The Importance of Specialized Drilling

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What Is Soil Drilling?

For any major construction project, there’s a significant amount of groundwork and analysis that must first occur before work can begin. Whether it's for a building, a roadway, or a bridge, we rely on underground data to ensure that the project is safe, successful, and sustainable. Here, geotechnical drilling is one of the most common ways to gather this vital information.

What Is Geotechnical Drilling?

Geotechnical drilling uses specialized drilling equipment to bore holes into the earth directly beneath potential sites of buildings, roads, and other infrastructure projects. This takes place prior to construction to analyze rocks and soil composition, measure ground stability, and determine if the location is appropriate for the project to move forward.

Various methods may be employed to take these ground samples, including:

  • Rotary Drilling - uses a high-speed rotation drill for both investigation and production

  • Rotary Percussive - uses the specialized drill bit for both percussion and rotary

  • Rotary Vibratory or Sonic - uses a high-frequency mechanical vibration to provide continuous core samples

Many factors must be considered even before drilling begins, such as hole depth, diameter, inclination, temperature, and ground contents. That’s why having a dedicated team of experts with specialized equipment is a must!

Types of Geotechnical Drilling Services

With every job comes new challenges and nuanced landscapes. When it comes to geotechnical drilling, the services provided vary depending on the task at hand. Common services may include:

  • Soil test borings and sampling – The purpose of this is to gather samples that are representative of the subsurface conditions. There are a variety of methodologies and technologies that may be employed for this task, such as:

    • Calibrated automatic hammer

    • Manual safety hammer

    • Donut hammer

    • Undisturbed sampling

    • Hand clearing

    • Mud rotary and hollow stem augers

    • Direct push drilling

  • Test pits – These are one of the four primary types of geotechnical exploratory tests. With this method, a pit can be hand excavated or dug with a backhoe. In doing so, drillers can study the subsurface conditions and determine the depth of the existing site’s foundation.

  • Groundwater observation wells – Gauging and measuring groundwater hydrology is a difficult undertaking. You must drill monitoring wells to gauge the water table (i.e., the groundwater level), measure the elevation/depth of groundwater, and the potential effect pollution has on that source.

  • Rock, asphalt and concrete coring – Core drilling is used to extract representative samples from a finished rock, asphalt, or concrete structure. This test can be used to measure material quality and confirm compliance.

MFS Construction and Drilling

For a construction project to be successful, it’s vital that the foundations and subsurface conditions are up to spec. This often requires dedicated tools, equipment, and techniques, especially since different markets will have varying concerns, challenges, and compliance metrics.

At MFS Construction, we’re equipped to handle all of your drilling requirements. Our team of experts has employed a wide array of innovative, cost-effective, and eco-friendly geotechnical drilling solutions. And we’re confident we have the tools and expertise needed to handle any challenge you bring us.

Want to learn more about MFS Construction's geotechnical drilling capabilities? Let’s talk!