Tight Fit?

Terrier Rig

When it comes to sites that have narrow or restricted access, we reckon that there is no better drill rig than our Terrier. It may be the baby of our drilling fleet, but don’t let its diminutive size fool you.

In the past year it has worked in basements, narrow side passages between houses, amid demolition debris and in a host of other conditions that would have precluded larger rigs being used.

If you add in the fact that it can work on inclines as steep as 30 degrees I think you’ll agree that our Terrier is a little gem.

This week  we’ve been using the Terrier to carry out post-demolition verification sampling. We’ve been able to pick our way through the demolition rubble, getting access to the entire site to drill a pattern of boreholes to 5m depth.

For further information, or to discuss your drilling requirements, please contact Angus Gale – 01296 739433

Northern Powerhouse?

Pile Probing – Manchester

We like to feel  that we’re contributing to the Northern Powerhouse and this week saw us working in Manchester on a project to construct student accomodation in the city centre. Our role was to clear locations of buried obstructions prior to piling commencing.

We successfully cleared 30 locations to 8m depth in a single day – a total of over 250m linear metres of pile probing. With the piling rig arriving the following day, the result was a happy client.

The fact Manchester was enjoying its warmest day of the year so far was a pure coincidence, though it was a welcome surprise not to get wet*!

For more information or to get a quote for pile probing at your site, please contact Steven Partridge – 01296 739413

[* The editor used to live in Manchester]

What TLC Can Achieve

Terrier Drill Rig

Our Terrier drill rig, Tinky, recently celebrated its sixteenth birthday. In that time it has had 2 new head gaskets, 15 calibrations, 22 oil changes and services, 2 new tyres, 2 new tracks, 1 rebuilt mast frame, 1 new radiator , 1 new weight guard and a new fan. We know that good maintenance is the key to keeping any machine working and we like to think we’ve done our Terrier proud. It has certainly paid us back.

It may be sixteen years old but last week it still managed to dynamically sample 25m of weathered sandstone to 5m depth with SPT tests every metre plus completing an additional four dynamic probes to competent bedrock at 9.5m and installing four gas monitoring wells to 1.5m. All this in two days including a round trip mobilidsation of over 300 miles. Hats off to Tinky.

We are looking for dynamic sampling operatives. If you think you fit the bill then give Angus Gale a call on 01296 739400 or email your CV to Angus Gale.

Pile Probing

Pile Probing – London

We were contacted by one of our regular clients with an urgent request to carry out pile probing at one of their sites in London. We were able to be on site the next day, using our Geoprobe rig to clear 55 pile locations to a depth of 4m, all before 3pm. To make matters even better, the sun shone all day.

For more information about our pile probing service please contact Duncan Eastland – 01296 739431

Contract Value: <£2k


Earth, Wind and Fire…mostly Fire

After the Fire
After the Fire

It’s never good when your business premises are reduced to ash in a raging inferno. But this was just the scenario faced by one of our clients, when their car showr0om and repair workshop has burnt down overnight.

We were on hand the next day, working closely with both the fire brigade and the demolition crew. We were able to obtain the vital geotechnical data necessary to allow design for the new buildings to progress.
Here you can see our Terrier rig taking soil samples and completing in situ standard penetration tests and dynamic probes to depths of up to 15m.

Now the flames have died out, the demolition has been completed and the new structure has been designed. Our client is well on the way to be back in business.

Somewhere Under The Rainbow….

Dynamic Sampling Rig
Dynamic Sampling in the Rain

……is our mini dynamic sampling rig! In fact, its photographed here having its oil checked during a day’s work at a site on the south coast.

The geotechnical survey, which comprised standard penetrations tests (SPTs), dynamic probing, CBR tests and plate bearing tests, was designed to allow the design of foundations for a leading supermarket chain’s new store.

The site had a history of industrial development so, not surprisingly, it was littered with large, buried concrete obstructions from previous structures (foundations, beams and piles). We will soon be returning to complete pile probing at each of the new pile locations to enable the augers of the piling machines to keep turning thus avoiding expensive standing time.

Hopefully it will have stopped raining by then…..and no, sadly, we didn’t find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Centre Point, London – Pile Probing Plus

The prestigious Centre Point Building, located at the end of Oxford Street in London, is currently undergoing major refurbishment as its converted from offices to luxury apartments. The work requires additional pile foundations to be installed, both around the building and in the existing basement car parks. The only problem was that no-one could be really certain what else might be in the ground beneath the site.

We were called in to carry out pile probing for the 100+ piles to be installed. Careful planning ensured that we were able to work around the numerous HV cables, tube and Crossrail tunnels beneath the site, identifying obstructions in a number of locations. On such a congested site it was not possible to simply reconfigure the foundations and relocate the piles.

Instead we returned to site and using a DTH hammer, we were able to break up the obstructions in situ, without disturbing the surrounding structures. All part of our Pile Probing Plus service.

For more information please contact Duncan Eastland – 01296 739431

Machu Pichu

alma roadOK so not exactly Peru, but a very steep, terraced site in the Chilterns.

The extremely tight access didn’t prevent our site team from getting in and completing a comprehensive geotechnical investigation, including soil sampling and dynamic probing to 10m depth. The work was completed on time and on budget, with dynamic probing data issued to the client on a ‘same day’ basis to assist with pile design.

Pile Probing Challenge

We do like a challenge, so when a client asked if we could probe 65 pile locations in a single day we said yes. Just to make it more of a challenge our client also wanted soil samples taken from each location and analysed for a range of potential contaminants.

The site was an office car park crammed with cars during the week, so the probing had to take place at the weekend. With noise restrictions preventing Sunday working and project deadlines meaning the work had to be completed in a single day, we knew we would have our work cut out. Each location required us to core the surface pavement, take a soil sample from the upper metre of soil profile and probe to 3.6m depth – a total of 234m of probing. But happily, using our Geoprobe Direct Push drill rig we were able to get everything completed in time to see the kick-off of the FA Cup.

The soil samples were dropped off at our own laboratory later the same day for ‘fast track’ analysis and the results provided to the client 3 days later.


Probing the Depths – Part Two

The headline “ground swallows car” sounds as if it comes straight out of a Hollywood horror film. But it is actually surprisingly common in areas with either chalk or limestone geology or with a history of mining (which could be for clay or salt as well as for coal).

If you are considering constructing foundations you may wish to consider commissioning us to ‘pile probe’ the area first. Not only will this identify shallow obstructions but it will identify swallow holes, solution features and abandoned underground workings such as the ones that caused this:

Ground Swallows Car