Last edited 07 Jan 2021

Ripping ground

In relation to civil engineering, the term ‘ripping’ refers to the loosening of soil, rock or frozen ground by drawing a forked or pronged implement through it.

Ripping (or deep ripping / deep tillage) is also used in agriculture to break up ground for crop planting.

Ripping can be carried out by tractors with rear-mounted rippers or by simple ripper or ‘blade’ attachments for excavators that can provide an alternative to hydraulic breakers.

A 'subsoiler' is similar to a ripper but often with wings on the foot of the tines to increase soil heave and shatter. Ref The HS2 London-West Midlands Environmental Statement, Glossary of terms and list of abbreviations, DETR 2013.

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