The world is a pretty interesting place. One of the most interesting things that can be regularly viewed is construction projects. Have you ever looked up at a towering skyscraper or a long bridge and wondered how it got there?
Many people have looked upon these feats of engineering and architecture and have been in awe. Construction is an amazing process that takes a lot of coordination, planning, and execution.
There are many different types of construction projects, each with their own challenges. One type of construction that can be seen in many places around the world is drilled pier construction. This is usually done by pier drilling contractors.
But how do they do it? How are drilled piers installed? In this article, we will take a look at the process of drilling piers and how they are installed. We will also look at some of the benefits of using drilled piers.
What is Pier Drilling?
If you’re going to figure out how drilled piers are installed, we’re going to have to first figure out what pier drilling is. So, what is pier drilling?
Pier drilling is the process of creating a hole in the ground for the placement of a column or foundation. This can be done with various tools, but most commonly it is done with an auger.
An auger is a tool that consists of a spiral blade attached to a long rod. The spiral blade cuts into the ground as the auger is turned, creating a hole. Augers come in many different sizes, depending on how big of a hole needs to be drilled.
Pier drilling contractors use large trucks that have an auger attached to them. The truck positions itself over where the hole needs to be drilled and then lowers the auger down into place. Once it’s in position, they start up the drill and let it do its work!
So, what is pier drilling used for? There are many different uses for pier drilling, some of which include:
- Creating holes for the placement of foundation columns
- Placing utility poles
- Erecting signs and billboards
- Constructing fences
- Building decks and patios
As you can see, there are a variety of different things that pier drilling can be used for. It is a versatile tool that can be used in many different situations.
The Process of Pier Drilling
Now that we know what pier drilling is and some of the things that it’s used for, let’s take a closer look at the process of drilling piers. This process usually begins with the pier driller arriving on site to assess the situation.
They will take a look at where the hole needs to be drilled and determine what size auger will be needed for the job. They will also make sure that there are no underground utilities in the area that could be damaged by drilling. Once they have determined all of this, they can begin to set up their equipment.
Setting up the equipment can be a bit of a process. First, they need to position the truck so that the auger will be over the hole that needs to be drilled. They will then lower the auger down into place and secure it.
Once it is secured, they will connect all of hoses and cables that are needed to power the drill. These hoses and cables can be quite long, so they need to make sure that there is enough slack for them to move around as needed.
After everything is set up and in place, they can finally start drilling!
There are three types of drilled piers: end-bearing piers, friction piers, and composite piers. Let’s take a closer look at each one:
- End-bearing piers are placed on bedrock or solid rock because their load-bearing capacity comes from bearing on this solid material at their base.
- Friction piers get their load-bearing capacity from how well they bond or “friction” with soils around them using interlocking soil particles along their entire length not just at their base like end-bearing piles do. The skin friction between these interlocking soil particles prevents movement of the pier.
- Composite piers are a combination of both end-bearing and friction piers because they have a point of bearing on bedrock or solid rock but also get their load-bearing capacity from skin friction with soils along their entire length.
The type of pier that is used will be determined by the soil conditions at the site. If the soil is loose or sandy, then a friction pier will not work well because there is not enough interlocking between the particles to provide adequate support. In this case, an end-bearing pier or composite pier would be a better option.
Similarly, if the bedrock is too deep to reach with an end-bearing pier, then a composite pier would be necessary. The length and diameter of the drilled hole also need to be considered when choosing which type of Pier to use.
Once all these factors have been considered, contractors can begin drilling!
What Happens if Pier Drilling Doesn’t Occur?
Pier drilling is a very important part of construction. Without it, many projects would not be able to be completed. But what happens if pier drilling doesn’t occur? What are the consequences?
One of the main consequences is that the project will not be able to be completed. This is because drilled piers are essential for many aspects of construction, as we saw in Section 1. Without drilled piers, foundations cannot be placed, utility poles cannot be erected, and signs and billboards cannot be constructed.
This can have a major impact on the project as a whole and could potentially delay its completion date by months or even years. Another consequence of not drilling piers is that the quality of the finished product may suffer.
This is because drilled piers provide extra support that helps to ensure that the structure being built is stable and strong. Without this support, there is a greater chance that cracks will form or that parts of the structure will collapse. This could lead to serious injury or even death. Therefore, it’s clear to see why pier drilling is so important!
Pier drilling is not always a straightforward process. There can be many challenges that need to be overcome, such as difficult soil conditions or the presence of underground utilities. However, these challenges can be overcome with the help of experienced pier drilling contractors.
These contractors have the knowledge and expertise to safely and effectively drill piers in any situation. They will also have the necessary equipment to get the job done right. Therefore, it is always best to leave pier drilling to the professionals.
What Kind of Training do Professionals Need to Undergo?
As we’ve already mentioned, pier drilling is a complex process that requires a lot of training and experience to do correctly. There are many safety hazards associated with pier drilling, so it is important that only trained professionals attempt to drill piers.
So, what kind of training do these professionals need to undergo? Let’s take a look. The first step in becoming a pier driller is to obtain a high school diploma or equivalent. After this, they will need to complete an apprenticeship program.
Apprenticeship programs typically last for four years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. During their apprenticeship, pier drillers will learn about topics such as safety procedures, equipment operation, and how to properly drill piers.
Once they have completed their apprenticeship program, they will be able to get their journeyman license. This license allows them to work independently as a pier drillers.
In order to obtain a journeyman license, pier drillers need to pass an exam. This exam tests their knowledge of topics such as safety procedures, equipment operation, and pier drilling techniques. Once they have passed the exam, they will be able to apply for their journeyman license.
However, obtaining a journeyman license is not the end of the road for pier drillers. Many choose to further their education by getting certified through organizations such as the National Drilled Shaft Association or the International Society for Micropiling.
These certifications show that a pier driller has advanced knowledge and skills in their field. They can also help Pier Drillers advance in their career and earn higher salaries. Thus, it is clear that becoming a pier driller requires a lot of training and experience. However, this training is essential in order to safely and effectively drill piers.
Knowing how construction works can make a huge difference in the way that you approach any construction projects that you might have coming up in the near future. Whether you’re going to do a remodel of a kitchen or erect a whole new building, it’s important to know what’s going to go into it.
Now that you understand a bit more about pier drilling, you could be well on your way to understanding the way that numerous construction projects would have to work in order for the building to be safe.