, Cost-Saving Alternative to Conventional Sheeting Jobs

Slide rail systems save money, require less work to install, minimize disruptions and maximize safety.

There's a good reason why slide rail systems are growing increasingly popular, especially for larger, more complex jobs. The modular nature of the system eliminates most of the safety and productivity issues associated with trench shields, tight sheeting, beam and plate systems, wood shoring and other trench solutions.

Comprised of steel panels and vertical steel posts, slide rail shoring systems can be used for anything from basic four-sided pit excavations to complex, large-diameter pipeline installations. Sliding into tracked rails as earth is excavated, these systems eliminate the kind of soil movement seen in typical open-cut excavations, improving safety and reducing delays associated with reconstruction after a collapse.

When you've got a challenging site, slide rail systems are indispensable: poor soil conditions, crossing utilities and adjacent structures can be dealt with quickly and easily. Use them for tank pits, vaults, shafts, utility installations, bore pits and point repairs.

The benefits of slide rail systems include:

  • Budget friendly - Save up to 50% compared to alternatives like trench shielding.
  • Flexible design - Virtually any configuration is possible for a wide range of adaptations with modular components that enable the installation of unique designs quickly and efficiently.
  • Less manpower - Can be put in place with a smaller crew using an excavator, as individual components are lighter and easier to handle than large trench shields.
  • Easier to work around - Need no interior wales or beams, allowing more space for workers to dig and perform other tasks in the trench.
  • Minimized disruptions - When unforeseen underground obstacles come up, slide rails enable the quick and safe installation of protective systems around them so you can continue as planned.
  • Maximized safety - Reduce the risk of cave-in and trench collapse, and improve safety for adjacent structures and workers.

Slide rail systems can come with a bit of a learning curve, requiring precision and skill to install. But with support from the manufacturer or a knowledgeable rental specialist, they can be used even for complex sites, and can be custom-engineered when needed.

United Rentals has the largest in-house inventory of slide rail systems in the country, as well as trained installers that can assist with installation. Visit or call 800.UR.RENTS for more information.