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Sieving Buckets

The initial phase of a construction project often involves the preparation of the location prior to building. Excavation is one of the important steps that happen during this phase. Although typically inexpensive, excavation does involve heavy lifting and precision. It ensures that the structural foundation will be built properly. Rock excavation is a type of excavating that helps clear the area of earth and rocks. Learn more about this important step in the construction process below.

Rock Excavation Explained 

Different types of excavation can occur prior to a construction project. Sites are classified by what type of excavation is required. Rock excavation is simply one type of excavation classification. It involves the removal of different types of earthen materials like sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic rock. Whether it’s solidified or lose rocks and boulders, rock excavation can help clear the way.

Rock excavation involves a detailed and specific process in order to move these large materials. Materials are removed from the site using excavator machinery with attachments such as buckets and rock saws. Sometimes the material is removed using other methods like blasting. The following are common steps used when excavating rock.

Exploratory Drilling

The initial drilling phase ensures that the area is a safe spot to build. It determines whether there are any dangers like cavities or possible sinkholes. Holes are drilled deep beneath the surface at regular intervals. 


During this step, large rocks are split using drills, saws, or explosives. Pre-splitting helps determine where the rock excavation is taking place. It serves as an outline for the excavation project and typically doesn’t add to the cost.

Use of Explosives

Explosives are often used to loosen large rocks and foundations prior to excavating. Dynamite placed close to the pre-splits helps to control the blast. Afterward, excavation machinery will lift out the loose rock. Restrictions for explosives typically occur when buildings or other large structures are present. Be sure to determine seismograph readings and existing conditions of the site prior to this step. 

Finished Grade

The last step during rock excavation is to break off and haul away the rock and earth from the site. This is where the precision techniques of rock excavation come into play. Excavation must follow the outlines of the project plans in order to reach success. Professional excavators have to carefully remove the debris along these areas to meet elevation specifications. 

Excavator Machinery

The right usage of machinery is paramount for any construction project in need of rock excavation. Machinery and attachments heavily depend on the type of rocks present at the site, as well as vegetation and buildings. Rock excavators commonly include rock saws. This large, rock-cutting attachment easily slices through solid rock for mining, quarrying, or construction needs. Excavation machinery is commonly used because of its ability to move about in compact spaces. Despite their small size, these are powerful types of man-operated machinery with hydraulic arms and multiple attachments.

Get the right tools and attachments you need for your next rock excavator construction project. Rock Tools has premier excavator attachments like rock saws, buckets, and grinders. Our professional team is here to help you find the best machinery for rock excavation.