Why You Need to Restrict off-Road Vehicle Use on Land Containing Pipelines
If a pipeline company has leased part of your land to install a pipeline, you may think that as long as the company is responsible, then all will be well. But there's another element at play: off-roaders. People who use ATVs and other small off-road vehicles like to zip through open land, and sometimes they end up on your property. Even if you don't mind them being there, you should restrict vehicle access to the land that the pipeline is under.
These vehicles, as small as they may seem, can do some pretty intense damage to the pipeline by riding over the land the line is in. The pipeline company can help you mark off the areas so that off-roaders know not to travel over those spots. Read on to learn more.
1. Topsoil Erosion
The immediate danger is topsoil erosion. Not only do those vehicles move topsoil themselves, but they can also loosen and destroy roots of grasses and smaller plants that would normally hold topsoil in place during rains. The more the vehicles travel over the land, the more damage can be done both then and during the rainy season.
When the topsoil erodes, the soil under those layers is exposed and then becomes subject to erosion itself. That's where things can get really dicey as the dirt around the pipelines themselves can get washed away, allowing the pipeline to settle or tilt, harming the line.
2. Vehicle Weight and Unstable Soil
Another issue is vehicle weight and unstable soil. As soil erodes and as vehicle traffic over the site continues, the weight of heavier vehicles such as ATVs can start to press down on the remaining dirt, compacting the dirt and the pipeline. If the soil becomes unstable due to the erosion or the tires pushing dirt and plants out of the way, the compacting effect increases.
3. Even Motorized Dirt Bikes Can Be an Issue
While heavier vehicles like ATVs may be more of a risk, lighter vehicles like motorized dirt bikes can also be problematic because of their speed and the grip the bikes' tire treads have on the ground. So it's not a matter of prohibiting some vehicles, but rather preventing all vehicles from crossing over the pipeline.
Work With Pipeline Services
The barriers don't have to be anything like fortified walls; you just need something that will stop random off-roaders from accidentally driving over the pipeline. Contact a pipeline services company to see if they have recommendations for suitable warning signs and other items that would notify off-roaders to stay away without disturbing the soil. If you find that people have already been riding through the area and have damaged the ground, ask companies like Guildner Pipeline Maintenance to arrange for inspections and potential maintenance and repair services.