Before a construction project can take place it is vital to look at the site conditions to not only inform the project but to establish whether construction is even possible. This involves tests carried out on the ground conditions and soil composition, commonly done using a trail pit.

What is a Trial Pit?

In simple terms, trial pits are holes that are usually 1 to 4 metres deep. Normally they are dug by hand, but small diggers may be used when a larger trial pit is required. If hazards such as electrical cables or gas pipelines are known to be beneath, it is important that the pit is dug by hand to ensure nothing that could be a safety concern is damaged.
If the pit is deeper than 1.2 metres, structural measures must be used. This is to ensure the pit does not collapse should someone need to enter it.

What are Trail Pits used for?

Trial pits are used to examine the ground conditions as part of a site investigation. Trial pitting allows both disturbed and undisturbed samples to be taken as well as various testing methods such as infiltration and contamination tests to be carried out.

Benefits of a Trial Pit

  • Cost-Effective – Trial pits are a simple testing technique to carry out and because they’re often hand dug it saves on the cost of transporting and running machinery/equipment.
  • Flexible – With a trial pit a variety of testing/sampling methods can be carried out, including contamination tests, infiltration tests and CBR testing.
  • Mitigation of unexpected issues – Having a trial pit and carrying out the appropriate tests before you start work can save you time and money later on. Understanding ground conditions means you can plan with them in mind, rather than having to fork out potentially thousands of pounds to resolve issues later on.

Why choose Your Environment?

  • Able to carry out a range of surveys/investigations
  • Team of highly qualified professionals
  • Package offers to help keep costs low
  • Industry-leading equipment
  • Quick turn-around
  • Jargon-free reports
  • Able to offer next-step advice


Need a trail pit or want to discuss other tests? Contact us here to talk to a member of our team or request a free, no-obligation quote.