What Do Excavating Contractors Do?

December 21, 2021 3:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Construction is the backbone of America’s infrastructure. An integral portion of construction is excavation. Most building construction requires a fair bit of excavation, whether it’s for laying the foundation of a potential building or simply leveling the ground. While it may seem simple on the surface, there’s an art and a science to successful and efficient excavation.

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This is why excavation contractors are so important. Excavation is much more than picking up dirt and moving it around (though that is part of it). It involves significant technical knowledge and expertise—which begs the question, what is it, exactly, that excavating contractors do?

This article will cover that and more.

Project preparation

Proper excavation requires considerable foresight and planning. The excavation is often the first step of a construction project, and everything will be built on top of it, so it’s crucial to get it right. Excavating contractors take the whole project into account when preparing the dig site for excavation. This includes pulling permits, soil testing, leveling the soil and erosion control.


It stands to reason that excavating contractors move dirt around on the construction site or perform excavation—but there’s more to it than simply picking up dirt in the excavator’s bucket and transferring it between locations.

The scope and nature of the project will determine just how much change in the terrain is necessary, but excavation contractors can do anything from building a foundation to compacting the soil to raising or flattening different features of the terrain.

Operate heavy machinery

Excavating contractors have access to various types of heavy machinery needed to perform excavations. These include bulldozers, backhoes, front-end loaders, compactors, dump trucks, skid steers and trenchers.

In addition to the machines themselves, many excavation contractors have a background in heavy machine operation, and they can either perform the work themselves or subcontract it out to an excavating contractor they know and trust.

Laying utilities

If a new building is being constructed, then the installation of utilities is a given. Due to the sensitive nature of laying utilities, having an experienced and accurate excavation contractor is paramount.

Those performing excavations must avoid interfering with any existing underground utilities and have a detail-oriented approach when it comes to installing underground systems such as water mains, storm drains, sewers, water services and retention systems. Being scrupulous during excavation leads to better project outcomes and increased project efficiency.


If a construction project is slated for land that’s already occupied, then a demolition will typically accompany the excavation process. Many excavation contractors perform demolitions because both processes mostly use the same equipment. Demolitions can involve anything from tearing down an old building to clearing a wooded area of trees.

Material transportation

Excavation contractors are usually outfitted with a fleet of trucks capable of bringing fresh materials to the jobsite and moving waste materials out. Most excavation contractors know the importance of maintaining a clean jobsite even while the project is underway, and promptly getting rid of excess or waste materials is a fine way to keep the jobsite organized.

Call for your excavation today

Now that you know about the work that an excavation contractor does, call us at Affordable Rooter. We offer a vast array of utility services, ranging from excavation services to drain cleaning to water heater replacement, so call us today.

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